Benicasim is a municipality belonging to the Valencian Community, located in the province of Castellón, in the region of La Plana Alta. It's main population centers are: Cuadro Santiago, Desierto de las Palmas, Masia dels Frares, Montemolino, El Palasiet, Las Villas, Voltants de Montornés, Las Palmas, La Parreta and El Refugio.
Benicasim has a year-round population of 18,098 residents, but during the summerit swells to 600,000 people. The economy is based mainly on tourism, with a wide variety of restaurants, bars and leisure facilities.
The parish church of Santo Tomás de Villanueva is one of the finest examples of neoclassical architecture in Castellón . Built between 1769 and 1776, inside it holds works by the painter Camarón. Other local religious features include the Monasterio de los Carmelitas Descalzas, founded in the Desert of the Palms by Carmelite priests, and the Cross of Bartolo, erected on the peak of Bartolo Mountain in Desert de les Palmes National Park in 1902.
If ancient castles are more to your liking, Benicasum holds Castillo de Montornés, a defensive fortification built by Muslims in the 11th Century A.D.
Torre de San Vicente is one of 18 Renaissance-era watchtowers built for the surveillance and defense of the coast of Castellón. The Villas of Benicasim is the tourist area of the coast. From the nineteenth century onwards, the Villas began to construct amenities to serve tourists, including restaurants, rental apartments, cafes and discos.
The gastronomy of Benicasim features fish and seafood, rice, meats and vegetables. Among the most outstanding dishes is the paella in all its variants, hervido valenciano, la olla valenciana, la sepia estofada, los cardos de la abuela and las sardinas en salsa verde. Regarding the desserts, we find a great variety of pastries and fresh fruits like the grapes of muscat and orange. As for drinks, the Licor Carmelitano stands out in Benicasim.
One of the highlights of this Valencian municipality are its fiestas. Beginning with the Festivities of San Antonio Abad celebrated on January 17th, the streets fill with floats, parades, and blessings made to domestic animals. In mid-July, the Festival Internacional de Benicasim (FIB) is focused on independent music. It's an international event sponsored by the Diputación.
Certamen Internacional de Guitarra clásica “Francisco Tárrega” takes place between August and September. Rototom Sunsplash is the biggest Reggae and Culture festival in Europe, where great artists come and play.
Benicasim is located in the coastal area of Castellón, so its greatest attraction for families with children are the local beaches, including playa de Voramar, playa de la Almadraba, playa Torre de San Vicent, playa Els Terrers, playa Eurosol and playa Heliópolis. The first two have the most amenities for families with young children.
Families with will also enjoy hiking the Las Palmas Desert which houses a natural park with a great variety of native species. It is a mountainous region that lies parallel to the coast. This park has calcareous deposits that originate from soft reliefs on the tops of the Desert of Las Palmas and Les Santes.
The Monte Bartolo holds an incredible panoramic view of the Mediterranean coastline, as well as of Columbretes Islands, an archipelago that forms part of one of the most important natural protected areas of the Valencian Community.
From Madrid: take the A-3 highway and go direct, or access it through the AP-36 or later link it to the AP-7. The first option is the one that has the least kilometers but has tolls.
From Andalusia: the most feasible route is to take the A-4 highway, although you can also reach Benicasim by the N-322.
From the Basque Country: take the A-23 highway from the beginning to the end, or access it through the AP-68. Another option is to go for the AP-7. The second alternative is the fastest since it includes tolls.
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