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Benicàssim, the Valencian Biarritz

Benicàssim is a traditional holiday town, thanks to its six kilometres worth of sandy beaches, and its high mountains that offer great coastline views.

Situated  in the province of Castelló, on the Costa del Azahar, Benicàssim has been a popular resort since the 19th century, when wealthy Valencian families built summer residences here. It is still a place where one can find more local than foreign tourism, with plenty of Valenciano spoken on the streets.

The heights of the mountains around protect the town from the wind, are a part of the Desert of Las Palmas and Sierra de Santa Agueda, where we find the Bartolo peak (729 m). This spiritual retreat, founded by the Carmelites, nowadays offers interesting routes to cover by foot, or bicycle. The old Camelites’ distillery, which used aromatic herbs to elaborate their liqueurs, was eventually moved to the urban centre.

Image via http://turismo.benicassim.es/

Modernist and colonial-style holiday villas began to emerge in the Benicàssim beach area towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Of these, the oldest that still stands is Villa Pilar, from 1860. The Neoclassical parish church, built in the 18th century, is the most emblematic building in the historic quarter. Other historic monuments include the watchtower of San Vicente, located down at the beach, and the medieval castle of Montornés. The unique historical evolution of Benicàssim has given it a wide artistic heritage to enjoy all year round.

Image via http://turismo.benicassim.es/

Local Gastronomy

The gastronomy of Benicàssim is characterized by the diversity of its own products of the Mediterranean diet. Fish and seafood, roasts, tasty stews, paellas and other rice dishes are part of the different recipes of Benicàssim’s culinary expertise. For dessert, a varied pastry or the fresh fruits of the place, such as the muscatel grape and the orange of the Benicànian orchards, can be accompanied by the famous Carmelite Liquor, made by the monks of the Desierto de las Palmas.

This Weekend…

The Music Festival FIB starts on Thrusday July the 19th and ends on Sunday, and you can find more details from the official website of the event.

Images via the official touristic website http://turismo.benicassim.es/

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