Parador de Benicarló
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- Single rooms (15)
- Twin rooms (89)
- Double rooms (4)
- Capacity (201)
- Conference room
- Central heating
- Air conditioning
- Canal plus
- Deposit box
- Ambiance music
- Credit cards
- Currency exchange
- Tennis court
- Swimming pool
- Disabled facilities
- Airport (140km)
- Station (2km)
- Port (140km)
Parador de Benicarló - Modern, beachside hotel (4*)
The luxurious, classically elegant Parador de Benicarló is just metres from the quiet Mediterranean coastline of the picturesque and unspoilt Costa del Azahar. This is a predominantly Spanish resort, with less international tourism than further up the coast, giving it more charm and attraction than many resorts.
The Parador de Benicarló has every modern facility you might expect including a pool, gym and a sauna, and the majority of the colourful bedrooms have balconies facing the sea. Of particular note is the expansive garden, studded with palm trees and containing a seasonal outdoor pool, a tennis court and a children’s play area. The Parador is notable for its spaciousness.
In the summer months, the Parador de Benicarló lays on barbecues in the garden for its guests. The surrounding region, often referred to as 'La Huerta de España' (Spain's orchard or allotment) is noted for its cultivation of oranges and artichokes (Benicarló holds an Artichoke Fair in January), and in the Parador’s excellent restaurant guests may sip orange juice from freshly plucked fruit from the trees. Specialities include Alcachofa de Benicarló (artichoke hearts with the much prized designation of local origin), and typical Mediterranean dishes involving rice and seafood.
In front of the main building of Benicarló's Parador is a large car park for guests, with security barriers. Good beaches are a short walk away, the area behind the Parador's gardens having limited access, therefore giving the Parador a quieter setting away from most visitors.
In addition to its beautiful sandy beaches, Benicarló is an important fishing port and tourist centre on the Costa del Azahar. The town itself dates back to the Middle Ages, where it was originally founded as a small Arab town, and much of the urban planning remains the same. Combining a long beach and beautiful architecture, this town really does have something to offer every kind of tourist, a testament to the region itself which is famed for the interesting contrast between beachside towns and a range of fascinating historical castles such as the ones at Ares del Maestre, Cervera, and Benasal.
Benicarló’s relationship with the sea is reflected in its popular beaches and the still-active fishing industry, which supplies the ingredients for some of the area’s most popular seafood dishes. In addition to this fishing tradition, Benicarló also has its roots firmly planted in the farming industry, and the oranges and artichokes cultivated in the area are some of the most celebrated throughout the whole of Spain.
The Maestrazgo region has a number fascinating cultural and historical aspects to enthral visitors. The landscape, both beautiful and unforgiving is home to a range of orange blossoms, almond trees and fig trees, interspersed amongst tricky rocky terrain. It is believed to have been occupied by settlers dating back from the 6th and 5th centuries BC; however the Iberian settlers from the 4th century BC are by far those whose history is most celebrated and recognised throughout the region. Archaeological digs over the past 30 years have yielded a number of historical treasures, such as pre-historic fishhooks, safety pins, flour mills, and even fragments of looms (further alluding to the region’s still-booming wool industry) which have all been discovered in the area, and are now on display at the Museum of Pre-History and History, home to one of Europe’s most valuable Iberian culture collections. In fact, some coastal areas still have remnants of stone lodgings built by these celebrated settlers.
The nearby town of Sant Mateu, the region’s capital, has a wide range of activities to offer visitors. The old remanants of the Citadel remain, preserved as a reminder of the town’s heritage. Similarly, the old Romanesque-style church of San Pedro has been conserved. Sant Mateu was the site of some of the most extreme activities under the Spanish Inquisition and the Museum of Medieval Prisons gives insight into the brutality and historical importance of this period. Sant Mateu is also the site of a rumoured ‘miracle’ of the Mare de Deu dels Angels during the Spanish Civil War. It is alleged that when a fire broke out following a nearby battle, the area surrounding the Shrine was completely levelled; however the Mare de Deu statue remained intact and untouched by the flames.
Of note: Within easy reach of here is Peñiscola - about 8km from the Parador de Benicarló - which is a more developed resort with the attraction of the spectacular Castle of Papa Luna and its curved, shallow beach. We recommend a visit here to climb up to the castle walls (not a strenuous activity) and to enjoy the local restaurants overlooking the fortifications and the beach. A small market is occasionally to be found here. The castle and beach may seem familiar to you, since they featured in the film 'El Cid' with Charlton Heston.
The town of Benicarló celebrates its regional speciality- the artichoke, with a festival. The surrounding area of Benicarló is famous for its horticulture, nestled between mountains and the sea. Artichokes are widely used in local cuisine and have their own gastronomic fair taking place at the beginning of the year. The intention of the festival is to celebrate the historical roots of the artichoke and also to demonstrate how it has developed over the years in many Spanish dishes. The public are welcome to join in the fiesta by sampling a variety of recipes and tapas, and the Parador participates actively in this festival.
Click here to read more about 'BENICARLÓ AND ITS PARADOR (pdf)'
Restaurant meal times & typical dishes
Breakfast is served from 8.00 to 10.30 and dinner from 20.15 to 22.30.
It may be possible to arrive up to 22.00 and still enjoy a meal.
In the Parador’s excellent restaurant guests may sip orange juice from fruit just plucked from the trees. Specialities include Alcachofa de Benicarló (artichoke hearts with the much prized designation of local origin), and typical Mediterranean dishes involving rice and seafood.
The opening dates for the outdoor swimming pools are from the 15 April until 13 October.
• Second half of May (weekends) - 11:00 to 19:00.
• 1st to October 12th (weekends) - 11:00 to 19:00.
• June and September (every day) - 11:00 to 19:00.
• July and August (every day) - 10:00 to 20:00.
Please note the opening and closing dates will depend on the weather and availability of lifeguards.
How to get there
The Parador de Benicarló is located next to the sea on the Costa del Azahar. The recommended access is from the A-7 motorway, which converges on the N-340 2 km from Benicarló at exit No. 43. Benicarlo is located 70 km from Castellon/Castelló, the capital of the province. You can also reach the Parador by train, the station being just 1.5 km away.
Tortosa - 52km
Alcaniz - 145km
El Saler - 153km
Teruel - 234km
Valencia Airport - 150km
Region & Cuisine
With over 300 days of sunshine each year and beautiful sandy beaches, the Valencian Community has plenty of cities, towns and resorts to visit for your fill of swimming, sunbathing and water sports. Made up of three provinces, Valencia, Castellon and Alicante and the Costa Blanca, the region covers a large part of Spain’s eastern coast, bordered by Murcia in the south and Catalonia in the north. Given its proximity to Catalonia, it should come as no surprise that the Valencian Community has its very own language which is similar to Catalan and you will find that street signs are often printed in both Castilian Spanish and Valencian
Castellón is the northernmost region and borders Catalonia. The province is known as Cosata del Azahar (Orange Blossom Coast), has 120km of coastline and is home to some of Spain’s best beaches as well as two natural parks and areas of unspoilt coastline. There are a number of wonderful coastal towns and villages to explore including the well-known towns of Benicarló, Benicassim (popular for its annual music festival) and the fortified city of Peñíscola whose beach was famously used in Charlton Heston’s El Cid. If you venture further inland you will find mountainous landscapes dotted with medieval villages.
The Province of Valencia is home to the region’s capital and Spain’s third largest city, Valencia. The Old Town is the cultural and historic centre of the city with an abundance of historic buildings and sites of interest including the Baroque Town Hall, the grand Post Office, the art nouveau-style Estació Del Nord train station, the Cathedral and the Central Market, not to mention numerous churches, museums and statues around the city. Today one of Valencia’s most striking and famous features is the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències (City of Arts and Sciences) situated in the east of the city and considered one of the ’12 treasures of Spain’. This futuristic complex comprises an impressive IMAX/planetarium/concert hall dome called l’Hemisferic, Europe’s largest aquarium, a scenic urban garden, the Palace of the Arts which exhibits a range of music, dance, theatre and opera performances, and a Science Museum which not only provides an interactive forum for visitors, but is also conducting some of Europe’s most innovative research. Just south of the city close to El Saler, you will find the Albufera Natural Park, a freshwater lagoon and estuary surrounded by rice fields containing wild flora and fauna that can be explored by boat.
The southernmost province of the Autonomous Community is Alicante and the Costa Blanca, home to some of Spain’s most well-known tourist resorts and beaches including Benidorm, Denia, Javea, Torrevieja and the city of Alicante. With well-established facilities for tourism and 200km of coastline, it is no wonder this stretch of coast is popular with tourists. Historically the south eastern coast served as the primary landing point for frequent Moorish and Berber invasions, leading to the creation of a number of castles and fortresses along the coast, this history is reflected in annual ‘Moors and Christians’ festivals where locals dress up and fend off the would-be invaders. The towns of Alcoi and Villajoyosa are widely praised for their excellent re-enactments.
Valencia is most famous as the birthplace of paella, which despite often being associated with Spain in general, actually originates from the area. The region is rich in natural water sources, the Albufera Natural Park is a wonderful example of this, and thus is perfect for growing rice. Valencia has been home to the majority of Spain’s rice paddy fields since the grain was introduced to the country by the Moors in the 13th century, and since then rice has been the region’s biggest agricultural export. Unlike the more familiar seafood paella many will recognise, Paella Valenciana is traditionally made with rice, green beans, meat (usually chicken or rabbit), lima beans or butter beans, saffron and sometimes snails, a delicacy in Valencia. You will find that most restaurants and tapas bars in Valencia feature a variety of paella dishes on the menu. Fideuà is arguably paella’s cousin, substituting rice for noodles; it is also a very popular dish in the region.
We must not, of course, talk about the Valencian Community without mentioning Valencian Oranges. The delicious fruit is exported worldwide and is one of the most popular varieties in the production of orange juice. You cannot visit Valencia without drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and luckily most eateries and hotels prepare their juice freshly each day. On a warm evening you might want to enjoy the local cocktail - Aqua de Valencia - which is a refreshing mixture of orange juice, cava, gin and vodka.
Another staple of Valencian cuisine, Orxata (or Horchata) which is plant milk made from tiger nuts and is often enjoyed with a farton (a sweet pastry stick), you will find Orxata available in many cafes and special stands dotted around towns and villages.
Turrón, a sweet nougat made with honey and egg whites (and often almonds and other nuts), is a Christmas delicacy throughout Spanish households and the ‘original’ version of this sweet treat can be traced back to Jijona/Xixona, a town north of Alicante.
Please be aware of the following:
- 'Special Offers' are subject to the availability of a number of rooms per night and/or a specific meal basis.
- Age restrictions apply to the 'Golden Days' Offer (for those aged 55 and over) and the 'Young Persons' Offer (for those aged between 18 and 30). All reservations made using these tariffs are checked upon your arrival at the Parador(s) booked to ensure that at least one person in a room qualifies for the restricted tariff. In the case that you do not qualify for the restricted tariff, the Parador will apply the standard rate without exception and you will be required to pay a supplement locally. However only one person (per room) needs to qualify for either of these two reductions.