The Costa Azahar is Spain’s orange blossom coast
The Costa Azahar, meaning "the orange blossom coast", is located in the province of Castellon, to the north of the city of Valencia. It lies between Catalonia in the north and the Costa Blanca in the south. This picturesque coastline is around 115 kms long and is full of rugged mountain back drops, nature parks and first class beaches. Some of the best beaches on the Costa Azahar can be found at Benicassim, Castello-Grao, Alcossebre, Peniscola, Oropesa, Torreblanca, Benicarló y Vinarós.
There are many Costa Azahar festivals to enjoy in towns all along the orange blossom coast including San Antonio in Benicassim held in January, the Vinaros carnivals in February, the Magdalena during March in Benicassim, and the Peníscola festivals are held between the 7th to the 16th of October each year.
Top Costa Azahar Cities, Towns & Resorts
Top attractions on the Costa Azahar
The Costa Azahar landscape offers wonderful scenery, beautiful beaches, mountainous surroundings, orange groves and memorable and pleasant climate. It is ideal for holiday makers who like both culture and for those who are looking for relaxation and serenity. Filled with many green spaces, secluded places, beautiful coastal views, as well as historic sites and monuments, this part of Spain is less crowded than its busy neighbour on the Costa Blanca.
The Costa Azahar countryside is certainly an area where visitors can relax while walking through the orange and lemons groves or through the parks and nature reserves. There are also pletny of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain climbing, rambling, rafting, sailing, water skiing, canoeing, yachting and more.
Valencia, the largest city of Costa Azahar, has gained fame as one of the most dynamic Spanish Cities. The main focal point is the outstanding Arts and Science Centre La Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias, built by the famous architect Calatrava.
A short drive north of Valencia is the coastal town of Castellon de la Plana, which has some gorgeous beaches and historic town hall building.
A short drive north from Castellon de la Plana is the picturesque town of Oropesa, which still preserves the Tower of the King, built as a defense against pirates. Oropesa is a charming town to explore with it's narrow lanes. The town boasts several fine beaches and unspoilt coves located around La Concha and Morre de Gos. There is also modern yacht harbour with around 700 berths offering full marina facilities and well worth visiting to check out all the impressive luxury yachts.
Other coastal towns worth visiting include Morella, enclosed by 14th century walls and the town of Benicassim which boasts an imposing 10th century Moorish castle. Add to the list of tourist attractions that deserves a visit: the Planetarium of Castellón, Segobriga Park and Cova Negra Caves and Nature Park
The town of Calig is set inland from Vinaros and Benicarlo and is a tranquil village offering an ideal blend of modern and traditional. There is a good nightlife, a decent smattering of shops and has easy access to all other facilities. The annual fiesta in Calig is celebrated during August with a 10 day fest…. not to be missed.
Vinaros – is the first town you come across when entering the Costa Azahar. This ancient town offers a fine beach at El Forti which runs from the port to the mouth of the River Servol which is famous for its langostinos ( prawns). For fiestas lovers the two major ones are the San Antonio in January, the festival of San Sebastian and the carnivals held in February each year.
This historic city is replete with medieval architecture and has a fine monumental heritage. Located in the northern part of the Costa Azahar, Pensicola has some amazing beaches and superb choice of Leisure facilities. The medieval fortification gives the town real historic feel with the castle dating from the 13th and 15th centuries. Built originally by the Knights Templar it was completed by the Montesianos in the 14th century.
The castle was particularly famous for being the home of Pope Benedicte XIII, Pedro de Luna from 1411 to 1423 and is a fine example of military architecture dating from the early Middle Ages. A visit here is highly recommended as much of it still remains including the stables, a grand hall and a beautiful interior plaza.
And if you are looking to buy some holiday gifts, there are plenty of shops along its long promenade to please everyone as well as plenty of nice bars and restaurants to enjoy the local dish of Paella Valenciana.
Located 65 kilometres south of Valencia on the Mediterranean with its vast, golden beaches, it is one of the main tourist destinations in Spain.
It has a Mediterranean subtropical climate with mild, warm winters and hot summers. Temperatures range between 25 and 30 degrees Celcius. During August, some days may reach 40 degrees, but the gentle sea breezes cool you down. The sea remains warm in October, enabling you to enjoy a quiet swim.
Some of the best beaches in the area include:
Playa de Venecia: Located to the south of the marina and at the mouth of the Serpis River, the mix of fresh and salty water offer ample opportunities for sport, fishing and diving. It’s a small, quiet, sandy beach bordered by dunes and vegetation.
Gandia Playa: This is a long, wide, white sandy beach that offers a relaxed, chilled atmosphere. The water is gorgeous for swimming and there are a variety of water sports for the more adventurous such as windsurfing or kite surfing. There is also a great bicycle trail to explore and bikes are available to rent. There are an abundance of good shops and restaurants to try out.
Playa Norte: This is a lovely, golden sandy beach. There are areas where you can play beach volleyball, do aerobics and try various water sports such as windsurfing, kayaking or sailing. It´s well taken care of with little groups of palm trees and other types of green vegetation.
Top places to visit in Gandia include:
The Collegiate Basilica of Santa Maria of Gandia: This is the main church in the city which dates back to the 14th century. Its sombre architectural style was once embellished with rich interior decorations of paintings and sculptures but they disappeared during the Spanish Civil War.
The Route of the Borgias: This route includes sites associated with the Borgia family who settled in Valencia after King James of Aragon took control from Moorish rulers. The route ends in Valencia, passing by various monuments and Valencian towns where the Borgias left their mark.
The Gardens of the House of the Marquis: These are romantic palace gardens with native plants, palms, pines and bamboos. During the summer, theatre performances are held and the House of Culture at the back of the garden is used for exhibitions and other cultural events.
Tours & Excursions - Book in Advance
» Valencia Tours, Tickets, Activities & Things To Do
» Valencia Wine Tour with Tasting and Lunch - From £104.60
» Sunset bike and boat tour - From £44.70
» Bunol La Tomatina Festival Trip by Coach - From £53.19
Recommended hotels and places on the Costa Azahar
Located in central Peniscola, the popular 4 star Hotel RH Don Carlos has been recently refurbished and offers 92 well appointed rooms, First class facilities include a spa and wellness centre, large modern comfy rooms, a roof pool and modern delightful dining area which serves an excellent breakfast. The hotel is close to the beach, bars, restaurants and local attractions including the castle - Castillo de Peniscola and the La Casa del Ayer. Reviewer Rating: 8.70
Again Pensiscola is the location for our recommended mid-range budget accommodation. The 4 star Hotel RH Portocristo is located right on the beach just a few minutes walk from the town centre. The hotel has all the amenities to ensure a comfy stay including a Jacuzzi, sauna, outdoor pool, rooftop terrace, free wifi and first class dining and breakfast area. Reviewer Rating: 8.6
If you fancy a nice apartment close to the beach, then try the Interhome - Peces 3, a one bedroom property located in Cala de Moro, a short drive south of Peniscola. The apartme t is spacious, clean with a large sun terrace overlooking the Mediterranean sea. Reviewer Rating: 10.0