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Guide to Costa del Azahar

The Costa del Azahar is the name given to the coastline of the autonomous province of Castellon on the eastern side of Spain.

The name Costa del Azahar means orange blossom coast and was given to the area because of the orange tree groves which can be found as you move inland from its beautiful sandy beaches.  Among the towns in the Costa del Azahar worth seeing are Castellon de la Plana which has 170,000 inhabitants and was founded by King James I of Aragon in the 13th century when he overcame the Moors. Some fascinating fortified remains of Castellon de la Plana remain, though most of its moats and towers were torn down in the 19th century. Car hire in Spain is the best way to see this area of Spain and the town itself has some interesting landmarks. There is a 13th century Gothic cathedral (the Concatedral de Santa Maria), a bell tower and a 17th century hemp market (the Llotja del Cànem). The hemp market building is today used by the Castellon de la Plana university for holding temporary exhibitions and putting on events.

Having a car will also let you get to other spectacular areas of Spain with ease. The A70 road goes between Tarragona and Valencia with the latter city being 60 kilometres distance drive to the north. The Costa del Azahar is absolutely chock a block with all kinds of different accommodation so finding somewhere to stay, whether you are looking for a hotel, flat, apartment or guesthouse, should not be a problem. Two of the four star hotels in the area which you can try are the Gran Hotel Peníscola on the sea promenade of Peníscola and the nearby Aparthotel Casablanca.

Peníscola is another part of the Costa del Azahar which has a steady tourist trade. This fortified sea port was originally built by the Knights Templar in the 14th century before becoming the home of the Avignon Pope Benedict XIII. Car hire in Peníscola is certainly the best way to see the area. You can make the short drive up the impressive Peníscola castle which overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.

Indeed you even can sit on one of Peníscola’s fine beaches and enjoy the view of the castle while you soak up the sun rays. Peníscola is also the base for one of Spain’s foremost comedy film festivals where you can catch a sight of movie stars from all over the world.

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