If you’d like to spend a few days getting to know Castellón and the surrounding area, have a look at this list of appealing places we’ve drawn up for you. There are many different things to do and see in the city itself, and there are countless villages, beaches and places of outstanding natural beauty nearby which are well worth visiting.
1. Take a walk around the city
The best way to get to know Castellón is to go for a stroll and to stumble across what it has to offer. Have a relaxing walk and see the city’s cathedral, the Concatedral de Santa María, the Mercado Central (Central Market), the Lonja del Cáñamo (the Hemp Exchange), the Torre dels Alçaments (the Tower of the Rebellions), the Ayuntamiento (the Town Hall), and the Edificio de Correos y Telégrafos (Post Office and Telegraphs Building). This walk never disappoints and it will help you get a better feel for the city. On Saturdays, there are free guided tours, which you can sign up for here!
2. Have a refreshing horchata in the main square, the Plaza Mayor
This square, listed as of special historic interest, is right in the heart of Castellón and is the venue for most of the city’s festivals and celebrations. As it has been pedestrianized and is lined by a wide range of bars and restaurants, it’s the ideal place to stop for a cold horchata after a walk around the city. And if the sun’s already gone down, then you’re still in the right place: it’s a popular area to have tapas, even being known as Las Tascas – the “tapas bars”.
3. El Grao
This is the maritime area of Castellón, a few kilometres from the city centre. Going for a walk around the Plaza del Mar, the Real Club Náutico marina, and the fishing harbour is a good way to get a feel for the place and it is an excellent location to try the local cuisine (try the rice dishes known as arroz del señoret or arroz a banda). El Grao is also the place to catch a boat for excursions to the Columbretes islands.
4. The Columbretes islands
These islands, the remains of an old volcano, are just 30 miles from the coast of Castellón and are of great ecological interest. The biggest island is called Illa Grossa and is the only one to be inhabited. As the number of daily visitors is limited (it is a protected nature reserve), tickets are awarded by means of a lottery. If you’re not lucky enough to get a ticket, you can still enjoy the beautiful scenery and even go for a refreshing dip in the sea.
CASTELLÓN, FROM its HISTORICAL centre to ITS seaside, IS A pleasant destination FOR THOSE WHO SEEK CULTURE and TRADITION under the MEDITERRANEAN sun
5. La Magdalena festival
Fire, tradition, colour and celebration: la Magdalena is the main festival of Castellón. It takes place in March and its traditions date back to the 15th century. The main events of the festival are the procession known as la cabalgata del Pregó, the pilgrimage known as the Romería de les Canyes, the subsequent walk back to Castellón, la Tornà, and then the Gaiatas parade. You won’t forget witnessing this festival commemorating the city’s founding, as the locals welcome visitors to the celebrations with open arms.
6. The beaches
Near to Castellón there are three first-rate beaches at which visitors can enjoy the crystal-clear water: the Playa del Pinar, Playa del Gurugú and the Playa del Serradal. In the summer, these are great places for leisure, sun-bathing and a refreshing dip, and in the winter, they are the perfect backdrop for sports such as kitesurfing, windsurfing, sailing, etc. Wonderful places to enjoy the Mediterranean!
7. The Montanejos springs
If you fancy a day-trip out of the city, why not visit the little village of Montanejos, just 65 kilometres away. The village gets its fame from a true wonder of nature, its hot springs. One can even go for a swim in the pools of water, surrounded by some spectacular scenery. The trail between the different springs is easy to follow and suitable for all ages.
8. Museo de Bellas Artes
Castellón’s fine art museum, the Museo de Bellas Artes, is housed in a futuristic building designed by Emilio Turión Álvarez and Luis Moreno Monsilla. The institution was founded more than 150 years ago and its holdings include paintings, sculptures and archaeological and ethnological objects. Particularly noteworthy is its ceramics collection, comprising objects from between the 14th and 19th centuries.
9. The Ribalta Park
This park, named after the painter Francisco Ribalta, is right in the heart of the city. Taking inspiration from English gardens of the Romantic period, it was opened in the late 19th century and a walk around the park, taking in its obelisk, bandstand and rose garden, is the perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can also have a drink in an enchanting little bar inside the park itself.
10. A day-trip to Peñíscola
Peñíscola has a real picture-postcard beauty, with an excellent beach leading right up to the old town walls. It has a fine Templar castle, the Castillo del Papa Luna, located right on edge of the promontory and well worth a visit. The spectacular setting has attracted film-makers too, notably featuring in Game of Thrones. The town is just 70 kilometres from Castellón.
With these tips, we are sure you will enjoy your stay in Castellón, discovering its rich cultural heritage. Also, if you are a CEU student or want to become one, we hope we have taught you something new about the city!