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Justines Peñíscola Tourist Guide contains information relating to Spanish holidays, those who travel Spain, and anyone wishing to buy property or move here.
When my family and I first visited Peñíscola and this coast in the 1970s there was very little development, a rough road along the beach to Benicarló and buildings finished just after the Hotel Papa Luna, much has changed in 30 years.   
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Latest News     May 09
We are sorry to announce to regular visitors and former clients and pupils of Justine, that her husband passed away recently after a short illness.
Lynne and I are supporting her and the boys through this difficult time.
Should anyone wish to express their condolences, please, please, do this through me at  pmolieff@hotmail.com   and not Justine, as my daughter
 is not yet ready to talk or discuss the matter. Thank You  

The winter in Peniscola has been one of the coldest in present memory.
The new road that is replacing the "Cami Vell" is finished and makes the journey into Peniscola much easier. However there have already been several accidents and the road and roundabouts  are too fast in my opinion, take care. There are plans to add spurs connecting to the beach but as yet they have not materialised.

Construction has slowed down dramatically, especially with the current flat property market. The poor exchange rate for the Pound will no doubt slow down UK sales. At the last count, there were almost a hundred estate agents in Peniscola.

The bar Nostalgia, re-named Iguana, has now closed.
The Albert has been open for most of the year, Brian and Valery have reduced their hours and the bar is popular for it's Sunday lunches and Fish and Chip nights. They also have a "credit crunch lunch" which represents good value for money.


Peñiscola Quick Guide  
Peñíscola is a small town of normally 4,000 people, rising to 100,00 in season. There are plenty of bars and restaurants, and a decent supermarket, Consum, near the riverbank. The banks, cash points, Post office, tourist office are all in or very near the town centre. However, Benicarló, 4 miles to the north, is very well served for shopping and supermarkets. The road to Benicarló roughly follows the beach, but detours into the urbanisations slightly.

If you follow this road, you will pass, a reasonable supermarket on the Peñismar complex and then a mile or so further, an Intermarché, a petrol station, a Lidl and Mercadona supermarket.  If you are near the town centre in Peñíscola, it is perhaps easier to take the road out of Peñíscola towards the motorway, and then take the N340 to Benicarló. There is a shopping complex before Benicarló, Eroski and another one some 3 miles  further near Vinaros. (Carrefour and a McDonalds ) There are  regular buses to Benicarló and Vinaros (4
miles north of Benicarló) with buses every 15 minutes. Peñíscola has a doctor's surgery near the port, and there is a regional hospital at Vinaros. The pharmacies are usually good for dispensing medication for minor ailments.
Location & Environs - Getting Here
Peñíscola is situated in the
Province of Castellon, within the Valencia Community, 140 km north of Valencia and 224 km south of Barcelona. The French border is  350 km to the north, Andorra is 320 km away via Ponts.
The motorway passing  Barcelona can get very congested in season, especially Sunday.
Valenciano, a Catalan dialect is spoken locally throughout the area and now road signs and directions are mainly displayed in Catalan or Valenciano to confuse matters.
Many visitors arrive by road and parking is becoming a major problem in high season.
Peñíscola is served by a rail station at Benicarló (5km) and at Vinaros (8km)
Rail travel in
Spain is relatively cheap by European standards. It is however, advisable to book tickets in advance, as trains are heavily used. This is especially true in high season.
For a main line that runs the length of the Mediterranean, there are relatively few trains per day .
At Barcelona for example, I have unable to get on a train for many hours due to a late flight. (However, there is a regular provincial service from Barcelona to Tortosa, roughly every ninety minutes.  If you get off at L'Aldea, which also serves for San Carlos and Amposta, it is only 30  mins by car to Peñíscola.) The service from Valencia in the evening is poor and it is not a nice place to wait about in the early hours.
It is well worth while researching your connections thoroughly. (The RENFE website is now in English and gives good details)
There is for the moment a regular Ryanair service to Reus from Stansted, this airport is only 70 miles away and next to the motorway. Ryanair also flies East Midlands to Valencia
Gerona is another budget airline alternative, although it is 3 hours by car, and there are Ryanair flights from Doncaster to Gerona.
Easyjet and Jet2 fly to Barcelona and Valencia.

For those using the ferry to Bilbao, it as approximately 400 miles to Peñiscola, with Santander a little further.
By car, from Calais to Peñíscola (via Lyon) is approx 925-950 miles.
The shortest distance normally is St Malo, Nantes, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Andorra, Peñíscola approx 750 miles. It is a relatively easy drive into Gascony in one day, following this route. It is even shorter  (650 miles) if you are prepared to cut across  Gascony towards the Pyrenees and take one of the two tunnels at Vielha or Bielsa, and then the road to Lerida.

See  http://francophile1.tripod.com  for more detailed routes, places to visit etc
    
For somewhere to stay, see      
   
http://www.sites-hotels.com/hotels_france.htm
Logis rated hotels are good value     
http://www.logis-de-france.fr/fr/recherch/index-ca.htm


Brief History & Now

Peñiscola is known as "Ciudad en la Mar" or City in the Sea.  The correct pronunciation is pay-neescola, with stress on the i. Although the n carries a tilde, it is not usually pronounced as such.  In Valenciano it would be spelt Penyiscola.
The town, surrounded by walls, was originally perched on an outcrop of rock connected to the mainland by only a narrow strip of sand. A castle dominates the scene and was the former home of the Anti-Pope Benedict, known as Papa Luna.
At the turn of the century, Peñíscola was very primitive, prone to typhoid and known as the "City of
Flies". The port was constructed in the 1920s, after several tragedies at sea and coinciding with the use of the marine engines. Fishing was then far safer.
The rock for the harbour was blasted from Cerromar, the area now used as storage
by the Ayuntamiento (town council) behind the notary office. This is now the site of a new hotel.
The river
's course was also diverted. It originally ran along the original post office street continuing on to the small beach near the port.
The status of city was conferred after a maritime visit from the king in the 1920s.
   
The houses are not as old as they seem, they erode quickly due to the sea and wind.  Fifty years ago, there was very little to Peñiscola, an unkept beach, a few buildings clustered around the curves of the beaches. Most of the locals still lived within the castle walls and the marshes  often spilled onto the beach.
In earlier times, the marshes were used as "Salinas" for harvesting salt.

The bar "La Raval" (main street in Peñiscola) & bar in Camping Sol D'Or have old photos of Peñíscola as does the small maritime Museum on the walkway round the rock.

The Great Schism
When the papal seat returned to
Rome after 70 years in Avignon, there was a split within the Catholic Church. Benedict X111 declared himself Pope and set his seat at Peñíscola. From 1378 until 1417 there was much disagreement within the Catholic Church. The matter was finally resolved and in 1417 the dispute was settled.
The castle at Peñíscola can be visited and the quarters of the anti-pope have been restored and preserved. The view from the top of the castle is worth the effort. There is also a small, but very good maritime museum, free entry, in the old town.
The town has been known since ancient times under a variety of different names that reflect the former civilizations. Baniskula, Tyriche,
Gaya and Chersoneous have been applied to Peñíscola over the years. The town has its own water supply within the walls and withstood a heavy siege by the French in 1812, before finally surrendering, the castle walls showing cannonball damage today.       back to index
El Cid       Sidi or Sid, hence this site's name in Arabic (Lord, Leader)      
The town was the setting for
Valencia in the film 'El Cid' in 1961, starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren. In the early years of the sixties there was little development in Peñíscola and the town was easily camouflaged. Mock ramparts were constructed to hide the few  buildings on the approach to the castle. There was a cluster of low level buildings roughly where the main street is in Peñíscola today. Sophia Loren actually never did any filming in Peñíscola.
The local fishing fleet was also decorated to resemble the Moorish boats.
The locals acted as extras, and local craftsmen were engaged for most of the transformation. The castle however had fallen into disrepair over the years and the producers arranged for some refurbishment of the walls. This refurbishment has continued until recent times and the castle today is in quite a remarkable restored condition. The film and publicity undoubtedly started the growth of Peñíscola into the resort it is today.
The influx of tourism and sales of property have benefited the area greatly. The A
yuntamiento has spent the income received in local taxes wisely, for the most part. Peñíscola now has new schools, sports centre, an impressive promenade, a well restored castle. If there is any criticism, it is in the infrastructure of a modern holiday resort (parking, access, traffic and drainage are the worst offenders)  
P
arking
There is 
parking along all the promenade and near the river, these are pay and display in season. These however are soon full in season. Should you get a parking ticket penalty, you have the option to pay a very small penalty immediately, posted inside the meter. Most Spanish ignore parking fines, they are rarely followed up successfully.
There is a small basic camping car  site behind the Europeñiscola building, just north of Peñismar complex as you turn inland.  There is a second much larger facility opposite the hotel entrance to the Peniscola Plaza. (8 euros per night)
I suspect that the police are encouraging campers to use these facilities, as at times the congest the main car parking and bus areas.

Development and Accomodation
The town and beaches have now undergone considerable development as a holiday resort but care has been taken to preserve the original atmosphere. Peñíscola is becoming a cosmopolitan resort with none of the bad attributes of package deal destinations.
The castle and surroundings streets on the point are in mostly original condition and are popular in season with many restaurants and bars. beware!!, the cobbled streets can be very slippy. (It would also not be wise to drive up into the castle by car)
Peñíscola has 2 beaches, a small curved beach near the harbour, and a long wide beach stretching some 5 km to Benicarló.
Between these two beaches is the commercial heart of the new town, with bars, restaurants, shops, banks estate agents etc.
T
he Ajuntamiento (town hall) Post Office and local police are all within this area.
Further along the south coastline is a small beach  area near the old Guardia Civil cuartel.
Most of the beachside accomodation is apartments with
40 or so traditional hotels and aparthotels. The majority of visitors are Spanish, French and a mixture of other Europeans. The population swells from 4,000 in winter to 100,00 in high season and at times is almost at 100% occupancy.
Peñiscola however does not have the reputation of some Spanish resorts visited by the British and other northern Europeans. The only charter type group holidays are for senior citizens of all nationalities.
Accommodation
With 40 or so hotels of all description there is plenty of choice, many are set on the beach but no hotel is far from the beach in Peñíscola. There are several of the smaller family run establishments near the town centre.
There are two new large hotels at the north end of the beach and  large developments at Peñismar, & Argenta, some 2.5km north of the town. This area is almost self sufficient in restaurants, supermarkets, cafes and bars. There are various urbanisations south of the town and along the approach road from the motorway. The area south of Peñíscola is now  being developed heavily. The main accommodation is in the numerous apartments and villas. There are many rental agencies within the town and Peñíscola features strongly on the internet.
There are approximately 10 camps sites in Peñíscola but the police can take a dim view of camping off site especially in the town.

Today
The promenade has been extended and improved and is approximately 4km. long. The promenade continues at the terminus of Peñíscola, and it is possible to cycle all the way to Benicarló, safely. Attempts have been made to stop winter encroachment of the sea and the beach has been widened
In November 2001, the work was almost completed, when freak storms along all the
Mediterranean, damaged many of the promenades along the coast. Peñíscola unfortunately suffered much damage to the newly built promenade, but the resort was back to normal for the season. The land on the long beach was originally marshy and waterlogged and this area is subject to flooding in extremely bad weather. The promenade was fully completed in Aug 03 and is spectacular, good for biking out of season, no danger.  back to index
Restaurants & Entertainment
Peñíscola has a wide choice of restaurants, the majority offering reasonable food at affordable prices. (Menus from approximately 10 €). There are several Chinese restaurants, Pizzerias but not much in the way of specialist restaurants (Steakhouses, Dutch, French etc). The catering is specifically aimed at the Spanish tourist with an emphasis on fish and meat. The bar-cafeteria “Bayarri” opposite the tourist office is very popular and can be recommended.

The Bar "Jubilados"  (pensioners) on the small beach is very popular with the more mature visitors and residents with subsidised food and drinks.   (see picture section)
The area north of
the Argenta urbanización has many bars, restaurants and shops.
There is a good tourist office near the castle on the beach. The office has a very good free tourist map of Peñíscola.
There are tourist trains running around the resort visiting places of interest, much to the chagrin of car drivers.
In season there is a nightly bazaar type market under the castle walls and the area around the tourist office has artists, more unusual souvenirs, punch and judy show, and street performers. This area is the liveliest, especially at weekends. Dancing is popular at the Papa Luna hotel (possibly the most impressive hotel in Peñíscola)
There are golf courses at Vinaros, Castellón and two courses near Tarragona & Salou.
Water Sports
In summer there are several boat excursions from Peñíscola port, excursions include- to Benicarló, Vinaros and "The Columbretes". These consist of a small archipeligo  (visible from the mountains) and are a protected wild life area. The islands however are off limits for visitors. The waters are however superb for scuba diving. With several harbours within easy reach of one another, the coast is also popular for yachting, windsurfing, fishing and all types of water sports. There are marinas- harbours at Ampolla, San Carlos, Casas de Alcanar, Vinaros, Benicarló, Peñiscola, Las Fuentes, Oropesa.
The usual beach attractions are present, jet ski hire, rides, pedalos etc. 
Fiestas & Fallas
Fiestas are held in all villages and towns throughout Spain in July, August and September. Some activities involving bulls can be cruel to animal lovers. Normally a great deal of drinking is involved. Peñiscola has it's local fiesta in early September and includes a "Moros y Christianos" procession.
The Spanish also need little encouragement to enjoy themselves, and January sees a local fiesta in Peñiscola- San Pedro. February signals Mardi Gras time, with an impressive carnaval in Vinaroz and a lesser one in Peñiscola.
March is "Las Fallas" time in Benicarló, a smaller version of "Nit de Foc" in
Valencia. Historically the "failures" were burnt and a celebration held, but today it is different. Each Falla is also a social club with weeklong activities.
Huge caricatures are built involving much time money and skill, with  satirical themes of  political and social issues. The results are judged, winners declared, and on March 19th, burnt in order. Each Falla has a large firework display with the winner normally the best. Benicarl
ó has 11 of these, Valencia over 500.

Local Attractions, Bars-Restaurants-and Surrounding Area
There is an impressive new marina at Benicarló and the are plans to build one at Peñiscola.

The roman city of
Tarragona is 70 miles to the north, easily reachable by train and is worth a visit.
Barcelona, better visited by train is just over 2 hours away.
Port Aventura, a theme park is between Salou & Tarragona and is popular.

Morella
is a much visited town, some 80 km inland from Vinaros. The hinterland has some exceptional scenery, if one is prepared to venture on the lesser roads.

Benicarló
Local town of approx 20,000 population, 5km north from Peñíscola.
Fishing fleet and extensive shops and services. Impressive new marina at port with bars and restaurants. All services to be found in town, Wednesday market.
Vinaros
Next town along coast, similar population to Benicarló, also fishing fleet and shops.
Good beach and harbour. Thursday market.
San Carlos de la Rapita
Larger port on edge of
Ebro delta, extensive fishing fleet and large mussel farming industry. New frontage near port with restaurants, parking etc.
Tortosa
Attractive town set on banks of
Ebro, 50km from Peñíscola. Impressive Parador Nacional set in castle overlooking town. Good local food to be had in restaurant. Impressive scenery and gorges as river winds northwards towards Mora.
Ebro Delta
Approximately 150 square miles of flat delta containing mainly rice fields, but area is designated as a national park. Bird lovers’ paradise
, 60percent of all Europe's species to be found here. There is one development at Riomar, several villages and a boat trip from Amposta along the river. At the terminus near the mouth, are several restaurants, boat trips, and the scenery is very untypical of the rest of the surrounding area. If possible, get a tourist map for the delta first, it is easy to get lost.
(click this link for map  225kb)

The river can be crossed at several places by ferries holding perhaps 6 cars
, mainly near Deltebre & Sant Jaume (trasbordadores) The delta is popular for fishing and boats can be hired. Small boats can be rented without licence, larger boats (over 15hp) need licence. Huge beach at playa de Los Eucalyptus good for 4X4s
Good fishing site for rental and info at www.pescaebro.com
Good site also for birdwatchers, sectio
n on Delta.
http://www.surfbirds.com/mb/trips/ebro-nr-0704.html

Cases de Alcanar
Small fishing village north of Vinaros, several fish restaurants, unspoilt

San Mateo
Capital of the local province, the “Maestazgo”.
This tiny town has an attractive village square and several restaurants.
Restaurant on corner of square has reasonable menus from 10€
5 km from the town is Nuestra Señora de
los Angeles, a monastery worth visiting, with restaurant serving local food.
Los Fuentes- Alcossebre
25 km south of Peñíscola is the very attractive marina at Los Fuentes, with many restaurants, including one very good English establishment, 'Cheers'. There is a class restaurant the “Sancho Panza” at los Fuentes. There is a large British community here. It is possible to drive from Peñíscola along a coastal road to Los Fuentes, but the state of the road is not good.
Oropesa
13km further south of Alcossebre is Oropesa. A once attractive town and beach, now largely spoilt by
bad development.
back to index
Bars & Restaurants
Bar Nostalgia now called the Iguana
 Now closed
.
Prince Albert
now re-opened, Brian and Valery ha
ve improved the premises for 2008 season. Much as before, will be the most popular British bar in Peniscola
Football, curry nights, Sun lunch etc
Danny Solo
Popular British performer- singer, musician, songwriter and arranger.
Offers Cabaret performances for celebrations, corporate events and entertaimment venue.
Caters also for Karaoke, well worth going to see when performing locally.           Details at        http://www.dannysolo.com
Bar Restaurante Caramba

Dutch-British Bar Restaurant  halfway to Benicarló on promenade, near new hotels
. European menu and service. Freddie is a good Dutch-Indonesian cook
Bar La Barca - Peñiscola
Good local bar on on what is Peñiscola's main street, quick service and  sells the best Spanish Omelette I have ever seen.
Bar Raval - Peñiscola
on main street, very cheap and very local, nice friendly family

Bar Bayarri - Peñiscola
On corner, opposite Tourist Office, popular bar restaurant with all manner of food available.
Bar La Caracola - Benicarlo (200meters from the Intermarche)
Portugese run bar with good value food
The Hardrock Cafe on Penismar has now changed hands and I would not expect the same service and quality that Robert provided.


Property
Property in Peñíscola
Building continues unabated in
Peñíscola despite warnings of a property slump in Spain, however many people believe we are now in the "overbuiding stage" and wonder just how all this new property will sell.
Prices have risen dramatically in the past 5 years or so (and continue to rise) and even small properties are now commanding high prices. Expect to pay at least £150,000-200,000 for a newish 2 bedroom apartment in a good position near the beach. Properties in the desirable parts of Peñiscola are now commanding high prices. The prices drop considerably as you get further back from the "front line." The front line is now almost completely developed.
There are many developments on the road out of Peniscola with no end in sight.

There is a very large development near the river as it turns inland, these appear to be good value apartments, however they are set in urban style and many will have poor views. The Spanish and rental market is aimed at for these properties.
Mosquitoes are also a problem in this area.

A very small villa will set you back the very minimum of £150.000 in perhaps a not so appealing position or condition. Look at £225,000 plus for a quality villa or house.
There are however budget properties to be found, these tend to be in more inaccessible locations (i.e. set further back, las Atalayas etc )
The prices at Font Nova are attractive and surely this area of the coast will become more developed in the future.  
Inland properties are cheaper (Calig, San Jorge etc) but the Spanish have started asking higher prices due to the demand.
There is still space to build on the coast, but when tha coast becomes saturated with property, these inland towns and villages will become desirable. This has happened already in Alicante- Benidorm, Almeria and the Costa del Sol.
However the climate just a few miles inland can change rapidly from the coast. Hotter in summer, and colder in winter. (San Mateu is a good example of this) The breeze on the coast is favored by the Spanish with the volume of mosquitoes, flies etc, less than inland.

Benicarló can be cheaper, with more space for your money, but beware the harbour area generally, there is often a strong chemical smell from the resin plants.

A Word of Warning
There is some very sharp practice used by estate agents generally. There are sixty  odd estate agents in Peñíscola alone, and when you realise that they charge as much as ten percent for selling your house you can understand why. Some agents add on a sum of money on top of the price that you have agreed. This of course can over-price your property. Be wary of the content of any contracts you are asked to sign for their services. Some contracts bind you for six months or longer to that agent, and should you sell your property yourself you will probably have to pay them the commission. Consider your options carefully and take suitable advice. It is not normal practice to hand over any monies to Agents, apart from a small deposit, payments should be dealt with by your Notario
I can recommend 2 companies in the area with whom I have dealt with:-
OROLAR SL
Based in Benicarlò, very professional, well organised, and speak English. Tend to charge a  slightly higher commission on resales, but advertise and promote in Europe widely. They have several devolopments of their own and mainly sell higher bracket property. They outline everything to you correctly and give you exact figure returnable to you from the proceeds of your sale.
FINCAS BELTRAN
Based in Benicarlo, busy company, tend to work on high turnover of business. Do not overprice properties, good selection of resale properties available. Speak English.
                                                  back to index                          

Food
Bar Jubilados - Peñiscola
On the small beach is the "Jubilados" bar, originally for the benefit of Peñiscola senior citizens, it now has expanded into a meeting place for many of the more mature visitors to Peñiscola, with about 100 seats outside with more inside. The food and drinks prices are the lowest in town, and the range of "Tapas" is the best in the town without doubt.  Available are:-
Calamares, Choco, Chipirones, Sepia, Pulpo, Sardines, Boquerones, Pescaditos, Chanquetas, various flavoured Croquetas, Patatas Bravas & Fritas, Various fish in batter, Various sizes & types of Prawns, Mussels, Chicken wings, Albondigas, Tortilla and too many more to name.  (see glossary for translations)
A ration of most tapas costs from 2.50 euros with some of the speciality dishes priced accordingly.
There is a "Menu de Hoy" at about 9 euros, beer costs 1.10 euro and a large glass of wine 75 cents, little wonder the place gets busy. You must order your food and drinks at the bar, there is a "ticket" service. There is no waiter service and customers are asked to return their plates and glasses to the bar. (see pictures section)

There is no shortage of restaurants in Peniscola offering a fixed price 3 course menu for around 9 euros.

Glossary
  (Some more unusual food terms and preparation)
Fish

Almejas- small cockle type shellfish
Anchoas- strongly salted and cured boquerones
Beberechos- small cockle type shellfish
Boquerones-very small sardines usually fried or picked in vinegar (vinagre)
Calamares- squid either fried in batter (romana) or served as fine strips (choco)
Carabineros- bright red giant prawn
Chanquetas - whitebait
Cigalas- small lobster looking prawn
Chipirones- small squid
Chopitos- small squid
Curado-cured
Fideua- seafood paella with pasta replacing the rice
Gambas- giant prawn, the most popular
Gambitas- small pink prawns
Langosta- lobster  (bogavante-another lobster type crustacean)
Langostinos-another lobster type prawn
Mejillones- mussels,  marinera or vapor
 (Musclos locally- Valenciano)
Navajas- long thin shelled razor fish
Pescaditos- various fried small white fish
Pescadillos- whitebait type fish
Pulpo- small octopus
Rabas - strips of calamares fried in breadcrumbs.
Rape-monkfish
Sepia- cuttlefish usually merely fried
Zarzuela- Fish casserole, usually strongly flavoured, contains almonds.
Meat & Charcuterie
              
Buey- mature beef steak
Cabezada- popular cheaper pork joint, normally roasted, with or without bone (con-sin hueso)

Cabrito-kid goat
Queso de Cabra-goat’s cheese
Conejo- rabbit, usually cooked in garlic (Conejo al Ajillo) Hare is liebre
Cordoniches- quail
Chuleta- chop
Chuleton-wing rib of beef
Cochinillo-suckling pig
Conejo al Ajillo-rabbit cooked heavily in garlic & herbs
Fabada- bean stew  (Fabada Asturiana- spicy bean dish with chorizo, black pudding and sausage)
Hecho-cooking time-poco hecho, medio hech, bien hecho-rare, médium, well done
Jamón fresco- lightly coloured pork, similar to roast pork

Jamón Bellota-cured ham from acorn fed pigs
Jabugo-smoked, cured wild boar, the most expensive delicacy
Lomo Bellota- cured pork loin from acorn reared pigs
Lomo Embuchado-cured & well aged loin of pork
Lacón Cocido- finely cured pork delicacy
Lechal-milk reared lamb
Lomo- pork loin
Magro- pork cut, similar to lomo but needs more cooking.
Morcilla-black pudding, several types are used
Morcon Iberico-finest cured & smoked delicacy
Parrillada- mixed grill of either meat (carne) or seafood (marisco)
Perdiz-partridge
Picante- hot, spicy (chorizo picante)
Queso Puro Oveja- ewes milk cheese
Redondo- rolled roast beef
Sajonia-smoked and cured, usually applies to pork chops (adobado- similar technique)
Salchicha-pork sausage, salchichon-salami, chorizo-spicy paprika sausage
Solomillo- either fillet steak or fillet of Pork
Tabla Ahumado- smoked platter of mixed meat
Tabla De Iberico- finest smoked & cured pork produce
Ternasco-roasted shoulder of lamb
Ternera- not really veal, but young beef, not usually hung as per UK
Tierno-tender, naturally produced

Spices
Albahaca- basil
Canela-cinnamon
Cilantro-coriander
Chives-cebollina

Eneldo-dill
Gingebre-ginger

Circuma-turmeric
Guindillas-very hot chillies
Nuez Moscada-nutmeg
Perejil-broad leafed parsley

Pimenton dulce- paprika
Pimenton picante-hot spicy paprika

Romario-rosemary
Salvia-sage
Tomillo- thyme
(there is a good spice selection on Benicarló Wednesday market, cardamom, juniper, pepper etc )
Recipes - Boquerones Vinagre
The smaller boquerones will give the best results but small sardines will also marinate well.
Fillet the fish, soak and wash well in cold water, Layer the fish on layers of rock salt and leave for between 2 and 4 hours (depending largely on your personal taste)
(you can wrap the fillets in clingfilm if you want) The fillets become hard when cured.

Rinse well and then soak in vinegar for anything up to 8 hours (again depending on your taste. I mix with lemon juice, this whitens the fillets). Rinse well again and store in a dressing of your preference containing,  olive oil, vinegar (or lemon juice) and perejil (broad leaf parsley).
The freshness of the fish will dictate how they marinate.
The salt can be mixed with sugar (1 part salt-1 part sugar) This will temper the action of the salt. Dill can be added to this mixture (gravad lax salmon type preparation)
I have had various recipes from many Spanish, but this method seems reliable after some element of trial and error.
Paella
The word as used in Spanish, means a mixture. The vessel used to cook it, is called a Paellera. There is no exact recipe, only lots of variations on the theme. Supposedly Valenciano in origin, the essence of the dish is rice, flavored with chicken, seafood or a combination of both. Rabbit, pork ribs, lamb or any meat can also be used.
For 4 persons.
Joint and cut up a Chicken into small pieces. leaving skin and some fat on the meat. Fry with onion and garlic in olive oil, add a few pieces of squid and 4 large prawns, cook slowly for 10 minutes. Add chicken stock (or fish stock) and a few white and green beans along with red peppers, and for colouring use turmeric if saffron is not available. Add 1 small cupful of rice per person, top up the water to the level of the pan rivets. Simmer until rice is almost cooked. Shortly before the rice is cooked, add more fish, squid rings, chipirones, several types of large prawns and gambas. Season well to taste. Add to the paellera, scrubbed mussels and clams and let them steam for five minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and a good bottle of wine.
With imagination, this recipe can be varied to suit all tastes (herbs, picante, tomato, oriental)
(However, the best paellas I have seen or tasted have been in France or the far north of the Costa Brava, close to the French border)     
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Pictures                80KB to 100KB
Aerial View
The Columbretes

Beach from Tourist Office                                                
Southwards view, Port, Sierra de Irta                                    
Entry to Castle and Gardens
Gate to Castle 'San Pere'
Narrow street in castle
Las Atalayas Panorama
From Cerramar
Castle
Point near Museum
Harbour and Cerromar
Jubilados Bar
Camping Alegria
Benicarlo Marina
Peniscola from the Sea
Tourist Office
Main Street

Playa Pebret  (old  Guardia Civil building south of Torre Badum)
Cala Aljub  (coastline near Edison Complex)    see links for more info

Maps etc               (may take time to download)
Satellite photo of Ebro Delta    76KB (see link below)
Satellite photo of coast Ebro to Castellon      166KB
(clearly seen-Castellon, Oropesa. Alcossebre, Peñiscola, Benicarlo, Vinaros, hinterland)
Satellite photo Perpignan-Rosas-Escala-Estartit-Palamos                  80KB
(good example of what can be found)
Map of Delta                                               225KB
Map of Peñiscola Benicarlo                             110KB
Links
Ministerio de Medio Ambiente-Guía de Playas-Marinas  list & aerial photos, descriptions of every beach, cala etc in Spain and Islands

http://www.surfbirds.com/mb/trips/ebro-nr-0704.html 
Good site for birdwatchers

www.pescaebro.com  Good site for fishing

http://www.sites-hotels.com/hotels_france.htm    
Good, economical, old style hotels

http://francophile1.tripod.com/    extensive site with much information when
travelling through France, routes, hotels,  wine, villages, towns, campings.

http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/   Download satellite images from Nasa orbital stations.

http://www.dannysolo.com   British singer, musician, songwriter arranger.
 

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More images and satelite photos can be added upon request,




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