The non-festive side of Benicasim
Benicasim has 7 kilometers of beaches and more than a dozen cultural festivals of national and international glitter. But from now on let's play the taboo by ignoring the two pillars of its appeal to find an alternative to fibers in top less and Sundays in the province with umbrella and plastic fridge. And yes, it can be done. Here is the proof.
THE VALENCIAN BIARRITZ
The promenades of the coastal tourist towns are usually quite similar: top blankets, street performers and happy people who walk parsimoniously taking iodine. But in Benicasim, its long coastline has a very pleasant surprise. Is about The villages, a coastal area where they line up colorful mansions of the early twentieth century. This is the germ of the tourist Benicasim, with great properties whose owners were great Valencian fortunes. In his day, his fame led him to earn the nickname of "the Valencian Biarritz". It is, without a doubt, the most famous walk in the city for this attraction, for the high that causes architectural jewels to be found between both ugly brick and sixties awning.
In addition, it has the incentive of being a place of stylistic experimentation. A century ago, the urban laws of the big cities were excessively restrictive and oppressive, so the magnates gave free rein to their architectural weaknesses outside the city. That is why you can find French, colonial or even Basque-style mansions. Postmodern? A little yes almost without knowing or wanting it. There is some pleasure in sticking your nose through the gates and admiring its facades, in dreaming of living there together, for example, Scarlett Johansson and spending the summer months in mansions that cost between four and five million euros.
Villa Amparo, part of the 'Valencian Biarritz' © Javier Zori del Amo
Some of them breathe history, as is the case of Villa Amparo, which functioned as a hospital in the Civil War and welcomed illustrious visitors such as Hemingway. Today the most enjoyable thing about the Villas is to get close to the Voramar, a hotel restaurant built in the 30s in order to house the saraos that got out of hand (for space, not for price) to the magnates. Today it is the only building located on the beach, with the consequent advantages linked to the good life.
The most advisable thing is that this restaurant finishes a route that must be born in the San Vicente Tower, a defensive tower of the sixteenth century in whose vicinity has opted for a different, modern and surprising urbanism with wooden dunes, colored lights and small chaotic buildings.
The beach sarao since the 1930s © Voramar
THE GENUINE AND ORIGINAL TALASOTHERAPY
The Palasiet It's not just the balcony with the best views in all of Benicasim. This hotel learned in the late 60s what was being done in France with sea water and applied it in Spain. In 1970 they opened the considered first thalassotherapy center in the whole country, taking advantage of its proximity to the sea. A situation that allows them to use Mediterranean water with which to fill your pools and hot tubs and apply it for healing purposes. Apart from all the health advantages, thalassotherapy offers that regressive possibility of floating in the water and feeling like a child in the womb of his mother. Or at least, play dead without fear of drowning.
Thalassotherapy is done here with Mediterranean water © El Palasiet
THE DESERT THAT IS NOT OR IS NOT DESERTED
Benicasim grows in a thin strip between the sea and the mountains. Going up these you reach the desert natural park of las palmas. The name deceives a lot. Instead of opening a barren and lonely wasteland, what is discovered are slopes of velvety mountains of an intense green color. So, Why has Wikipedia been kicked? Because the only inhabitants of the place are the Carmelite religious They have a monastery here. This mendicant order is customary to call the deserted places where you pray to taste, far from everything and in peace and harmony with nature.
Old monastery © Javier Zori del Amo
On a natural level, the park offers spectacular views from its highest point, the Bartolo; routes between pines and capricious formations like the needles of Santa Águeda. But perhaps what most attracts attention is the human presence, with the always romantic lace they give the ruins spread among the small valleys. There rest the skeleton of the first monastery, of reddish stone and large proportions or the remains of some castles of the Recapture like Montornés or Miravet's.
In the current monastery its museum dedicated to sacred art surprises where its tiles and certain religious paintings shine and make known the modus vivendi of a somewhat hermetic and unknown order. But the most surprising thing about monastic life they are the hermitages, small buildings scattered throughout the park that can be rented to spend the night. The price ranges between 8 and 12 euros a night, depending on the aspect of religious tenant ...
The castle of Benicasim © Javier Zori del Amo
UP TO OROPESA BY BIKE
A priori, the concept of greenway sounds manido and little original. However, the path that connects by the Oropesa and Benicasim coast is quite attractive. The old train tracks have given way to an ideal cycle tour route where small coves are bordered and more defensive towers are discovered crowning the small cliffs. It is not a route for 'Induráins' of life, rather for all types of ages since the distance is 5 and a half kilometers and The environment is not very Pro nor the demanding profile.
The Green Way, the other side of Benicasim © Javier Zori del Amo
THREE REASONS TO GO TO THE PEOPLE
Benicasim town is not one of those beauties eclipsed by the fame of its coast. But it still has some interesting place that is worth leaving aside the lagartera life of the beach.
- The Carmelitano liquor winery: a space to visit, taste, buy and know a drink that began to distill the monks in the desert and now has become the gastronomic bastion of the place.
- Dsneak through the old train station, preserved as a relic with some picturesque building, like the old grape dock, today converted into a multipurpose space for workshops and exhibitions. It even works as an occasional residence for guest artists and musicians. And that shows scandalizing with their colors and shapes as the hippies used to do.
- Benicasim has that good custom town of show off on Friday and Saturday afternoons. That's why streets like la Pau, Estatut and Santo Tomás They petan of hyper-arranged young staff. Good alternative to beach bars Georgiedanescos.
* You may also be interested ...
- Surfers of the world, unite (in Biarritz)
- All articles by Javier Zori del Amo
The main artery of Benicasim is its promenade © Turismo de Benicàssim