Castellón de la Plana: The Complete Guide

Castellón De La Plana
CC BY-SA 3.0 / velomartinez

The county capital of La Plana, located on the Costa del Azahar, boasts numerous attractions. This city of medieval heritage features numerous squares to enjoy its mild climate, gardens adorned with orange trees, and a promenade that stretches to the sea. Its eastern charm is highlighted by aristocratic residences and splendid churches, making it an excellent gateway to exploring the Spanish coastline.

History of Castellón de la Plana

Early History and Roman Influence

Castellón de la Plana, situated in the Valencian Community of Spain, has a rich history that stretches back to ancient times. Archaeological evidence suggests human habitation in the area during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. During the Roman period, the town, known then as “Allucant,” prospered as part of the province of Hispania Tarraconensis. Roman infrastructure, including roads, contributed significantly to its growth.

Moorish Rule and Influence

Following the Roman era, Castellón experienced periods of Visigothic rule before becoming part of the Emirate of Córdoba under Moorish control. Renamed “Balansiya,” the town thrived culturally and architecturally during this period, leaving a lasting influence on its development.

Reconquista and Christian Era

Castellón was conquered by James I of Aragon in the early 13th century during the Reconquista. Under Christian rule, the town received its municipal charter in 1251, marking a period of growth and prosperity. The city was fortified with walls and towers, remnants of which still stand as testament to its medieval past.

Medieval Growth and Economic Importance

Throughout the medieval period, Castellón grew into a prominent trading hub, benefiting from its strategic location near the Mediterranean coast. Agriculture, particularly the cultivation of oranges, and ceramics became crucial industries that sustained its economy.

Modernization and Contemporary Significance

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Castellón underwent significant urban development and modernization. The expansion of transportation infrastructure, including railways and highways, facilitated further growth as an administrative, commercial, and cultural center in the Valencian Community.

Landmarks and Cultural Heritage

Today, Castellón de la Plana is renowned for its historical landmarks such as the Gothic-style Concatedral de Santa María, the picturesque Town Hall Square, and the charming old town with its labyrinthine streets. The city continues to evolve as a dynamic hub, attracting residents and visitors alike with its rich cultural heritage and vibrant community life.

Visiting Castellón de la Plana for the first time and wondering what are the top places to see in the city? In this complete guide, I share the best things to do in Castellón de la Plana on the first visit. To help you plan your trip, I have also included an interactive map and practical tips for visiting!

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Best Time to Visit Castellón de la Plana

Visiting Castellón de la Plana in Spring

Spring, from March to May, is an ideal time to visit Castellón de la Plana. The weather is mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). This season is perfect for exploring the city’s parks, gardens, and outdoor attractions, as well as enjoying the beautiful blooming flowers and vibrant greenery.

Visiting Castellón de la Plana in Summer

Summer, from June to August, is the peak tourist season in Castellón de la Plana. The weather is warm and sunny, with temperatures often reaching 30°C (86°F) or higher. This is the best time to enjoy the city’s beaches, such as Playa del Gurugú and Playa del Pinar, as well as various water sports and outdoor activities. However, it can be crowded, so early bookings for accommodations and attractions are recommended.

Visiting Castellón de la Plana in Autumn

Autumn, from September to November, is another great time to visit Castellón de la Plana. The temperatures are cooler, ranging from 20°C to 25°C (68°F to 77°F), making it comfortable for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The city is less crowded than in summer, allowing for a more relaxed exploration of its historical sites and cultural attractions. The autumn colors add a picturesque backdrop to the city’s landscapes.

Visiting Castellón de la Plana in Winter

Winter, from December to February, is mild in Castellón de la Plana, with temperatures averaging between 10°C and 15°C (50°F to 59°F). This is the off-peak tourist season, offering a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere. Winter is a good time to explore indoor attractions such as museums and historic buildings without the crowds. The festive holiday decorations and events add a charming touch to the city during this season.

Average Temperatures in Castellón de la Plana

  • January 17°C 5
  • February 18°C 2
  • March 21°C 6
  • April 22°C 5
  • May 26°C 3
  • June 30°C 2
  • July 32°C 2
  • August 33°C 3
  • September 28°C 7
  • October 26°C 5
  • November 21°C 7
  • December 18°C 3

How to get to Castellón de la Plana

By Air to Castellón de la Plana

The nearest airport to Castellón de la Plana is Castellón Airport (CDT), located about 30 kilometers away. Another option is Valencia Airport (VLC), which is approximately 80 kilometers from Castellón. From either airport, you can reach the city by taxi, car rental, or public transportation.

By Train to Castellón de la Plana

Castellón de la Plana has a well-connected train station with regular services from major Spanish cities. High-speed trains (AVE) and regional trains (Renfe) run frequently from cities such as Valencia, Madrid, and Barcelona. The train station is conveniently located near the city center, providing easy access to local attractions.

By Bus to Castellón de la Plana

Several bus companies operate routes to Castellón de la Plana from various cities across Spain. Buses from Valencia take around 1-1.5 hours, while buses from Madrid or Barcelona take approximately 4-5 hours. The main bus station in Castellón is centrally located, offering easy connections to other parts of the city.

By Car to Castellón de la Plana

Driving to Castellón de la Plana is a convenient option, especially if you plan to explore the surrounding region. From Valencia, the drive takes about 1 hour via the AP-7 highway. From Barcelona, it takes around 2.5-3 hours, also via the AP-7. The city is well-connected by road, making it easy to navigate by car.

By Local Transportation in Castellón de la Plana

Once in Castellón de la Plana, you can explore the city by walking or using the local bus network. Taxis are also readily available for getting around. Walking is particularly enjoyable in Castellón due to its compact size and the close proximity of major attractions.

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