As with many Spanish villages that have grown into thriving tourist towns, Peniscola was built from the seafront inwards. In the 11th or 12th Century when the original fortified town was built the only visitors anyone expected were pirates or other foreign invaders.
For those not so interested in the historical aspects of Peniscola the more commercial new town has steadily risen from the arid soil to cater for the latest and generally more peace loving foreign invaders who turn up every year expecting chicken in a basket, chips, English and German beer all of which can be enjoyed while watching Sky Sports.
A steady walk along the seafront will present you with a whole host of English and German flavoured hang-outs that serve the usual fare of egg and chips, beans on toast, burgers, frankfurters and whatever else you care to conjure.
At a time when recession is starting to bite Spain where it hurts the locals are continuing to try and deliver their services without pushing the price up too much; something which has gone a long way towards destroying tourism in Greece over the past two years – that and rioting.
Back from the beaches the newer town centre is a grid of streets which are occupied by shops, banks, cafes, restaurants and ice cream parlours (Llao Llao amongst them).
Further back still but only five minutes walk from the beach lies Peniscola’s inlets which have been cultured into small canals teeming with fish. The locals will often be seen feeding both the fish and gulls who drop by for a morsel too.
The open areas around the canals are quite attractive and on the whole, beach front apart, the town is tastefully done. I imagine the high season will be rife drunken tourists chanting football songs until all hours of the morning, who bring their unique brand of mindless violence to accompany their over-indulgence.
Peniscola cannot be blamed for its high season visitors behaviour, but in the months excluding July and August you will find it to be a pleasant and enjoyable town that offers both modern and historical tourism to suit all.
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