For an understated and classically Mediterranean getaway you could browse HomeAway’s choice of holiday apartments in Benicarlo. It’s a town within a region known for its agriculture, nature and traditional fishing villages. Visiting a holiday home in Benicarlo you can enjoy great food, sublime sandy beaches and choose from a catalogue of places to visit, from action-packed theme parks to areas of unspoiled natural splendour. Benicarlo holiday apartments are devised to match the requirements of families, especially those who are seeking a little indulgence; private pools are offered by many rentals, alongside all the comforts, connectivity and functionality you’d expect from a 21st Century home.
-Beaches. In the Benicarlo area there are three sandy beaches – Mar Xica, Morongo and Gurugu. At more than a kilometre in length Mar Xica is the largest, and is also equipped with excellent services and facilities. In contrast, Gurugu is an 800-metre beach that is off the beaten track and unfrequented, even in the middle of the summer. Morrongo meanwhile is consistently awarded Blue Flag status for its superb amenities and cleanliness, and is close to Benicarlo’s restaurants and shops.
-Local heritage. Benicarlo was originally a Moorish town, and the layout from this time has been preserved to the present day. There are plenty of surprising little historical flourishes on the streets here, not least the coats of arms that still adorn many of the old stone buildings. The most attractive monuments in the town are the churches, mostly in the Baroque style. St. Bartholomew, with its octagonal bell-tower is a fantastic example.
-Nature. There’s a wonderful variety of terrain surrounding Benicarlo, from rocky limestone hills to the Ebre River Delta, home to wetlands. A little way north, the Serra del Montsia, with its craggy peaks and olive groves on its lower slopes, is a fabulous place for a walk. If you hold an interest in birdlife then the Ebre Delta is the place to go, with 95 species of breeding birds, and more than 300 overwintering species.
-Food and drink. What makes the cuisine of this area so exciting is its coastal location, combined with the rich fertility of the local soils. The town is surrounded by citrus orchards, and is close to one of Spain’s best-known rice-growing regions. It’s natural that rice-based seafood dishes like paella and black rice (sautéed squid or cuttlefish) are favourites here. Also keep an eye out for local artichokes, which have even earned designation of origin for their high quality.
-Day trips. The cities of Valencia and Tarragona are both moderate drives away. Valencia has some astounding modern architecture at the recent City of Arts and Science complex. In the other direction, Tarragona is celebrated for its history and was even the centre of the Roman empire for a short time. Outside Reus, families should be sure not to miss Port Aventura, possibly Spain’s top theme park.
If you’re holidaying at Benicarlo self-catering accommodation in the summer, then it pays to pack for warm, sunny weather. Any time between May and October you can expect conditions that would be considered hot in the UK. By July and August daily highs regularly climb to the low-30s, and rain takes place only in short bursts. The remainder of the year gets pleasantly warm and mild weather, with more by way of rain. On a normal day in December for example, temperatures will peak in the mid-teens, and stay above freezing at night.
Benicarlo lies between Barcelona and Valencia on the Mediterranean coast. Possibly the most convenient airport for Benicarlo holiday homes is Reus (REU), 120 kilometres northeast of the town. This destination gets a lot of traffic from the UK, particularly in the summer, when there are plenty of low-cost airlines serving Reus. By car, you can simply join the AP-7 toll road, for a journey that shouldn’t take more than an hour. There’s also a train station in Benicarlo, with links to both Valencia and Barcelona.