This beach has been chosen by various film makers as a set for their productions. In this case, it was a TV series whose main setting was here.
Pepe's Beach Bar is situated on the sands of the north beach; it is here that the most important plot twists of the series take place, it is the backbone that supports the entire plot of this quirky family story.
The series introduces us to Sergi Roca, a haute cuisine chef who, due to family commitments, has to move to Peñíscola to save Pepe's Beach Bar, infamous for its fried foods. The differences in the two's styles of cooking give rise to funny situations that are the heart of the series.
The beach bar, as a building, doesn't really exist, rather it is a set that is assembled and disassembled when the series is being shot. There are many parts of Peñíscola that do star in the show, however.
One location in Pepe's Beach Bar is the South Beach and surrounding area. The scene of love affairs, marriage proposals, the sharing of secrets, and many a stroll. One of the most romantic settings of this endearing family story.
This beach is at the foot of the walls next to the fishing port, sheltered from storms. The South Beach is known for its fine sands covering some 300m in length and 35m in width.
Enjoying a stroll along the south promenade as fishing boats land their catch of the day is a great way to enjoy the site. It also boasts wonderful views of the Castle.
Fishing has been one of the most important commercial enterprises in Peñíscola over the centuries, and for that reason, in Pepe's Beach Bar, the port plays a significant role, as the setting of important stories in various episodes.
One of the show's main characters, Mariana, is a fishmonger, and her profession, together with her husband's, means this location features regularly in the story of the Leal family and their friends.
The characters that work at the beach bar come here to buy fresh fish at the Peñíscola fish market, to make the haute cuisine dishes served at the beach bar. In the first season of the series, a fish auction features in one scene.
The port hasn't always been at this location however, in antiquity the water lapped at the very walls of the town, meaning that often the only way to enter Peñíscola was by boat.
Plaza Santa María
Plaza Santa María
Plaza Santa María and its surroundings appear in some of the scenes from Pepe's Beach Bar. For example, when Dafne, who plays Mati, the chef's assistant, wanders through the old town, her beauty admired by the show's young children. This square has also starred in recent episodes when Monica, played by Patricia Conde, asks José Luis Perales, 'El Pocero', for permission to set up a hotel in the lighthouse.
This Renaissance square is where older archaeological remains have been found, with the vestiges of Roman and Arab walls. Les Caseres square and surrounding walls are a site of particular historical importance to Peñíscola. The age-old use of the Font de Dins spring has made this a strategic site where walled enclosures of different eras meet, specifically the medieval fortification and part of the Renaissance wall that surrounds the square. Its dismantling as a town stronghold in 1890 resulted in the loss of the defensive role that the walls had hitherto assumed. As a result, over the course of the 20th century the entire set of fortifications suffered a slow deterioration, finally being restored in 1996-1999.
Felipe II Ramp
Felipe II Ramp
During the second season of Pepe's Beach Bar (Chiringuito de Pepe), the real father of Sergi Roca is revealed, and his new family plays a practical joke on him to 'initiate him into the family'. This consists of him ascending the slopes of the old town mounted on a donkey, and once at the top, reading out a proclamation.
Pepe Leal falls sick due to the pressure Sergi Roca puts on him at work and wants nothing to do with him. Vincent, Sergi's brother, and his cousin Dani play a joke telling Sergi Roca that he must follow the tradition—which consists of making an offering of the first harvest—to present himself as the firstborn of the Leal surname, and that this must be done on a donkey. To convince him, they spin him the story of how, in olden days, when then town was cut off by the tides, the locals would be isolated and left without food or supplies. Neighbours on the other side would send their firstborn child to take the harvest to them. Sergi, eager to get on well with his father, doesn't hesitate to follow the tradition and ride on donkey-back up the Philip II Ramp.
These walls, perched on the Philip II Ramp, still bear the marks of the war of Independence some 200 years ago.
The Philip II Ramp leads up to the Fosc Gate, which was the only entrance by land to the fortress until the 18th century, when the Gate of Santa Maria was opened on the lowest part of the wall. The ramp is hemmed in by the Renaissance wall that forms the city's main facade and which was built in the last quarter of the 16th century. These construction works were pursued by Philip II, and involved two expert Italians who were in the king's service: Vespasiano Gonzaga, the project's designer, and Bautista Antonelli, director of works.
In the show's first season, the wedding of Mariana and Balotelli is celebrated. Sergi Roca and his Father, Pepe Leal, along with José Luis, the first deputy mayor, are the stars of this scene.
Weddings are held almost every week in these gardens. For the locals therefore, this scene memories of the many civil ceremonies held here.
This site was originally intended to house cannons, catapults, and other defence mechanisms. However, it was restored and turned into a botanic park, with gardens that offer a delightful stroll through the palm trees, olive trees, lavender and native flora. What is more, the entire bay of Peñíscola can be seen from here. A very romantic setting.
Museum of the Sea
Museum of the Sea
Laura, the baker of Peñíscola and Vicente, purchasing manager at Pepe's Beach Bar, in a scene from the series in which they flatter each other, displaying their complicity, mutual affection and maybe a bit more.
Just outside the old school's courtyard, where the Museum of the Sea is currently located, is the site that in the series serves as the location of Tahona, Laura's bakery. Many of the episodes are filmed here and it is easily recognised by tourists as they wander along Príncipe Street.
This small museum is housed in the old 'Les Costures' building, located on the eastern-most side of the promontory and established in the 17th century as an artillery barracks. The Museum of the Sea pays homage to the fishing traditions of the people of Peñíscola, revealing the maritime aspects of Peñíscola from its earliest cultures until today. It is split into 3 sections: history-archaeology, where visitors are immersed in the fishing traditions of Peñíscola; the 'Fishing' section, which depicts the life of fishermen through an exhaustive analysis of their vessels, gear, and fishing sites as well as the fishing trade; and the 'Marine Fauna' section which introduces us to the way of life and environment in which most species in these seas have evolved, thanks to the ecological richness of the waters and seabed.
The lighthouse is the star of a large part of the second season of Pepe's Beach Bar. Mariana, a fisherwoman from the town who lives together with her boyfriend Balotelli in her small boat docked at the port, decides to lock herself in the lighthouse and go on a hunger strike to prevent El Pocero, the Town Planning Councillor, from using the site to set up a casino. When Mariana gets married to Balotelli, they set up home in the Lighthouse, where a large part of each episode takes place.
This site is often used in the show as a resource image and to introduce scenes featuring the home of Mariana and Balotelli.
The Lighthouse is a typical maritime construction to warn sailors at night by means of a light. Its light has a reach of about 35 miles. The Lighthouse was a reference point in the village, hence the adjacent street is called 'Farons' or Lighthouses in Valencian dialect. The present-day building dates to 1892.
Plaza de armas square
Plaza de armas square
Sergi Roca, played by Santi Millán, a newcomer to the Leal family, fulfils the tradition of reading a proclamation at the church door, victim of a practical joke orchestrated by his brother Vincent and his cousin Dani. The police turn up however, and ask for the donkey's paperwork, arrest him, and take him away. He is perplexed, and tells them he's carrying out the tradition, but he hasn't yet realised it was all a joke set up by his family.
This site is located next to the castle on a plot of land that housed another religious building in the 11th century. The current shrine was constructed between 1708 and 1714 at the request of the then governor of the square, Don Sancho de Echevarría, in an incomparable ashlar masonry factory that produced perfectly hewn trimmings, coats of arms, and mouldings. The facade integrates the bell tower into the gables with elegant compositional simplicity that is rarely seen in the Valencian baroque.