Has around 750 very friendly and welcoming residents, it’s very much a farming village, as is evidenced by the stream of tractors that pass by while your sitting outside one of the bars drinking a glass of wine. Life here is easy-going, indeed slow when comparing Benifallet lifestyle with city life “the real Spain” where you can enjoy good food, wine and a very pleasant climate. Indeed, many of the ex-pats in the village came for a holiday and never left. To quote an ex-pat “An essential part of being here and experiencing village life is a beaming smile and an “Hola!” or “Bon dia!” to everyone you pass in the street. “
For a small village on the banks of the River Ebro Benifallet has an extraordinary selection of very good restaurants that bring dinners from the surrounding towns and villages to sample their local dishes. The bar Casal is like something out of the wild west but is the dinking, social, cultural and functions centre of the community. Waking up to sun, the smells of the country, fresh coffee, relaxed friendly people and the many more sensory delights is something to experience.
The village has a number of tourist attractions such as; the caves, Benifallet boat tours, fishing for the River Ebro’s famed catfish and carp, kayaks. Segway tours, the adventure park, bicycles and fiestas. Of course, there are many more thing to visit a short drive away which we discuss else ware on this site.
TWe see many of the same faces year after year, there is something about Benifallet!
Benifallet has 4 fiestas throughout the year the biggest being the Fiesta Major in September, every street in the village is decorated for the fiesta, which lasts 5 days and finishes with Catalunya Day on the 11th. Little sleep is had in the village as festivities starts early and end late (at least at El Figueral you can get some peace and quiet, if you want?). Don’t miss the “Battle of the Drums” which starts at 4am. The crowd gather in the village square to cheer on the Benifallet Band, followed by a procession through the streets with much dancing, laughter and cheering.
There are many more fiestas in cities, towns and villages in easy reach of Benifallet. For information, we list the “local ones” whether you live here all year round or are here on holiday, there is a chance you’re find something going on somewhere near.
Facilities in Benifallet
The village shops are all family owned and run. You have a choice of eight bars and restaurants, a bakery, butchers, two grocery shops, hairdresser, chemist, doctor, 2 olive oil mills (we have Oillie Oil traditionally cold pressed by Oscar), and a fish shop which usually opens on Thursday.
We have a town crier in the form of the village PA (public address system) which when you first hear it scare the life out of you. This is the traditional way in villages throughout Spain for the ajuntament (council office) to keep villagers informed on the day’s events; whether it’s announcing the fish shop is open and what fish is available, a meeting in the casalle; a reminder that tomorrow is market day or news on a forth coming fiesta. The announcement is proceeded by a loud musical introduction that’s hard to talk over so it gets your attention.
Benifallet has a very good selection of restaurants that serve both al la carte and menu of the day (menu del dia).
From Monday to Friday from 14.00 hrs to 17.00 hrs try the menu del dia. Priced at around €12.50 the menu is amazing value for a 3 or 4 course meal including wine, better still the menus are based on fresh local produce and prepared in the traditional local style. You get the opportunity to try course’s that perhaps you wouldn’t normally think of or consider.
Of course, the a la carte menu is always available at lunch and in the evenings and week-ends when the menu of the day is not available.
The history of Benifallet dates to ancient inhabitants of the mountains and valleys who in the Neolithic era left cave paintings and other artefacts. Phoenician ceramics from the 7th century BC, ruins which can be visited from the Iberian period when the Castello de Roca Roja was built. The Romans made Tortosa their man port from which they created settlements along the river which they navigated for trade leaving behind artefacts of pottery, tools and the remains of a dam which is still visible.
The current site of the village appears to have been established around the time of the 1st Crusade and the name itself is thought to be of Moorish origin. However, the first documents recognising the village were discovered because of the conquest of Tortosa that took place in December 1148.
During the Spanish Civil War Benifallet was occupied by the Spanish Republican army throughout the Battle of the Ebro from 25th July to 16th November 1938. The battle was the bloodiest of the civil war with 180,000 troops in theatre. The Nationalist Army, commanded by Queipo de Llano and Francisco Franco, fought with 80,000 men against the 100,000 strong 2nd Republican Army, led by Juan Modesto and Enrique Lister. The Republicans suffered a heavy defeat with 30,000 dead, 20,000 wounded and 19,563 captured while the Nationalists only lost 6,500 men with 30,000 wounded and 5,000 captured, this defeat destroyed the Republican Army. The Coves Meravelles were used as shelter for many soldiers and we know that the international brigade used El Figueral as a forward observation post as many soldiers left their graffiti on the walls, unfortunately long gone. On a lighter note, they did leave us a present! ordinance, our then farm manager discovered this when lighting a fire a few years back.
The Llaguter bridge over the River Ebro was built in 1991, before that time crossings had to be made by medieval ferry as is still the case for the village of Miravet just upriver.
The municipality encompasses the Cardó Mountain Range with its peak of 941 metres and the drive up to the old spa delivers spectacular views over the area. The Origin of the spa was a Carmelite community monastery founded in 1606, near the monastery there were originally fourteen hermitages spread along all the mountain of Cardó and today there are still a few intact that can be visited. In the last thirty years of the 19th century, a thermal spa was opened taking advantage of the medicinal properties that the spring water, rich in bicarbonate and arsenic had to offer. In 1887 the spa was declared a as a place of public interest. In 1938, during the Spanish Civil War the spa was used as a Republican hospital after which it laid dormant until re-opened as a spa again. Today it lies empty once again after attempts to re-open it again as a luxury spa appear to have stalled. Benifallet Rainfall rev 2 Xiringito 750 Pepo restuarant Beniffallet Station concert Benifallet caves Off to the supermarket in Benifallet Fishing boats on the river rev2
Benifallet climate is warm and temperate.
Rain falls mostly in winter, with relatively little in summer.
Average annual temperature is around 16.6 °C but expect mid to high 30 °C during the summer months.
The average rainfall is 493 mm with most rain during spring and Autumn.