Las Palmas Desert, natural park, monastery and spiritual retreat in Benicássim

Carmelite Monastery of Las Palmas Desert near Benicàssim

In your stay or on a getaway to holiday village of Benicàssim, in the province of Castellón, you have an essential excursion: climb to the Las Palmas Desert.

Contrary to what you might assume by name, the denomination ofLas Palmas Desert desert area is not arid, as we understand it, but it is a natural Park.

With an area of ​​about 3,200 hectares, the Natural Park of the Desert of Las Palmas It extends through the mountainous area behind the coastal town of Benicàssim.

Landscapes of the Las Palmas Desert near Benicàssim

Even the first time I visited the Las Palmas DesertMany years ago, this natural site had a lush forest, which practically disappeared after the great fires it suffered in 1985 and 1992.

Currently this forest is in the process of recovery.

What to see in the Desert of Las Palmas in Benicássim

By cons, the denomination of desert refers to the spaces enabled by the Carmelite order for the retreat, whose main exponent is the monastery that was built in 1694.

Since then, several small hermitages that historically became places of retreat were enabled by the mountain.

Carmelite Monastery of Las Palmas Desert near Benicàssim

In fact, until a few years ago a Carmelite friar remained retired in one of these hermitages.

Desert Monastery of Las Palmas

The original monastery building was seriously damaged in 1783 after torrential rains, which forced the construction of a new monastery that was completed in 1791.

Since then the Carmelite monastery of Las Palmas Desert It has been of great importance throughout history.

In fact, today it is the property of the largest Church in Spain.

In this monastery there have also been several outstanding events; for example, during the visit we were told that there was invented the muscat wine.

Hermitage in the Desert of Las Palmas near Benicàssim

Yes, the friar Fran Antonio de Jesús María He developed a study on aromatic herbs during his stay in the monastery, and the result was to begin to elaborate and commercialize the known Carmelite Liqueur.

This tradition is currently maintained in the Carmelitano wineries from Benicàssim, where the aforementioned liquor is still elaborated by hand.

In a visit to the wineries you can know what this craft process is like.

Las Palmas Desert Lookouts

To the climb to the Las Palmas Desert, since the lookouts what is in this natural park you will have the opportunity to see the best panoramic views of Benicàssim and its surroundings.

A classic of Las Palmas Desert is the restaurant which is located on a high near the monastery, from whose picnic terrace you will have excellent panoramic views of the natural park.

Viewpoint in the Desert of Las Palmas near Benicàssim

Sacred Museum of the monastery of the Desert of Las Palmas

An interesting visit is undoubtedly the Sacred Museum of the Carmelite Monastery It has a collection of objects of great artistic value, which have come to this place from many Carmelite convents around the world.

The collection that is preserved in the museum exceeds 6,000 objects and artistic works, 600 of which are shown in two small rooms that now fulfill the exhibition function.

Currently theMonastery of the Desert of Las Palmas houses themonastic file most important in Spain, which is usually consulted by numerous scientists.

Specifically, the museum was founded in 1971, and now the Carmelite order has the project of addressing an extension of it.

Museum of the Monastery of the Desert of Las Palmas near Benicàssim

During the visit of these two rooms you can see objects of great artistic value, or of great historical interest, from paintings and sculptures, to ceramics, goldsmithing or engravings.

Thus, for example, embroidery ofSaint Teresa of Jesus that belonged toLucia of Fatima. Or theChrist of the Beautiful Eyes, which also belonged toSanta Teresa.

You can also see a couple of pieces of the old mosque in Valencia, or a Gothic virgin with a sweet smile.

Schedules visit Las Palmas Desert museum

Thevisit of the Las Palmas Desert museum It takes place every Sunday, after the morning mass, throughout the year.

Museum of the Monastery of the Desert of Las Palmas near Benicàssim

But if you are going to go on another day of the week, you can call 64 300 950 where you can make an appointment to visit it.

Heprice of admission It is 2 euros.

Spiritual Retreat in Las Palmas Desert

On a walk around the monastery you can go up to the enclosure of the High Goal, which through a fence opens or closes access to the monastery grounds from the paths that reach the mountain.

If you want to make your own meditation In the environment the friars lived, you have a spirituality center in which to retire for from 15 euros a night.

High door of the Carmelite monastery of the Desert of Las Palmas

You can too rent a hermitage for a spiritual retreat,which have been rehabilitated for this purpose, with individual use.

You can book it by calling tel. 964 300 786.

Photos Las Palmas Desert

As an advance to your visit, here are more Photos of the Las Palmas Desert and its Carmelite monastery, place that you can visit from Benicàssim.