The town’s origins are uncertain. We can still see an important sign of its past today in the Iberian settlement of El Puig de la Misericordia, where archaeologists have found significant vestiges of human presence during the 6th century B.C. However, its earliest written history dates back to 1233, when the Muslim farmstead of Beni-Al-Arus was conquered and Christianized by King James I. In 1241, the Pobla Carta or Town Charter was given to Mr Grinyó Ballester and fifty other settlers. With this, Vinaròs was recognized as a town and stopped belonging to the castle of Peñíscola.
For centuries, Vinaròs was the target for the Barbary pirates. As in the rest of the coast of Valencia, the town therefore has watchtowers in order to warn the population in case of danger. One of them is popularly called the “Turret of the Moors”, which is now in ruins; another one, the Sòl de Riu Tower, is part of a private residence near the mouth of the Sénia River. The Church-Fortress of Our Lady of the Assumption, located in the town hall square, was built with the dual purpose of performing religious rituals, and also acting as a fortress. The building maintains its parapet walk, the Camino de Ronda, and the bell tower from where they could check for the attacks from the sea. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the port of Vinaròs was one of the most important in the Mediterranean. In 1609 the Muslim population was expelled through the most important ports on the Mediterranean in Spain, including the port of Vinaròs.
The town’s climatological and geographical conditions made it an economic powerhouse for centuries. In the eighteenth century, the wine trade was one of the population’s main sources of wealth as there were plenty of vineyards. The wine trade and the port of Vinaròs were so important that there were even consular offices for Italy and France in Vinaròs, among others. However, this promising activity only lasted until the late nineteenth century, when the phylloxera blight ravaged the vineyards and they were replaced by carob, olive and almond trees, and later by orange groves. Nowadays, locals have overcome this deep recession caused by the crisis in the wine and liquor trade by fruits and vegetable production, fishery, furniture-making and the wood industry, along with the service sector, especially tourism. Today, the energy industry also plays an important role in the local economy.