Known as the "Orchard of Spain," Valencia is alive with sweet fruits and plump vegetables, grown in its fertile coastal plains. Abundant sunshine and mild temperatures create a utopian atmosphere for growing plants as well as a unique home for the ultimate European vacation. But the sublime climate is not the only allure this fabulous city offers.
The stunningly futuristic Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences), a spectacular arts and entertainment complex designed by celebrity architect, Santiago Calatrava, put Valencia on the map. Contrastingly, the ancient winding streets of the Barrio del Carmen contain buildings dating to early Roman and Arabic times.
Verdant city gardens and abundant green space create a haven for visitors and residents alike. The most spectacular is perhaps the Turia Gardens, resurrected in an old riverbed, containing a children's playground, a magnificent fountain, and sports fields. The city also boasts several other botanical gardens for enjoying a relaxing day.Package includes:
- Choice of accommodations
- Hotel taxes and service charges
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should go?
Culture & History Enthusiasts
Founded in the year 138 B.C. by the Romans, this city preserves the architectural legacy of its long history, which includes occupations by the Visigoths, Moors, Catalan, and Aragonese. The Tribunal de las Aguas, declared as an Intangible Word Heritage site by UNESCO, is an example of the Arabs' heritage.
Fans of Local Cuisines
Valencia is the birthplace of paella, the most widely known of all Spanish cuisines. Locals can cook rice in 40 different ways.
Valencia offers countless activities for children that combine learning and fun, including the Bioparc, where a new concept called zoo-immersion allows visitors to immerse themselves in a slice of Africa in Valencia. Other ideas: Take a bike ride along the Turia Gardens, or visit the City of Arts and Sciences, the largest cultural and leisure complex in Europe, which contains an interactive Science Museum, an IMAX cinema and planetarium, and the Oceanografic Park, where visitors can enjoy watching more than 45,000 marine specimens.
The city boasts fine sandy beaches, where you can go for a stroll, take a swim, or ride bicycles. Six miles from the city center lies the Albufera Nature Reserve, where you can enjoy a boat ride on the biggest lake in Europe. The Dehesa of El Saler forms part of this setting—a protected natural park formed by a Mediterranean forest and the most renowned beach in Valencia, El Saler.
What's the climate like?
How do I get around town?
Transfers from Valencia International Airport to your hotel are not included with your hotel package. To travel between the airport and the city center, take Metro line 3 or 5, a one-way ticket costing about $2. Taxis from the airport to the town center are also available for about $25.
Although Valencia is the third largest capital in Spain, it is a very compact city and moving around is easy due to the 5 underground lines, the tram, and the extensive bus network.
Hop On, Hop Off Bus
The "Bus Turístic" is a fun way to get to know the city. This bright orange sightseeing bus offers 3 different routes that spotlight tourist attractions, the Albufera Nature Reserve, and the Bioparc. The bus trip includes information in 8 languages about the different sights.
Valencia boasts over 40 miles of cycling lanes that allow people to get to know the city while getting a bit of exercise.
What kinds of dining and nightlife are available?
Valencia gives visitors a choice of more than 8,000 bars, cafeterias, and restaurants. Ca Sento, La Sucursal, Torrijos, Riff, and Vertical are all Michelin star restaurants, placing the wonderful cuisine of Valencia among the world's best. Quality cuisine coexists in perfect harmony with stoves preparing everything from traditional plates like paella to the famous tapas. Those who wish to try traditional paella on Valencia's beach should go to one of the numerous restaurants found in Las Arenas beach.
Check out a few of these exciting restaurants:
- Ca Sento
Known for years for the quality of its fresh ingredients and down-to-earth classic fish cuisine, the current chef is Raúl Aleixandre, who shows visitors that modern culinary techniques can be combined with traditional flavors. Offers a complete and exotic wine cellar.
- La Pepica
A must on the Arenas beach, where La Pepica has been renowned for years for its paellas and rice dishes. Enjoy a popular classic to start, followed by the Valencia-style or lobster paella, or any other rice dish that may take your fancy.
- La Sucursal
One of the best restaurants in Valencia, which combines a minimalist décor with an innovative menu that varies according to the season or the chef's inspiration. Magnificent wine menu, liqueurs, and other ambrosias enhance the experience.
- Palace Fesol
Choose traditional rice dishes such as paella or rice soup with artichokes, rabbit, and snails, or more modern offerings such as rice soup with crab, cuttlefish and prawn carpaccio, or prawn crepinnette with sea bass and cardinal sauce.
Chef Bernd Knöller serves a creative cuisine with a Mediterranean flavor on an ever-changing, seasonal menu.
Awarded a Michelin star, Josep Quintana, the current chef and owner, claims that his is a high-profile cuisine, so his dishes are subtle and complex at the same time. One example is the oyster with apple soup, together with creamed eels with crisp pig's ear or creamed veal with prawn and gorgonzola soup.
Valencia is a city with a thousand personalities once night falls, so no one has to go far for a change of atmosphere. Loyal to the Mediterranean timetable, Valencian nightlife comes to life at midnight. Pubs stay open until 3:30am, and nightclubs, until daylight.
The nightlife trail begins in the Carmen District, the city's most popular, diverse, and international leisure area. Its streets are densely populated with many pubs and clubs. Various bars offer live performances.
The Ruzafa District offers venues attracting alternative types, while the younger crowd heads to the Plaza de Cánovas, in the city centre, and the various bars along C/ Salamanca. Once summer arrives, venues on the beach are filled with numerous outdoor terraces and nocturnal street markets.
The Juan Carlos I Royal Marina also offers interesting bars, located by the Mediterranean Sea.
Where should I go shopping?
Valencia is a city that loves fashion and design. This is reflected in its wide group of creators such as the well-established Francis Montesinos and Álex Vidal. However, the city also has much to offer those who prefer widely known names.
Those seeking clothes with a more urban flavor will find them in the streets around the Plaza del Tossal, where many shops stock international brands. Additionally, Calle Colon is the street par excellence for shopping, and is the location for the major fashion and decor establishments. As for typical handicraft objects, shops stocking handmade wicker and leather goods can be found in Plaza Redonda and Calle de las Cestas.
Porcelain lovers can't miss the opportunity to visit the one and only Lladró's Factory and Museum at Tabernes Blanques, located just 10 minutes outside the city. Lladró has a store inside the factory.
When are the local events?
Second week of March. The most famous and internationally recognized of the celebrations in Valencia, Las Fallas is a large pantomime that satirizes local, national, and international issues. Nearly 700 fallas monuments are erected in the city streets, where the aroma of chocolate, gunpowder, and buñuelos (fritters) lingers during the 5 days of the celebration. Music bands and parades of "falleros and falleras" (Valencians dressed in traditional costumes) are celebrated by lively throngs in the streets.
The Global Champions Tour
Early May. The city will host the Grand Prix of Spain until 2011, with possibilities of an extension until 2013. The best riders in horse racing will gather in the City of Arts and Sciences and the Turia Gardens become the "Horse Gardens," the site for the boxes area occupied by the horses taking part in the competition, as well as a leisure area.
Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe
Late June. The streets surrounding the port and the beaches are converted into an urban circuit with a capacity for 100,000 spectators, propelling the city to international fame as the host of the most prestigious motor competition on the planet.
Feria de Julio
July. The Feria de Julio (July Fair) is not to be missed, with the battle of flowers and an extensive program of concerts and cultural activities.
Motorcycle Racing Grand Prix
November. Motorcycle racing fans flock to Valencia for the annual Motorcycle Racing Grand Prix at the Ricardo Tormo Racetrack. The Valencia circuit also hosts other important events each year such as the Superbike, Turismos and GP2 Series World Championships.
Horchata is one of the most popular non-alcoholic drinks in Valencia, and is made from tiger nuts, a fruit originally from Egypt and brought to this Mediterranean city by the Arabs. Tiger nuts are grown in the Valencia region of L'Horta Nord, the only area in Spain where this unique tuber is grown. The town most well known for horchaterías (stands) where you can enjoy this drink is Alboraya—but you can also enjoy good horchata in the city at Hochateria El Siglo, in the Plaza Santa Catalina.
Valencian vineyards produce an average of more than 17 million gallons of red, rosé, white, and liqueur wines each year. The Wine of Valencia Certificate of Origin Regulating Council, located in the heart of the city, boasts a spectacular winery, exhibition rooms and offers guided visits and wine tastings if booked in advance.
Good to Know
|Valencia International Airport (Manises Airport)
||May - October
||January- March and October - November
||Euro - €
||7 hours ahead of U.S. Central Standard Time (CST)
|Proof of Citizenship:
||Government legislation requires all people traveling via air to and from the United States and Canada to have a valid passport. For details on passports, visas, and health requirements, see Entry Requirements.
||At a fine dining restaurant with outstanding service, a 10% tip would be correct. Tipping taxi drivers is optional.
||Casual, lightweight clothing is suggested during the summer months.