Valencia, Costa del Azahar, Spain
Valencia is Spain's third largest city and among one of the liveliest and is growing in popularity as a tourist destination as an alternative to Barcelona. There is a real mix of old and new buildings which gives it it's own special atmosphere.
With a wide range of things to do such as shopping in some large malls to visiting medieval castles, there really is something for everyone and is clear to see why it is becoming more popular as a holiday destination.
With a stunning cathedral and many buildings steeped in history, there's plenty to keep you occupied on a city break.
There is much more on offer, such as fascinating architecture, football and other sports and a busy nightlife, it is no wonder Valencia can become quite busy in the summer months.
Valencia offers endless kilometres of beautiful sandy beaches, the liveliest beaches are probably Las Arenas and Malvarrosa which are both connected by a boardwalk which is full of cafes and restaurants. There are also plenty of amenities here so if you are here for the day, there is everything you need. If you are looking for somewhere a little quieter, hop on the bus and visit Saler Beach, Devesa Beach or El Recati Beach, all still lovely beaches but just a little quieter and more secluded.
Things to Do
Many people come to Valencia to see the many historical buildings such as the cathedral, musuems, Serranos Tower and Iglesia de San Juan del Hospital, the oldest church in Valencia, dating back to 1261 but there is so much more on offer.
There are many festivals held throughout the year with people from all over the world coming to see them. One of the most famous and even loudest festival is held in Valencia and is called Las Fallas. Caricatures are constructed out of various materials and then set on fire to create an amazing sight.
Europe's biggest aquarium, L'Oceanografic is situated in Valencia. You can see sharks, penguins, belugas, tropical fish and a whole host of other sea creature. There is also a great dolphin show, two large underwater tunnels and an underwater restaurant.
There are plenty of opportunities for shopping in Valencia, whether you like raking around the market for a bargain or checking out the latest fashions in the large shopping malls. As well as the food markets, you will also find a street market once a week which is a great way to spend the day.
For those who want to take a break from the sightseeing, there are plenty of opportunities for a variety of activities such as various golf courses, cycling, horse riding, hiking, abseiling, canoeing and paragliding.
Out and About
Valencia is said to be the birthplace of paella and with such a great range of bars and restaurants you will be sure to sample some of this national dish at some point during your stay. Although paella is a popular dish, there are more than 200 other rice dishes that are available as an alternative to the original paella. Something else which Valencia is well known for is chufas, a frozen drink which is made of tiger nuts and it can be very refreshing on a hot day.
There are also many nightclubs so if you fancy partying until dawn, you can. Friday and Saturday nights can get very busy but great for anyone who loves a lively atmosphere.
Valencia is full of beautiful parks, shaded gardens and seaside boardwalks which can be enjoyed all year round. There are so many areas that are just perfect for a gentle stroll, jogging and even rollerblading, so whatever you like doing, I'm sure you will be able to do it in Valencia.
The ancient Roman town of Sagunto is just a few kilometres from Valencia and has loads of things to see such as castles, the Jewish quarter and Roman ruins. While there is loads to see wandering round the town, there is also a great beach which is 13km long and is rarely overcrowded.
The water park, Aquopolis Cullera is situated just 30 mins from Valencia and offers a great range of water slides and attractions for all the family.
Dinopolis, one of the largest dinosaur museums in the world is situated in Teruel which is approx 1hr 30mins from Valencia. The theme park offers many different attractions and activities for both adults and children to learn about their favourite dinosaur. A great day out that everyone will enjoy.
For something a little different, visit the planetarium in Castellon. The planetarium, complete with astronomical audiovisuals also has three exhibition rooms, a conference room and an outside area with gardens and a sundial.
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