Valencia is a city located in the south-eastern portion of Spain. Particularly known for its balmy climate and seemingly endless stretches of beaches, this city-region is visited by millions of tourists from northern Europe each year. Still, there is much more to experience here than amenable weather and pristine beaches alone. Let’s take a closer look at what else Valencia has to offer.
There are both connecting and non-stop flights from London to Valencia (VLC). For non-stop flights, the average time is 2 hours and 30 minutes. Connecting flights can range between 4 and 5 hours. A handful of the major carriers include Ryanair, EasyJet, Iberia and Swiss Air.
What to do in Valencia
The first thing to appreciate is that Valencia is a region which is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. White sands will punctuate the azure blue waters of the Mediterranean. Thankfully, most of the major hotels are located within walking distance to these beaches (as are some truly amazing restaurants). Many of these have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag status in terms of water clarity and quality. Although some will be laden with tourists during the peak season, there are still a few which are found off of the proverbial beaten path. Some worth mentioning include El Saler and those found within Albufer State Park (only 10 kilometres away from the city centre). Should you instead require modern conveniences, beaches including Las Arenas (The Sands) and El Cabañal should not be missed.
While the natural beauty of Valencia should never be missed, it is important to note that this region is an important cultural centre as well. This is displayed in the fact that the City of Arts and Sciences is actually thought to be the most popular tourist destination here (even more than the beaches). This massive complex boasts a very post-modern appearance and it is home to numerous different venues. For example, one building is home to an eclectic museum and has been constructed in the shape of a massive whale. This science centre is currently the largest of its kind in Spain. There is also an outdoor landscaped pathway that displays countless species of plants from Spain and abroad. This is a great way to spend a tranquil afternoon, as there are any shady spots to take a well-deserved rest. Other areas include an opera house, a performing arts centre and a covered plaza that is used for local sporting events.
Anyone who has never visited Valencia in the past should not miss a large outdoor market known as the Mercado Central. This location is thought to be one of the oldest European markets that is still in operation. Although the market itself has existed for centuries, the modern building which houses most vendors dates back to 1914 and is a wonderful display of neo-classical architecture. Tourists can purchase local foods at highly discounted prices. There are also a number of souvenir shops and kiosks for those who wish to purchase a few keepsakes before heading home. As the market is not far from the beach, many will choose to but fresh fruits and bottles of water before hitting the surf and the sand.