The Spanish City of Valencia lies on the popular west coast of the Mediterranean Sea, it is approximately four hours drive to the south of Barcelona and three hours to the east of Madrid. It is Spain`s third largest city and is very easy to get to with excellent road and rail links, or you can fly direct to Valencia Airport. Getting around the city is easy due to an excellent bus and rail network. Bike hire through a cycle share scheme is also available.
Many people visit Valencia for the stunning beaches. The Playa de la Malvarrosa and the Playa de las Arenas are soft sandy beaches with plenty of space to relax and enjoy the sun. There are also plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants by the beach so you do not have to travel far to sample the great cuisine.
The city dates back to 138BC and many historical monuments and buildings remain, leaving a rich cultural heritage and several UNESCO sites. Many sites of historical interest lie in the oldest part of the city, the Ciutat Vella, here you will find a wealth of historical buildings including Romanesque, Gothic, baroque and neoclassical architecture. Must see sites include Valencia Cathedral at the Plaza de la Virgen, Plaza del Carmen, Llotja de la Seda and the 15th century silk exchange.
To explore the rich culture here you can visit some of the many museums and galleries such as the Museu de Belles Arts which exhibits artworks from the 14 to the 18th century. Here you will find art by Goya, El Greco and Velazquez among many others. The Valencian Institute of Modern Art has regular exhibitions of modern and contemporary art and photography. Many of the museums and galleries are free to visit such as the Fine Arts Museum, the Bull Fighting Museum, the Museum of Ethnography and the Fallas Museum.
As well as being famous for its art and architecture, the city is also known for the fantastic food. The dish paella originated here and you can sample this, as well as other great local dishes at the many restaurants.
You can get away from the bustle of the city at the Albufera Nature Reserve. This is protected parkland containing the Albufera Salt Water Lagoon, a popular destination for bird watching and fishing. Here you will have a rare chance to see many endangered plants and animals. The city gardens , Jardins del Turia stretch for over five miles along the dried bed of the River Turia. Here you can relax with the locals, explore the gardens and fountains or use the playgrounds and playing fields.
There are many festivals held here throughout the year including the Falles, which is usually held in June as well as an annual air show. Other attractions include great shopping destinations and lively nightlife with clubs and bars. Great entertainment venues include theatre, cinema and leisure centers.
The warm sunny summers and mild winters make this an ideal location to visit at any time of year. Villa and apartment holidays are popular.