‘Valencia is Spain’s third largest city, occupying space on the country’s Iberian Peninsula…’
The Port of Valencia is the largest in the West Mediterranean and the fifth largest port container in the world. Valencia is also the birthplace of paella and the only city in Spain that has two American Football teams.
As neither LT nor I had previously visited, and we were heading to Madrid for a break, we decided to split our week and spend three days in Valencia to see what it had to offer. These are the highlights of our trip.
Estacio del Nord de Valencia
Yeah, I know, it sounds boring, but trust me, it’s beautiful. It’s a modernist building set right in the heart of the city and was designed by Valencia architect, Demetrio Ribes. The façade is gorgeous and, if you have time to wander through, the decoration inside is equally beautiful.
Plaza de Toros de Valencia (The Bullring)
Located about 200m from Estacio del Nord, the bullring has a capacity of 10,500 and is, as the name suggests, used for bullfighting. I’m not a fan and certainly wouldn’t go to watch, but the neoclassical building is quite stunning. It looks even better when lit up in the evening. The main bullfights take place during Fallas, which is a famous festival in Valencia, held each year in March.
City of Arts and Sciences
We spotted this building from our bus on the way to the beach and both craned our necks around for a better view. It’s really quite something. The full complex is made up of 6 different facets, which include an IMAX Cinema, Planetarium, Opera House and Open Air Aquarium. The modern architecture and design are really eye-catching and there’s so much to see that we could easily have spent a couple of days trying to fit it all in.
Shopping at Mercado de Colon
This is one of two stunning open-air markets in the city and features beautiful iron latticework and cast iron pillars, which can be viewed around the interior. The basilica-esque exterior is equally impressive and range of shops and eateries make a good location for a relaxing walk.
This is also known as The Assumption of Our Lady of Valencia. The mainly Gothic architecture of the cathedral and the fact that it is said to house the Holy Grail, make for a rather interesting visit. One of the highlights, and if you’re ok with heights, is to climb the spiral stairs to the viewing deck and gaze out across Valencia’s rooftops. Beware of sitting on the bell tower as it does ring every so often. It went off as I was relaxing in the sun and took a few years off my life. Made my ears ring for a good while afterwards, too…
|The amazing interior|
|waiting for the sun to set|
|Incredible views from the top of the Cathedral…if you can cope with the steps!|
We spent a lazy afternoon drinking beer and catching rays at El Cabanyal in the city. However, there’s also Las Malvarossa Beach, and both are within fairly easy reach of the city centre. The pace is slow and it’s a great way to unwind in between sightseeing.
Horchata is such a popular drink in the city. Made of a mixture of ground almonds, tiger nuts, sesame seeds and rice, it might not sound appealing, but it’s really good. It was so lovely that kept me away from wine for, like, a whole hour. We enjoyed a glass or two while watching a street entertainer eating fire at the square near the Cathedral. We hoped that he might have a couple once he’d finished as his throat must’ve been killing him.
|Enjoy a horchata at a beautiful Valencian bar.|
No trip to the birthplace of one of Spain’s most important dishes could be complete without sampling the local cuisine. It’s everywhere…. and it’s fabulous. Watch the chefs making massive cast iron skillets filled with fresh seafood, meats and veg, and relax on a city sidewalk and soak up the wonderful atmosphere.
|enjoy a stroll in the sun.|
Have you visited Valencia?