Holidays to Valencia exude vibrancy and character, preserved tradition and great food in the beautiful sunshine. Valencia is a dream for holidaymakers looking to escape the busy areas and retreat to a serene sunny spot, because Benidorm and Alicante tend to attract most of the tourists. Valencia is Spain’s third largest city, and is home to a thriving cultural scene as well as being a great destination for foodies and partygoers alike.
From the mix of medieval and contemporary architecture, to the beautiful beaches, Valencia holidays are as varied as they are idyllic. Bask in the sun in the many parks, people-watch in the central plaza or gorge on some delicious food in the many fantastic restaurants. Families will love sightseeing here, while couples can relax and soak up the romance.
At a glance
- Currency: Euro
- Language: Spanish
- Time Zone: GMT +1
- Average flight time: 2h 30m
When to go
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There’s so much to see in Valencia. The striking architecture in Valencia City adds character to the region and maintains old town charm. Gothic and renaissance structures sit alongside art nouveau buildings, creating a striking landscape. Valencia is one of the few places in the world that claims to host the Holy Grail, the cup Jesus drank from at the last supper. Such claims are overshadowed by the cathedral containing the cup, as the intricate design sits majestically in the city. Other historical must-sees are the spectacular gardens of Turia, the Plaza de Ayuntamento, and the Plaza de la Virgin.
For something more modern, the city of arts and sciences is as unmissable as it is unforgettable. You’ll have to see this city within a city to believe it! Its architecture is super-futuristic and inspired by animal skeletons, and inside you’ll find education and entertainment like nowhere else in Europe. There’s plenty in Valencia which will transport you to the past, but this will take you to the future.
Wine and Dine
One of the best parts of any holiday is sampling the local cuisine and drinks, and Valencia does not disappoint. It has a claim to fame as the city of paella, and is known for its fresh, healthy fare. The area cultivates rice, vegetables, grapes, olives, and much more. It is home to many restaurants, cafés and bars, most of which tend to be relatively inexpensive. Sample some authentic tapas, dig in to a plate of fresh paella and enjoy locally caught seafood.
As well as food steeped in history, Valencia also has a history of wine making that dates back thousands of years. Those seeking somewhere truly chic to sip a locally-made drink in the evening should head to the seafront bars of the marina and enjoy some wine accompanied by the sound of breaking waves. For something non-alcoholic, horchata, an ice-cold sweet milky drink made from tiger nuts, is a local specialty.
Valencia is an extremely child-friendly city, with a warm, vibrant and welcoming vibe. The Jardines de Turia is an amazing kid-friendly park which feels so alive, and is sure to be somewhere your family asks to go to one more time before your flight home. There are playgrounds, walks, cycle paths, and beautifully maintained gardens in this city park which snakes its way through Valencia. Kids are also sure to love building sandcastles, going paddling and playing volleyball on the beach, so head to Malvarrosa beach for some family fun in the sun.
For a day out, take the kids to the Biopark zoo, where they can let their imaginations run wild as they get the chance to explore the ten hectares of ground. The focus on Africa means your little ones will get the chance to see elephants, giraffes, lemurs, meerkats and more. The city of Arts and Sciences is also a must-do for families. It’s home to Europe’s largest aquarium as well as a science museum, a cinema, and various ever-changing exhibits.
Action and Adventure
With its miles and miles of endless coastline, Valencia is home to many exciting water sports facilities. Prepare for an adrenaline rush when you take a jet ski out in the bay or rent a yacht. The chance to learn to surf the waves of the Mediterranean Sea should not be missed. Breathtaking natural waves make all the difference for the beginner and experienced surfer alike.
Back on dry land, there are many companies hiring out quad bikes for an exhilarating trip around Valencia’s streets. For a truly daring day trip to wild Spain, you can go adventuring with Bigtime Aventura and take on the challenge of hiking and climbing Valencia’s coastal cliffs. Be sure to pack a tapas picnic for when you reach the top, where you can enjoy views over the aquamarine Med Sea.
Life's a Beach
The Valencia coast is lined with amazing beaches welcoming those in search of solitude away from the inner city and nearby tourist areas such as Madrid. Experience a true sense of solitude, as bars and cafés are sparse, leaving you to enjoy the natural surroundings inclusive of golden sand and glistening seas.
A trip to Valencia means you get the best of both a city holiday and a beach getaway; you’ll find the beaches of Las Arenas, Malvarrosa and El Cabañal just 15 minutes away from the city centre. These beaches are all Blue Flag beaches, having won certifications such as the Q for Tourist Quality. Further afield, Valencia’s wildest beaches are just 10km away from the city, offering stretches of wonderfully preserved natural beauty. Valencia’s beaches aren’t just for laying on the sand and soaking up the sun, though they are ideal for sunbathing! There are also volleyball courts, pedal boats, fitness areas and catamarans to be enjoyed.
Valencia’s nightlife scene is vibrant and varied. From pubs to clubs to live music venues, there really is something for everyone. The city’s old quarter, El Barrio de El Carmen, comes alive at night and has established itself as one of the most happening areas in town. Aragon is also a popular choice for younger people, and it’s easy to see why so many people choose to host hen and stag dos in Valencia!
One of the biggest and best clubs is the L’Umbracle Mya, a must-do for party animals. Easily accessible via cab from the city centre, here you can truly dance until the sun comes up and watch the sunrise after a night of partying hard. For those seeking something more alternative, jazz and rock ring out in the fashionable district of Ruzafa, which is the city’s new leisure area.
Though it may only be the third largest city in Spain, it comes first for romance. With all the best of the beach and city to enjoy, as well as picturesque stretches of greenery and gardens, there are so many romantic spots to be explored. Take a bike ride together along the park which used to be a river, watch the sunrise on the beach, and stroll hand in hand through the whimsical old town. A visit to Alfubera Park is a must for an unforgettable date. There, you can take a boat tour in a traditional wooden boat and watch the wildlife go by. It’s also surrounded by rice fields, so you and your date can share a fresh paella after you’re done exploring!
For a truly romantic getaway, why not choose a coastal hotel? There are many of these in Valencia, most of which offer spa sessions so you and your loved one can relax and unwind in pampered bliss.
Valencia is steeped in history and is home to a rich culture which is different from the rest of Spain. To truly immerse yourself in the culture, be sure to watch a fiesta. These traditional parades showcase traditional Valencian costumes, music, and philosophies of life – a truly spectacular sight. If you’re looking for the best time for a cultural visit, Las Fallas takes place during March. For five days, residents pay homage to St. Joseph the saint of carpenters by burning enormous figurines. The celebration is accompanied by street food and parades, with locals dressing up for the occasion and getting into the spirit of things.