Valencia

 

8D929C31-9459-4B3D-BDF3-A67E62BC7DC6

I have a love love relationship with Spain and Spanish life in general. Smart 13 year old me jumped at the chance to learn the language at school so I could forever visit and enjoy the culture. Prior to this trip, I had already been to Spain a few times: Malaga, Grenada, Barcelona plus islands Menorca, Ibiza and Spanish speaking Cuba.

So when deciding on a sisters holiday for Summer ‘16 (June 19-24) and Valencia came up (coincidentally also my favourite Insta filter), I was excited to explore a lesser known part of this fab country…and boy it didn’t disappoint.

We had a simple easyJet flight there from Gatwick and took the metro directly to our accommodation. We had booked to stay in another Airbnb. This pristine 2 bed flat still remains my favourite Airbnb of all time and our host Nerea earned her status as the fourth sister! We lived near many fresh food markets and Mercadona (supermarket) so often cooked to economise.

We started our holiday at Tapearte with paella and sangria. After lunch, we took a leisurely stroll to explore the surrounding attractions, first starting at classic Spanish department store el Corte Inglés. Our next stop (max 10 minute walk from our place) was the infamous Ciudad de las artes y ciencias. The city of arts and sciences includes the science museum in which you can wander around some parts for free, a palm tree greenhouse, beautiful art structures and more.

80421B18-9867-4160-8DDC-FA42DE68C7DE0E8F703C-2E6C-41AF-83E4-9DA809B800877EFAFF63-1423-4B44-9FE6-8A4AE4781B9C

5EAB29F6-784A-4505-AFEE-C19A6538CD56B68F0D5A-DB50-4CA1-B9DA-404C7E735E19

73B14680-6586-47DF-9AA8-B077A54BEBAD70517432-C20D-4F8F-9D5C-0962DCD60358

085BD69D-5287-4D2A-A849-D75D1629E2E4

Assut de l’Or Bridge

We continued our walk to Turia Gardens which is a long stretch of greenery, parks, water features and cafe hotspots. Perfect for cycling and people watching.

B183ED0D-E88F-408E-B2A6-BB686056BED366E58D42-4413-4BF8-8AB8-E4FDB4A40F35E9E67E21-1EF4-4036-AB39-A9366B81489E

We found the beach the next morning..a solid 25 minute walk from our place. Playa de la Malvarrosa is a gorgeous sandy beach which has many activities going on from sunrise to sunset.

78E29BCD-C3E8-4847-8A7D-19B744760C6EB2011072-93B5-416C-BB3D-0CE771B98DE4

After the beach, we continued to explore and soon found ourselves in the centre walking through squares naturally!

CDE69323-E715-42F4-96A7-A2FFE90C07A5

Jardins De Real

5269F4E4-87B8-4759-A58F-887D0B3B019EEEC63BFF-6825-44D8-A530-6E7DBF215B68

48F7B690-9EED-4AB5-8E77-C444C932F77E

Iglesia de Santa Catalina

59208FC3-DFA1-4B5C-834B-91505349824C

Churro heaven!

D7D1ACDB-6DDD-43EA-9F05-80ECAC02FDC0

Llotja de la seda – Views from inside further below

15937142-3DFB-4469-9138-F0F9BA7FD1E4

3AFE19EF-3F15-4812-84CD-C4AF0575B02A

Lounging outside Museo De La Seda

27BEE793-6C38-4970-AF56-45FB5A3FA49C71EC6453-DCDF-4655-A97C-22B0F2C7E0617EF0F167-2C13-43CD-860B-26EDC81E1F75

351F2E02-E2AB-4D82-A9CA-67785538D719

Plaza de Torros de Valencia – bullfighting arena

In the evening we went to High Cube…literally a floating cube by the seafront! A cool club to visit in the summer.

828B6CAC-D9FA-41FB-A039-20752CA12DD0

The next day, we visited Valencia Central Market which is large and mostly indoors (important for keeping cool!) It has beautiful architecture as well as an abundance of fresh food, drinks, souvenirs and more.

4E1B5172-1B57-48A6-A78A-B413D531BF15E33B539C-0757-484E-86C2-D84AE3924A9BF8C092E9-F4FB-4665-B5FB-6E9E823EE760

We visited Llotja de la seda aka Silk Exchange. It’s a impressive gothic building, previously used for silk trade which made it very important centuries ago. It’s only a couple of euros for entry (or €1 for students…and free on Sundays!) and inside the complex it has various buildings including a small chapel, grand hall and a cute orange garden outside!

1905CD1C-8646-45F5-92C3-53C428C27093B896930C-3675-492F-9481-7FE369F3DFC97EAF40DF-7344-4AF3-A047-431AB32EAC80

Afterwards, we just carried on strolling through Valencia..on a sunny day it is just pretty side street perfection!

3038FB2D-1C4C-410F-97B9-2919D6FD661CB3C1A874-55F8-4969-913A-0C0430EDE5481DC9DEAF-9B45-463B-98B3-23815B4AE61E62941660-3006-427E-BF01-ABDE195023F8

Our next big stop was Torres de Serrano. This impressive tower was once part of the ancient city wall. It’s a bit of a workout to get up here but once you are, the views are  amazing!

5D26A4AA-43AD-4BBE-A2F2-B6E4E5C429047A53EB49-E37C-4EAA-93EA-77671B8C055EB0189BB9-422B-4C48-9F2E-962FC2ACA6774698FE6A-FFD3-4C0B-B6A2-ACA268781B11

Our incredibly busy day was not over yet. We passed through Palacio de Benicarló (old gothic palace now used for Parliament), Plaza de la Virgen (main sights here are the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Basílica de la Virgen de los Desamparados and the Palace of the Generalitat) and Valencia cathedral which lives in Plaza de la Reina. By this point, we were in need of ice cream and shade!

11BC8DAB-4979-4CDC-A5CB-35F6BD27368B5CF901B0-CB19-4009-907E-EF437B79D25D002AAFA9-676E-4001-8D58-A83A113BDF6CB33F47C8-E4B8-4443-8F41-7B00B65AACC7

24301C32-84E5-4288-93E4-A3470D2EEA1F

Valencia Cathedral

75895813-479C-4577-B9C0-9D305F0A4931

Helado!

09011D0F-255C-4D30-BEF5-486B1D372502

After a full on day of exploring, we had a well deserved sunset rest on our fave beach.

A2E857EA-5436-4C13-9BD7-7F87516B9ED3

There were still a couple of places to visit despite our epic few days of exploring! We had a great day visiting Oceanogràfic – a huge aquarium complex very close to the City of Arts and Sciences. It has every form of aquatic life to look at and learn about and a very popular dolphin show. We bought youth tickets for €24.20 online the day before.

DD0B5CDC-6733-4550-9D53-B72658FF49739E3E4BE2-16BB-4DAC-ADD2-EFCA35F615269DA49CF3-54C1-425E-B91B-B4D3AEF9023D0322A24F-B069-401E-B934-266B65C60F5A176D5F59-F87E-486C-A59C-DDDFA46FB6ED

In the evening, we went back to Plaza de La Virgen for paella, sangria and to hang out in the square which has plenty of restaurants, bars and evening entertainment. We found ourselves back at our favourite floating cube afterwards for the last time!

B86544E2-0286-492A-8ADE-53A8706A8BD4

Our last touristy activity on our final day was to visit L’Almoina (archaeological museum). You walk through visualising how Valencia was built up through the ages until the modern day. Also €2 entry or free on weekends and bank hols.

D008F9C2-ED49-4C14-9129-0354C91AFBC1

Nerea our lovely Airbnb host invited us to the beach in the evening for the San Juan festival..this celebrates the beginning of summer with the whole city coming together to eat and drink around bonfires and then at midnight, you jump across 9 waves for luck! It was crazy and the best way to end our amazing trip.

CB478A06-96B5-421F-ACC6-54F42D8ED13B883ADBDA-C242-4E4E-A8CE-C0CB98760B1B

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and have been persuaded to visit Valencia this summer! It is seeped in art, culture, history with friendly people, beautiful sights and quality classic Spanish cuisine….a trip for everyone!!

 

J Xo

2 Comments on “Valencia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: