Valencia

Valencia

Think Valencia and you might think oranges

True, you’ll find citrus trees lining its sweeping boulevards, but there’s much more than Vitamin C in the new Valencia – a modern city of jaw-dropping modern architecture (in its brand new cultural quarter), laid-back Sunday brunches and full-on bars that never seem to close. Fly here and you’ll say ‘Viva’.

Shopping

Valencia is a great place to shop, running the gamut from designer chic, high-street bargains or original one-offs. Shoes, leather goods and clothing are good buys, and you’ll also be tempted by locally produced foodstuffs. The restored, 20th-century covered marketplace, the Mercado de Colón (Jorge Juan), has a few upmarket flower and souvenir stalls, plus cafés and restaurants, while the busy Central Market is where to stock up on olive oil, cheese and other local delicacies. The city’s main shopping street is La Calle Colón, which bristles with shops such as Zara, Mango, Mango and El Corte Inglés, with plenty more shops in the surrounding backstreets.

Food & Drink

Valencia is a fantastic place to eat, with a wide array of cafés, restaurants and tapas bars offering both international and Spanish dishes. This is said to have been the birthplace of paella, so all things rice are an obvious choice, but there are many other specialities too. Whatever you select, bear in mind that people head out for dinner late from around 9pm at the earliest. La Pepica (Paseo Neptuno 2, 6 and 8) has fed paella to happy beach-going hordes for centuries – including Ernest Hemingway – while you can sample gastronomic tapas at the cool Mercatbar (Calle Joaquín Costa 27).

Events

Cabalgata de Reyes Magos
January
Valencia’s children rejoice as Epiphany is celebrated with a festive early evening parade. The three kings parade through the city with a huge cavalcade of floats, throwing thousands of sweets to the excited crowds.

Las Fallas
March
Valencia’s most famous festival is Las Fallas (the fires), a huge celebration featuring fires, fireworks and fiestas. Displayed on every corner all over the city are huge-scale papier mâché figures, usually satirical renditions of contemporary personalities.

Semana Santa
March/April
Valencia’s seaside areas are the best places to experience Holy Week, when penitents carry figurines through the city to the music of Valencia's brass bands. Most famous of all the events are the Gathering of the Palms, the Procession of Placing in the Tomb and the Resurrection Cavalcade.

Corpus Cristi
June
Two processions wind through Valencia’s streets to celebrate Corpus Cristi. The first features folk dance, pipers, costumed giants and ‘La Moma’, a character who represents the virtue of having overcome the seven deadly sins. The second procession is more solemn, with traditional floats bearing Biblical scenes. Mystery plays also take place on the streets of Valencia.

Noche de San Juan
23 June
On the Night of the Witches, the locals head to the city's beaches, which are dotted by small bonfires and parties.

Hotels

Valencia has a ravishing array of sumptuous hotels. The utmost in comfort may be found at the five-star Caro Hotel (Almirante 14). Jaw-droppingly splendid, this is housed in a 19th-century palace in central Valencia, and offers elegant, minimalist-chic rooms designed by Francesc Rifé. At the other end of the scale, there are modest guest houses, such as Hospedería del Pilar (Plaza del Mercado 19), with clean, simple rooms set in the heart of the old city. There are myriad options in the middle range price bracket too, like Expo Hotel Valencia (Avenida Pío XII 4), with a rooftop pool and views over the old city centre.

Essentials

  • Language

    Spanish

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Time zone

    GMT +1 hour (GMT +2 hours in summer)

  • Flight time

    2 hours 30

  • Holiday type

    Beach, City break

Weather

  • 24/10/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    28°C max 17°C min
  • 25/10/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    26°C max 15°C min
  • 26/10/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    24°C max 15°C min
  • 27/10/2014 -

    Sunny skies

    23°C max 15°C min
  • 28/10/2014 -

    Cloudy skies

    22°C max 14°C min
  • 29/10/2014 -

    Partly cloudy skies

    22°C max 14°C min
  • 30/10/2014 -

    Partly cloudy skies

    22°C max 14°C min
  • Jan
    14°C max 6°C min
  • Feb
    16°C max 7°C min
  • Mar
    16°C max 8°C min
  • Apr
    22°C max 11°C min
  • May
    25°C max 14°C min
  • Jun
    25°C max 16°C min
  • Jul
    21°C max 21°C min
  • Aug
    31°C max 20°C min
  • Sep
    29°C max 18°C min
  • Oct
    24°C max 14°C min
  • Nov
    18°C max 10°C min
  • Dec
    15°C max 7°C min