Why Valencia? – Valencia, Spain
Valencia is a city of contrasts: Traditionalist autonomous community supporters thrive alongside a more modern, more ‘Spanish’ ambiance, a contrast that blends to create a truly interesting and intriguing lifestyle.
Being a city on the beach, any conflict of interest can be resolved by a morning’s tanning session on the fine golden sand of La Malvarrosa beach followed by a trip to the city centre for a spot of shopping or a visit to one of the many museums, thus avoiding the heat of the afternoon sun. It also has its very own microclimate boasting some of the country’s finest weather, with mild winters and hot yet comfortable summers and a light breeze to cool you down. Valencia makes for a enjoyable and interesting stay for all.
The city has a long, influencial and interesting history that has created a huge variety of architectural styles throughout the city with a notable contrast between the Christian and the Moorish. Look out for the multitude of characteristic, blue tiled domes in the historic centre, the Puerta del Mar, the famous Torres de Quart and Serrano (gateways in the original city walls) and Valencia Cathedral which, like many Christian places of worship in Spain, is built upon the foundations of an ancient mosque. Far from being stuck back in the Reconquista however, a large section of the city has been transformed and shot forward into the 21st century. The ‘Cuidad de las artes y las ciencias‘ was built by the famous architect Santiago Calatrava. It is a white metropolis of space-age style constructions, including one in the form of a blinking human eye. The city is home to an aquarium, a planetarium, a science museum and various other permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Visit Valencia in March and you will stand witness to one of the biggest and most unique festivals in Spain â€” Las Fallas. Officially a week long, but unofficially lasting the month or more, this festival, attended by traditionalists, foreigners and pyromaniacs alike, is a spectacular and extreme example of a Spanish fiesta. With satirical effigies built more than 6 stories high, all sorts of local delicacies prepared in the streets and some of the most impressive firework displays you will ever see, it is certainly an experience not to be missed!
The city is also the birthplace of THE symbollic Spanish dish – the paella. Traditionally consisting not of seafood but of chicken and rabbit, the very best in the country is still found right here in Valencia. Other gastronomic treats that are not to be missed include a huge variety of tapas, a good range of local wines and the highly refreshing summer cocktail ‘Agua de Valencia‘, available mainly in El Carmen, the centre of the city’s vivacious nightlife.
With all this plus the beautiful mountains to the west and other attractive honeypot sites within driving distance, the city of Valencia is a great base for everyone. Whether it’s adventure, relaxation, culture or shopping you’re after, it is the true hub of the Communitat Valenciana and the new hub of the Costa Azahar.
Check out the author’s site for accomodation in Valencia.