5 reasons to visit Valencia
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Looking for places to go for a weekend trip with a friend, I found a great offer for the Melia in Valencia online. So we took a train along the coast one Saturday to see what the city had to offer. And loved it! Now, I want to share what I learned with you.
1. Waterbiking at the City of Arts and Sciences
Valencia strikes me as a city that combines the old with the new very graciously. While in the center of town you’ll find the elaborately decorated Modernist as well as Romanesque and Gothic styles that I am used to from Barcelona. But then, down by the Turia riverside the futuristic looking complex of the City of Arts and Sciences is a completely different ballgame. I felt like I was walking into the year 2050. I tried the waterbiking, which was great fun, but of course there are so many other activities you can enjoy here. You can easily spend an entire day.
2. Eating Paella – the real deal
I thought I knew what Paella was. However, little did I know, until I came to Valencia, that in fact I had been eating arrozes (rice dishes) but never ACTUAL Paella in my life. Somehow, in a side street not far from the train station we most accidentally found a restaurant with a unique concept called Pelayo Trinquet. Trinquet, as we learned there, is sport similar to tennis or paddle that is local to Valencia and this artsy restaurant is located in the same site as a historic Trinquet hall. If you would like to eat Paella here, make sure to call ahead! Our food was delicious and the service attentive and friendly.
3. The sandy, wide, easy to get to Beach
If you’re in Spain, you might as well take a break from sightseeing and throw in a beach day. I found the beach in Valencia to be clean, not overcrowded, sandy, the water shallow enough so that it’s family friendly and the infrastructure like transport, shops, bars, showers, umbrellas and sun chairs to be perfectly adequate.
4. Hundreds of little bonfires on the beach on St. Joan
If you want to avoid the firecrackers and noise of St. Joan in Barcelona and take it easy instead, I can highly recommend the low key Valencia version of this holiday. Groups of friends or families come out to the beach at night and each light their own little bonfires to sit around and have a nice time. You’ll find some of them night bathing in the sea.
5. Local delicacies like Horchata, Fartons and Agua de Valencia
Horchata is one of those beverages you’ll either love or hate. It’s a vegetarian friendly milky drink made from something called “Tigernuts” that is served cold and nicely refreshing on a hot day. Fartons on the other hand are local pastries, you can get them pretty much everywhere a tourist would go. The same is true for the fruity cocktail that is called Agua de Valencia, an absolute must-try!
Feel free to comment if I missed anything important!