Valencia, Spain. We kicked off the new year with a surprisingly warm start, arriving here greeted with 20 degrees and nothing but sunny skies. Located on the east coast of the country with a modest flight time of 2 hours from London, it’s often overlooked but is in fact the third largest and the oldest city in Spain. Especially at this time of year the number of tourists around are minimal which is a nice change from what you would expect, being Spain after all which helped create a very relaxing atmosphere.
It didn’t feel like there was a vast list of things to do, this was mainly because we happened to be there at the time of the weekend Epiphany festival which left a lot of places closed but even with that we comfortably filled our two day visit. On day one we walked around the city admiring the abundance of historical architecture including the many old gates that used to guard the city walls which you can climb onto for a good view.
After a lot of walking around we ended up finishing off our day visiting the famous Valencia Cathedral, home to what many believe as the genuine Holy Grail. For a small fee you can enter to see the impressive main hall and in a room around the side the Holy Grail in all it’s glory. For an additional small fee you can make your way up the very narrow and steep spiral staircase which seems like it goes on forever, up to the top of the bell tower. Well worth it though, we timed it just right and watched the sunset behind the distant mountains from the highest point in the city.
On our second day we walked the entire length of the 9km park that runs through the city. It was an old river that was diverted after a risk of flooding and after nearly becoming a new motorway, it was voted to be created into this brilliant park. Incorporating pretty much every sport facility you can imagine there are a couple of very unique areas, one being the children’s playground based on the novel Gulliver’s Travels, a fantastic model of the giant lies on his back on the ground with ropes and slides and walkways all over his body.
The narrow park ends at the City of Arts and Science. A number of stunning buildings housing a variety of museums and exhibitions linked by interesting walkways and bridges around shallow water pools finishing with Europe’s biggest Oceanarium. We tend to do our trips on a bit of a budget so unfortunately the €33 entry price was regrettably a bit too much to stretch to, but if you have enough time and money on your hands, It’s supposed to be brilliant.
A great start to 2018 and definitely a very interesting Spanish city to consider on your next weekend break. See below for more of my photography from the trip.