City guide: Valencia, Spain | Private jet charter
Valencia is Spain’s third largest metropolis, located on the country’s south-eastern Mediterranean coastline. Alongside its famous contemporary buildings in the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias), Valencia boasts an enigmatic old quarter with stunning architecture, world-class museums, beautiful beaches and a wonderful green park converted from a former river.
Visit Valencia’s ancient cathedral and its 15th-century Silk Exchange, sample the city’s eclectic gastronomy and nightlife, and head out of the city to the Albufera Park wetlands reserve. Valencia is also within easy reach of Barcelona to the north.
Top five must-see sights and attractions
Valencia’s huge Central Market represents the Valencian’s love of all things gastronomic. This massive market – the building dates from the Twenties – is the perfect place to spend a few hours wandering around the countless stalls replete with fresh local produce (cheeses, ham, fruit and seafood to name a few). Not just for tourists, many locals use the Mercado Central daily, giving tourists a snapshot of the Valencian daily routine.
The other attraction here is the Art Nouveau building itself, beautifully decorated with azulejos – the highly coloured ceramics of the region. Lose yourself among the 1,300 market stalls and stop for coffee, pastries and people watching. The 14th-century Iglesia de los Santos Juanes is next door to the Mercado Central and is a fine example of Baroque architecture.
City of Arts and Sciences
Valencia’s old quarter is a fascinating historical record but Valencia is also a thoroughly contemporary city with architecture and a vison to match. The Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias is a futuristic arts and sciences centre located on a 2km plot along the Turia River on the outskirts of the city. Architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela are represented here with their avant-garde creations.
As well as hosting exhibitions and conferences, the Ciudad comprises six areas of interest: The Agora concert space; the fabulous Reina Sofía opera house; the Hemisfèric IMAX cinema; the interactive Principe Felipe Science Museum and the beautiful Umbracle landscaped park area with beautiful views.
Valencia Cathedral and Plaza de la Reina
Valencia Cathedral is a stunning example of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture with its soaring Miguelete Tower – an iconic emblem of the city. Built in the 13th century on the site of a mosque, look out for the azure tiles on the cathedral domes. The majestic doorway – Puerta del Palau – is worth the visit in itself, while the interior boasts a stunning domed ceiling and outstanding rose window.
Wander among the chapels to see art by Goya – and stay a while in the Chapel of the Holy Grail which shows the 12 Apostles in Heaven as well as Virgin Mary’s coronation.
Outside the cathedral is the vibrant Plaza de la Reina – a main tourist hub but the perfect place for a café con leche or horchata at one of the tapas bars, cafes and restaurants that line the square. The adjacent Barrio del Carmen is recommended for its vibrant nightlife scene.
Valencia boasts miles of blue flag beaches as well as a popular marina, located between the commercial port and the seafront promenade. Valencia Marina was upgraded during the 32nd America’s Cup and now offers a wide range of sporting, cultural and gastronomical attractions with more than 800 moorings for private craft.
Thanks to Valencia’s superb climate, you can sail 365 days of the year in the city’s coastal waters, as well as kayak, rowing, diving and sunset and daytime cruises.
Walkers, joggers and cyclists take advantage of the open spaces here, while live music, dance and theatre are on offer at the Veles e Vents cultural centre, with its superb Mediterranean restaurant – La Marítima. Watch the sun go down – and come up – at the trendy Marina Beach Club.
Valencia’s main attraction are its local beaches: the closest is Arenas (El Cabanyal beach) which boasts 7km of golden sand, fringed by shops and restaurants. The expansive La Malvarrosa beach is a little farther north and offers fine sand and the restored Casa-Museo de Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. All beaches are easily accessible by car, as is the Paseo Maritimo – a popular area for roller-skating, sunbathing and enjoying delicious home-made paella. If you’re looking for a more rugged beach vibe then head to La Garrofera just 15km outside Valencia.
Best time to visit
Valencia boasts around 300 days of sunshine a year and basks in a typical Mediterranean climate. April and May are the best months to visit Valencia. Average temperatures are around 23C, the city is full of beautiful blossom, the sea is warm enough to swim in, and there are generally fewer tourists.
Events to look out for in spring include Holy Week which is popular with tourists and locals. During summer the temperatures can reach 29C and can also be humid. During winter Valencia can still be warm with temperatures ranging from 8C to 19C – ideal for a city break with fewer crowds at the major attractions.
Valencia international airport is located 10km to the west of the city. Catch a taxi opposite arrivals and you’ll be in the centre of Valencia – traffic permitting – in 20 minutes. Alternatively take the metro into Valencia – a journey of around 25 minutes. Once in the city, taxis are plentiful, and you can buy a Valencia Card which gives you travel on trams, buses and the air-conditioned metro.
Walking is a great way to see Valencia but if the heat is too much, catch a hop-on-hop-off double decker tourist bus and relax while you’re driven around the city’s main sights.
Valencia’s beautiful Mediterranean climate means the city is a perfect holiday or city break throughout the year. With fewer crowds than its northern neighbour Barcelona, and Alicante (to the south), Valencia has the best of everything: superb cultural attractions, historical sights, an eclectic food scene with wonderful restaurants and markets, exciting festivals (don’t miss the Fallas festival every March), undeveloped golden beaches and is located near the stunning Albufera National Park wetland area with the largest lake in Spain.
Contact us today to arrange your private jet charter to Valencia.