When it comes to city break destinations, Europe is inexhaustible. There are so many unforgettable beautiful and exciting cities and it can be quite difficult to choose a destination out of the many possibilities. After a re-visit in Valencia in the winter of 2019 we must note that this Mediterranean metropolis qualifies as a bid for the almost perfect choice.
Summer and winter Valencia pampers its visitors with ancient history, intriguing culture, vibrant neighbourhoods, beautiful city break welcoming people and overwhelming futuristic architecture.
Several international airlines serve the city and as a major bonus Valencia is said to be one of the cheapest cities to visit in Spain.
Being the third largest city in Spain with almost 800000 inhabitants, Valencia stretches for miles and miles. The major attractions in the city center can easily be reached on foot and there is a well-developed bus network and a well-functioning metro which can easily be used if you want to explore further afield. However for us one of the cites major benefits is its obvious love for cyclists.
Rent a bike
The city is criss crossed with safe cycle paths and the other road-users are generally very considerate and attentive to cyclists.
You can practically rent a bike on every second corner either at a private owned bike-rental or by using one of the cities almost 3000 Valenbisi bikes. You just have to create an account and you are ready to go. There are 275 Valenbisi stations throughout the city. Check out www.valenbisi.com.
Many hotels also offer bikes for rent or even for free.
Last but not least Valencia is flat like a pancake and you almost only have to change gear when leaving the Turia Gardens.
We rented bikes at our hotel which set us back 11 € a day per bike. A bit pricy as we learned that bikes could be rented for a little as 6 € a day in the city center.
The city centre has so much to offers visitors and is best explored on foot but after a few days, you might want to explore the suburbs or maybe the long and very beautiful coastline. We choose to take our bikes for a spin up north along the Mediterranean Sea. We left our hotel early in the morning and luckily we had to pass by La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias on the route. We had already spent hours here but we never get tired of this astonishing futuristic marvel of
If you want to learn more, read our
Valencia – La Ciudad de las Artes
After a gratifying reunion with The City of Arts and Science, we left Turia gardens and cycled towards the sea.
Coming from La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias you will shortly arrive at the Valencia Marina and its a quite interesting area to explore on route to the beach. Its possible to ride along the piers and watch the huge variety of boats that are moored here. The marina itself underwent a major renovation in 2007 when Valencia hosted the America’s Cup.
After passing the marina you will meet Valencias long palm-lined and very beautiful beachfront promenade, Paseo Maritimo. The Promenade goes on for miles and miles. Here you can bike under the palm trees with the wind in your hair enjoying the unspoiled views towards the blue Mediterranean sea.
Along the promenade, you will find cosy cafes, trendy bars and delightful restaurants of which some are said to be the best choice when it comes to fresh sea-food and paella. There are plenty of options when it comes to satisfying your hunger or thirst.
After refueling at one of the beachside restaurants you might want to get some sand between your toes and take a dip in the clear blue sea. The beaches of Valencia are long and wide and they never seem over-crowded. Unlike many other coastlines in Spain, the beach front of Valencia is not clustered with large hotels and apartment complexes.
Valencias “Little Venice”
After a cooling dip in the Mediterranean
After your lunch, a little nap or a dip in the refreshing Mediterranean Sea you can ride back the same route you came or you can take a small detour that will take you into the countryside that surrounds Valencia. You just have to go back to the little white church in the small palm grove you passed on your way to Saplaya and here pass under the highway. On the other side of the highway you will find a small path that runs along a watering canal. Follow the canal and you will be passing through a beautiful agricultural area.
Many different crops are grown here. One of the most common of course is the famous Valencia oranges but in the agricultural area north of Valencia you will most likely find you self riding through endless fields of Tiger-nuts or Chufa in Spanish. This little nutritious nut has been grown for human consumption for more than 4000 years. Thus, Tiger nuts are one of the oldest known crops in the world. In Spain they are turned into a delicious sweet milky drink called Horchata and can be bought in cafes and from small stalls all over Valencia.
After a couple of miles the path is crossed by a road. Here you can choose to turn left and ride back towards town. On most of the trip back there are safe bike paths.
Explore the Ruzafa district
After a long day of biking you have probably worked up quite an appetite. We recommend you to check out the vibrant district of Ruzafa. Don’t be fooled by your first impression. Even though the quite shabby barrio wont win any architectural contest, Ruzafa is still the place to be in Valencia these days.
During the day, Carrer de Cuba, Sueca and Cadis don’t make much of themselves but when the afternoon turns into evening and the shutters are removed from the countless doors and windows in the small streets, the neighborhood completely changes character.
The streets come alive with people on the search of a cheap meal, fine dining, a drink, a party or just company. Here you will find all kinds of bars, cafes and restaurants. We had some of our best dining experiences in Ruzafa. The food is delicious,
If you look for something extraordinary we recommend you to try the amazing Tapas at www.elalmacenncr.com. The food is freshly made a la minute,
After such a culinary experience you should stroll back towards the old town and enjoy Valencia by night. Many of the magnificent and impressive old buildings are lit in the most specular way. Be sure to stretch your neck all the way back as many of the buildings are equipped with the most incredible statues on their rooftops.
We are absolutely enchanted by Valencia. Few cities have so many different facets to show its visitors.
Valencia is a cornucopia of history, culture, new and old architecture, exciting gastronomy, smiling friendly people and a lovely Mediterranean climate.
We have visited twice and would love to go for a third time.
Our Valencia top picks