It’s time to continue our stories from sunny Spain. This is part 2 of 5 in our series Stories from Sunny Spain. Join us in remembering our visit to Valencia and Spain in 2014.
Valencia is the third largest city in Spain and it lies on the Mediterranean coast. It’s an old city, having been founded by the Romans in 138 BC. Throughout history, it has been an important city, and it has witnessed many battles. The city has been the capital of Spain on two occasions, in 1812 and during the Second Republic in 1936 and 1937.
The city has a beautiful historic center with many interesting sights. There are also more modern buildings and museums that attract visitors. Furthermore, you should not forget the gastronomy: this is the home of paella, after all. Last but not least, a visit to the beach is a must, as well as checking out the Fallas in March.
Our Trip: Long Walks, Sangria, and Plenty of Sunshine
We visited Valencia in October 2014. It was the perfect time to flee the Swedish fall to a warmer and sunnier place. There are no direct flights to Valencia from Stockholm, so we flew via München with Lufthansa on our way to Valencia and via Zürich with Swiss Airlines on our way home. In total, we spent three full days in Valencia, two in Zaragoza and one in Xàtiva.
Our Starting Point: Burjassot
We stayed with a friend who lives in Burjassot, a municipality next to Valencia. This is a very charming place, with some nice old-fashioned cafés and orxaterias. The majority of the sights are churches. However, one of the most prominent attractions is the Patio de los Silos, a huge set of tanks for storing wheat. The construction dates back to the 16th century. Burjassot might not be the most touristic of places, but it is a quaint little place that is perfect for relaxing and participating in normal Spanish day-to-day life.
We also took the possibility to get cheap haircuts when out of Sweden. Once Jesper was done I made sure to also get my hair dyed. Red in Spanish turned out to be bright red, but it was nice after some time getting used to it. During my time at the hairdresser, Jesper took the possibility to enjoy the sun and some beer. That was another funny language barrier. He only remembered how to order beer in Spanish. Una cerveza, por favor. It is useful sometimes, but it doesn’t help you ask for the bill once you want to leave.
Long Walks in Valencia
We have a tendency to walk a lot during our trips. In order to have time for all the walking, we had to get up early. The connections from Burjassot to central Valencia are good, and we hopped on the metro. A few minutes later we arrived at station Xátiva at the train station in the center of the city. From here we walked directly to the Old Town and started exploring the architecture and history of the city.
Another wonderful walk in Valencia is along the Turia Gardens and it was also on our list. Starting at the Serrano tower, we continued all the way to the City of Arts and Science. However, we decided not to enter the impressive complex. Instead, we opted for the beach. It wasn’t really the easiest route, so we took the metro instead.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a walking log from our trip. That’s something I have started noting down later. My guess is that we walked quite a bit during our days in Valencia, with some stops for drinks and food.
On the Beach – In October
One of the amazing things about Spain is that the summer seems endless. We visited at the end of October and it was still warm enough to take a swim in the Mediterranean. Jesper didn’t take the plunge, instead, he was busy playing with his camera. In the evening we made sure to enjoy a glass of sangría in one of the bars on the beach while watching the sunset.
Enjoying the Good Things In Life
Valencia is a city where the good life is constantly present. There is sunshine, delicious food and drink, good shopping, and the lifestyle is easygoing. We made sure to visit the hairdresser as well as do some shopping. We tasted local specialties such as sangría and orxata (a local drink made from tiger nuts, water, and sugar), as well as paella. It’s not only about Valencian cuisine, though. We did try an Asturian restaurant as well!