A holiday to Valencia offers a blend of progressive architecture, long sandy beaches, buzzing parties, and giant paella feasts. Charmingly unassuming, its provincial capital has become something of a dark horse in the Spanish tourism industry, having quietly blossomed into a cultural hub over the past two decades.
Following a large bout of development, Valencia City is leading the way in innovation, after it diverted the flood-prone river to the outskirts and built the impressive Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias in its place. This futuristic creation is a giant bubble of cultural activity, where you can peruse art galleries, engage in interactive museums, and wander landscaped walkways.
This culture injection brought with it a whole new wave of life to Valencia. Spend your holiday exploring galleries, parks, plazas and promenades, and enjoy eating out at the trendy bars and restaurants. With Valencia being the home of paella, you’ll discover a whole range of rice dishes made using ingredients from the region’s fertile farmlands.
And yet despite this progression, Valencia hasn’t lost sight of its traditional ways. The city’s impressive old quarter is awash with architecture from its Roman and Moorish past, while the rural areas still favour their own Valencian dialect over Spanish. And when it comes to traditions, Valencia has long been known for throwing a good party: the world-famous Tomatina festival takes place here, along with the annual Fallas festival in March, when local towns parade elaborate papier maché puppets around the streets and set them on fire in honour of Saint Joseph.