Valencia is one of the tourists’ favorite places to visit. And who can blame them? Valencia is a picturesque city, full of sites and sounds that will enthrall any tourist. There are always fun things to do, interesting places to visit, and wonderful people to meet. Whether be it a get-away vacation, a business trip, or a romantic get-away, Valencia is indeed a must-see for all fun-loving tourists out there!
Population and People of Valencia
Valencia is the third-largest city in Spain. The people are approximately 810, 000. The city is joined together into the Costa del Azahar, a popular industrial area. Valencia’s main festival, Falles, is world-renowned and is one of the most attended festivals in Spain, with thousands upon thousands of tourists visiting every year. The traditional dish, paella, originated in Valencia, also making it a delight to all food lovers out there.
There are two official languages spoken in the city: Spanish and Valencian. Learn Spanish as the language is a predominant language in the city because of some political and demographic pressures in the past century, although Valencian is the more dominant language in the surrounding metropolitan area and in the province of Valencia itself. In fact, the city government encourages the local language by naming streets in Valencian and posting announcements and posters in Valencian also.
Top Valencia Attractions
The lovely city of Valencia is wonderful to explore, and with all the top attractions, tourists would not have a dull moment. The city has a very exciting town center, which is just buzzing places and things for tourists to explore. The Valencia Aquarium is also a must-see and is in fact, the largest in Europe, a veritable showcase of colorful marine life. There is also the lovely Turia Gardens, a beautiful stretch of green, which separates the Old Quarter of Valencia from the new city. And of course, there’s also the awesome white, sandy beaches situated on the outskirts of the city. Spain is very popular for its magical beaches, and in this city, tourists are lucky to get some of the most fantastic restaurants around the beaches and resorts.
Of course, the nightlife is also very vibrant and active in the city. Agua de Valencia is the city’s unofficial cocktail. Today, there are more bohemian bars and nightclubs in the district of Carmen. Blasco, Ibáñez, and Benimaclet are the districts to go for student nightlife. The mainstream weekend nightlife is clustered in the areas of Cánovas and Joan Llorens. And for those people who would not want to stray away from the beaches, there is also a fun nightlife at the Port.
In the vast country of Spain, Valencia is adorned to be the third-largest city. It is one of the autonomous communities of Spain, being part of the Comunidad Valenciana which consists of three provinces namely: Valencia, Alicante, and Castellón. It is a port city located in the east of Spain about three miles from the Turia River and is flowing directly to the Mediterranean Sea. Bountiful with natural resources, striking architecture; man-made and natural beauty all mixed up in one beautiful city, Valencia.
The Geography of Valencia
Valencia is comprised both of natural landscapes and man-made architecture. Mostly, Valencia is composed of mountainous peaks, fertile valleys, terrains, and marshlands. With the Mediterranean climate; palm trees, flowers, and fauna in contrast with the fountains, buildings and cobbled streets give Valencia a remarkable sense of beauty.
If you want a sense of adventure, the highest peak is found here. The Calderón (1,839 m.) is located in a Valencian exclave at Rincón de Ademuz. In this area, you can also find three more peaks, breathtaking sceneries and a lot of fresh air.
Magnificent Spots in Valencia
If you want to travel to Valencia but still want to be near nature, the place to go is the Jardins de Turia. It is once the riverbed of the Turia River, this nature park takes you to a long and majestic walk through the length of the city. You can pass along flowers, trees, and fountains; you won’t be alone in your walk though, with all the joggers and bikers on the paths, there are even tennis courts along the way. This is one of the longest parks in Valencia, you can take your pick at either walking or riding a parked train, carriage or bike.
There are café’s along the way so you don’t need to worry about food and refreshments. Then there’s the Gulliver Park, especially for the children. It has the figure of Gulliver lying on the ground where the kids love to play, climb and crawl around to.
There are a number of other parks within the metro but the Jardins del Reial or the Loyal Gardens is one of the loveliest. It was once the spot of the Royal Palace, now replaced by the garden. It is a popular spot for both the locals and tourists to chill out. It is also called the Jardines de Viveros by the locals.
More Outstanding Locations is Valencia
If you want a more modern perspective of Madrid, then you shouldn’t miss out on the Ciudad de les Arts i les Ciències (City of Arts & Sciences). This is the other face of Valencia, a break from the traditional views and architecture. This ultramodern facility not just presents a great view but also offers great amenities. This is one of the top attractions and serves as a highlight for the tourists visiting the city.
Spending a weekend in Valencia will give you a better understanding and discovery of the city’s geography.
Before visiting Valencia, Spain, it’s important to first understand the city’s history. Valencia’s history may not center on events that are world-changing, but nevertheless its more than 2000 years of history make up of culture, architecture, and dramatic and fascinating stories worth sharing.
The history of the city dates back to 138 BC. During this time, the peninsula of Iberia was part of the Roman Empire’s massive possession. Valencia is a city that belonged to Edetania, a province during
the ancient days. The first inhabitants of the city are the Iberians. The Greeks, Muslims, Visigoths, and Romans were also among its settlers. The latter was, however, those who had the greatest influence. Manifestations of this are still present when you visit Valencia. Some of these are famous structures in the city (such as the Cathedral) which have very Romanesque designs.
In the early 15th century, Valencia became Spanish colonists’ New World and had its Golden Age. – It became one of Europe’s richest, most dynamic and populous cities. However, when the Counter-Reformation was launched by the Catholic Church in the 16th Century against the movements of Protestants, the city was among that became the battlefields.
Valencia kicked off the 20th Century well, however, the city’s luck ran dry when it sided with the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War in 1936; a side that lost in the war that lasted for three years. As a result, the city had to suffer under Nationalist General, Francisco Franco. It was during this period that Valencian was prohibited to be taught and spoken.
Making things worse, the city terribly suffered when the Turia River flooded, with the water level reaching 5 meters in some of Valencia’s streets. Leaving a lot of damages in the city, it was decided to re-route the river which now passes around Western and Southern suburbs of Valencia.
Valencia regained its democracy in 1975 when Gen. Franco died and Juan Carlos, Alfonso XII’s son, was crowned as Spain’s new king. And since the start of the 18th Century, Valencia has once again enjoyed its autonomy. In 1983, the first elections were held in the city.
With a very long history and having been oppressed for 35 years, the City of Valencia has now become a prospering community and blossoming center of industry, commerce, and tourism. Tourists will have a lot to enjoy and experience as they travel to Valencia and sign up in one of those tours.
Although there are other religions and faiths present in Valencia, it is majorly a Roman Catholic city. Proof of this is its holidays that are mostly related, if not, about the people’s Catholic faith. Here, let us go check out the various celebrations Valencianos have that manifest their strong faith – something you should not miss when you travel to Valencia.
A commemoration of Christ’s death and resurrection, the Holy Week in Valencia is concentrated in Poblados Maritimos’ coastal area. When you visit Valencia during this time, expect three major ceremonies to be held; the Palms Gathering, Holy Burial Procession, and the Resurrection Procession. As part of the Holy Week activities, guilds from all over the city dress up as Bible characters – from Pilate to Herod, the Apostles, and the Holy Women. Then to the clamor of bells, these characters then parade around a designated route. Easter is celebrated in a lively and festive mood.
The Holy Week activities will many any weekend in Valencia memorable enough.
Feast of San Vicente Ferrer
A week following Easter, Valencianos gather once again to pay homage to San Vicente Ferrer, their patron saint. The home of San Vicente– which was turned into a museum – takes the center of attention during this event as it showcases the extravagant ceramic interior of Valencia and of course, the saint’s life. Outside the altar with the portrait of the saint, a ceremony is held where flowers are offered.
Not to be missed during the feast are the street altars which will serve as a stage for the children below the age of 13 performing the many miracles of San Vicente in the city. Here you will witness the talents of Valencia’s little performers.
Our Lady of the Forsaken Festival
Honoring Virgen de Los Desamparados or the Our Lady of the Forsaken, a concert is held at the Plaza de la Virgen and fireworks are displayed in the city’s riverside every second Sunday of May. These, along with the showcase of Valencia’s traditional dances and an open-air mass complete the festival.
For tourists, the feast is also an opportunity to get hold of Valencia’s traditional terracotta and ceramic goods at the Plaza de la Reina.
The Feast of Virgen de la Salud or the Virgin of Good Health, held mid-September is a chance for visitors to get a glimpse of the city’s talented acrobats known as muixeranga in Spanish. Forming breath-taking human pyramids, it is no wonder why this event is the highlight of the festival.
As a religious event, the festival would not be complete without processions and masses. Wines and local food are also served for everyone.
These are just four of the many festivals and holidays in Valencia that manifest its Roman Catholic religion. If you stay longer in the city, you’ll discover how the natives embraced and live their beliefs.
Valencia, Spain has been luring more and more tourists from around the world for its picturesque setting, relaxing beaches, and historical offerings, but exploring the city for a day, a week, or even a month is not enough to get to know its majestic treasures.
What to do? – Read!
There are countless books out there that highlight this beautiful Spanish city. This page allows you to go through some of these pages and get an up-close look about Valencia, Spain. From travel books to recipe books to books about the various sports in Spain, you are going to get it here! As reinforcement, here is also a list of some of the places to get a wealthy collection of Valencia-related books:
Casa del Libro
Address: Passatge de Russafa, 11 Valencia / Phone: +34 902 02 64 11 / Web:www.casadellibro.com
Address: C.C. El Saler, Autopista del Saler, 16 Valencia / Phone: +34 902 57 55 91
Address: Hospital, 1, 46001 Valencia, Spain / Phone: +34 963 93 60 52 / Web: www.libreriapatagonia.com