Valencia is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city on the Mediterranean coast. Once the capital of its own kingdom, it is now a regional capital and Spain's third largest city with about 800,000 inhabitants.
The city was founded by the Romans, taken by the Visigoths, and prospered under the Moors. Each civilisation has left its mark and the historic centre includes a 13th century cathedral (La Seo) with paintings by Goya, and a splendid gothic 15th century silk exchange (La Lonja). However, the city is looking to the future and is now home to one of Europe's most exciting urban development projects. Some $200m has been invested in building an immense and futuristic Arts and Science Centre (Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciencies).
Valencia's mild climate is another reason to come for a stay. Its warm atmosphere is always inviting and hospitable. Ready to be enjoyed. Valencia means commerce and culture, cinema, theatre, museums, music and business. It is a centre for industrial design and avant-garde movements. Valencia is a city that never sleeps, with an extensive cultural line-up.
During your stay in Valencia, you will also be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of several exceptional natural sites. Between the sea and the rice paddies, closed in by two river mouths, the Albufera Natural Park is a paradise for migratory birds and a recreation area for the city. Along the coast next to the Albufera are broad sandy beaches. There are pleasant recreation areas where people come to enjoy the sun and the sea.
No visit to Valencia would be complete without a taste of its ample mediterranean cuisine based on a fertile 'huerta' or market garden, and fresh fish and shellfish. The queen of local products is rice, served in an infinity of manners as the internationally acclaimed Valencian paella. Traditional Valencian cooking is a five star pleasure!
For panorama photos of the splendors of Valencia, and by courtesy of Prof. Salvador del Saz, click here.
For further details about the city, the Comunidad Valenciana and Spain you can visit the following sites (in English):
Agencia Valenciana de Turismo.
Turismo Valencia Convention Bureau.
The official website of Tourspain.
All about Spain.
|HOW TO REACH THE CITY
Getting to Valencia is easy and convenient. There are direct flights from all major European cities, and from all over the world via Madrid or Barcelona. You will have no problem checking with your travel agent.
The airport is about 8 km from the city centre. You can reach the city centre by taxi, by tube or by bus.
A taxi from the airport will cost approximately 20 euros (including the extra fee for service from the airport).
There is a new underground service from the airport to the city centre: lines 3 (red) and 5 (green). Both lines follow the same route to the Xátiva and Colón stations which are close to the city centre and hotels. The underground runs from 5.29 to 23.59 during the week; on Saturdays from 6.08 to 23.48 and Sundays from 7.28 to 23.43. A single ticket (1 journey) costs 1.90 euros and a return ticket costs 3.30 euros (only valid for next-day returns).
A bus service, called AERO-BUS, is also available departing every 20 minutes from 6.00 to 22:00. The fare is approximately 2.50 euros. The nearest stop to the city centre is Bailén within a 15 minute walk to most of the hotels booked by the organisation.
There are comfortable trains from Madrid and Barcelona. The train station (Estacion del norte) is in the centre of the city. For information about timetables and prices visit the site of RENFE
If you decide to bring (or rent) your own car, there are two major highways (motorways) leading to Valencia; one from Madrid, the A-3; and the A-7 from Barcelona and the border with France.
Few Spaniards speak another European language. However, you will normally find somebody who can speak English or French in airports, large hotels, etc.
Valencia has two official languages - Spanish and Valencian.
Valencia, with an average annual temperature of 20oC (68oF), enjoys mild winters and hot summers. You can check the weather here.
Shops are generally open from 10.00 to 14.00 and from 17.00 to 20.00 hours, Mondays through Saturdays. Department stores and malls usually open from 10.00 to 21.00 and do not close for lunch.
Banks open from Monday to Friday from 8.30 or 9.00 to 14.00 or 14.30 and some banks open certain afternoons in the week. Almost every bank has a 24-hours cash machine.
An extensive public transportation network covers the whole of Valencia, including four metro lines and public buses which travel to any part of the city. As well as single tickets, which can be bought at metro stations and on the buses, there are 3 and 5 day travel passes.
Spanish eating habits are characterised by late hours, we normally have lunch around 14:00 and dinner around 22:00. most restaurants open from 14:00 to 16:00 for lunch and from 21:00 to 23:00 for dinner. however some tourist and informal places have longer opening hours.
In many of the restaurants you will be able to taste our traditional paella, an ancient dish –XV and XVI centuries- made with rice and a variety of potential ingredients.
Electricity is supplied at 220 V - 50 Hz AC with European norm plugs.