Hello all! We are Big Rick Steve's fans and sad to see in the Spain book and the Cruise port book that Ibiza and Valencia are not even listed in the index! Has anyone been to either of these places or heard anything about them? Thanks!
Well, yet again, poor Valencia is shunned by Rick Steves lol! Yes this is not the first time (nor the last) that this has come up. My guess is that Mr Steves has his market pretty well figured, and that Valencia/Ibiza/Aragon/Extremadura/Canaries... etc. do not figure into that equation. I'd recommend you branch out to other guide books like DK Eyewitness or Lonely Planet.
Is there anything in particular you would like to know about these places?
Valencia is an attractive city with a generally very nice climate. While it has sights, I think other than the contemporary City of Arts and Sciences (with a good aquarium, I believe), it lacks the Wow factor of such other Spanish destinations as Barcelona, Toledo, Seville, Cordoba and Granada. I guess one could argue either way about Valencia vs. Madrid. Perfectly nice place, but not one I'd generally recommend until the places I've listed have already been covered, and I opted to place Valencia behind many others (including Extremadura!).
I have not been to Ibiza, but it has a reputation as a hard-core party island.
I went to Valencia because my dates coincided with the Las Fallas Festival in mid-March. I very much enjoyed the sights in the center but I didn't get out to the City of Arts and Sciences. I would agree with acraven that it is a "second-tier" destination - I went there on my third trip to Spain.
The RS books are not meant to be comprehensive. They usually focus on the places that RS tours visit, adding nearby points of interest.
Ibiza is an island of two or three parts. One aspect is its clubbing scene (in season), centred around Ibiza Town and some other resorts. If that's your "thing" then it's supposed to be incredible (sadly, I'm too old these days). The other aspect is relaxing rural and coastal areas with a lot of natural beauty - though I wouldn't say Ibiza is "manmade sight-heavy" compared to parts of mainland Spain. It's more a place to walk, swim and eat instead of sightsee.
As has already been suggested, if you have an interest then it would be worth getting a better guidebook. For example, Rough Guide have one covering just Valencia and Murcia regions. I suspect there are plenty for Ibiza.
I haven't been to Valencia but I have been to Ibiza on many occasions during my late teens and early twenties. It has a well deserved reputation as being the best place in the world for partying and clubbing however it is seasonal and only lasts the summer months. There are various parts of the island that all have their own identity, some better than others. Ibiza Town is the historic capital and has the most interest for the average traveller, however it is small and there's not a great amount to see. The eastern side of the island is quieter and more exclusive and is probably where many of the year round visitors stay however it is pretty much for relaxation and getting away from it all rather than sightseeing. The western side is much more of a seasonal location with resorts, hotels etc aimed primarily at the summer tourist.
We enjoyed an overnight in Valencia on our way from Granada to Barcelona. We arrived mid-afternoon and walked around quite a bit, it has a couple of nice looking ancient city gates and several nice plazas with tables to eat outside. We wandered into a beautiful basilica. I understand they have a nice ceramics museum too, we didn’t go inside but the exterior is pretty unique. I enjoyed our short visit and wouldn’t object to going back. We had just visited Seville and Granada and felt it was a nice “less touristy” stop.