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Info on Valencia

I will be traveling to Valencia in mid march, during the Las Fallas festival and was wondering what to expect.

Lodging is covered, but I havent been able to find out much about Valencia compared to just about every other city in Spain. It seems like this is the big thing in Valencia, this Las Fallas festival, the Rick Steves Books don't even mention Valencia.

I dont have to tour museums or churches, just looking to get some further info about what Valencia is about, and if its known for anything special in the culinary/ food world. I am a Chef, so I'd be into doing anything relating to food / wine tours or any recommendations for great spots to eat, etc. Close day trip beach towns? Is Valencia a "Beach town"

Thanks in Advance

J

Posted by
317 posts

Hello, don't worry, Valencia is certainly not just a "Beach Town", while it does have beaches, it's actually the third largest city in Spain bustling with futuristic architecture, shops/restaurants, and parks.

In relation to your query regarding culinary/ food, Valencia is most famously known for Paella! Yes, Paella was first developed in Valencia in the 19th century and has now grown into a global phenomenon. While many outside of Spain view paella as our national dish, we consider it rather to be a regional Valencian dish and part of the Valencian cultural identity. While now there are many kinds of Paella, the "true" Valencian paella is made with rabbit and snails, yum! ;)

Here's an interesting article detailing Paella in Valencia: Where to Find the Best Paella in Valencia

About 1:45 hr north of Valencia is the historic and beautiful town of Peñíscola. With its cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, the old town of Peñíscola sits on a big rock that juts out into the sea. The town is dominated by a large Knights Templar castle that looks like something out of the Crusades. It was later home to 15th century Antipope Benedict XIII. Recently, Peñíscola was used as a filming location in the T.V. series Game of Thrones.

Posted by
310 posts

I will be in Valencia for the Fallas Festival this year, and was also there in 2016. Apparently I enjoyed it. 😀

An American who has lived in Valencia for 30 years invited a number of us to come see the festival, and we enjoyed it so much we agreed to return this year.

I assume you have read this or something similar?
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falles

Yes, Paella is a speciality of Valencia, and is best eaten for lunch at one of the restaurants along the beach promenade. We went here:
https://www.restaurante-cocinamediterranea.com/es/

Posted by
11544 posts

I experienced Las Fallas 3 years ago, but only the first days. I arrived on the 15th, early afternoon, and left on the 18th in late afternoon. The fires were on the night of the 19th. It seemed to get more crowded each day. On the 18th, I went to La Mascletà at 2 pm in the central plaza. I was about 2 blocks from the "epicenter" and it was more crowded than a New York subway in rush hour. Honestly I was that close to everyone around me and there were still people pushing forward. On the previous days it hadn't been like that at all. I went to the first midnight fireworks and it was splendid with lots of people but no crowding or pushing. There were some processions at different parts of the center at different times of day, with some bands starting at 8 am. There are lot of interesting sights that I had time for, besides seeing a few of the many, many Fallas all over. I took two guided walking tours, pre-booked with the tourist office. One was a general tour and was most excellent, with a personable, knowledgeable guide and only 3 tourists. The other was a Fallas tour, full group, terrible guide. I learned little.

The only negatives were the guided tour and the last Mascletà. The city was great, the citrus trees were in bloom and their heady aroma was a lovely addition, I didn't get to see all the sights I wanted to. Be sure to try agua de Valencia. Lately I've found that Lonely Planet's website has a lot of useful information, though not nearly as much as the guide books, and it's my go-to website.

Posted by
321 posts

At some of the better paella restaurants you'll find it's made for two persons minimum; so if "I" means you're travelling alone you may need to find a friend to share at those

Perhaps more a Summer drink, but Valencia is also famous for horchata (which is made with tiger nuts - or, rarely, almonds - in the Spanish version and thus different to the rice version in the Americas). It has a local Valencian name too which I can't remember.

If you do decide you want a guidebook, Insight or Berlitz has a comprehensive ebook for the city and day-trips.

Posted by
1 posts

Valencia is a beautiful, gracious city - you should have a wonderful time. I was last there 18 months ago and this article got us started on some excellent restaurants. https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/48-hours-in/valencia-two-day-trip-restaurant-week-break-holiday-food-paella-tapas-drink-michelin-star-seu-xerea-a7654936.html. We stayed at a little hotel on the beach, rented bikes, and took a bus tour of the city itself before walking through it. The Mercado is a must for a foodie - lots of wonderful hams and oranges, pastries and cheeses. Both pata negra and carni negra hams are recommended although don't bring it back through customs in the US. There is a lovely square in the center of town at the end/beginning of many regional buses. An ok cathedral and decent shopping. The architecture is old Spanish and outre modern - the City of Science and Arts museum is spectacular and worth your time even on a short visit.

Posted by
2 posts

There is A LOT of good info here thanks again!

Keep it coming! Can anyone tell me about the bullfights during las fallas? are they worth checking out?

I will be arriving with friends on the 17th I believe, coming from Barcelona.. I think we will be staying until the 20th. My next stop was gonna be Bilboa/San Sebastian, via Madrid. My friends may be splitting off and going to Morocco, but Im not so much into that for this trip.

Im really trying to figure out a way to get some south Spain into my trip.