TRIP TO VALENCIA 2011
This is our recent trip to the third largest city in Spain and once the Capital of Spain.
Home to over 750,000 people, this historic city is well worth a visit either for a one day trip or for a few days.
Our trip was for one day and we did walk a fairly long way but it was worth it.
HOW TO TRAVEL BY CAR
Valencia lies north of Roda and offers a number of routes to get there. It takes around 3 hours to drive and we took the most direct route going out.
Take the AP7 to Alicante; continue past to Benidorm and on to Valencia. Exit at A3 heading for the airport and continue into Valencia to the car park at Plaza de Toros. Toll costs 23.50 Euros. Car parking 19.20 Euros for 11 hours.
We decided to take a different route back which turned out to take another hour’s driving so would not recommend this especially after a long day walking. You do save 17.0 Euros in toll fees!
Take A3 out and pick up A7 which takes you down to Alicante. DO NOT take any of the coast roads as these will take hours even in none peak times. In July / August almost impossible.
Buy a good local map and or use a satnav to get you in and around the city.
We used a pop up map from www.popout-travel.com
We left fairly early around 7.0 a.m. and drove north in the dark, the sun started to rise and gave incredible views of mountains with mist and the sun coming over the horizon against the sea. Passing Benidorm which is larger and from the road uglier than expected, just rows of tower blocks stretch in all directions.
As we approached the Valencia area we had a vista of orange groves as far as the eye could see, this amazing sight went on and on. This is one of the main orange growing areas in Spain.
We had previously selected a car park in the centre and used the AA on-line route planner. This worked fine for a while but then we were unsure as to exactly where we were! So we parked at the first car park we found. Coming out of the car park on foot, unable to place it on the map, we asked a group of teenage boys, assuming that they would speak some English we established where we were and this helpful group of 4 boys guided us to near our first stop.
TIP Make sure you know where you parked your car – WE DID.
We had a good walk through medieval streets in the old part of the city and headed for the Mercado Central, a large art nouveau market hall in the centre of the old city. Here you can buy a wide range of goods in a lively and bustling environment.
Nearby is La Lonja – a silk merchant’s market place from medieval times.
We then stopped for breakfast at an outside cafe and enjoyed a superb meal including fresh orange juice, coffee, eggs, bacon and toast. For only 6 euros each!
Winding our way through the old streets, we headed North East to the Cathedral where you can climb the belfry the Miguelete for a view of the City. You can also look around the splendid cathedral.
Moving on, we went North West via the Plaza del Serrano behind the cathedral to the Torres de Serranos. This is a medieval tower, sadly closed the day we were there, but would give splendid views.
You are now at the old river bed that runs to the sea. Cross the pedestrian bridge in front of you and find the Pont de Fusta Metro. Take line 4 to the port and walk around. Port and beach area are very picturesque.
We had a great meal at El Coso situated on the beach www.elcosodelmar.com
But lots of others to choose from.
We then took a taxi from the port (5 Euros) to the L’Oceanographic, this is the start of futuristic buildings and is a must see – Cuitat de les Arts i les Ciencies. We continued to walk up the river bed until we reached Almeda Metro – This is c 3.5Km from the start of this section.
Then take the Metro back into the City.
Back to the Metro route 5 head to Almeda and walk along the old river bed and see the extraordinary futuristic buildings. This is a long walk c 3.5Km you do see other parts of the park but the main attraction is at the end.
You then have to make your way back to the centre. We did not investigate buses but it must be possible.
Looks amazing but we didn’t have time to explore the shops. Several large branches of El Cortes Ingles as well as many specialist shops for all things Spanish!