Do you want to visit Valencia but you´re not sure when the best moment is to do it and use the time to learn Spanish? This Mediterranean city is the `in place´ at the moment for being the perfect destination for a mini-break, offering endless beaches and the possibility to eat well – and we mean well. Therefore, it´s worth a visit at any time of year since its enviable climate enables you to enjoy your stay even in winter, the temperatures never usually going below 10ºC.
When you go will depend on the type of activity you wish to enjoy, however whenever this may be you can totally rely on the `feel´ of the city because Valencians love to go out and have fun at any time of year.
That is why in this article we´ll give you some of the advantages of travelling to Valencia in order to have fun or learn Spanish depending on when you´re going to do it.
Without a doubt, the summer period is one of the best to travel to Valencia. There is a great atmosphere along the promenades and the beaches because Valencians love to sunbathe, have a dip and have fun.
Usually during summer, the chiringuitos (food stalls) are full of people eating along the edge of the beach because on the promenade in Malvarosa there are many places to have a plate of paella without leaving the beach. We also recommend you visit towns such as Jávea, Calpe and Altea, all not far from Valencia, and enjoy their wonderful calas (coves or inlets). Among our favourites are Cala Granaella (Jávea), where you can do outdoor sports and go diving, and also Cala Portixol (also Jávea), with its white sands and turquoise blue waters, perfect to relax in and contemplate the Mediterranean landscape.
If you have read a little about Valencia, you will know that Fallas is one of its most well-known and eagerly-anticipated festivals. Every year, between 15 and 19 March, the city of the Turia puts on its finery – and gunpowder is in the air! The tradition of Fallas is to put up enormous, decorated monumentos, or effigies, and set fire to them on the last day of the festival.
Some of the best things you can do during these days of intense partying are to eat churros (a strip of fried dough dusted with sugar), especially with chocolate (unmissable), go to a mascletà (a daytime display of very potent and noisy firecrackers), attend the Ofrenda a la Virgen (an offering of flowers to the Virgin Mary), admire the typical fallero costumes and visit the `sound and light´ displays that happen in some streets around the city.
If you don´t want to be too cold during your winter break, you´ll be in luck if you come to Valencia. As we said at the start, the city has some very pleasant temperatures, including during the cold season. This will allow you to enjoy to the utmost doing open-air activities and having some tapas on the terrace of some bar or other in the city centre. Some of the suggestions that we would most like to make about this period are:
Visiting exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Sciences
This area is one of the most popular in the city and is one of the must-do visits if you come to Valencia. Its buildings, its gardens and its very architecture will amaze you. The museum puts on very interesting exhibitions throughout the year, and there is also a a hemispheric cinema showing Imax films, a unique experience.
Travel the oceans of the world without leaving the Oceanogràphic
This is considered Europe´s leading aquarium, and you will love it if you are interested in marine creatures because here you can find a great variety of species from all the world´s marine ecosystems. Not only that but starting from this year you can visit until midnight, something that will make this experience even more special.
Take a wander through the old city
We really recommend that you get to know Valencia on foot – it isn´t a big city although for longer distances there are metro lines with good connections (including with the airport). The El Carmen district is one of the most historic and delightful areas of the city; here you will be able to see the Serrano y Quart towers, medieval fortifications that blend in well with the most avant-garde buildings in Valencia.
Whichever part of the year you go in, something that you mustn´t miss is enjoying Spanish cuisine and above all Valencia´s, which boasts stellar dishes like paella and other rice dishes, horchata (a sweet drink made from the juice of the tiger nut), fartons (soft, elongated sweet buns that are dipped in the horchata) and tapas. The Central Market, the Lonja (medieval silk-exchange), the port area and the Albufera (lake and nature reserve south of the city) are all places with a very pleasant atmosphere to enjoy your food.
Now that we´ve given you a list of incredible opportunities to enjoy Valencia at any time of the year, check out our Spanish courses in Españolé and learn Spanish in one of the loveliest and most cultural cities in Spain.