TOP TEN VALENCIA BED AND BREAKFAST TIPS:
What to see and do on a city-trip to Valencia, Spain; a personal guide compiled by locals, including all the famous sites combined with and our personal 'secret' likes… Enjoy our Bed and Breakfast Valencia 'top tens'.
1) VALENCIA, SPAIN : HISTORY
When I was in high school, I learned that Valencia was all about eating paella and 'exporting oranges', and
that is about as far as my knowledge went, up until I decided to move to Spain's third largest city, on the beach.
Of course Valencia has always been know for its oranges and as the home of Spanish paella, but over the last few
years Valencia has become a fashionable and authentic city-trip destination for savvy travelers worldwide.
Metropolitan, yet affordable.
Not even that long ago, Valencia had the image of being a dull industrial and rural city, with little to offer to cosmopolitan travelers. But now, with a great efforts by mayor Rita Barbera, Valencia is finally on the map as a metropolitan - yet very affordable - destination for those who'd like to combine an authentic Spanish feel with anything else a modern lively city should offer during a city break trip. We have tried to make these 'Top Ten Valencia Lists' personal and actual; of course any guidebook should be able to inform you about the traditional sites that make Valencia what it is today: a fashionable metropolitan city with an authentic historical feel.
2) VALENCIA, SPAIN: THE BIG MODERN REINVENTION
Since a couple of years now, Valencia has become more than a city with great historical buildings, combining
original Moorish and Christian architecture alike while offering an 'authentic feel' and some great beaches. Around
2005, when Valencia's world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava completed the futuristic museum complex - The
City of Arts and Sciences - Valencia actually started
being on the map for those in the know.
Events that matter
The convenient modern metro system will take you from the airport to downtown Valencia in less than half an hour, but there is more. The influence of Valencia hosting events like the America's Cup, Formula-1 races pro-Tennis events and the Moto-Gp / Grand Prix has been the motor to the opening of trendy boutiques, very high-standard dining experiences and ultra-cool nightspots. Also, with the new ' Renfe-AVE high-speed service' fast train, Valencia is now less than one and a half our away from Spain's second city-trip destination Madrid, making it ever so easy to combine these two cities at once while making the most out of your travels to Spain.
3) VALENCIA: THE HOME OF PAELLA
When visiting Valencia, one just cannot miss an opportunity to enjoy a real paella, and there are several ways
to enjoy this typical Valencian dish, introduced by the Moors more than 1300 years ago when they first started
planting rice at Valencia's large
Albufera lagoons, located just five kilometers
south of the city. Forget the fluffy yellow rice dices, topped with jumbo-shrimps and lobster served in 'Spanish'
restaurants worldwide. The real 'Paella Valenciana' consists of saffron-scented rice, pollo (chicken), conejo
(rabbit), caracoles (snails) and a selection of beans and other local vegetables. As Valencia's seafood is fresh and
plenty - except on mondays perhaps - also the seafood variety called 'Paella Marisco' is worth a try. And for those
into 'surf-and-turf', enjoy the taste of all ingredients in one go with a 'Paella Mixta'.
Enjoy paella: for lunch!
Please don't be fooled by the individual micro-waved, deep fried mini-pans served as a 'dinner' at most restaurants in the city-center. Just do as the locals do, and have paella for lunch, preferable at the beach. Most famous (and excellent although a bit pricey) is Restaurant La Pepica at Malvarosa beach; with a beautiful decor and great service this restaurant has topped the charts since Hemingway raved about it in one of his books over fifty years ago. Nobody but the Valenciano's themselves seem to have heard of Restaurant L'Estimat, located 15 steps down from La Pepica, offering the same (or some could argue 'even better') paella at almost half the price.
Authentic paella restaurants on the beach
If you don't mind a fifteen minute taxi-drive south of the city, also the Restaurant L'Establiment in Venice-like El Palmar offers high quality and a surprisingly good service. Personally we can't get enough of unglamorous and very authentic seaside Restaurant LLar d'Empar in Pinedo, 8 minutes south by taxi from the City of Arts and Sciences. O.k. , you'll sit on wobbly plastic chairs and sometimes it takes more than an hour for your fresh paella to be served and nobody seems to speak anything but Spanish. But: during weekdays a paella menu including a large fresh tuna-spiked salad and bread with tomato spread and a beautifully spicy ail-oli (allioli) goes at only 15 euro's a person, including a great view of the sea and a 100 % tourist-free sun filled terrace. (Dessert and coffee included of course, with a 50 cent surcharge to have your cortado infused with a local brandy.) With excellent local crisp dry white wine at 7.50 euro a bottle, you'll be sure to have a great experience with matronly owner Amparo looking after you.
4) LOCAL TOP TEN 2017 / VALENCIA RESTAURANTS:
Like any other metropolitan city, also Valencia has its traditionally 'always good / always there'
foodie-experiences. But yet in this personal Valencia eating out top ten list, we will also include our own
personal, less known, 'secret' local equivalents. Except for the beach-locations all restaurants mentioned are
within a five to ten minute walk from your most central bed and breakfast, and we will be more than happy to reserve
1) Valencia Michelin:
Michelin star restaurant La Sucursal, located in the same building at the IVAM modern art museum is good. Really good. With traditional Valencian dishes with a modern twist it is no wonder this restaurant has been topping the lists for a while now. From succulent mini-tomatoes injected with Vodka and outrageous variety of tasty rice-dishes, to the now so trendy 'industrially torching your food at the table', it is quite an experience! Another highly recommended high end restaurant is 'Riff'. Great local dishes and very well presented, but it may be possible you will be surrounded by businessmen in suits only.
2) Valencia secret 'Jamie Oliver'-tip:
And yet, for those in the know: the 'cafe' of the IVAM museum with sunny terrace, offers delicious three course lunches prepared in the same Sucursal-kitchen, with the same fresh ingredients by the same staff, co-served by students from the local hotel school. It's a 'secret' Jamie Oliver kind of affair, and we ourselves just can't seem to get enough. (But pass on the Chicken salad, it's kind of dry.) Another favorite restaurant of ours that seems to be under the radar of travel-guides and Trip-Advisor raves is Restaurant Bocheria, located just next to the Torres de Quart, a five minute walk from the IVAM-cafe. Great Chef. Great food. Beautiful presentation, with 'in' and 'out' seating, at a stunning fifteen euro for three course gourmet lunch. Enjoy the great local wine list in a 100 % tourist-free environment.
3) Valencia tapas, pinchos and raciones:
And than of course, Spain's famous 'Tapas'. Or the way they actually do it in Valencia: 'raciones' (a serving a small plate of food to be shared) or 'pinchos' (a selection of small pieces of bread with anything local and delicious on top). For pinchos, the Taberna de Reina on Plaza de la Reina is a good choice for those who'd like to sit outside and enjoy the sun. However, some 'warm' pinchos on the 'have-your-pick'-self service bar could be fresher.
Other options are the plethora of pinchos-bars on the connecting Calle San Vincente Martir; and as much as we like the freshness and quality of the yummy bites at Sagardi, the 'three fingers' quantity of wine they serve in large lemonade glasses kind of spoils the experience for us. For the best 'raciones' visit restaurant Las Cuevas ; from excellent shrimps-gratin served in sea-shells to the Valencian answer to spare ribs with honey. The most famous tapas-bar is Pilarita, halfway Calle Caballeros on Plaza Tossal. (Try their 'pescaditos fritos' or yummy mussels when in season!) The best tapas we have ever tasted we found at Cabanyal-neighborhood restaurant 'Casa Montana', just a few streets back of the main boulevard at the Malvarosa beach area.
4) Valencia healthy and raw food:
One of our most favorite restaurants is Santa Companya, located in the middle of Calle Roteros leading from the Torres de Serranos at the end of the street at your bed and breakfast. After some usual meals of deep fried local dishes (with plenty of starch surrounding it)you might crave for a freshly chopped spinach salad, buffalo mozzarella salad, or one of the thinly sliced beef or fish-carpacios that small and locally very popular Santa Companya dishes up. Personal yummies include the succulent 'tuna with mango'-tartare or the sweet yoghurt with white chocolate and forrest fruit coullis for dessert. Oh, and the wasabi mustard beef-tartare (combined with a bottle of 'Naia' Rueda) is an experience not to be missed. A similar concept - and almost as good we think - is offered by TAP-restaurant, just a few doors down.
5) Where the local 'working people' eat in Valencia Center:
Around two o'clock p.m. , most Valenciano's stop what they are doing and head for a local restaurant to enjoy a hearty, heavy, three course lunch, usually accompanied with a bottle of local wine and a carajilo (espresso laced with cognac) to digest. Even though many of such local restaurants have now been replaced with almost arty and trendy tourist traps - with prices to match - one of these authentic classics is still alive and kicking. A visit to the amazingly brightly TL-lit 'Casa Ricardo' , just around the corner from your bed and breakfast is a must. Recently. waitress Nelly became the new owner, and combining her great smile with a very decent three course home cooked meal (and all you can drink local wine!) at nine euro's only, we pray this authentic gem will never change.
6) Spicing it up in Valencia: Hot, hot, hot food:
When we first moved to Valencia to start our bed and breakfast, we where expecting at least some spicy 'spanish pepper' when eating out. But no such thing. For some reason - we have not yet figured out - most Valencia neighborhood restaurants will not use any pepper (yet a lot of salt !) when preparing their fine dishes. As restaurants always have the oil and vinegar - and a salt shaker only - on the table, when we first got here we used to carry our own little 'mini-pepper-mill', but finally gave up and now can do without. But when our need for spicy food gets unbearable, we always feel pampered and at home at restaurant Appetit, where Australian chef Bonnie and her Spanish partner Aranxta always ask any guest: How spicy would you like your dishes to be? We have never been disappointed!
In the mood for international cuisine
With a four - or five course 'fusion surprise meal' cooked to perfection, Restaurant Apetit is our secret un-Spanish dining indulgence, only every now and than of course… From a 30 color salad to 'Fred Flinstone Bones' and succulent fried oysters, this 'tickle your tastebuds'-experience might not be a local thing to do, but o so tasty! Other options if you'd like to explore a good cuisine while not eating Spanish food include the 'unlimited sushi / wok' buffets at ten euro a head for lunch; our personal favorite being restaurant Yo Ama - roughly in the middle of Calle Gran Marques del Turia. Everything from sushi and sashimi, to spicy peking duck is very fresh and made to order in a very elegant an 'non-buffet' and noise-free ambiance.
7) Explore Ruzafa Restaurants: 'from rags to riches':
While many visitors forget all about the ' Ruzafa' neighborhood of Valencia behind central station, lately the image of the traditionally Muslim immigrant population (dating back from the large immigrant community established in the second half of the 20th century) young and creative entrepreneurs are now setting up original galleries and fun exciting concept restaurants. Some say 'Barrio Ruzafa' might in a few years become the next bohemian 'Barrio del Carmen' hotspot, with a growing number of artists and young professionals mixing with the original mainly Middle Eastern and East Asian population. We have had great Spanish dining experiences at excellent restaurants in slowly upcoming Ruzafa, try: Copenhagen, Entrevins, and Torre de Utiel.
8) Local mealtimes and special Valencian treats;
Getting into the Valencian rhythm of mealtimes could take a while to get used too for some not used to it. Most restaurants close every day from 16.00 hrs to 21.00 hrs (and also stay closed on Sundays and Mondays), breakfast consists of a 'cafe con leche' and 'tomato-spread on bread' only, enjoying a lunch before 14.00 hrs is practically impossible, and no real Valenciano will be caught dead entering a restaurant before 22.00 hrs at night for dinner. This having said, when in Valencia there is very good food to be had, you just need to look at the clock! A typical day for most locals will start with a milky coffee around eight, some sweet pastry and more coffee at ten, a warm (heavy) three course meal at two, sweets and more coffee around five (during 'meredienda'), drinks with pincho-tapas from eight; than dinner from ten p.m . (And for nightlife: bars don't get busy before midnight, and don't make the mistake of entering an empty club for dancing before two!)
Churros con chocolate, Horchata and Agua de Valencia:
One of the local specialties are 'Churos con chocolate', consisting of strings of fried batter to be dipped in heavy melted chocolate. The old-school 'ladies with pearls' prefer the classic establishment 'Valor' , on central Plaza de la Reina. Be entertained by face-lifts and vintage Chanel between 16.00 - 17.00 hrs. Horchata, another Valencian sweet classic is a milky substance, made of the juice of chafas (a kind of nut) and best to be enjoyed at the Horchateria across the tourist-bus stop, also to be found on Plaza de la Reina. Another Valencian specialty is Agua de Valencia, but don't be fooled by the innocent sounding name. It is a sweet concoction of Spanish Cava-Champagne, orange juice and strong alcohol, be it Vodka, Gin, or a lethal combination of the two. We like to have ours around eight, at the sunny terrace of Bar Negrito on Plaza Negrito. Or also at Bar Las Horas by Plaza de la Virgen; an interesting local bar where gothic church elements, little angles and other quirky art give the place a campy 'Dolly Parton meets Alice in Wonderland'-kind of feel.
9) Elegant Valencia (Mediterranean) dining for real foodies:
Make no mistake in thinking Valencia is about paella and rice-rice-rice dishes only! Apart from previously mentioned excellent Spanish restaurants, Valencia offers a excellent dining experience with local and international appeal alike, that is, if you don't get to hungry before ten at night! Our personal favorite flavors at the moment include: Navarro and also Alma del Temple (both offering excellent mediterranean dishes with a modern twist), Kiaora Biococina (healthy organic fusion), and of course Xeu Serea, offering a very original - and very tasty - mixture of local Mediterranean, Spanish and Fusion dishes.
10) Un-Valencian - and maybe a bit incorrect ? - easy foods:
All paella'd out? Can't wait for dinner at ten? Cappuchino on central Plaza de la Reina serves any meal at all times. Well prepared 'international hotel-style'-food, from a crisp Ceasar Salad to a perfect Club Sandwich, and from their spicy tuna-rolls to a nice entrecote.. Maybe not very original and a bit expensive but one of the only options in the center if you'd like to have a warm dinner between 18.00 and 20.00 hrs. Another secret 'faux-pas' indulgence is Peggy Sue's , a campy traditional retro diner - juke-boxes and retro American commercials included - offering the best burgers in Valencia.
Screaming for ice-cream? The biggest and the best place to get it can be found next to the tourist bus stop on PLaza Reina, and if you're not in the mood for sardines- , paella- or even olive oil versions; they carry all traditional flavors as well and have so for decades. Recently the chain Llao Llao is opening venue after venue, offering yoghurt-based soft-ice with any topping to your liking. Of course there are now some Starbucks scattered around the city, but than again, who'd like spend four euro's on their brew when all local bars have traditional Espresso machines, offering freshly ground coffees or lattes at 1.20 euro or less? Please support our local bars and cafe's!
5) LOCAL BED AND BREAKFAST TOP TEN 2017 / VALENCIA HISTORICAL SITES, MUSEMS AND OTHER MUST-SEES: In the age of internet it won't be hard to find the historical and more modern must-sees Valencia has to offer. How ever, we would like to share our personal top ten, surely not complete, and based only on our personal preferences.
1) L'Almoina Museum, Roman ruins under glass:
At less than four minutes walking from Valencia Mindfulness Retreat Bed and Breakfast, you will find the L'Almoina Museum, just off Plaza de la Virgen. Well, more than a museum this location offers a stunning insight into Valencia's rich history with excavations as old as 138 B. C.; the time when the Romans founded Valencia. You will walk over glass floors, or even see in close up, the stunning assemblage of original excavations with Roman Baths, Visigoth tombs and Moorish settlements alike. We don't advise you to take the guided tour if your Spanish isn't very good; the tour is also offered in English, but sometimes hard to understand for the untrained ear. All locations within the museum have video-buttons with native speaker English explanations on tape; so just take your own tempo when wandering around this most beautiful location of central Valencia.
2) Valencia Art Museums:
From the excellent expositions at the IVAM modern art museum, to the traditional master pieces at Valencia's fine arts museum Museo de las Bellas Artes, you will find that Valencia has a lot to offer when you are into any kind of arts. Visiting the IVAM? Don't forget to have a lunch at their cafe. Visiting the fine arts museum? If you get overstimulated by over 3000 excellent 'Madonna-and-Child images'; make sure to include Sorolla's impressive works before you head out. Our personal favorite museums include the less known Centro del Carmen, the very quaint neighboring Casa Benlliure, and the often forgotten MUVIM museum.
Centro del Carmen does not feel like a museum as such. It is a huge revamped 'all white' ancient monastery, showing an eclectic mix of artworks ranging from contemporary installations or vintage photography to sometimes even some famous turn of the century local paintings. Centro del Carmen is our number one, but we also really like the quaint Casa Benillure, where a showcase of this lesser known Valencian painter occupies his former house, including inspirational studio, original kitchen and of course the bedroom; bed-pan and antique sheets included. Also, we would like to recommend the MUVIM museum, for those interested in graphic design, video installation and the applied arts it is a real gem. And finally, it is worth checking out what the Bancaja-building is showing when you are here.
3) The three most popular Valencia 'heritage must-sees':
Almost every visitor enjoying a city-break to Valencia combine the following 'must-sees' in one morning: The Mercado Central food market, La Lonja former silk exchange, and of course the impressive Catedral, all within five to ten minutes walking from your bed and breakfast in Valencia. This central market is one of Europe's largest, with an amazing display from open eyed dead rabbits and merluza fish, to the most colorful displays of any fruit or vegetable you can image. A definate hit for locals and visitors alike. Tip: sample fresh produce at the little 'tasting section' at the back of the market and come early!
The former Moorish silk Exchange La Lonja across the central market is stunning, and has recently been added to the Unesco world heritage list. (Don't miss the inner patio with amazing Escher-like tiles on the floor.) Of course a visit to Valencia is not complete without visiting the grand Catedral at the end of our street, on main square Plaza de la Virgen. Whoever ruled Valencia at any time in history; they made sure to put a mark on this impressive structure, leading to a 'mix-and-match'-feel of architectural styles. The Catedral also boasts the 'one and only Holy Grail', even authenticated by the Vatican in Rome. Dan Brown's fictional Da Vinci code is closer than you think in Valencia. Yes; some people even say that Opus Dei has some followers in Valencia too…
4) Valencia's future city: The City of Arts and Sciences:
World famous Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava really went out of his way to give Valencia a modern appeal with his City of Arts and Sciences. Some compare the group of futuristic buildings to the Sydney Opera House in Australia, while others claim to see a giant armadillo, the skeleton of a whale, or extremely large eyes looking out to the city. Our advice? Take a bike and drive along - or under - these impressive pieces of architecture, or get a pass to visit the science museum, the Imax theatre or the L'Oceanografico further down the Turia-park. The Oceonografico personally leaves us with a double feeling, as the intentions seem very educating with perfectly executed informative displays of the worlds' ecological systems. But the slick Disneyesque feel - complete with having dolphins jump through hoops during a two hour show - combined with in our eyes exorbitant prices, makes one wonder if this should be a 'number one' on your to-do list. ( A non-discount combination pass for the Oceanogràfic, Hemisfèric and Science Museum will set you back 36.25 euro a person, rates 2017)
If you are into photography you'll have the time of your life at this fulblast starquetecture location, and many people decide to just admire the buildings from the outside; as the Science Museum seems mostly tailors to kids (offering Spanish explanations only) and of course there are IMAX theaters all over the world. Having said this, the buildings are quite impressive, especially at night when shadows play around the structures; reflecting the colorful lighting set up after dark.
5) Valencia Outdoors: L'Albufera Nature Reserve, Turia Park, and public gardens:
For those who enjoy to add a bit of 'nature' to a city-trip, Valencia has some very good options and is actually one of few Spanish capitals with an amazing offering of 'public green'. Of course there is the 'Turia' park circling the city. It used to be a river and since the water was rerouted due to extreme overflowings it became one of the largest stretches of public green in Europe. Adorned with beautiful gardens, fountains and statues, the Turia is well-used by locals and tourists alike. Joggers bump in to families having picnics and many locals choose this beautiful location for having their birthday party, or just enjoying a bottle of wine and some bread with cheese with friends.
Local gardens further include the impressive Jardín Botánico, dating back to the 16th century, where almost half of its visitors are more interested in the over one hundred stray cats roaming around, than to enjoy the impressively large variety of fully grown trees. Another natural beauty are the large Royal Gardens ( Jardines del Real) once the gardens of the Royal Palace, that no longer exists. Apart from beautiful and well kept (English Landscape Styled) gardens, one could also visit the Museum of Natural Sciences and see more Roman excavations.
The very large nature reserve L' Albufera, located just 10 minutes from Valencia city is an ancient marine gulf, and considered one of the most important wetlands of Spain. As a special bird protective area, the sweet water lake area also boasts large stretches of ancient rice-fields, pine forests and beautiful beaches where you can enjoy absolute privacy. Take a boat trip, a bird-watching excursion or simply watch the sun set over the lake at one of Valencia's most romantic and quiet locations.
6) Shopping in Valencia is fun and varied:
If you like shopping, Valencia is definitely the place to be! With a wide selection ranging from mainstream stores to very exclusive boutiques, you will find the Valencia shopping experience has something for every taste and budget.
Roughly, Valencia can be divided in three areas known for it's great shopping opportunities. The area between the busy Calle Colon and the Central Station (Norte) may be considered as the high-street of Valencia. With three large Corte Ingles department stores and international chains like Zara, Mango and the lot, you will be pleasantly surprised with a larger assortment than at home, offered at considerably lower prices. We especially like Massimo Dutti, an 'Italian' chain, owned by Spanish highly successful Inditex, offering classic quality cuts at H & M -prices.
Secondly, the small boutiques scattered all over Barrio del Carmen offer a more original assortment of local designs, be it home-printed t-shirts, nowhere to be found jewelry or summery dresses by small local labels. The bohemian flair of the Barrio del Carmen reflects on the small shops, and combined with the cosy terraces and personal restaurants you'll be sure to come home with unique finds. For a very original and personal piece of high quality ceramics, browse through the small studio on Plaza Tapenaria, to be entered through the passageway in the middle of Plaza de la Reina. We promise you it's impossible not to fall in love with the beautiful handcrafted unique pieces at affordable prices from only eight euro's and up.
7) Valencia's historical public buildings; worth a visit:
When visiting Valencia, you will not only notice how clean the city is, you will probably be impressed with the historic architectural gems used as public buildings. The post-office on Plaza Ayuntamiento has a spectacular glass dome as a ceiling, the bull ring close by might soon find itself non functional due to new legislation but is quit beautiful. Also the train station Del Norte is a feast for the eyes if you like the elaborate Jugendstil-style, known as 'Modernism' in Valencia. Also, with over fifty churches in the city center alone you will never be bored in this historic city of contrasts.
8) Nightlife in Valencia, worth the wait:
Considering the fact that locals won't sit down for dinner before ten in the evening, it may not come as a surprise that nightlife starts late, very late. The fun bars of Barrio del Carmen are concentrated around the main hub Calle Caballeros and will start to get busy around midnight. We especially like the Plaza del Negrito ( with the Negrito bar ), and the very lively Cafe Lisboa ( Plaza Dr. Collado) , which seems to attract a less touristy alternative crowd.
Another good location to have a drink is Cafe Laboratorio, just off Plaza de la Virgen. Popular with local and international students alike, it offers a great opportunity to brush up your Spanish and meet new friends. (And they serve a very fine selection of cocktails and other mixed drinks at about five euro's each.) Halfway Calle Caballeros you will find Plaza Tossal, with popular lounge bar Marasquino, and also the small club Bolseria, a happening place where trendy locals dance the night away. Also it's worth exploring Calle Alta and Calle Corona where small and lively local bars are plenty.
If you fancy clubbing, don't make the mistake of entering before two, as you will be the only one there. In Valencia clubs come and go - like in every Metropolitan city - and you'll just need to check the flyers handed out all over Carmen. One consistently popular club can be found in the Arts and Sciences complex: ask for Club Mia and L'Umbracle. These two adjoining locations have always been the place to be, and if you find yourself a bit early: there are some trendy - ever changing - bars right across the street.
Valencia also offers a great variety of gay bars and clubs, Deseo 54 being the largest club, and around this club you will find many gay bars, from trendy to alternative. In spite of the influence of the church in Valencia, as a gay visitor you will find the city and its inhabitants to be friendly and two guys or two girls openly holding hands will definitely not cause a riot either. Spain was actually one of the first countries in Europe to legalize gay marriage, and in the last couple of years Valencia has slowly but surely become a popular destination for gay globetrotters from all over the world. From a vary varied nightlife to gay nude beaches, saunas and the like; many have discovered the relative easy-going vibe of the city and keep coming back for more.
9) Enjoy the beaches of Valencia and beyond:
As much as it may come as a surprise to some, the city center of Valencia is not 'on the beach'. Having said this, Valencia has some beautiful city beaches, easily reached by a short tram-trolley ride from the city center. The large and wide, clean sandy beaches of Malvarosa and Las Arenas are the most popular with visitors and locals alike. With sun beds, 'for-rent' umbrellas and a variety of restaurants and cafe's on the large boulevard, many find the fresh breeze in combination with the clear water a perfect match for a hot and sunny day in Valencia. While being our guest at Valencia Mindfulness Retreat Bed and Breakfast, we would be more than happy to supply you with a beach-bag containing large beach-towels, sunscreens and bottled water upon request. You'll find the direct tram-trolley (above ground metro) to the beach right at the end of our street.
At a ten minute drive - or in about twenty five minutes by bike - you will find the more quiet beaches of El Saler, Pinedo and La Devesa. While you will probably enjoy a practically private natural beach at El Saler and Devesa; there are no facilities for having a lunch or even a snack. However, the beaches are pristine, private and surrounded by Albufera's protected beautiful flora and fauna.
Sunbathing for an 'all-over' tan
The Pinedo-beach is mostly the hang-out for those who like an overall tan. Spain has a long tradition of nudist / naturist beaches, and the 'clothing optional'-policy at the more quiet, yet popular Pinedo beach makes it easy to enjoy the sun in a way that suits you best: in a complete bathing-suit, topless, or wearing nothing at all… A secret tip: there is no boulevard, no terraces nor much anything else but a beach with a small drinks and ice-cream stand. Having said this, one of Valencia's very best - and relatively unknown by visitors - restaurants may be found here, right on the nude beach. Owner Carmen at Restaurant L'Estibador definitely knows how to offer exquisite local dishes in a more than elegant setting. It's not cheap, but the food is heavenly and the view is, well, at the least: 'unusual'.
10) Excursions from Valencia-City:
Many guests at our bed and breakfast like us to rent bikes for them - just to cycle along the Turia park - or
visit the small and secluded beaches south of Valencia. But if you have more time than 'just a weekend trip',
choosing Valencia as your home base gives you the option of several tours, hikes and other excursions to great
locations close to the city.
Most people enjoy a trip to El Palmar in combination with a visit to Albufera's nature reserve. El Palmar.