Thursday, March 1, 2012

Valencia, Spain

Valencia Travel Tips

Valencia is as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the wallet. The green hues found in the Old Turía River Bed Gardens contrast the shimmering golden sand and sparkling cerulean waves of the beaches. And the color of its oranges is as rich as the taste. Those who say this Spanish coastal city lacks any sense of charm may have never walked under the citrus trees as they drop blossoms onto the cobblestone streets or listened to the hum of the Valencian dialect amidst the produce stands of the Mercado Central. Although it has spent years hiding in the shadows of larger cities, Valencia now offers a mixture of Madrid's history and Barcelona's contemporary atmosphere for a fraction of the cost.

Why go: If you're looking to hit the beach on your next family vacation, Valencia's the place. Perched on the coast of the Mediterranean, this Spanish town offers plenty of sand for building castles and calm, clean waters for doggy-paddling. If you find yourselves waking up to a rainy day, catch an IMAX movie or ride a submarine at the City of Arts and Sciences or learn about Spain's favorite sporting event at the Valencia Bullfighting Museum. And let's not forget that travel writers say Valencia is one of Europe's best bargains.

Best Times to Visit Valencia

The best time Valencia is in April and May, the sweet spot full of warm weather and void of crazy crowds. In general, the city boasts a Mediterranean climate with consistently pleasant weather. Average high temps range from 59 degrees in the wintertime to 85 degrees in the height of summer. Wintertime is also pretty comfortable -- between the mid 40s to mid 60s -- and the city is more or less tourist-free. The downside is certain attractions shorten their hours of operation.

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