Valencia is a wonderful city to live in, just mentioned as the best place to live abroad by the Huffington Post in the USA for example. However, at times even Valencianos want to get out of the city and take a look around the region and the surrounding areas to get something different. So today we are looking at some of the top day trips out from Valencia, some of them you can do all year round and some might require weather conditions to be right but you could do one every month in the year just to get away.
1.Montanejos – For the river. Any river that is a spring with a constant temperature of 25 degrees all year round is a good place for some wild swimming, jumping off rocks and refreshing yourself under a waterfall. When you add to this the prettiness of the town itself for your after river coffees and maybe a hearty lunch or evening meal then you have a great day out about an hour and a half away from the city.
2. Javalambre/Vall De Linares – For the skiing. You more or less go the same way to Javalambre (Or Vall de Linares) in Teruel as you do to Montanejos but you stay on the Teruel motorway for a bit longer before turning off. These skiing areas are great for beginners and intermediate skiers but won’t be challenging enough for the expert skiers there. They are also great for sledding, snowman building or just to get to a place with snow when it is likely that it will still be around 20 degrees in Valencia itself.
3. El Palmar/Albufera – For the boat trips and paella. El Palmar sits in the middle of the Albufera lake to the south of Valencia. Immortalised in novel form by the work “Cañas y Barro”, it retains its atmosphere of a fishing village on the freshwater lake that supplies the water for the rice paddies surrounding the south of Valencia. However it is probably best known for being the place where you can get the best paella in Valencia at any of the innumerable restaurants in the town. Come early or book ahead if you are going at the weekend or expect to be disappointed and then take a boat trip on the lake which is great for birdwatchers or just to laze around while digesting much too much food.
4. Javea/Denia – For the beach life. Javea and Denia are separated by the Montgo mountain and lie about an hour and a half to the south of Valencia. They are the closest places to Valencia that could be reasonably described as being full of Expats with the population of the towns being estimated at anything from 20-50% foreign depending on the time of year. They both have excellent beaches and marinas (Boat trip anyone), plenty of restaurants and bars and you can get just about any product you may be pining for at the local Iceland store among others. You can get away from the Expat ghetto aspect of the towns as they are big enough to support a large population in winter and off season too but just to have a day off beng in the real Spain they are excellent to visit and the Montgo itself, along with the lovely golden beaches, is well worth a visit.
5. Sagunto – For The Roman Ruins. Let’s come clean here, Sagunto is an ugly town, in my opinion one of the ugliest around. However it is dominated on the hill by the Roman and Moorish ruins of the castle and amphitheatre so it is well worth a visit around there and the higher part of town, the Jewish quarter. Just ignore the bit from the station at the entrance to the town until you start climbing up the hill and don’t even bother with the Puerto de Sagunto area although the beach is quite nice.
6. Olocau – For the walks and the mountains. We have talked about Olocau on these pages before. It is a wonderful little mountain town just 25 minutes from Valencia set in a natural bowl of cliffs with a population somewhere south of the 1000 mark. We love it and one of the reasons is because of the great number of walks around the back of the town into the Sierra Calderona mountains.
7. Naquera/Serra. For the Mountains and Aussie Beer. We like Naquera and we like Serra too. They are both steep little towns in the Sierra Calderona national park with excellent walking routes and fantastic properties for sale, they are also a bit cooler on those hot summer nights. Both towns have excellent little bars and restaurants and Naquera even has an Aussie craft beer enterprise making rather excellent varieties of beer which we are growing to love.
8) Peñiscola – For the Headland and Beach. El Cid was filmed there you know. And yes, I know that was years ago now but that is why when you see it for the first time you recognise it. Peñiscola in Castellón north of Valencia is an excellent place for a weekend away with chillout bars, excellent hotels and campsites and lots of lots of things to do as the tourist office there promotes the use of the beach with morning yoga sessions and more for free. Two excellent beaches, the iconic headland and the protected area of the Sierra del Irta just to the south, one of the few areas of Spanish coastline not exploited for building, Peñiscola is a must see day out or weekend away.
9) Morella – For the Whole Medieval Town and Castle Vibe. Morella is a bit further away than any of the other day trips but it is definitely worth the drive. Dominated by a castle on the hill, Morella is a lovely Medieval town with excellent food and drinks that specialises in honey and ham. It’s also an interesting and winding drive from Valencia so worth taking supplies and may not be suitable for anyone suffering from motion sickness.
10) Benidorm – For the Horror. Oh the humanity, New York on the Costa Blanca just for the skyscrapers. Known by many as an expat hell full of Irish bars and theme pubs, Benidorm has redeeming features of course… yeah of course it does. Worth the visit just to see what you are missing and to have a good curry perhaps before coming back wiser and amazed.
Of course Valencia is the central point for all of this, a great place to live with its own attractions and lifestyle.
And apart from these all year round visits there are the local fiestas that each town has on certain dates each year, iconic like the Tomatina in Buñol, lesser known like the Cherry Festival in Naquera and the Almond Festival in Casinos and many many more.
Why don’t you take a look at what you can get in Valencia here and join us. Also sign up to our mailing list below and you never know, we may find your ideal property and you may get a better lifestyle in return.