If you have been thinking about moving to Valencia city you may have heard about the various areas, Ruzafa, El Carmen, Ensanche, Malvarrosa, Cabanyal and more (We have written about these areas a lot, just do a search in the box on the right) What you may overlook though is Alboraya as it is not officially a part of the city, it is a town in its own right. However, part of it really is a continuation of the beach areas of Cabanyal and Malvarrosa, the only break is a small bridge from Malvarrosa beach to the Patacona, Alboraya’s beach.
Alboraya itself though is divided into three areas and they are all very different. The aforementioned beach part (The Patacona), the old town of Alboraya and the Port Saplaya marina. They are separated by fields of “Chufas” (Tiger Nuts) of about a kilometre from the beach to the old town and a few kilometres from the old town to Port Saplaya.
Alboraya is famous in Valencia for the acquired taste drink Horchata. There are many horchaterias including the famous “Daniel’s” and the town itself is on the metro line into the centre of Valencia and at its side stands the Levante football stadium and the hip neighbourhood of Benimaclet. They are separated from Alboraya by the ring road making it easy to get to other areas of Valencia in just a few minutes. Apartments in the old town are relatively cheap and competitive in price compared with nearby Valencia and other villages and it is full of shops, cafes and restaurants to suit your needs. You can get an apartment in Alboraya from around 70k (Take a look at Idealista to see what is currently available there) although these are the older style apartments. From Alboraya you are ten minutes away from the beach, university and centre of Valencia by bike, public transport or car.
Apartments by the beach are different from the old town, firstly they are almost all new having been built in the boom between 2000 and 2007. Therefore their prices are higher not just because of their newness and build cost but also their proximity to the sea. Secondly, all of them are within 500m of the sea as there are effectively three blocks of apartments that stand behind the traditional row of beachfront houses. These beachfront houses have been largely converted now into excellent cafes and restaurants meaning the promenade at Alboraya is always a great place to hang out throughout the year. Most of the apartments in the Patacona, as the Alboraya beach is known, are two and three bedrooms. Many have terraces from where you can enjoy sea views and prices start from 200k for 65m2+. As is to be expected, the closer to the sea, the better the views and the bigger the terrace the more expensive the property.
Port Saplaya has another feel altogether. It is a purpose built Marina development with all of the apartments either looking out to the sea or into the interior Marina. Unusually all of the apartments in the area have at least a small terrace to enjoy the views and the climate. Prices of apartments in Port Saplaya start around the 140k mark for two bedrooms and 70m2. This example of a three bedroomed Port Saplaya apartment gives you an idea of what is available.
As we mentioned the three areas of Alboraya are separated by the fields of Tiger Nuts. Within this area, known as “La Huerta“, there are quite a few old style farmhouses. Some have been converted for residential use and some are still working farms. You can see one of them for sale here. It’s a bit hit and miss in the area as some the motorway leading out of Valencia goes through La Huerta and some properties are near to the motorway as a result. However when properties come up around there they are in demand because of their proximity to the city, the beach and the fact you are surrounded by protected land for growing fruit and vegetables.
The Patacona Promenade Restaurant Scene
A few years back the local council in Alboraya started to give out licences for cafes and restaurants on the Promenade. They then added to this the beach bars in the summer making the Patacona the place to be and to be seen in Valencia’s beach nightlife area. In the area of large old one floor houses looking out to the Patacona beach there are now eight cafes and restaurants in just over 150m and they all have their specialities and charms. Let’s take a look.
The first and oldest restaurant in the block is the Casa Llevant. It has the largest terrace to the front and does a more than decent menu of the day based around rice dishes. It is the most sheltered if windy on the front too as it is less exposed.
The Can Luca is next to the Llevant and is a recent arrival having opened a couple of years ago. Lovely decoration and presentation of the food and a great shady interior garden. Menus are around 15 euros and include some excellent desserts. This is one of the favourites of the family.
La Girafe is similar in feel to Can Luca but the food is more French style with specialities in French Crepes. The menu of the day at 15.90 Euros is exceptionally good value and the atmosphere both inside and outside is cozy. Its lovely hidden garden to the rear is really attractive.
Make sure to book at La mas Bonita on the Patacona as invariably the tables are all taken. You can queue for the outside tables to the front but inside and in the garden you usually need to book even during the week. There are now three La Mas Bonitas in the city but this is the original and best. The food is based on cakes, quiches, smoothies and specialised coffees and the prices are quite high for Valencia, smoothies are around 6 Euros, but everyone goes there as a treat.
The Casa Patacona is a more traditional Valencia restaurant in the sense of Rice Dishes and the like but recently it has extended its opening hours and now offers breakfasts and mid morning snacks for between 4.50 Euros and 7 Euros. If you can get onto that upper terrace looking over the beach and the Paseo it’s a great place to watch the World go by.
La Torreta stands on the site of a recently restored old Palace on the Alboraya beachfront. It was recently redeveloped by the owners of the Casa Patacona next door and offers a different style of food, concentrating on seafood specialities. Menus are available from 17.50 but I am yet to visit apart from a quick coffee outside so if you have been there let me know what it was like.
The Casa Navarro is a traditional paella restaurant. It has an excellent interior garden area and the paellas are rather good too. I’m not a great lover of the glassed area to the front but the food has been excellent every time we have visited.
Birra and Blues (Also Spaghetti and Blues) is a craft beer place where they make their own beers of various strengths. Good music usually and an upstairs room you can hire for events such as parties and birthdays. As the name suggests the speciality is Beer but there is a decent menu too.
If I had to choose my favourite for food out of these eight places is definitely Can Luca but the atmosphere in La Mas Bonita is also really laid back and relaxed, a definite place to kick back and enjoy with friends. If you are just looking for a quick sit down to have a coffee then any of them will do, none of them are overpriced and they all have excellent terrace service.
The Patacona Beach Bars
When summer comes the beach bars on the Patacona open. La Mas Bonita has its bar on the beach and that is one of the hip places to be, but we like the others too. Patasur, El Ocho and others all offer shade, cold beer, smoothies, music, beach football, volleyball and great atmospheres and open well into the night for dancing, drinking and meeting up with friends.
Alboraya could well be the best hidden secret in Valencia then. When are you joining us?