Ten Lesser Known Attractions of Living in Valencia

Sometimes we get a bit blase about living in Valencia. We talk about the year round enviable climate, the ease of living, its compactness meaning it has the advantages of big city living but the feel of a much smaller metropolis and the fact that Valencia, once the hidden jewel of the Mediterranean, has now been found by the international press and is most definitely on the circuit for lifestyle bloggers and digital nomads.

Voted recently as the best place to live in the World, twice, Valencia has a lot to offer you in terms of lifestyle and value for money whether that money is in Dollars, Pounds, Euros or even Czech Crowns. See what your money gets you on our homepage.

Today we are going to look at some lower key advantages of living in Valencia. Some things that may go under the radar for many people or may seem to not be at all relavant but can make a big difference in your life or even certain members your family's lives here in Valencia.


What We Are Talking About

  • Valencia's Thriving Start Up Scene
  • The Crime Rate in Valencia
  • The Variety of Day Trips
  • Trains and transport
  • Festivals
  • Childcare
  • Higher Education Options and Cost
  • Opportunity to Volunteer
  • Vegan and Vegetarian Options
  • A Focus on Sustainability

Valencia's Thriving Startup Scene

If you have been living under a rock for a long time you will not have heard about the huge success of Mercadona and the CEO Juan Roig. Son of the founders Juan Roig has lead the huge expansion of Mercadona from local Valencian roots to its more or less ubiquitous nature all around Spain. Mercadona has become well-known for its emphasis on employee training and high staff retention rates. Roig's business philosophy includes sharing profits with employees and investing heavily in staff training. As a result, Mercadona's employees are some of the best-paid in the Spanish retail industry. Nevertheless he wasn't satisfied with that.

In addition to his work at Mercadona, Roig is also active in other ventures. He has a stake in the Valencia Basketball Club and is currently building them a new arena to play in, and he is the founder of the Marina de Empresas, an entrepreneurial hub that includes a business school, a startup accelerator, and a venture capital fund. And it is this that is starting to attract a lot of attention with Valencia now being one of the hubs for startup activity in Spain. This is bringing founders and employees into the city from all around Spain and Europe. With an emphasis on health startups and E-sports among others, the Lanzadera is a huge success so far and is growing year on year.

When you add to this the VideoGame University and the technology hubs at the Universities then you can see an excellent innovation hub growing by the Med.


The Crime Rate in Valencia

Valencia is one of the safest cities in Europe and the World to live in. Of course this increases the quality of your life here because when you are not worried about violent or non violent crime and petty crime is lower than most other places in Western Europe then you can relax a bit more. In fact according to those who have moved here and are living here Valencia ranks low for crime on all the scales and when you compare it to London for example...


Variety of Day Trips

We have written before about days out from Valencia but over the last few years we have been on so many more. From Chelva, Siete Aguas, Chulilla, Cullera and the beautiful Sot de Chera to places further afield like Madrid, yes just an hour and a half away on one of 30+ trains per day. Or by taking the car to Cuenca, Alicante, Teruel or even Ademuz and Albarracín. There is so much to discover and find out more about both inside and outside the Valencia region within a short time or distance.


Trains and Transport

As just mentioned trains from Valencia to elsewhere are plentiful and also very cheap. The local network (Cercanias) to other places in the Valencia region allow you to get out and about even if you give up your car, which many people do when they come to live in the city of Valencia. The fast trains to Madrid and Cuenca are amazing and from Madrid the network to the rest of Spain is also amazing. Soon the Barcelona train will also be high speed along the Mediterranean Corridor which aims to increase speeds and decrease times between cities on the Med.

If you don't like trains then the bus and coach network is excellent and as we already know the mortorways around Spain and superb and allow you to get to almost everywhere quickly and efficiently.


Festivals

Yes we know you all know about Fallas in Valencia in March, one of the biggest festivals in Spain. You either love it or hate it with its emphasis on fireworks and burning stuff along with the religious part. However what you probably didn't know is that every town or village will have its own fiestas and the variety is such that you can probably find a fiesta to visit with its own local customs and traditions almost every weekend in the Valencia region throughout the year.

And yes, inevitably they will include fireworks and burning stuff and probably a Medievel market and plenty of cheese, sausages and wine. You can find information about some of the larger ones and when they happen here or by clicking the image below. And yes, that big tomato throwing festival you see on the news each year is in Valencia, in Buñol to be precise, and yes, I have been, twice, and yes, that is enough. Actually, once is probably enough!


Childcare

Childcare in Valencia is cheap and plentiful. We wrote about it a few months ago when the regional government announced the prices for this year and they were really low. Take a look.

"The cost of a nursery full time for children in the Valencian region is 34 euros per monthYes you read that right, 34 euros per month. Private nurseries can go up to 260 euros per month but they still get a subsidy for every child. In the UK nurseries costs on average over 1000 pounds per month and in the USA the average cost is around 1200 dollars per month. So even if you go fully private here the childcare costs are insignificant compared with the UK and USA.

Therefore if you have a baby or toddler you are likely to save over 10k per year just on childcare costs. There was a report in the UK that parents there have to pay up to 75% of their salary just for childcare which of course affects people going back to work after giving birth."

This makes a huge difference in terms of lifestyle and cost of living but also of course in quality of life. This low childcare cost means people can actually get on with working without worrying about how much they have to pay for childcare costs and at the same time their children get a great start in their Spanish learning surrounded with other kids also learning how to socialise with others.


Higher Education Opportunities and Costs

Sending your semi-adult child to University in Valencia is a lot cheaper than in other places and with the huge number of University places available in the city from both traditional Universities and Colleges and the international options established in the city from the Berkeley Music College to the Florida Private University there is something for everyone. The tuition fees for the University of Valencia start from 1000 Euros per year. Compare this with a standard 9k per year in the UK system. You can read more about fees at the UV for example here.

With 8 Universities in Valencia, 2 private, and around 120,000 students each year just at the UV and the Polytechnic University you can see that there is plenty of choice and plenty for young people to do here.


Opportunities to Volunteer

Many people come to Valencia to retire or semi-retire and are looking to do something with their time. Obviously studying Spanish is one option and it should be done but many people also choose to volunteer with NGOs and charities.

Just like every country Spain has issues in the background and many people have chosen to help out at Food Banks and Volunteer organisations working with Refugees and Immigrants. The welcome given to Ukrainians when the war broke out last year was huge. Valencia took in more refugees than most other places in Europe of a comparable size.

It's not only this type of work though, helping in the community with English teaching or passing on skills learnt in a previous life is also common and it's also a way to get to know others with similar interests and find out more about the local community. All help is generally welcomed in most organisations.


Vegetarian and Vegan Options

It used to be the case that when you said you were Vegetarian in Spain the answer was a simple "Why?!!". If you said you were Vegan it was just assumed you only ate nuts and were also a bit nuts yourself. However, having lived in Spain for thirty years now the options for vegetarians and vegans have grown exponentially until these days there are hardly any places where the waiter will pull a face and not understand what vegetarianism or veganism is.

As the demand for this type of food grows the number of restaurants catering specifically to these groups also grows and in most modern restaurants now you can find vegetarian and vegan options. I'm currently writing this in Asturias and even here, the home of the huge Chuletón and meaty stews, there are "some" veggie options to be found.


A Focus on Sustainability

The use of bikes to get around, electrification of the public transport fleet, electric vehicles of all types, sustainable tourism goals, green tourism and rural sustainability. All of these features were a focus of the local and regional government over the last few years. The changes in the city and its environs were huge as a result and the air quality and environment became much better.

There are still issues, the renovation of the Plaza de la Reina, the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and other central areas were done with much too much concrete and not enough shade and greenery but traffic is nearly at zero there now. The focus on parks, tress, superblocks and more however has left Valencia in a much better position in the race to net zero than many other places.

With climate change and increased temperatures being such a feature of this particular summer and very probably those to come, it's a hard job now to reverse the damage done but every town and city needs to do their bit and Valencia continues to look towards the future doing its own bit.


Revolut Bank News

Revolut has announced that it is now offering (and obliging) people in Spain their own Spanish IBAN number rather than the previous Lithuanian one. The change is due to be made in the next two months. What this means is that you can now get your Spanish wages paid into Revolut, you can direct debit your bills into Revolut and you can use if for all sorts of things in Spain where previously people would have said "What's that IBAN number?"

But what if you don't want their Spanish number...

Well, hard cheese.

The only option is to close your account. Expect to see a lot of people currently using Revolut getting rid of their crypto holdings fast before it comes into force (Did you know that Revolut makes most of its profits through crypto trading fees? Neither did I until recently)


Modernising Properties

As you will know if you have read our blogs over the years we offer a service to help you with modernising your property in order to get exactly what you want because you often can't find the exact property you would like. This month something different is happening. One of our builders is working on my property (with my daughter as project manager) and that is why I am currently writing this post from Asturias as I had to vacate the house for a few weeks while the floors are changed, a bathroom is modernised and various other jobs are done throughout the house. Because of this it's important to tell you about...


Our Summer Holiday Time

We are understaffed in August as many of us are away. I'm away (Graham that is) from now until mid-August but I will be taking and making initial onboarding calls. Gavin and David are essentially MIA for the month. Paul is around but missing for a few days at the start of the month and Jess is back and forth to Denia and Valencia. Maria is enjoying some time away from the modernisations and new peeps Catherine and Marije are around working on the new projects, more to come on one of them below and about another very very soon, but if you are over during August it will be difficult because people go away. Especially this year when Spanish tourism both internal and from abroad has hit new records and is back above levels pre-pandemic.

Expect us back and raring to go in September when our client booking calendar is looking very healthy indeed so probably best to do some early booking. If you are going to be here and want to work with us then send us a message now. Here comes the summer as Feargal said.


Stepping Stone Rentals is Live

As mentioned last week we were hoping to have SSR up and running at least as a minimum viable product last week. Well, it happened. And it's a bit better than that, it's ready to go and we are ready to be contacted and booked. Take a look around the website at Stepping Stone Rentals and let us know if you find any glitches, anything that is difficult to understand or anything you would suggest to make it better. And of course if you are ready to book then contact us and we can help guide you through the booking process.


Property of the Week

Townhouse in the Shadow of the Castle

Now and again, you find a property that really pleasantly surprises you. We went to look at this townhouse, in one of the most ancient parts of one of the most ancient towns in the Valencia region, Sagunto, and we expected the usual townhouse issues. Damp, dodgy structural issues, dark windowless bedrooms, etc.

So it was really enjoyable to find this instead. The house was only built in 1990, despite the location, and renovated in the last few years. Everything is excellent, simple as that. Can't fault it. New windows, central heating, air conditioning. New bathrooms, new kitchen. Wooden windows and doors in perfect condition throughout and even though the photos don't really do it justice, it is a really bright and airy house.

The property has a large garage on the ground floor. This is the only place on the street with council permission to drive in and park. There are 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in the house, large living area with balconies onto the pedestrian street outside, and views of the castle and town walls. On the top floor, there is a large roof terrace, with a paellero/BBQ, and lots of room for dining table and chair and at the moment the owners even have a raised pool out there.

The terrace mainly faces west, sunsets over the mountains, and the house lies below the castle and old Roman walls, so amazing views in all directions. Sagunto is 30 minutes from Valencia city, has regular train service, and is 10 minutes from the beach. If you are looking for a townhouse without any of the headaches of a townhouse this is the one. Great potential for tourist rentals too while you aren't there.


Read More Of Our Blogs...

If you liked this then you might be interested in more of our blogs previously published here. Take a look by clicking on the images below.





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