The Best of Valencia's Suburbs

In other countries when you say you live in the suburbs there is an immediate impression of a sense of something very different from city life. In the UK it's all to do with middle class aspiration and keeping up with the Joneses, curtain twitching, needing the car for everything but most especially for getting to the golf club and that impending sense of quiet boredom and doom stretching from mid life into your dotage. In the USA it's white picket fences, also needing the car for everything but needing to travel much further, overbearing home owners associations, every house being identical and a longing to return to main street USA where everything was to hand before the 'Burbs existed.

In Spain and more particularly Valencia, the suburbs are different because the concept of the commute was alien to Spanish life until quite recently and most of them weren't built by a developer to a template. Everyone bought their own plot and let their imagination run wild on the design of the house giving them a less identikit look. Equally, in many places around Valencia the suburbs as you would picture them, houses with their own gardens and off road parking, well, simply put they don't exist and there are very good reasons for this

In Spain, everyone moved into the city to be near their work and rural depopulation even close to major cities was a major thing. The further you were from the main population centres the bigger the population declines as younger people left looking for work which could only be found in the capitals of each province as agricultural activity lessened, or they left to go to University in the cities and never returned (except for the weekends, holidays and village fiestas which are sort of obligatory).

In the inland towns and villages this was only slightly reversed by the advent of the internet as it took a long time for many of these towns and villages to be connected up to fast internet and by then the damage had largely been done. However, the pandemic meant a lot of people longed to return to their towns and villages after being cooped up for three months often in small city apartments without outside space to walk in and take in fresh air.

The suburbs, when you can find them, on the other hand had become lively with plenty to offer and this is true more than anywhere in the larger cities in Spain, Madrid, Barcelona and, what interests us today, Valencia. There are various reasons for this which we will quickly explore before giving our choice of the best of Valencia's more typical suburbs.

What A Valencian Suburb Offers

Proximity is the first requirement because despite everything the person moving to the Valencian suburbs wants easy access into the city even when their town has everything needed for everyday living. The average Valencian thinks that the nearer you are to the city the better. Once we get past the half hour into the city range we are not talking about the suburbs, that is "el quinto pino" for a Valencian (The middle of nowhere)

Next, connection is important. Ease of transport networks and public transport to move about is high on the list of needs.

Fast internet is a must now. People work, play, surf, meet and entertain themselves in many other ways from home using the internet and most of Valencia's suburbia is now connected with ultra high speed internet allowing work from home and less of a need to be in the city for meetings and for getting a better internet connection.

Finally, a defined centre and a family feel with cafes, bars, parks, green spaces and areas to walk and meet are in demand. Some of the places we mention will not have these so we don't consider them the best of suburbia, many do.

Valencia's Suburbia (Or Surroundings)

Some areas of what would previously be known as the suburbs are really a part of the city now. These are areas that become subsumed into the city as it grew from previously being small villages outside the city limits such as Benimamet, Campanar, Benimaclet and even Alboraya and Burjassot. There is no break from the city before arriving in these places now so they are no longer the suburbs, they are essentially the city.

Once you get past these areas then you are in the Burbs to a greater or lesser extent.

To the north you have the towns along the old Barcelona road such as Tavernes, Almassera, Foios, Meliana and Albalat. They don't really have the feel of the suburbs though, they feel like small towns and villages connected by a single road. And there is a good reason for this. They are. They maintain their identity because they lie in the protected "Huerta" where development is extremely limited so they are not surrounded by housing estates of low rise single or two storey houses with gardens and pools as that type of development is not allowed.

To the north west, once through Burjassot, you find Godella and Rocafort and then Moncada and Massarrojos. The former two are more typically suburbian but it's because of old Valencian money that moved here in the early part of the 20th century to build their large family Homes, Masias and Palaces to get away from the city. Back in the day it would have taken an hour and longer to get there in the jalopy or the horse drawn carriage. Now it's a ten to fifteen minute drive or 20-30 minutes on the bus or metro so they have become very popular for people wanting more space and more greenery but to not be too far from the city.

Then we have the CV35 corridor also to the North West taking us past Paterna, before an identifiable gap appears and we hit countryside, a technology park and lots of leisure facilities including Valencia football club's training grounds and then filter in to La Cañada, San Antonio, Betera, L'Eliana and Ribarroja.

This area is suburbia 101 for Valencians.

Easy motorway and public transport access into the city, lots of towhouses, semi detached houses, villas and country houses each with their own or shared gardens, pools and privacy away from neighbours' prying eyes.

To the west of the city there are the towns that aren't too picturesque such as Quart, Xirivella, Aldaia, and Manises by the airport, all a short distance to the city but not really suburbia in the sense you might have in your mind's eye as they are largely apartments and urban sprawl.

To the south-west we have Paiporta, Picanya and Torrent. All on the metro line stretching out from the city and within easy reach of the city and the first two with lots of semi detached and terraced houses built in the early 2000s for commuting into Valencia and the latter with a more traditional suburban feel in the Vedat area once you get through the town from the metro (It's a big town too).

To the south and a bit further out and inland once we get past the huge shopping area of Sedavi-Alfafar with its warehouse stores and IKEA, we get to Silla, Alcacer and Picassent. Picassent again is a bit Suburby with it's larger estates as you go through the town towards Montserrat.

The road directly to the south of the city by the coasts offers us El Saler, El Palmar and then the various small towns going towards Cullera but again it's not a very suburby feel as they are mostly small self contained towns, no large estates with houses and pools again because the area is protected due to the Albufera lake and large scale building is not allowed there.

The Best Of Suburbia?

The question therefore is where is the best part of suburbia to live in if that is really what you want to do? This suburbia should include all of the above considerations and more - transport, communications, peace, tranquility, space, facilities, safety, family focussed and greenery. It should also feel like suburbia, not just be a place near the city but places where you can find houses with gardens and parking and perhaps a swimming pool and maybe a tennis court. Let's take a look at our selection.

L'Eliana/Ribarroja/San Antonio

Always mentioned because it's such a popular area for people to live, especially for families, L'Eliana, Ribarroja and San Antonio are grouped together because one leads into another and into another.

We are not talking about the town of Ribarroja here as such, although it has its charms, we are talking about the areas of Monte Alcedo and nearby that belong to Ribarroja but are really just an extension of the estates of La Eliana on the other side of the metro line. This area served by the three metro stations of El Clot, Maravisa and L'Eliana and is full of large family houses on large plots with off road parking and big cars, old Valencian money built here in the mid 20th century.

San Antonio is similar in that a small village has expanded with suburban type properties and now borders L'Eliana and Ribarroja. However there is more of a concentration of Row and Terraced houses with shared facilities and semi detached modern cubist houses with smaller plots than the more traditional villas because when the development came it was through builders and developers as opposed to people buying their plot and building their own house (however zany it looked).

L'Eliana is the jewel in the crown as it's the town itself with its huge numbers of cafes, bars, fusion restaurants and well defined centre with an excellent park and sports centre and the huge Carrefour shopping centre, that make it the natural centre for suburban family life in Valencia. Easily reachable from both Ribarroja and San Antonio but also La Pobla de Vallbona and even La Cañada and a very manageable 15 minutes into the city of Valencia itself, L'Eliana is the number one choice for many people both Spanish and the international crowd when looking for a comfortable suburban style life.


On the other side of the CV35 motorway we turn off towards Betera and the suburban area of Betera is before you arrive in the town around the golf course at El Escorpion. Here we can find large modern villas overlooking the golf course and some high end apartment complexes with shared facilities.

Once we get to the town itself there are plenty of facilities to enjoy and everything you could want from a medium sized town near a city with easy access. And moving north from the town there are plenty of estates with villas leading us towards Naquera and Serra or to Olocau. However the typically suburban part is to the south west of the town coming from the motorway, when you come in from the other directions not so much.


Very close to the city of Valencia itself and slightly raised so offering good views over the valley and towards the city, both Godella and Rocafort were places for Old Valencian Money to build their huge family homes outside the towns themselves on the Campolivar and Santa Barbara estates.

Rocafort is small and these days Godella town itself is more of an extension of Burjassot with a lot of townhouses and old palaces leading up from the metro station. Due to the proximity of Valencia and the nature of the builds and plots here these places don't come cheap but as an option for Valencian suburbia they are good especially if you spend a lot of time in the city during the week.


Torrent is at the end of one of the metro lines spidering out from Valencia itself and is a bit of a surprise when you get there as it's a very large town in itself and has everything you need for everyday living. However it's when you go out of town along the Avenida del Vedat that you find suburbia and the Vedat and Santa Apollonia estates. Easy access to Valencia and the airport from the A7 motorway that passes at its end. These estates have large walled villas and gardens and a real feel of suburbia. It also feels easy to get into and out of Torrent itself and because there is a social and country club for the area along with quite a few restaurants and shops in the estates themseleves it doesn't feel isolated.

And The Worst? (Though they aren't really bad)

There are some areas which are like suburbia because they offer a lot of what defines suburbia but they lack other facets. Puzol for example has a couple of international schools, three estates with housing you could describe as typically suburban (Although expensive private estates, Alfinach, Monasterios and Monte Picayo) and it is under half an hour to the city but it just doesn't offer what you want really in a town, not enough cafes, facilities and shopping. You really use the city for almost everything when you live in Puzol.

La Cañada should be suburbia 101; very close to the city, a suburban feel and look but apart from the main road there are no shops and no defined centre except for a very small area around the metro station. The houses go on forever and it's a bit of a labyrinth and everything looks the same in the end, it has no real identity (So yes, I suppose this is what is considered real suburbia in the US and UK). You definitely need the car for everything but it's convenient for both the city and getting to everywhere else. For me this lack of identity is an important factor of why I don't really rate La Cañada too much but some people love it. I have to admit it's getting better with more restaurants and shops appearing bit by bit but for the relationship between price/quality of life there are better options (See above). It's expensive for houses there just because of the proximity to the city but the older more established towns surrounded by housing are better options for me.

If suburbia and suburban living is your thing then contact us as we have a lot of experience in finding families their perfect suburban idyll. If on the other hand suburbia is completely opposite to what you are really looking for then again contact us as we know where you can find exactly what you are looking for and perhaps also what you most definitely aren't looking for. We look forward to hearing from you.

Golden Visa Property of the Week

Something a little special old chap!

Set in the foothills of the Sierra Calderona and La Carrasca, (the best part of Naquera btw, one of the neighbours told me) we find this chalet, villa, house or what I would call a spectacular Mansion, set on an impressively large plot, perfectly secluded and private and despite the seven-figure price tag, extraordinary value for money when you consider its size and condition.

Built in 1976 but renovated, improved and maintained over the years this impressive pile now needs a new lord and lady to stroll through the grounds, tweed and plaid attire are the order of the day before its time to take refreshments on the terrace. Tiptoe through the tulips, sip on the Pimms and Juleps whilst one barks orders at the groundkeeper and halfwit pool boy, then after a long lunch and siesta it’s time for jolly japes on the tennis court with your chums. Chortles.

As dusk falls, evening time naturally leads to cocktails and a black tie dinner with some local VIPs, the youngsters venture outside. Hide and Seek? Golly gosh, what a wheeze.

Simply a wonderful property to enjoy the finer things in life, so pip pip and come along old bean, it would be ghastly bad luck if you missed out. TTFN.

If You Liked This...

Then as usual just click through to some of our previous posts. This week where we talk about suburbia and more in places around Valencia.

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