Spain’s third largest city has so much to offer. However, it is also in the perfect location for taking day trips to areas of natural wonder or historic importance in the Valencia region and nearby. Here’s a list of worthwhile day trips outside of Valencia.
L'Albufera is a freshwater lagoon located in the Gulf of Valencia. It is the largest lake in Spain and its surrounding nature park is home to a diverse collection of plants and wildlife. If you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, this is the perfect place to connect with nature. Spend the afternoon on a peaceful boat cruise on the lake or on an informative bus ride through the nature park. You can also schedule your weekly exercise by following one of the many hiking trails before settling down in one of the restaurants to watch the sun set over the lagoon.
Getting to L'Albufera is simple. You can take the number 25 bus from the city in under an hour or you can take the specialist Albufera Tourist Bus, which also includes a boat trip ticket.
Price: from 29 USD
2. Eat paella in El Palmar
To the east of L'Albufera is the heart of the local paella industry. In the small town of El Palmar you can find rice fields and fishermen responsible for supplying produce to Valencian restaurants. The town is a typical traditional Valencian town, a fact emphasized by the old style cottages and the 750 year old fishing techniques used by the local fishermen. The Valencian cottages, or Barracas, are simple white thatched houses that were previously home to local farmers but are now a symbol of history.
Seeing as this town is vital to the success of paella, it seems fitting that this tiny town of 800 people has 30 restaurants serving traditional Valencian dishes. Take your time sampling the local delicacies so that your post-lunch boat ride or walk can take place as the sun begins to set.
Website: El Palmar
3. Go wine-tasting in Requena
Apart from good company, the best accompaniment to paella is a good glass of wine. Luckily Valenicia has some world class vineyards. Requena lies just 70 km (43 miles) outside of Valencia and produces high quality wines grown in one of the most stunning landscapes Spain has to offer. Each wine company takes particular pride in the tradition of wine-making that was established here over 2,500 years ago. You’ll find a variety of wines in Requena, in particular, award-winning Spanish sparkling wine - Cava. So, take the opportunity to go wine-tasting on one of the many tours on offer. Learn the craft of wine-making, stroll through the vineyards and treat yourself to wonderful wine and spectacular views.
Requena Wine Tasting Tour
Website: Wine Tasting Tour
4. Take a dip in the Montanejos Hot Springs
In the 13th-century an Arabic King made hot baths in this region outside Valencia for his wives. Nowadays, these hot springs attract locals and travelers alike to the idyllic surroundings. The hot springs are a great place to relax and swim away from the crowded Valencian beaches. Take some time to explore the caves and waterfalls and of course, to get the perfect cliff jumping photograph. Once you’ve worked up an appetite playing in the pools, head to the town to enjoy some refreshments and tapas before returning to Valencia. You can get to the Montanejos Hot Springs by hiring a car or by joining an organized tour.
Montanejos Hot Springs
Website: Hot Springs Tour
5. Explore Guadalest and Algar Falls
A little further from Valencia (but definitely worth the journey) you’ll find Guadalest. This mountainside town has so much to offer. From admiring the beautiful architecture along the cobbled streets to visiting the medieval torture museum, you’ll have a jam-packed day. But what makes the journey from Valencia really worth it lies just outside of Guadalest. Here you’ll find the Fonts d'Algar. This natural waterpark is a maze of pools and waterfalls carved into the side of the mountain. Settle into the natural jacuzzi or dive into the crystal clear waters of the lagoons to cool off after a long day in the Mediterranean sun.
Guadalest and Algar Falls
6. Follow the tale of the star-crossed lovers in Teruel
According to the Teruel tourism board, this town is the city of lovers and with picturesque views like this, you can understand why. The town has become a hotspot for couples and hopeful singles. There are many popular things to do in Teruel such as follow Isabel and Diego’s unfortunate love story at La Fundacion Amantes, stroll the city and admire the Mudejr architecture or have some coffee and cakes in the central plaza. Teruel is located an hour northwest of Valencia. You can take a bus or Cercanias train from the city centre directly to the town.
7. Wander the castle in Xativa
Xativa is a picturesque town at the foot of a mountain. Its long and narrow alleys are definitely Instagram worthy as they showcase the very best of Spanish architecture. The main attraction is the castle at the top of the mountain which can be seen from any part of town. You can walk for 30 minutes to the top or you can take the tourist train to avoid arriving as a sweaty mess.
Xativa is known for its record-breaking summer temperatures so the best time to visit is spring or autumn. The castle has been well maintained so you can spend hours wandering the grounds and gardens learning about the dastardly adventurous of its previous inhabitants. You can get to Xativa in under an hour on a Cercanias train from Estacio del Nord.
Xativa and the castle
8. Discover Spain's secrets in Castellon de la Plana
Just over an hour on a Cercanias train from the city centre you will find the city of Castellon de la Plana, the largest city in the Castellon region. Relatively unknown in comparison to Valencia, this is the perfect place to go to escape the crowds. The city has a lot to offer including vibrant orange groves and sandy beaches, natural parks and gorgeous architecture. Some of the most popular things to do include taking part in a walking tour of the city’s landmarks and visiting the lighthouse of Grao. After this you can relax on the beaches until sunset and gather round the bonfire drinking sangria until sunrise.
Castellon de la Plana
There's more to Valencia than Valencia
The Valencian region has much more to offer than the city of Valencia itself, so head out and explore some more destinations off the beaten path with these worthwhile day trips.
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