There's not a city in the world Jürgen and I know quite so well as Valencia. We lived here for years before starting our travel project, and should there ever come a day we're ready to settle down, it's to Valencia that we'll return. We figured our favorite city on Earth deserved the full attention of our blog, so we spent 91 days seeing the sights as though we were newcomers.
Pack the bags, turn off the lights, shut the door, hail a taxi, shed a tear... and say goodbye! After five years of constant travel, we've become quite adept at the Departure Dance. But this time, there was a twist. Valencia has long been our adopted home, and this year we finally made it official by buying an apartment. We know we'll be back soon, and that makes this departure a lot less melancholy.
Even at night, Valencia is a city defined by light. The "blue hour" right after dusk is one of our favorite times, when the sky takes on a gorgeous, dark blue tint, and the street lamps illuminate the city's buildings with a warm yellow light. Here are some photos which suggest that Valencia is at its most beautiful when the sun is making its daily retreat.
A warm summer day coming to an end, a cool breeze lifting off the Mediterranean, a glass of cava sparkling in your hand, the water skidding by underneath, the wind rustling the sails up above... and on the horizon, past the beach, the sun sinking behind a set of colored clouds. There aren't many experiences more enjoyable than a sunset tour on a catamaran.
Valencians love to be outside and, as the workday ends, will explode from their offices and flow down the sidewalks like lava, before coming to rest in one of the city's many plazas. There are hundreds of plazas in Valencia, but here are some of the historic center's most well-known.
Whether you're hoping to catch the newest summer blockbuster or an award-winning indie flick, Valencia has you covered. We're big fans of cinema, and these are the places we tend to go for a night at the movies.
Whether you're in the mood for tapas, bocadillos, or a full, multi-course menu, there are a million restaurants to choose from in Valencia. And if your time in the city is short, it's better not to run the risk of picking the wrong place. Don't trust TripAdvisor, which is appallingly off-the-mark in this city; for a classic Valencian meal, any of these should fit the bill.
If the low-lying fields which surround Valencia are known for rice and horchata-producing chufas, then the mountainous areas farther inland are known for wine, particularly the endemic Valencian variety called Bobal. We made a trip to the province's most important wine-producing region, Utiel-Requena, to visit the popular Hoya de Cadenas vineyards.
If you were to ask a random pool of Valencians which they consider to be the city's hippest neighborhood... well, Ruzafa would probably be the winner. But it wouldn't be a blow-out. The northern district of Benimaclet is smaller and less well-known, but it has a young population, excellent restaurants, and a cool vibe all its own.
The sun was beating hard upon our necks, and our shirts were soaked with sweat. It was Sunday afternoon in the middle of the oppressive Valencian summer, and we were walking through the horta nord of Alboraya, learning about chufa: the tiny tuber which is the principal ingredient in horchata.