Valencia Tourist Destinations
As most people visiting the region will probably arrive by plane, the first two places to consider are Alicante and Valencia themselves.
Alicante is another one of those cities, like Cdiz and Cartagena, that has been re-invented in the last two decades. It has always had absolutely stunning beaches wide, clean and with some fabulous eating places dotted along them. But now, rather then the run-down and seedy place it used to be it is a lively, vibrant and interesting town. Certainly Alicante should be thought of as more than just an airport. The castle on the summit of Mount Benacantil, with impressive sculptures in its gardens and tunnels, dungeons and draw bridges, is well worth seeing and you dont have to walk up there as there is a lift from the towns main Postiguet Beach.
Something very different is the eleven mile ferry ride from the main marina out to the tiny Isla Tabarca once a pirate hideaway but now a haven for snorkelers and seafood lovers.
Valencia, of course, has taken off as one of the most popular short break destinations in the country and its easy to understand why. Similar to Barcelona is the combination of stunning city and fabulous beaches. Here too there is a fascinating old quarter to wander round; some very trendy bars in the Barrio del Carmen; an intriguing stylistic mixture of a cathedral; the largest aquarium in Europe; the totally overwhelming City of Arts and Sciences and some great shopping. All this and a street Grand Prix, La Liga football and the Lladr factory shop and museum!
The Valencia region is famous, or infamous depending on your point of view, for being the home of Benidorm, which never leaves people with a neutral reaction. It is worth seeing just to appreciate how many hotels can be built in such a condensed area and to ponder about the engineering feats involved in some of the lift constructions. There are many other resorts too, though. Places like Peiscola in the north of the region have a very Spanish atmosphere whereas Dena and Torrevieja are much more cosmopolitan. Different in character are the smaller towns such as Altea not a good beach unless you like stones but a lovely old town, Oropesa and Jvea. if youre driving along the main coastal motorway, try to take one of the roads into Elche Elx in Catalan. This city is just full of palm trees, often in lovely scenic gardens that are cool even in the middle of August. Its also a centre of the Spanish shoe making industry so you can pick up some great bargains here.
But Valencia is more than just a coastline. Heading off inland can bring some fine rewards. Places such as the hill top town of Morella, in the very north of the region, offer fascinating scenic drives and delightful, seemingly unspoiled Spanish towns. There are equally spectacular drives through the central valleys of the region or across the Sierra Mariola, through Guadalest.
Valencia Regional Festivals
People all over the world know of the famous festival of Las Fallas in Valencia. Held in the middle of March each year, it must be the noisiest festival ever. Locals claim that there are more people walking around with missing fingers in Valencia than anywhere else in the world and you will soon appreciate that they might only be half joking when you witness some of the amazing pyrotechnical goings on here. Its not just the incredible house-high papier-mach, wood and polystyrene statues. It is the absolutely ear drum shattering explosions that you think youve got yourself prepared for. The tip is to keep your mouth open, apparently for some reason its less dangerous then. Dont let this put you off, though. Its really a must see.
Somewhat less dangerous, but equally messy in a different sort of way, is the Tomatina festival in the small town of Buol on the last Wednesday of August. About 30,000 people will throw over-ripe tomatoes at each other for no very good reason other than theyre having fun.
These are the most famous regional festivals but there are many others. Youll find the famous Moors and Christians at many different places at various times of the year. The Alicante festival is in August, for example, and the Benidorm version in October. Two of the most famous are those at Alcoy in April and a seafaring version in Villajoyosa at the end of July, commemorating a Saint Marta inspired victory over the Moors in 1538.
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Hilux Hostel ®
Located in the heart of Valencia´s beautiful and historic Barrio El Carmen, HILUX Hostels in valencia, is perfectly situated for your visit to Valencia.
Just minutes away from the train, metro and bus stations and a short ride from the airport…you will be unpacked and ready for your first day in no time! Each of our spacious balconied rooms are decorated with the contributions of imaginative local artists, its the firs hostels in valencia..
We have just ten double or twin rooms so it will never feel crowded.
Our warm and friendly staff ( 24 hs reception) will always have plenty of time for a chat in the cool and colourful lounge or offer you advice about the best info about restaurants, bars and diverse nightlife that Valencia has to offer. The next day you will enjoy a great breakfast. Free internet in lobby also 24 hs. Fully equipped kitchen and DVD room for our guest use included in the firs hostels in valencia.
Valencia is Spain's third-largest city with a population of some 740,000. It lies on the Mediterranean coast some 350km south of Barcelona. Madrid is a similar distance inland. Gastronomically, the region is home to paella, Spain's most famous dish. Historically, it is believed that the Holy Grail resides in Valencia's cathedral and it was here that El Cid fought the Moors.
The Valencia climate tends to be mild all year round and one of Spain's greatest festivals, Las Fallas, takes place every March when revellers enjoy a week long party with fireworks and massive bonfires every night.
The major tourist attraction in Valencia is the amazing City of Arts and Sciences which attracts 4 million annual visitors and is equally fascinating to adults and children alike. Valencia is now firmly established on the European art circuit with galleries containing works by El Greco, Goya and Velzquez. The city is currently undergoing a facelift in preparation for the 2007 America's Cup sailing race which will take place off the shore of Valencia. The city's football team is amongst the top teams in the country winning a league and UEFA cup double in 2004/05.
Getting to Valencia
There are two International Airports in the Valencia region at Valencia itself and at Alicante in the south of the region. The airport at Valencia doubled its number of passengers in the decade up to 2007 so that it has now become Spains eighth busiest terminal. Although about 60% of the passengers at the airport use Spanish internal flights, the introduction of, amongst others, Ryanair, Easyjet and Jet2 flights has helped British access to the region.
Alicante Airport, of course, has long been a favourite destination for British holidaymakers travelling out to Benidorm, Torrevieja and other Costa Blanca resorts. With over 9 million passengers in 2007, it is the sixth largest in the country and attracts flights from Ryanair, Easyjet, Monarch, bmibaby and Jet2 airlines.
The region is also extremely well served by rail links both to Madrid and Barcelona and the Mediterranean coastal motorway now practically extending from the French border all the way to Cdiz is a fabulous drive.
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