We are off to Valencia! In this post, we share five things we hope to experience during our upcoming trip. If you have never visited, perhaps we can convince you to join us on this trip by following our social media updates and ultimately turn your interest into an actual visit.

 

We are off to Valencia!

Late last year, we wrote an article where we challenged you to choose between Madrid and Barcelona. While the debate continues on which of those beautiful Spanish cities first timers to Spain would choose, we’re going to stretch your imagination even further by adding Spain’s third largest city into the mix.

Culture, Five Things We look forward to Experiencing in Valencia

Like Madrid and Barcelona, Valencia is world-renowned for its football and history. With a strong interest in both, it was only a matter of time before we visited. However, it wasn’t until our friends, Eric and Amalia, the lovely couple who run ‘Move to Traveling’, took up residence in the community that we began to visualise and prioritise a visit.

Both great photographers, it was not long before their Facebook posts began to feature amazing photos of Valencia’s eclectic street art and food. Our travel taste buds were well and truly ignited. Now, we have a great opportunity to visit the city for four days and we are so excited.

So what’s so special about Valencia and why should you be interested in following our updates and perhaps planning a visit yourself? Through our five potential experiences we share below, we might give you a few ideas of your own.

 

#1 – Architecture in Valencia

Architecture tells its own story about a city and its culture.

Barcelona has its Gaudí, Madrid has its Royal Palace and ‘Golden Triangle of Art’ and Toledo has its Santa Maria La Blanca Synagogue. From what we hear, Valencia’s architecture combines the best of both its old world and modern charm.

Architecture, Five Things We look forward to Experiencing in Valencia

Photo: Santa Maria La Blanca Synagogue, Toledo

Like most European cities that were not destroyed during war, Valencia’s old city has its fair share of narrow roads, alleyways, palaces and cathedrals that reflect the city’s history. We are looking forward to discovering hidden gems during our walking tour with Urban Adventures Valencia.

The highlight of the modern city of Valencia is the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (City of Arts and Sciences), an extraordinary installation of iconic buildings which include the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia opera house and L’Oceanogràfic, Europe’s largest aquarium tank. George Clooney, while speaking about his movie ‘Tomorrowland’, described the science and culture centre (which featured in the movie) as “insane”.

When doing city breaks, we love to stay as close to its centre as possible. In Valencia, we will be staying within easy reach of the City of Arts and Sciences. Expect to see lots of architectural landmarks in our Esplorio digital diary.

 

#2 – Culture: Connecting the dots

During our travels through Spain and eventually through Portugal and Morocco, we have observed and incredible cultural connection between these countries in terms of design, architecture, language and art.

Design, Five Things We look forward to Experiencing in Valencia

Photo: Toledo station, Spain

The colourful and distinctive ceramic tile murals found in cities like Barcelona, Madrid, Marrakech, Porto and Lisbon create a historical thread linking their common Moorish heritage. While exploring Valencia, we hope to connect the dots as we discover more examples of the cultural ties that bind the present to the past.

Unfortunately, travelling to Valencia in September means we have missed the chance to experience one of the region’s major festivals, the Festival de las Fallas which takes place earlier in the year. Next time Valencia…next time!

 

#3 – More than just food

Valencia is famous for paella and oranges (or so we have been told). Legend has it that paella originated there. We hope to unearth some of the facts behind this and if we discover any interesting recipes, we promise to share them with you so stay close!

Food, Five Things We look forward to Experiencing in Valencia

While in Valencia, we do hope to sample more than just paella though. Spain has a rich food tapestry and every region has its own cultural interpretation of it. In Valencia, we hope to experience local versions of horchata, jamón, churros, buñuelos, artisan chocolates, and local wines.

Food, Five Things We look forward to Experiencing in Valencia

More than food however, we will be on the lookout for the stories behind the food. We want to learn about small businesses and the people who run them. We look forward to hearing family stories of love and passion, two ingredients that always enrich any food experience!

 

#4 – Listening to the voices from street art

When done well, street art is disruptive in a positive way.

Street art arrests the casual observer and draws them into trying to understand the (often) political or historical messages they convey. When cities embrace street art as part of their cultural narrative, it can become more than just a sub-culture and instead become a powerful means of creative expression.

Street Art, Five Things We look forward to Experiencing in Valencia

We have seen some great images of street art from our friends who live in Valencia. Now it is time for us to experience this for ourselves. We’ll be Snap-chatting and Instagram-ing our way through the streets of Valencia on a walking tour with Urban Adventures Valencia.

 

#5 – By the Sea

No this isn’t a hidden joke about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s last (ill-fated) film project of the same title. We can never get enough of open water and on our travels, we constantly look for opportunities to get as close to it as we can.

Looking out to sea in Portugal, Cabo de São Vicente, Algarve

Photo: Cabo de São Vicente, Algarve, Portugal

For the last few days of our trip, we will be leaving the main city of Valencia on a road trip southwards towards the coastal town of Dénia. Dénia sits roughly halfway between Valencia and Alicante and is perhaps more famous for its proximity to Ibiza and the other Balearic Islands. As tempting as they sound, those locations are not part of our itinerary on this trip.

Our route will take us along the Costa Blanca, part of Spain’s beautiful Mediterranean coastline. However, the highlight of our trip will be a reunion with our friends Eric and Amalia. We hope to tap into their insider knowledge and learn more about Valencia and the surrounding region. Watch this space for some incredible insights!

 

Come with us!

Have you visited Valencia? We would love to hear about your experience and any recommendations. Do share!

Follow Us, Five Things We look forward to Experiencing in Valencia

As we do, we will be documenting the highlights from our trip and sharing them with you here on our blog. However, we also plan to share live and daily updates on Facebook Live, Periscope, Instagram Stories and Snapchat.

In addition, we will also be documenting and sharing our journey using our new digital travel diary app, Esplorio. To see an example of an Esplorio digital diary, click here. You can download Esplorio from the iPhone App Store for FREE and play around with it.

 

Disclosure: We ended up staying at a different property from where we originally planned. However, larger travelling groups looking to stay close to the City of Arts and Sciences, can consider Valencia Flats as an option for budget accommodation.

Co-Founders & Curators at HDYTI

Eulanda & Omo Osagiede are London-based freelance writers and award-winning social influencers who run the popular travel, food, and lifestyle blog HDYTI (Hey! Dip your toes in).