Valencia, A Modern Jewel Of A City In The Mediterranean

Published on 03/11/2008 in Places of Interest

ValenciaValencia is one of Spain's great cities - the third largest city, after Madrid and Barcelona. Many tourists from all over Spain and the world visit Valencia and one of the things that make this city so famous is because of Las Fallas festival. It has a coastline of some 470km with exquisite beaches and a warm Mediterranean climate that is enjoyed all year long.

Valencia has always been a city of art, leaving behind its legacy of fine artists such as Joaquin Sorolla, Francisco Ribalta, Jusepe de Ribera or even contemporary Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava.

Each corner of Valencia is particularly charming, especially the famous neighbourhood of El Carmen. El Carmen is the historic centre of the city and its streets are mixed with the latest fads and bohemian traditions. For those who prefer to party, El Carmen neighbourhood is full of cool places to go to. You can enjoy the Valencian night under the moonlight in one of its beautiful terrace bars or restaurants, have a drink in the mid-afternoon sun with your friends, satisfy your craving in one of the delicious restaurants in the area or dance all night long in an avant-garde nightclub. The choice is yours.

Apart from the El Carmen neighbourhood in the city, there are plenty of other areas to enjoy Valencia's wondrous nightlife: La Plaza de Canovas, Avenida de Aragón, Avenida Blasco Ibáñez, La Plaza de Honduras, La Plaza Xúquer and the Plaza Juan Llorens. In summertime try El Paseo Neptuno because that's where the parties are at.

We cannot fail to mention Las Fallas when talking about coming to Valencia. They are one of the most famous, vibrant and noisiest festivals in Spain. The fires, along with the fireworks whip Valencia's streets into a frenzy.Las Fallas is undoubtedly one of the most unique and crazy festivals in Spain. What started as a feast day for St. José, the patron saint of carpenters, has evolved into a 5-day, multifaceted celebration of fire.Valencia is usually a quiet city with a population of a half-million, but the town swells to an estimated three million flame-loving revellers during Las Fallas.

This is the reason why the night of the Cremà (in which the ninots are burned down) is always on March 19th, the Festivity of San José. The ninots are extremely life-like and usually depict bawdy,satirical scenes and current events (Spanish politicians and celebrities are particularly popular). They are crafted by local organizations and take about six months to construct and often cost upwards of 75,000 US dollars!

For the lovers of good food among us Valencia is a paradise. Spain's famous Paella comes from Valencia. And I'm quite sure that you will not taste better rice in any other place. Other traditional dishes are baked rice, "arroz a la banda" (with fish), black rice (with squid in its ink) and Fideuá (made with noodles). For a drink why not try "el agua de Valencia" which is orange juice with champagne - like a Bucks Fizz. Horchata (called 'Orxata' in Valencian language) is a popular soft drink from Valencia and fartons is a kind of bread which together makes an interesting combination. Horchata is made from 'chufa' (it's a root). Arabs brought chufa from Egypt (700 BC).

"La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias" is a must on any visit to Valencia. It is a reference point for cultural tourism: the music, new technology, the sciences, the ecology, the education, the cinema or the contemporary art are some of the things we can find in this unique space. This incredible agglomeration of buildings showcases Santiago Calatrava's exceptional proficiency to express what is inside a building through its exterior design. Its 350,000 square metres have made it the largest cultural centre in Europe.

Does this not whet your appetite for a trip to Valencia? Travel to Valencia, discover its wonders, and then fall in love with it. Renting apartments in Valencia is a great way to explore this culture filled jewel on the Mediterranean sea.

Written by: Miranda Sol

About the author:Related Articles and Stories can be found at the author's blog about Catalonia Spain

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