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Valencia – Along the "White Coast"

Bright white houses, wonderful beaches and the clear blue sea water look like an illustration from a storybook. But not only the Costa Blanca but also the magical Orange Blossom Coast, the greatest tomato fight on earth and the fiery spectacle of the Falles in spring attract visitors to the region.

The coast in front of the community of Valencia

Geography - The south-east of Spain

The autonomous community Valencia is located in the south-east of Spain at the Mediterranean coast and comprises the provinces Valencia, Alicante and Castellón. Its capital is Valencia, which is the country's third biggest city with a population of 805.000 people. The region's area of 23.255 km² is enclosed by the communities Catalonia, Murcia, Aragon and Castilla-La Mancha. Its landscape is characterised by wide strips of coast and scenic mountain ranges, which are dominated by a warm to hot continental Mediterranean climate throughout the year. Especially the winter months are pleasantly mild with temperatures of about 15 to 23 °C and a water temperature of 14 °C.

Costa Blanca

Nature - Flat sandy beaches, fruit plantations and a massif

The community Valencia can be divided into mountainous and coastal regions. The latter are about 632 kilometres long and are characterised by long, flat, fine sandy beaches and are well-developed for tourists. At the Costa Blanca ("White Coast") and the Costa de Azahar (Orange Blossom Coast) you find popular bathing resorts such as Dénia, Calpe or Benidorm. A special geographical formation at Valencia's coast are the Columbretes Islands. The archipelago is of volcanic origin and is a conservation area because of its unique flora and fauna. Another frequently visited sight is the lagoon Albufera in the natural park of the same name. This body of water if one of the greatest natural lakes on the Iberian Peninsula and is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a narrow strip of land. Towards the heartland, near the coast, you find artificially irrigated areas, which are covered in numerous fruit plants such as orange and almond trees or grapevines. Especially in spring the trees blossom and create a romantic and idyllic scenery. The region's centre is dominated by mountain ranges. It also contains the Parque Natural del Carrascal de la Font Roja, in which you find Mediterranean oak forests. Valencia's highest mountain is the Penyagolosa with a height of 1.813 metres.

Spring in Valencia

Culture - Chrsitian-Moorish cultural property and Europe's greatest aquarium

The region Valencia was founded through the union with the kingdom Aragon under James I of Aragon, the Conquerer, in 1238. From that point on, the Moors and Christians contested for the Valencian territory, which was freed by the Spanish national hero El Cid in the 11th century. This conflict between the Moorish and Christian population is reflected in a number of customs and celebrations as well as historical buildings such as monasteries, churches and castles to the present day. Many of them can be found in the capital Valencia, for example. The city's Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, the Llotja de la Seda (English "Silk Exchange", World Cultural Heritage of the UNESCO) or the cathedral bear witness to the region's history. In addition, the Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencas (City of Arts and Sciences) in the city Valencia is a must for every visitor. You do not only find museum and an opera house there but also Europe's greatest aquarium, the Oceanográfic. Other history-charged and worthwhile towns are Xàtiva with its medieval old town and castle and Alicante with its Castle of Santa Bárbara.

City Alicante in Valencia

Experience - Fireworks, historical battles and paella

Travellers can experience many exuberant, great celebrations, some of which are known beyond Spain's borders. Two of them are the festival Moros y Christianos and the Falles (La Fallas) in spring. The latter is one of the region's main attractions with pagan and Christian customs. Every year people put up wood and cardboard figures (often caricatures of politicians and stars), all of which are burned except for the most beautiful one, which is later displayed in the Falles Museum. The word "fallas" was derived from the Latin word for "torch" and perfectly describes the special features of this festivity: fireworks, gun powder and of course fire. The Festival Moros y Christianos, on the other hand, presents countless processions and a historical performance of the battle between the Moors and the Christians. Another world-famous spectacle is the world's greatest tomato fight Tomatina in the small town Buñol. Valencia's dishes are part of the Mediterranean cuisine and are based on olive oil, vegetables, meat and fish. Rice dishes are very popular in the region with the paella as the best-known example. This dish is made of rice with vegetables, chicken and seafood and comes originally from Valencia.

Rice dish paella in Valencia

Activities - A paradise for water sports

Valencia is the ideal destination for holidays at the seaside. The wonderful, long sandy beaches at the Costa Blanca, Costa Azahar and the Costa Valencia invite visitors to bathe and swim. In addition, you can do many kinds of water sports such as diving surfing, fishing or sailing at Valencia's coast. A special location are the Columbretes Islands, which are a conservation area but can be used for diving and sport fishing. The region's many leisure, amusement and water parks offer variety next to the attractions. Besides activities at the seaside, there are many opportunities for golfers and hikers to pursue their hobbies. Valenica's hinterland is excellently suited for relaxed hiking tours. The five official hiking trails of over 800 kilometres of length are rarely steep or very demanding.

Water sports at Valencia's coast

Information

The best time for travelling Valencia is without doubt the summer. The warm to hot temperatures of the Mediterranean Sea offer the best conditions for bathing and water sports. Holidaymakers who want to explore the region's heartland on foot should visit Valencia in spring or autumn.

Valencia is a Spanish region which attracts many travellers who are looking for holidays at the seaside. The bright Costa Blanca, the wonderful Orange Blossom Coast and the region's Mediterranean flair offer perfect conditions for relaxing and escaping the routine of everyday life.

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