Portray of the Destination
Valencia was founded by the Romans in the year 138 B.C. and, since then, the city has been amassing a great richness provided by the different cultures that have settled the city (Visigoth, Islamic...). Strolling around Valencia means living its history and appreciate how its historical monuments live in harmony with the most recent and modern buildings. Worthwhile is to go for a tour around the historic city centre with its churches and Gothic, Baroque and Modernist monuments, visiting prestigious museums, the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciènces -Arts and Sciences City- or the Conference Palace.
Valencia is nowadays one of the most important Mediterranean industrial points. Furthermore, it is an important European conference centre and an essential meeting point to carry out a business. Valencia has been chosen among 65 cities from all over the world to be the venue of the 32nd edition of the Copa América -a football championship-. This international event will take place during the Spring of 2007 and will transform the city into a privileged window that looks to the Mediterranean where each visitor will be an exceptional spectator. In this appealing city, bathed by the Mediterranean, visitors can enjoy mild temperatures, a rich gastronomy, festivals and still alive traditions together with a wide cultural and leisure offer. All these conditions are perfect to spend a splendid stay in Valencia, a city that invites to relax and enjoy all its charm.
We would like to thank the "Fundación de Turismo" office of Valencia for the texts and photographs provided.
Valencia city is located in the Spanish Mediterranean coast, on a plain close to the Turia river and surrounded of hills rarely higher than 100 metres.
Valencian geography is divided into two zones: hinterland and coast. The hinterland area is characterised by its mountainous geography of the Sistema Ibérico and the Cordillera Sub-bética. Important mountains are Sierra del Maestrazgo, Martés, Espina, Espadán and the massif Caroig. The highest point of the autonomous region is located in Penyagolosa (1,813 m). The Sistema Penibético, in the south of Alicante, is formed by the mountain chains Crevillente, Carrascal and Aitana which highest peak measures 1,558 metres. The other zone is a coastal plain with fine sandy beaches and some littoral lagoons or “albuferas”, some of them already dried. The most important geographical features are Punta Salinas, Irta Cape, Oropesa Cape, Columbretes Islands (of volcanic origin and declared natural park in 1998), Benavides gully, Estany, Colomer and Palos ravine, the touristic beaches of Canet, Puig, Natzaret, Pinedo, Saler and others near the Valencia city, Punta de Cullera (with the little island Peña del Moro opposite it), the beaches of Xeresa, Oliva, Gandía, Venecia, Pilas, Punta Almadraba, San Antonio Cape, Nao Cape, Ifach Rock, Las Huertas Cape, Alicante bay, Santa Pola cape and Santa Pola bay and Cervera cape. Rivers in the Valencia autonomous region are short and with a poor flow: Mijares, Palancia, Turia, Júcar, Cabriel, Magro, Serpis, Vinalopó and Segura.
Valencian climate is mild and humid Mediterranean. Its average temperature is 17.8ºC. Summers are warm and winter temperatures are not extreme. Precipitations usually occurs in autumn and are very strong with 454 m3 per year. Summers are dry.
When to go
Spring is the most beautiful period to visit the Mediterranean as the countryside is in flower and the nice weather arises. Visitors should take into account that during Easter or Fallas festivity, it is more difficult to find an accommodation. It is recommended to book in advance. The same recommendation is given with regard to restaurants. Usually, the city doubles it population during the festivities period.
Valencia was founded in the year 137 B.C. by the Roman Junio Bruto. When the Moors arrived in the city, it was very soon Islamized, and Valencia became the capital of one of the Taifa kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula in the 11th century. In 1238, the King Jaime I reconquered the city which was joined to the occidental culture again. He granted Valencia its own jurisdiction and a government different to that of Aragon and Catalonia. Since then, churches -replacing the mosques- began to be built and in 1262 the Cathedral start to be raised.
However, some centuries later, Valencia lost the right to have its own jurisdiction due to the triumph Philip V in the Succession War and the Nueva Planta Decrees. Since the 17th century, Valencia grew in terms of economy and began its industrialisation. During the 18th century, the Enlightenment Age, gave a fresh air to the Valencia citizens thoughts. During the Spanish Civil War, Valencia was the city that longer faced the Nationalists -supporters of Franco- and became one of the Republican capitals for some time.
From the 1960s, the Valencian economy awoke and attracted people mainly from Murcia and Andalusia. When Franco died, in 1975 the democratic transition took place and, hence, the Spanish Constitution was approved in 1978 in which the State transferred some jurisdiction to the Valencia autonomous region. Democracy contributed to recover the Valencian language and culture. During the last two decades, a great transformation has occurred in the city. Symbolic projects such as Jardín del Turia -Turia Garden-, Palau de la Música, the Conference Hall, the underground, Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias -Art and Science City- and the Parque de Cabecera are very attractive for tourists.
Valencia is a city where many festivals and fiestas can be enjoyed. These events still keeps its traditions and folklore, they are millenarian festivals perfectly integrated in the present times. The Fallas is its most popular fiesta and has a satiric purpose: just laughing about everything and everybody, mainly about the consumer society. They are usually celebrated around the 19th of March and, for a week, the main feature is the fire. This festival takes place along the streets.
Apart from the Fallas, there are other important festivities such us the Procession of the Three Wise Men, San Vicente Mártir, Easter -called Semana Santa Marinera, in Valencia-, San Vicente Ferrer, Virgen de los Desamparados, Corpus Christi, Festival of July and 9th October.
We have to mention the rice within the Valencia gastronomy. The Valencia paella is the most typical dish par excellence, however this land also offers a wide range of products and dishes. The rice can be cooked in many different ways: paella, black rice, baked rice... Besides, also seafood and fish together with vegetables are an excellent option. All combined with an excellent wine: Alto Turia and Serranía (white wines), Requena, Utiel and Campo de Lliria (red wines). The province of Valencia has seventy five thousand hectares of vineyards and the wine production and quality are excellent.
Other culinary specialities are the fideuà (a dish made of noddles), all-i-pebre d'anguiles (garlic,pepper and eel stew), suc de peix (made of fish, oil, garlic, onion and parsley, cooked on a low flame on an earthenware pot). Delectable starters are the Valencian salad, esgarrat (roasted red pepper, cod and olive oil) and the titaína (a typical dish made of vegetables, pine kernels, spices and tonyina de sorra -a kind of tuna-). Orange is the most special dessert in Valencia, very popular due to its aromatic flavour. In wintertime, there is a delicious dish worthy to be tasted: pumpkin fritters with chocolate. In summertime, do not leave Valencia without tasting the Horchata of Alboraya (a tiger nut milk) with fartons (a kind of sponge finger) or Agua de Valencia (sparkling wine, cointreau, sugar and orange juice).
YES: si. NO: no. HELLO: hola. GOOD BYE: adios. GOOD MORNING: buenos días. GOOD AFTERNOON: buenas tardes. GOOD NIGHT: buenas noches. PLEASE: por favor. SORRY: lo siento. THANK YOU: gracias. DOCTOR: médico. PHARMACY: farmacia. NUMBERS: 1: un. 2: dos. 3: tres. 4: cuatro. 5: cinco. 6: seis. 7: siete. 8: ocho. 9: nueve. 10: diez. 11: once. 12: doce. 13: trece. 14: catorce. 15: quince. 16: dieciséis. 17: diecisiete. 18: dieciocho. 19: diecinueve. 20: veinte. 21: veintiuno. 22: veintidós. 30: treinta. 40: cuarenta. 50: cincuenta. 60: sesenta. 70: setenta. 80: ochenta. 90: noventa. 100: cien. 1000: mil. DAYS OF THE WEEK: MONDAY: lunes. TUESDAY: martes. WEDNESDAY: miércoles. THURSDAY: jueves. FRIDAY: viernes. SATURDAY: sábado. SUNDAY: domingo. COMMON WORDS: BIG/SMALL: grande/pequeño. HOT/COLD: caliente/frío. OPEN/CLOSED: abierto/cerrado. GOOD/BAD: bueno/malo. NEW/OLD: nuevo/viejo. PUSH/PULL: empujar/tirar. ENTRANCE/EXIT: entrada/salida. LADIES/GENTLEMEN: señoras/señores. FAR/NEAR: lejos/cerca. LEFT/RIGHT: izquierda/derecha. TAXI: taxi. BUS: autobús. MEALS: BREAKFAST: desayuno. LUNCH: comida. DINNER: cena. MENU: menú. WINES: vinos. DESSERT: postre. THE BILL: la cuenta. COMMON SENTENCES: DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?: ¿Habla inglés?. I DON'T UNDERSTAND: no entiendo. WHERE IS IT?: ¿donde está? HOW MUCH IS IT: ¿Cuánto es? WHAT TIME IS IT: ¿Qué hora es? COULD YOU HELP ME: ¿Puede ayudarme?
The official currency is the Euro. The banknotes are of 500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5 Euros. Also coins of 1 and 2 Euros, 50 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents. It can be changed in any Foreign Exchange office, although it is advantageous in any bank.
1 EUR (Euro) = 1.20 USD (United States Dollar)
1 EUR (Euro) = 0.66 GBP (Sterling Pound)
In comparison with other European Union countries and, probably, due to its tourist vocation, Spain is one of the cheapest countries for travelling. Obviously, prices depend on the season. The peak season is summer and the low one winter and Valencia is not an exception.
Kingdom of SpainTime Zone
+1 GMTOfficial Language
Spanish and CatalanSurface area
134.65 square kilometresPopulation
785,732 inhabitantsPolitical Regime
Constitutional MonarchyPublic holidays
Public holidays: 1st January: New Year; 6th January: Epiphany; 22nd January: Mártir San Vicente; March: Fallas. Maundy Thursday and Good Friday: depends on the year; 4th April: San Vicente Ferrer; 1st May: Labour Day; 15th August: Our Lady of Asunción Day; 9th October: Day of Valencia; 12th October: Day of Spain; 1st November: All Saint's Day; 6th December: Spanish Constitution Day; 8th December: Our Lady of Inmaculada Concepción; 25th December: Christmas Day.Religion
The most extended religion in Valencia is the Roman Catholic one, however there is freedom of worship and also the Islamic and Jew religion are also important.Religion
90% Catholics, 8% Muslims, 2% JewsArrival / Departure
Valencia is very well connected to the rest of Spain and the main international cities. Valencia offers excellent sea, air and land connection networks, therefore it is quite easy to get to the city by car, train, flight or ship. From the airport, there are daily flights to Madrid, Barcelona and Balearic Islands and also to Germany, France or Italy.Safety
Taking into account the importance that tourism has in Spain, the security of the tourists is a true priority for the country. However, some general recommendations are given to the visitors like carrying the required money when going out and not the total amount taken for the holidays, also precautions need to be taken in busy places to prevent possible thefts. Visa
The European Union tourists do not need visa to enter into Spain. Neither those citizens of the United States, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil and the rest of the Latin American countries, though a return ticket must be bought. Travelers from Australia, Anguilla, Bermuda, Canada, Cyprus, South Korea, Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Israel, Japan, Macao, Malaysia, Montserrat, New Zealand, Saint Helena, Singapore and Turk & Caicos do not either need visa provided that they do not stay more than 90 days in Spain.Clothing
In winter, warm clothes should be wear as temperatures suffer an abrupt descent and, despite humidity, temperatures are cold. In summer, it is recommended to wear comfortable cotton thin clothes. Electricity
220 volts, 50 mhz. The most common plug sockets are those of two circular plugs. Radio and Television
The main radio stations are: Onda Cero Radio Valencia (FM 101.2), Radio Nacional de España (FM 89.8), Radio Nou (FM 100.9), Radio Valencia (FM 100.4), Cadena Dial Valencia (FM 98.4). TV channels are: Televisión Española, Antena 3 Televisión, Canal 9, Telecinco, Punt 2 , Valencia TV and Cuatro.Telephone
The Spanish phone code is 34 and the Valencia code is 96. To make a phone call to another country you must first dial 00 and then the international code of the country you would like to call to and finally dial the subscriber phone number. For phone calls within Spain an special code is not required. The mobile phone technology used in the Spanish territory is GSM but, in many cases, it is not compatible with some of the technologies used in other countries like the United States and Japan, for example.
The most important mobile phone operators are Amena – www.amena.com-, Movistar/Telefónica Móviles -www.movistar.tsm.es- and Vodafone-www.vodafone.es-. Telephone booths are very common along the streets and they work with coins or phone cards. There are also the called locutorios, that is establishments with many phone booths, where coins or cards are not needed, just pay in cash the phone call after the conversation. In many of this kind of places it is also possible to send and receive faxes and there are computers with internet connection as well.Police
112Tourist health care services
112Newspapers and Magazines
The most popular newspapers are Diario de Valencia and Diario Express. Also national press is available like El País, El Mundo, ABC. Postal Service
The postal service is efficient. The mail sent within Europe takes between 3 and 5 days to reach to their destination. A registered letter costs 2.50 Euros minimum. There are some post offices in Valencia which addresses can be searched in the website: www.correos.es. Post offices open form 8.30 to 21:30 (it depends on the office) and saturdays from 8:30 to 14:00.
Health Care Services
The Andalusian health care centres, as well as in all Spain, offer a permanent health assistance to all the population in their corresponding zone. These services give a direct and comfortable care to the user. Spain has signed a reciprocal health assistance agreement with the rest of the countries of the European Union in order to provide health care to all the EU tourists just showing an E-111 document. This document must be done before travelling.Airport
The Valencian Airport is located 8 kilometres away from the western city and offers excellent connections with Valencia city by bus or taxi. There are flights to Madrid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca or Ibiza and also with the United Kingdom, France, Germany or Italy.
The aiport address is : Carretera del Aeropuerto, s/n 46940. Tel. +34 96 159 85 00. Fax +34 96 159 85 10. Website: www.aena.es.Public Transport
Valencia counts on the following means of transport: public buses, suburban and long distance trains. The station is located in the city centre and is very well connected to other means of transport. The Valencia bus service covers most of the towns of the province and the main ones of the whole autonomous region. The flexibility of its timetable makes easier moving around the city. Railway
The Estación del Norte -North Station- is located in Valencia city centre and is the entrance gate to the city for all those citizens travelling by train. This station is the arrival and departure point of suburban and long distance trains. Modern trains link Valencia with Madrid (Alaris) and Barcelona (Euromed) or the main European cities. The address is: Xàtiva, 24 46007. Valencia. Tel. +34 96.353.71.90 Information phone number: 902.24.02.02. Website: www.renfe.es.Bus
The Valencian bus service covers most of the towns of the province and the main ones of the autonomous region. There are daily services to other Spanish destinations as well as a great number of international lines. Address: Estación Central de Autobuses de Valencia. Menéndez Pidal 11. 46009. Valencia. Tel. +34 96 346 62 66.Car
The Mediterranean motorway AP-7 covers the Spanish coastal Levant from north to South and also connects with the European motorway network. The N-III road leads to Madrid and Castilla La Mancha. The N-340 road connects with Castellón, Barcelona, Alicante and Murcia.Car Rentals
There are many car hire companies in Valencia that also have branches at the airport:
Avis: Tel. +34 961 522 162. Fax. +34 961 598 996.
Centauro: Tel. +34 961 524 745. Fax +34 961 523 872.
Europa Rent a Car: Tel. +34 961 526 143. Fax +34 961 534 154.
Europcar, I.B: Tel. +34 961 520 930. Fax: +34 961 521 872.
Hertz: Tel. +34 961 523 791. Fax +34 961 522 221. Ship
The Port of Valencia is an important sea connecting point of Valencia with the Balearic Islands and, since some time ago, an important stopover of Mediterranean cruisers. The Port can be easily reached using the bus services.
Address: Port of Valencia. Muelle de Poniente, 46024. Valencia.
Companies: Transmediterránea. Tel. +34 902.45.46.45. Baleària. tel: +34 902.16.01.80. Destination Tourism Office in Spain Spanish embassy in the destination See climate
In a standard restaurant: between 8 and 15 EurosA coffee
1 euroThe Bus
A single ticket costs 1.10 eurosThe taxi
From the airport to the city centre: 14 € approx. 1.20 € when the meter starts running (from 6:00 to 22:00), 1.50 (from 22:00 to 6:00).The Underground
A single ticket costs 1.10 €The train
A single ticket costs 1.05 €