Valencia is home to the biggest port on the Mediterranean west coast. Famous for its oranges, ceramics and festivals, it offers an excellent climate and plenty of interest.
The site of the America s Cup in 2007, the port was divided into two distinct sections one that remained unchanged and the other that was renovated and cleaned up in preparation for the event. A wall deep into the water still keeps cleaner water on the America s Cup side. In the mid 1990s the city underwent a significant renovation focused on ancient landmarks like the San Miguel de los Reyes monastery, the Serrano and Quart Towers which mark the old medieval city, and all of Malvarrosa beach. Beaches in general here are said to be beautiful with white sands and clear blue waters but are sometimes busy. Quieter areas can be found just outside the city. The city also boasts the largest aquarium in Europe with dolphins, belugas, penguins, sharks and many more. Strolling the Gardens of Turia is like visiting a green city. It is a garden whose scope has not been recreated elsewhere and you will easily find yourself lost in the cool green. The Cathedral is both the religious centre of the city and home to the Holy Grail. Its stunning architecture is sure to captivate and is just one of the historic and architecturally relevant sites. Several festivals are well known in Valencia including La Tomatina, an annual tomato fight. Religious festivals are popular here and Holy week celebrations are said to be the most colorful in Spain. Bull-fighting is another traditional activity and although not originally from the area, is still followed passionately by locals.
Speaking of which, the locals are said to be friendly, inviting and passionate about their traditions and history. It is also rumored that Valencians place a lot of importance on appearance and tend to judge each other and tourists the same way. This may be important to consider before you head out for dining or shopping. Local cuisine favors such dishes as paella, Spinach omelet, calamari and rosquilletas. Whatever your passion, you will surely enjoy the Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and mild, humid winters.