The perfect summer day in Valencia

Public date: 
Friday 25 August 2017

Summer in Valencia can be sometimes hot but the high temperatures do not stop Valencianos from enjoying their city – and neither should you! If you are looking to have a perfect summer day in Valencia, just follow our suggestions...

Start you day with a laid-back breakfast at Mercado Central, one of the largest and oldest running food markets in Europe. It opens at 7am every morning (except Sunday) so it should be in full swing by the time you get there. With more than 1,200 stalls selling all kinds of produce there is plenty of choice – plus, the lively cafes surrounding the market will give you an insight into the locals’ life.

You do not have to walk far to get a taste of the city’s rich history. Valencia thrived in the Middle Ages thanks to the silk trade and, just across the street, you will find the Silk Exchange, declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. A few steps further away, the cool and shady bell tower of the Cathedral offers panoramic views that stretch for miles, to the City of Arts and Sciences and beyond.

Walk to Horchateria Santa Catalina, a historic café with beautiful tiled walls just off Plaza de la Reina, in the heart of Valencia – it’s horchata time! When the temperature is rising, there is nothing more refreshing than a cold glass of horchata. This delicious (and very healthy!) tiger nut drink is a quintessentially Valencian experience that every visitor should try at least once.

Hop on bus No28 for the 10-minute journey along the beautifully landscaped Turia Gardens to Bombas Gens, an immaculately restored hydraulic pumps factory now housing Valencia’s brand new cultural centre. After admiring the art deco architecture and the photography exhibitions, stop for lunch at Ricard Camarena’s eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant, which is located on site.

Get up close to the natural side of Valencia this afternoon at Albufera Natural Park, a short distance from the hustle and bustle of the city. Here you can go for a leisurely walk through the green forest of the Devesa, follow the well-marked cycling routes on a bike or take a relaxing boat trip to explore Spain’s largest lake and learn more about the different ecosystems of the park.

El Saler, the seductive beach of Albufera Natural Park, is calling you! A strip of land edged in golden sand and crystal waters on one side and pine woodland on the other, it is the ideal place to cool off while the afternoon heat is on. Our tip: Find a comfortable spot under the shade of the pine trees and get into the famous Spanish tradition of siesta!

Time to go back to the city – we are dining al fresco tonight! The choices are virtually endless in Valencia but some of the local favourites include Panorama (if you want to really look out to the sea), 270 Grados (for panoramic views over the city), Sorolla (named after the Valencian painter famous for his seascapes) and Marina Beach Club (for a pre-dinner cocktail by the pool).

Afterwards, enjoy the sea breeze and breathe in some salty air on Paseo Marítimo, Valencia’s promenade that stretches alongside the urban beaches of La Malvarrosa and Las Arenas. With a walkway perfect for a relaxing evening stroll, the seafront promenade gives a nod to the Spanish love for art, with monuments and sculptures lining the pathways, often with a nautical theme.

You haven’t had ice cream yet today, have you? Glasol is a Valencian institution, with several shops found throughout the city. There are tens of flavours to choose from – turrón, the Spanish version of nougat, is always popular. Whether a cone or a cup, remember to ask to have your ice cream smothered with hot chocolate… it’s free and it’s delicious!

It is time for a drink under the moonlight. The lush gardens under the vast arches of L’Umbracle in the City of Arts and Sciences come to life when the sun goes down: in the summer evenings, they double up as one of the coolest terraces in the city for a late-night drink. Perhaps a bottle of the local Cerveza Tyris… or an Agua de Valencia cocktail maybe?