The Stunning Beauty of Valencia

Before I first visited there for the first time, I knew little enough about Valencia. Sure as a keen European football fan I knew they had a decent football team, and that my oranges were often grown there but that was pretty much about it. However over the years as my travel horizons have broadened and moved from the tourist hotspots in Spain and Barcelona I’ve realized what a beautiful place it is too visit.

The Orange Blossom Coast …
The coastal Mediterranean region of Valencia is home to fragrant orange, lemon and peach groves, to the over-developed Costa Blanca and the attractive old resort towns of Javea, Altea and Alicante.

Lively, warm and welcoming, Valencia City is Spain’s third-largest city and birthplace of its most famous dish – paella. Refreshingly non-touristy, it is blessed with beautiful weather, an excellent fine arts museum, and an atmospheric old town. Valencia’s cathedral reflects the city’s rich architectural history with Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance styles all featured. It is claimed that the Holy Grail (Santo Caliz) – the gold cup used by Christ during the Last Supper – is housed in the cathedral’s museum. There’s been some fantastic art and history programmes on British TV that have covered these subjects which should be available online. You can’t normally access the BBC from Spain but this post can help you bypass those blocks.

The orange blossom coast – Costa del Azahar – stretches north from Valencia city. With a rich hinterland dominated by spectacular displays of orange blossom every spring, it is also home to the historic Roman town of Sagunto and the attractive resort of Benicasm. Sagunto, lying 25 kilometres north of Valencia, is made up of three parts – the Roman ruins and old town, the modern new town and the resort of Puerto Sagunto on the coast.

Explore the Roman theatre and castle and then head for a refreshing swim off the town’s sandy beaches. Journey on to the university town of Castellon de la Plana which boasts an excellent fine arts museum and interesting modernista architecture. Heading inland, the enchanting towns of Morella and Mirambel in the north and Jativa in the south are well worth visiting. Relics – including a Neanderthal skull – have been found dating to 30,000 BC in a cave near Jativa.

Valencia’s Costa Blanca – White Coast – is one of Europe’s most visited regions and can be very crowded in summer. The towns of Altea and Javia boast interesting old quarters and Alicante is a charming place. Stroll along the white sandy beaches and visit the 16th century Castillo de Santa Barbara which overlooks the town. Sample some tapas and seafood in the restaurants of El Barrio – the old part of town.

Additional: The use of VPNs and proxies are well established for bypassing geo-restrictions imposed by many websites. Using one makes your current location irrelevant and allows you to watch the BBC in any country in the world. It could be Spain, Italy or even South Africa it doesn’t matter as long as the target server is in the right location. Choosing the right service can be tricky but there are a few reliable companies – you can read one here which has lots of UK but also Italian servers too.

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