Valencia, the third largest city in Spain with a population of about 800,000 people, is located directly on the Mediterranean. Compared to the rainy weather in the northern parts of the country and to the heat waves of over 40º C in the south, Valencia enjoys almost a perfect climate, where the sun shines an average of 320 days a year. A mild winter and a not-too-hot summer combine to put the annual average temperature at 18º C.
|With a coastline of more than 485 km, the area of Valencia has some of Europe's finest beaches. In 2011, 104 beaches and 12 ports in the comunidad Valencia received the quality mark "Blue Banner". In Spain, there are 571 beaches and ports where the "Blue Banners" wave.|
Numerous parks and countless palm trees help make Valencia a very green Spanish city. In the dry riverbed of the Turia, which was re-routed some years ago, sport and recreation facilities are intermingled among even more green areas. Valencia also has a very good infrastructure.
|The international airport has direct flights to many important European cities. A motorway brings the traveller from the French border directly to the city and for those wanting to take a quick trip to Ibiza and Mallorca, daily ferries are there to whisk you across the water.|
|Agriculture is the largest economic sector in Valencia. This area produces 80% of the Spanish citrus crop. All types of fruits and vegetables can be found growing in the Huerta, the cultivated area that encircles Valencia like a green belt.|
The mediterranean taste of Valencia
Food in the Region of Valencia is devotion to the palate, traditional flavours and culinary innovation. A leading exponent of Mediterranean cuisine, Valencia’s kitchens are characterised by a plethora of delicious healthy recipes, based on fresh fish, seafood, fruit and vegetables, such as artichokes from Benicarló, medlars from Callosa and oranges from Valencia.
These colourful crops, together with the daily seafood catch netted by the local fishing fleet, are offered for sale at both the Central Market, one of the largest in all of Europe, and at the various smaller markets sprinkled throughout the city. A truly incredible variety of foodstuffs, which one notices especially when ordering the most typical and famous of all dishes from this region - the Paella.
For the past two thousand years, many different peoples and nationalities have added their own passages to the history of this grand city: the Iberians, the Carthaginians, the Romans, the Muslims, and the Christians are but a few. In fact, some of the impressive buildings from throughout the ages can still be found in the historic city centre . Among them: the cathedral with its tower El Miguelete (which serves as a type of city landmark), the palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas, the massive city gates Torres de Serrano, and the very unique silk exchange La Lonja. Old traditions and customs are still being kept alive by celebrating various festivals throughout the year in Valencia and the surrounding areas. Only in the month of August, 392 official festivals in the Community of Valencia take place. Especially impressive is the festival Moros y Cristianos. However, without any doubt, the biggest festival of them all is Las Fallas. It is simply indescribable. It has to be experienced in person.
|In short: Valencia just can't be beaten as the best place to learn about the land, the people, and the language of Spain.|
Ven, aprende español... ¡y vívelo!
A city as Valencia – situated at the shore of the Mediterranean sea – offers everything you need for doing your favorite sport. The following list contains the most common sports; more details you will find in our information brochure concerning leisure activities in the school and the apartments. Our team will help you finding the right sport club and contacting it. If you need the information in advance, please send us an e-mail.
The students of Costa de Valencia profit from extra conditions in a near fitness centre. If you are interested, please contact our secretary – we will inform you about the students discounts.
Furthermore the school organises sporty activities at the beach or on sports fields (football, basketball, volleyball, etc.); if you need a ball for training on your own you can lend it from the school as well. At the municipal and university sports fields you can do different kinds of sports e.g. basketball, tennis, squash, etc.
The Valencian tennis club has completely equipped sports fields where a lot of different sports are possible: tennis, padel, football-7. You can also use the swimming-baths and the gym.
There are bicycle rental services that offer tours through Valencia – with or without guidance.
|You can also take a sailing course of 5 days per 4 hours (e.g. at two weekends). The minimum of participants is 4 persons.|
At the beach El Saler you are offered courses and the necessary equipment for windsurfing, canoeing and other water sports.
During summer the company Simbad offers weekend and one week trips by boat, bautismos de mar as well as yacht for rent. Whole year ofened is MIG Charter.
In the interior regions of the Comunidad Valencia there are many nature reserves with forests and mountains. It is the ideal place to visit one of the numerous horse riding centres and to discover the beautiful countryside on horseback, e.g. the Sierra Mariola, the river Turia or the beach. Dressage and horsejumping are also possible – in any case you will enjoy to experience the province in a different way.
It is in to learn salsa. Some of the pubs offer gratis dancing courses during the week, you only have to pay the minimum consumption. Furthermore you can experience authentic flamenco – far away from the flamenco shows for tourists – we know some clubs whose quality and original atmosphere are really imressing.
|For information on activities like climbing, caving and diving please contact the respective clubs.|
Valencia has two professional football teams, Valencia C.F. and C.F. Levante. The games of the Spanish League are normally on Saturdays or Sundays. The school informs you about Spanish League and Champions League games that we usually watch together.
We also have our supporter club Peña Valencianista Internacional "Guiris del Valencia"
With more than twenty golf courses with the signature of the most prestigious designers and golf champions, located in a typically Mediterranean landscape, the Valencian community is a suitable destination to enjoy the best golf of Spain in an excellent climate all year round.Adventure and nature sports
|We regularly organize weekend trips to the nature reserve Hoces del Río Cabriel, situated one hour from Valencia, in order to do adventure sports such as rafting, bungeejumping or canoeing.|
Valencia is known in all the country for its rollicking festivals, with colours, open air parties, music and for its spectacular fireworks, which have developed in this city to an art of its own. Here even the religious processions contain festive and spectacular elements.
|Nowhere in the world you will feel such unforgettable experiences and emotions like living Valencia’s festivals. That is because Valencian citizens live the present radiating joy, it is maybe one of the few|
places where it is possible spend a whole year building a pyrotechnic work of art which then will burn down during one party night... But this explosion of colours refers to a deeply rooted sense of living the moment with optimism, of people accustomed to improvising, who live the parties as it would be the last day in their lives. Valencia is, beyond any doubt, a jewel for any visitor.
LAS FALLAS (March from 15th to 19th).
It is doubtless the most popular holiday that takes place in the city and in any town of the province. In Fallas, tourists that come from lots of different countries visit the city, year after year. It is during this special week when Valencia honours the adjectives that define itself best: light, colour, fire and powder join together for the visitor’s enjoyment, who watches with excitement the daily “mascletà” (controlled and progressive explosion of millions of crackers) in the City Hall Square or the fireworks, which reach its highest peak of beauty in the Nit del Foc (Night of Fire). A total of seven hundred Fallas (wood and cardboard monuments) are erected in many of the streets on March 15th, and remain like this until the moment of being turned into ashes in the Nit del Foc.
|Fallas are, in itself, enormous works of art which compete in majesty, wit and beauty, satirising political, cultural or social events of Valencia. It is a very popular festivity and all valencians take pride in sharing the explosion of colour, noise and the smell of powder with any visitors. The music that fills the popular marches, the stunning fires and the beautiful colours of traditional garments will turn it all into an unforgettable experience for tourists.
In these dates, bullfights are also protagonist, and many people visit the bullfighting ring to enjoy this traditional event.
In every area, in every street you will find verbenas (open air parties), concerts, the smelling of traditional desserts, cracker noise, neighbours cooking paella in the middle of the street, and girls dressed in the typical costume. The rhythm of a one-million inhabitants city stops to give free way to the party. And the morning of the 20th, after the wild finale of flames and the delight of the participants, Valencia wakes up quiet, clean and radiant, under the brilliant sun of the starting spring, and happy of closing the cycle. The best Valencia awaits you in Fallas, nobody who has ever been here has been able to forget it.
LA SEMANA SANTA MARINERA (HOLY WEEK)
The celebration deserves special attention on the coastal areas and towns, so that people usually speak about the Sailor’s Holy Week, lived with colourful processions where you can gaze at spectacular costumes and traditions. Participants are gathered in old brotherhoods, called cofradías, and every one of them has a different suit and coloured capes and hoods, and they are on charge of carrying religious floats on their shoulders. Penitents parade slowly, only accompanied by the sound of the drums and the absolute silence of public and participants is one of the most amazing details for the visitor.
|Most famous processions are those of Santo Entierro (Holy Burial), on Good Friday, characterised by the massive participation; every brotherhood is represented there.|
|Also commonly known as the “Night of the Witches”, this festivity is a night of rituals and good wishes where the traditions demand to wet one’s feet at the seashore if you want to see you wishes fulfilled.|
People throng the beaches meeting around lots of bonfires to perform the complete ritual, jumping on them, and having dinner by the seashore.
FERÍA DE JULIO (July's Fair, throughout July)
Lots of open-air shows next to the Alameda Avenue and the Viveros Gardens. Music concerts of all styles and important music bands meetings during this summer month. Bullfightings are also typical, together with a “Battle of Flowers” that, honouring its name, fills the city with a real rain of flowers – an incomparable event.
|At twelve o’clock on last Wednesday of August the hugely popular Tomatina is held in Buñol. This is the most important event within the Fairs and Festivals of Buñol, dedicated to Sant Lluis Bertran and la Mare de Déu dels Desemparats|
The Tomatina is a large ‘battle’ in which participants tirelessly throw mature tomatoes at each other and its start and finish are signaled by a single shot from a starting pistol. On finishing, the traditional cleaning up process begins with the square and participants being hosed down with water.
MOROS Y CRISTIANOS
The Moors and Christians’ Festivals are very traditional and ancient in the region of Valencia. They commemorate the important historical event involved by the coexistence between Christians and Moors in the Iberian Peninsula between the years 711 and 1609.
|Although the festival is extended over nearly the whole of Spain, some of the most ancient and spectacular celebrations take place in Valencia and in the province of Alicante (Alcoy, Boicairent, ...).|
It is the Moors and Christians’ festival of Benissa in honour of its patron saint, San Pedro, that shows extraordinary splendour and brightness achieved after many months of intense work and dedication.
BOUS A LA MAR
The inhabitants of Javea and Dénia celebrate Bous a la Mar – bulls in the sea. It started once with a nice anecdote and has become an incomparable festivity with toros and vaquillas (bulls and wild younger bulls) as main protagonists.
|The show takes place in a rectangular square at the fishers‘ mole on one side open to the Mediterranian. The village youth as well as brave visitors provoke the bull in a dangerous game of skill and sometimes a jump into the Mediterranian is the only way to escape.|
The ‘fight‘ between “torero“ and bull ends if latter jumps into the water as well. The popularity of „Els Bous a la mar“ and the national, tourist interest is based on the unique mixture of bull fight and sea, the fact that the bulls do not suffer and the character of a fiesta where visitors and inhabitants can directly participate in.
DÍA DE LA COMUNIDAD VALENCIANA (9th October)
A traditional festivity because of its historical contents, when the valencians celebrate the conquest of the city in a march whose visible head is the flag known as the “Senyera”. Women greet this day with a typical scarf and little baked cakes (“mazapanes”) decorated with small fruits. This traditional present is known as “mocaorà”.
|The most important monuments of the city correspond to these centuries, such as the Serrano Towers, la Lonja (the old market) or the Miguelete (the cathedral's belfry). After the Succession War, and after the victory of the Bourbon dynasty in the battle of Almansa, the old city laws were abolished.|
The XVII was a politically tense century and also the great ceremonial baroque century. Throughout the XVIII century, Valencia took part in the cultural and economic renaissance of the country. In the XIX century the middle class was the most favoured social class, offering their backing to the monarchy and taking advantage of the increase of exports to other countries.
At the beginning of the XX century, metallurgy, fabric factories and electric power plants quickly developed. During the Civil War, for some time Valencia was the capital of the republican government and later, there were great losses in the floods of 1957. With the re-establishment of the Monarchy, the Comunidad Valenciana obtains the Autonomy Statute.
Today, Valencia is a city in a growing process of transformations with great buildings and tourist perspectives. Open to the sea, it is a city that takes care of a rich historical heritage, but never forgetting to look at the future. And so it is currently the ideal place for important congresses, exhibitions and trade fairs.
If you are interested in the history of Valencia, we would recommend a visit of the Historic Museum of Valencia.
It’s a city of manageable size, with a population of 800.000, and a historic town centre ranking as one of the largest in Europe, in which each stone seems to pay testimony to a cultural, artistic and architectural lineage that reaches back over 2000 years of history.
|A stroll round the Cathedral complex provides an initial taste of history, with the Cathedral, the Miguelete belfry, the Basilica of the Virgin Mary and the 15th century seat of today’s regional government, Palau de la Generalitat. All of which line the attractive Plaza de la Virgen named after the city’s patron saint, Our Lady of Forsaken.|
In a combination of attractive architecture, pleasing aromas and good-natured cordiality, the Mercado Central has a special atmosphere in a unique modernist building displaying food of all kinds in an incomparably colourful array. The Market is flanked by the church of the Santos Juanes, listed as a National Historic-Artistic Monument, opposite which is the 15th century Gothic style Lonja, or silk Exchange, and its Consulado del Mar, a UNESCO World Heritage Monument.
Two gateways forming part of the town’s Medieval defensive walls have withstood the ravages of time: the Torres de Serranos, built in the late 14th Century and the Torres de Quart, study example of the majestic Gothic Levante Style. A beautiful alabaster-facaded Baroque building called the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas houses a fine display of sumptuous art. Also recommendable is a visit to the harmonious cloister of the Iglesia del Patriarca, and the ancient University of Valencia, an impressive building having served as the city’s cultural and artistic focal point for many centuries.
The sophisticated Baroque Santa Catalina church belfry offers a pleasing panorama when seen from the end of La Paz street. The bullring or Plaza de Toros brings to mind a classical Roman amphitheatre, shoulder to shoulder with the modernist central railway station, the Estación del Norte, decorated with glazed ceramic tiles representing Valencia’s fertile agricultural production. In the city hall square, Plaza del Ayuntamiento is the handsome city hall building housing the Municipal History Museum.
Valencia has a wide choice of first-class museums: the San Pío V Fine Art Museum, considered one of the finest museums in Spain – the ancient Convento del Carmen housing the 19th Century Museum serves as stopover between the Fine Arts Museum and the Valencian Institute of Modern Art, IVAM, which is displaying some of today’s finest modern art. The Valancian Centre of Mediterranean Culture (the former Beneficancia) which houses the Prehistory and Valencian Museum and the Sala Parpalló art gallery, offering travelling exhibitions of contemporary art; the Centre del Carmen with a Renaissance cloister and lots of space for contemporary exhibitions. The Bullfighting Museum focuses on tauromachy and related paraphernalia, and is also a centre for research and promotion of subjects related to bullfighting. The MUVIM is a museum that concentrates on contemporary times, offering a tour to the age of enlightenment, with its history and relevant thinkers, up to the scientific and architectural avant-garde. The City Museum or Museo de la Ciudad contains archaeological collections illustrating the city’s pre-Roman period, foundation and Christian epoch. The Almudín or Reales Atarazanas, ancient buildings converted into venues for travelling art exhibitions; the Museum House of José Benlliure with an interesting array of artworks complemented by typical household utensils; the Crypt of San Vicente Mártir, archaeological treasure near the cathedral showing the distant past of the city.
|Just as interesting is a visit to the Museo de Historia, an educational and leisure space offering an overview of Valencia’s past, with information on the events that have forged the city’s history, its culture and customs that have become part of the mindset of people today.|
The Monastery of San Miguel de los Reyes, a masterwork of Valencian Renaissance architecture houses the Valencian Library, comprising a thousand printed books and manuscripts from various collections. The Museo Fallero, or Fallas Museum, entirely unique in the world, enables you to see all the skills and craftsmanship that go into the papier-mâché figurines saved from the flames of the Fallas each year.
Crossed by a park that runs along the old Turia riverbed, Valencia is proud of its excellent sports installations, recreational facilities and green zones. The traditional Viveros gardens or Jardines del Real are located nearby, full of plants and flowers, sculptures and fountains. Other gardens to visit are the sumptuous Neo-classical Jardín de Monforte, and the Botánico, first opened in 1802 by renowned Cavanilles.
Film festivals, dances, exciting exhibitions, theatre, audio-visual shows...throughout the entire year countless cultural activities make life that much more interesting in Valencia.
|The Palau de la Música music auditorium, ideal for concerts and musical events, offers a non-stop programme attracting thousands of music lovers, a true cultural force in the city.|
As for theatre, you will find excellent classical and avant-garde programmes at the Rialto and Moratín halls, at the traditional main theatre or Teatro Principal, and the Teatro Olympia as well as at the newly restored very intimate Talía. Throughout the town there are more than sixty public and private art galleries. The city’s Mediterranean Film Festival, Mostra de Cinema del Mediterrani and Dance Festival Dansa Valencia also form part of the impressive cultural line-up the city has to offer.
Valencia is preparing for the future with new leisure and entertainment complexes. The conference centre Palau de Congresos, a landmark building in the city’s architectural line-up, is Sir Norman Foster’s brainchild, combining light, harmony, elegance, functionality and aesthetics. This unique centre offers space for staging all kinds of congress and convention events.
The other large-scale project proving that the city is on the way to the future is la Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, conceived as the scenario for cultural and scientific activities, entertainment, shows and leisure and containing four areas: the Palacio de las Artes, dedicated the scenic arts; the Museo de Ciencias Príncipe Felipe, designed to house permanent and travelling theme exhibitions related to new advance in science and technology; L’Hemisféric planetarium, conceived to provide you with the latest sound and light technology in its planetarium, IMAX cinema and laser shows;
|and L’Oceanográfic, the place to see marine life in an extensive line-up of submarine ecosystems.|
Yesterday: Valentia. Today it’s a growing metropolis. Tomorrow: A Third Millennium City. Valencia awaits you with open arms on the shores of the blue Mediterranean.
The cathedral is situated on the place where the first temple of Valencia was built. This temple was reconstructed into an Arabic mosque. The construction of this Gothic temple lasted from 1267 to 1426. However, the temple was not finished until 1703, nearly 4 centuries after the successful re-conquest of Spain by the Christians.
In the 18th century, during the neo-classical period, the inner and outer designs were adjusted to each other very much. But those were not the last changes at the cathedral because in the 1960s the administration decided to retain the original style. The cathedral was reconstructed and all neo-classical elements were removed and so it got back its original uneven appearance.
Every Thursday at 12.00 p.m. you can observe the “Tribunal de las Aguas” (la puerta de los apóstoles),
|a water court that tries to solve problems or to arbitrate quarrels between the farmers concerning the irrigation of their fields.|
This is the belfry of the cathedral that was built between 1376 and 1429. However, concerning his style and his appearance it does not fit to the simple temple. It is almost 60 metres high and has an octagonal shape. After you have taken the 207 steps of the spiral staircases you reach the top and can enjoy a marvelous view over the city and its surroundings. The tower has got the name “Miguelete” because it was consecrated on the day of “San Miguel”in 1418. At the moment it has got 12 bells of different sizes and weights.
Visiting hours: from 7’30 to 13’00 h and from 16’30 to 20’30 h.
Attention: Closed during lunch hours!
Bullfight ring (16.000 plazas)
The bullfight ring of Valencia is one of the biggest in Spain. It is situated in the city centre, next to the “Estación del Norte”. The ring was built in a classical style between 1850 and 1860. It has got 4 galleries, decorated with columns and 384 round arches. Its appearance corresponds to the Collosseum in Rome.
La Lonja de Seda
The “Lonja de Seda” was built between 1482 and 1492, in Gothic style. In former times it was one of the most important places for trade and exchange in Europe. It consists of two parts clearly separated from each other and a garden.
|In the middle of the ‘Lonja’ is the “Salón Columnario” which is 35.6 m long, 21.39 m wide and 17.4 m high.|
In the upper part of the consulate there is a great fresco with 40 nice pictures in the Renaissance style.
The building was already used for different purposes so far, e.g. it served as a storehouse for grain; during the war in 1707, it was used as a prison and the garden was the kitchen for the troops. In the 19th century, in the days of cholera and plague it served as a hospital. Attention: Closed on Mondays.
|The ‘Mercado Central’ was built in 1928 and has a surface of more than 8,000 m_. This modern building represents a safe place for trade. For one century, fruit, vegetables and fish have been sold here. The flag of the ‘Cotorra del Mercat’ which blows on one of the towers embodies the life, the smells and the feeling of this market. Standing in the middle of the market you will see the impressing dome of iron and glass.|
Monday to Saturday 7.00-14.00 h, Friday also in the afternoon.
Torres de Quart
At the very beginning, during the war of independence, they served defense purposes. But actually they were part of the medieval city wall and replaced the old entrance to the city by a route through the village Quart del Poblet.
They were built in 1444 by the masterly stonemason Pere Bofia. Until the last century they even served as a prison for women.
Torres de Serrano
The ‘Torres de Serrano’ are the witnesses of a big city and were part of the city wall. They were built for purpose of defense by Pere Balaguer in 1391.
|The towers are called ‘Torres de Serrano’ because they were the entrance to the city by the inhabitants of Serranía. They provisionally housed prison cells and served as a triumphal arch on many festive and solemn occasions.|
The mansion of the marquis of Dos Aguas The current imagen of the palace is the result of a Rococo conversion carried out in XVIII century on the house belonging to the Rabassa de Perellós, title-holders of the marquisate of Dos Aguas. The main door is on one side of the house and is crowned by a statue of the Virgin Mary, from which two streams of plentiful water flow, symbolizing the Júcar and the Túria rivers. In the 19th century were lost the Rovira Frescos and French-style balconies with undulating railings were installed.
Estación del Norte
The ‘Estación del Norte’ was built between 1906 and 1917. Lots of ornaments represent the prospering industry in town. Besides it has become the symbol of the Republican age (about 1930).
This is a very small market where birds and other animals, souvenirs and handmade things are sold. It was built between 1839 and 1856 in order to unite the numerous little markets of this quarter.
In 1802 the botanical garden in Valencia opened with the purpose to explore and settle unknown species of plants. Of course, the restaurants profited by these explorations of plants like potatoes, peanuts or soybeans. It is the oldest garden in town and was laid out by the naturalist Cavanillas.
In the tropical garden, surrounded by iron and glass, you will find 3,000 different species of plants and more than 7,000 species of shrubs, trees and palms from all over the world. It is really a paradise for biologists and all who like plants.
The city of arts and ciences (CAC)
The City of Arts and Sciences (La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) in Valencia is a spectacular and imposing space designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava. This centre for leisure and culture, with its avant-garde architecture, is set firmly within the 21st century. At the Hemisfèric one can see the very latest Imax films; there is also a planetarium and an innovative laser show.
|The Príncipe Felipe Science Museum is located in a spectacular building and offers exhibitions where touching is permitted and where visitors can run all sorts of fascinating hands-on experiments.|
The Oceanográfico reproduces all the ecosystems on the planet, with an astounding diversity of flora and fauna. The Palau de les Arts, with its spectacular oval-shaped design, is the place for seeing the best operas, concerts and stage performances.