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Suddenly, Valencia is where it’s at. Maybe it’s because I’ve lived there, and the mere word has its own ringtone alert in my head that goes off whenever I hear mention, but an inordinate amount of people seem to be travelling there this year. And who could blame them? Valencia is gorgeous. I knew straight away, as you’ll read in my earlier posts, that I’d come up Milhouse with this particular life choice.

Now seeing as it’s as hot as the 30 something temperature it boasts right now, I’m going to write a little insider’s feature on places to go around the capital city (of its autonomous community). Valencia, Valencia. So good they named it twice.

1. In no particular order, mind. Port Saplaya.
Number one is a little town really close to the city. In fact you can see Valencia’s Malvarrosa beach in the distance, and can even walk between the two. While Port Saplaya’s beach isn’t anything to write home about, it is known locally as the Little Venice due to its brightly coloured waterside buildings. It’s a great trip for spending an hour or two outside of the city bustle.
2. Sagunt/Sagunto
This town is really easy to get to, thanks to the cercanía trains which pass through a couple of times an hour and charge under 5 euros for a return trip from Valencia Nord. The main attraction here is its sprawling cliff-top castle which has glorious views of the surrounding area. We happened to visit on the only rainy day for about 3 months, and still came away smiling which is always a good indication of a place’s visitability if you ask me.
3. El Saler
Not to be confused with the shopping centre the bus passes on the way. El Saler actually is a beach to write home about. And then some. It’s quieter and prettier than the city centre beaches, and you arrive to it on one of the “yellow buses”, which won’t actually drop you to the beach itself but a road next to a non-signposted 5 minute hike through tall grass away. (Keywords to use on the driver will be dónde and El Saler, don’t forget these). Its partial accessibility makes it a tranquil haven of burning hot white sand with bluer, wavier waves than the inner city alternatives.

A tricky selfie to execute

A tricky selfie to execute

4. Vall d’Uixó
This town is famed for its rather sweet underground river. Boat rides are offered for 10 euros, which gets you views but not much else. There is an audioguide for extra money but the man rowing the boat doesn’t offer much more than the occasional ‘this cave is nice/impressive/big’ which he will delete as appropriate for you. Don’t get me wrong though, being rowed through a series of caverns with stalactites and mites all around is something to be seen. There was no photography allowed (which I’m not too upset about, it’s good to take in the beauty of something once in a while without the person in front of you sticking their iPad in front of it. Incidentally, if this irks you too, I’d avoid the Valencia sightseeing buses) so you’ll have to use your imagination, or even visit this one.

And that’s it. That’s a few things to get you started with at least. Later on I want to get into the meaty bits – things to do INSIDE the city.