Valencia is the third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. Situated on the east coast, this beautiful city is famous for its mediaeval heart packed with cobbled streets, towers and historic buildings.
Combined with stunning modern architecture and spectacular beaches nearby, Valencia has plenty to offer the holidaymaker.
Car hire companies operate from Valencia Airport (VLC), situated just five miles west of the city. The city centre is a short 20-minute drive from the airport, while the A-3 highway adjacent to the airport connects Valencia with Madrid and the nearby coastal A-7 route to Barcelona makes the city an ideal base for exploring the Costa Blanca.
Car hire in Valencia allows you the freedom to explore all that the city has to offer. La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia is the old silk exchange building in Gothic style built in the 15th century and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also in the Gothic style, Valencia Cathedral was built in the 13th century and contains what is said to be the original Holy Grail. The area opposite La Lonja de las Seda is home to the Mercado Central, one of the oldest markets in Europe which is a thriving centre for the sale of food, ceramics and mosaic work.
The city of Valencia was originally fortified with walls and gates, not all of which still remain, but be sure to visit the Torres de Serranos, one of the original 12 gates and the city's most iconic landmark which offers spectacular views from the top. The Palacio Del Marques De Dos Aguas is a former Gothic palace with Baroque additions, including a spectacular ornate entrance. Formerly the home of a Valencia nobleman, the building now has on show a fine collection of Spanish ceramics.
The Museo de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts) is a beautiful building in the Baroque style and has on display a wealth of art dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries. In contrast, the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern (Institute for Modern Art) opened in 1989 to become Spain's first centre for modern art.
The City of Arts and Sciences is a spectacular collection of modern buildings housing an IMAX cinema, art and science exhibitions and theatres. The complex is also home to a Planetarium and a fabulous Marine Park which are both well worth a visit and easily accessible by car.
The Barrio Del Carmen area is the place to head for nightlife, offering bars, restaurants and clubs. Another good centre for late-night entertainment is the area around the harbour, which has a host of bars and restaurants, many of them offering terraces with a view across the Mediterranean.
While there are beaches in Valencia car hire allows you the freedom to explore Costa del Azahar to the north and Costa Blanca towards Denia and Javea to the south for perfect golden sands. If you prefer to get away from the coastal regions, take time to drive further inland where you will find spectacular views from the villages dotted around the mountains.
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