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Take a flight to Valencia and have your heart captured by this charming city by the sea...
Sitting on the east coast of Spain, where the land meets the Mediterranean Sea, and around three hours south of Barcelona, Valencia is the nation's third largest city. Founded by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago, the brush strokes of history have fallen beautifully on this urban canvas. One quick glance around the ancient core of Valencia unveils treasures such as the cathedral and the silk exchange, both worthy of visits. Despite this widespread loveliness, Valencia has refused to rest on its laurels and with thoughtful design and genius architecture, a new and modern scene has been fashioned on the city skyline. The curious, striking domes of the City of Arts and Science destroy any ideas that Valencia is all about its past, no matter how splendid. Here you'll find an aquarium, a planetarium, IMAX cinema and museums.
The architectural flavours of Valencia are certainly exciting, but the food here is totally sublime. The home of the humble paella, Valencia serves a range of traditional dishes as well as contemporary cuisine. You'll never go hungry - or thirsty - in this hub of great food and wine.
It's also easy to reach the local city beaches, while those on the Costa Blanca can be accessed using public transport or a hire car.
Flights to Valencia land at Valencia Airport (VLC). There isn't much of a tourism season in the cool winter months, which means that, although there are fewer departures to Valencia, you can find bargains on flights and hotels. Head to the city in March for the famous Las Fallas, the festival of fire, or book Valencia flights to travel to nearby Bunol in August, for the world famous La Tomatina tomato fight. On odd-numbered years, the Spanish Grand Prix takes place in Valencia (it's in Barcelona on even-numbered years) and flights and hotels will be in huge demand during this August event.
The third city of Spain has a good flight network from the UK, with flights taking around two to two and half hours...
As a great gateway to the Costa Blanca, Valencia has been well connected in recent years. Ryanair flies from Stansted as well as Manchester, East Midlands and Bristol, while easyJet departs from its London Gatwick base. Flights operate year round with additional services in the summer months.
Alternatively, you can reach Valencia on connecting flights from around the UK. You can connect via Paris with Air France or via Frankfurt with Lufthansa. Or you could fly from Manchester or London's Heathrow to Madrid or Barcelona with Iberia or Vueling with a connection onwards to Valencia. Connecting flights take around four to five hours.
There are a number of ways to travel between the city of Valencia and its airport...
Valencia Airport is well connected to the city by public transport. You can use one of the two underground train lines that run between the airport and the city. The Metro station is on the ground floor of the regional flights terminal. Use line 3 to travel between the airport, the city centre and the port, or line 5, which runs directly to the port. The journey time to the city centre is around 25 minutes. It costs only a couple of euros per person, but if you are on a short break the tourist travel cards are a wise investment. You can buy for durations of 24, 48 and 72 hours. The three-day card costs only 25 euros and all offer free public transport in zones A and B, including the airport transfer, plus discounts at attractions.
The 150 bus is also good value, though it takes 45 minutes to reach the central areas of the city.
A fleet of taxis is always waiting outside the arrivals terminal. It's a flat fare of 20 euros to the city centre, or the meter will be used for travel elsewhere.
Book car hire in Valencia to take control of your travels. Just like any other big city, parking and driving can be a challenge, so this is a good option if you plan to spend a lot of time along the coast or seeing destinations outside the city centre.
A stay of two nights or two weeks? Budget break or all out luxury? Whatever you are looking for, there's a hotel in Valencia for you...
Short breaks are best spent at the very heart of Valencia to ensure that everything worth seeing and doing is close by and that you don't waste too much of your precious time on public transport. The central area is bordered by the gorgeous gardens of Turia (the butterfly from the cocoon of a dried river bed) and you can find many luxury hotels around here. There are a few budget hotels too, though they are popular, so book as early as possible.
Great rates can be found on even the very best five-star hotels if you book early enough.
For longer stays around Valencia, many visitors fly in, hire a car, and then make a beeline for the beautiful beaches and resorts of the sun-kissed coast. Denia, Calpe and even Brit-bar packed Benidorm are only a little over an hour's drive from Valencia. There are many other small resorts on the coast between the city and Costa Blanca's mega resort of Benidorm.
Book your Valencia flights and then look for hotel deals using TravelSupermarket's search tool.