With 790.000 inhabitants, Valencia is the third largest city in Spain. It is the capital of the province of Valencia, which is home to more than 2,5 million people. Valencia is located at the mouth of the Turia River in the Mediterranean Sea.
A green oasis in the former river bed
In 138 BC Romans founded the settlement of Valentia about four kilometers from the sea on an island in the Turia. Today the core of the old town of Valencia is located there. Because of several floods - the last flood disaster dates from 1957 - the Turia was relocated in the following years.
High-rise buildings at Turia Garden
The river now runs south of the town and flows into the sea at the marina. The Turia Garden, a green area with parks, sports and leisure facilities, was created in the original riverbed. The Turia Garden begins west of the old town and runs almost to the port. With a length of more than seven kilometers, Valencia has an attractive green lung.
In recent decades, further urban planning measures have ensured that Valencia has also gained in importance as a tourist destination. The event center Palau de la Musica, the Institute for Modern Art and the Congress Palace were newly built.
Llotja de la Seda
The redevelopment of the old town has started and is now well advanced. The Bioparc Valencia was created to the west of the former Turia river bed. The 100.000 square meter zoo recreates original African landscapes and mainly houses animals from this continent.
In the lower part of the former riverbed, the Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias, the City of Arts and Sciences, was built between 1991 and 2006. The complex, made up of various monumental structures, was designed and built by the architects Santiago Calatrava Valls and Félix Candela.
In the harbor area, an old harbor basin was expanded into the modern marina Marina Real Juan Carlos I. The America's Cup sailing regatta took place off the coast of Valencia in 2007 and 2010. The European Grand Prix was held from 2008 to 2012 on a Formula One race track, which was partly designed as a street circuit and also surrounded the Marina Real.
Economy and Transport
Valencia has an international airport. In 2021, more than four million passengers were counted. The state railway RENFE connects Valencia with Madrid, Alicante and Barcelona. There is an S-Bahn network with six lines and a very dense bus network.
Valencia's seaport is one of the most important in the Mediterranean. It has container terminals and is connected to the railway network. As a passenger port, Valencia offers regular ferry services to the Balearic Islands and Italy, and docks for two cruise ships. Another feeder is planned for 2025. More than a million passengers were handled in Valencia in 2019. The Marina of Valencia offers 900 berths for boats up to 150 meters in length.
The operators of the port are among the largest employers in the region. Another is the Ford plant in Almussafes, where various vehicle models are built. Indirect jobs in supplier companies also benefit from this plant, which is repeatedly threatened with closure. Agriculturally, the region is known for the cultivation of rice and citrus fruits.
Valencia offers visitors a wide range of sights, culture and nature.
There are also long, clean beaches and the clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. The climate is mild, the sun shines more than 300 days a year and bathing in the sea is pleasant from May until well into October.
With more than two million visitors a year, the Costa del Azahar, also known as the Costa de Valencia, is one of the most important holiday regions in Spain.
Valencia for cruise passengers
The port of Valencia is spacious. A regular shuttle service takes cruise ship passengers to the Trasmed Terminal de Pasajeros at the port entrance and back to the ship. When ships call, there is a tourist information stand in the terminal. Very close by - at the roundabout in front of the port entrance - are the public transport stops to the city centre, the City of Arts and Sciences or the beaches north of the marina.
L'umbracle, Palau de les Arts, Museo de las Ciencias
Valencia is definitely worth a visit. We report in detail in our article: Valencia sights.