Spain’s third city is a fascinating short break destination, which combines wonderful Spanish cuisine (this was the birthplace of paella), with a historic old town, excellent museums and a world-class cultural complex in the striking modern architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences. The summer months are perfect for enjoying a morning on the broad sandy beach followed by a long tapas lunch in the old town, while autumn offers warm sunshine and a cultural menu of opera, concerts and exhibitions.
Kirker Holidays offers tailor-made short breaks to the city including flights from your local airport, private car transfers, accommodation at one of our carefully selected four- and five-star hotels, and the services of the Kirker concierge to arrange a reservation at a recommended restaurant, a walking tour with a local expert, or tickets for opera, ballet or concerts at the spectacular Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía.
Where to stay
Kirker recommends a selection of hotels in the city centre to suit different requirements: the Westin offers five-star service in a classical building surrounding private gardens with fountains and orange trees, while Hospes Palau de la Mar is a stylish boutique property with elegant, modern design and an excellent restaurant.
The charming Ad Hoc Monumental is a delightful and affordable option, privately owned and just ten minutes from the cathedral, while the Melia Plaza provides modern conveniences in one of the best locations in town.
Valencia’s magnificent Gothic cathedral dates from 1238 and among its chief treasure is a 1st-century chalice revered as the true Holy Grail. Outside the Door of the Apostles is the site of one of the most unusual traditions in Valencia, the Tribunal de Las Aguas, an ancient council which still meets every week to make decisions about water distribution to the region’s farms. On the other side of the old town, you will find the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences designed by Santiago Calatrava, which is home to an IMAX cinema, planetarium and Europe’s largest aquarium. The spectacular Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía is the tallest opera house in the world and the main hall has capacity for an audience of 1,470. Speak to the Kirker Concierge for tickets and more information: 020 7593 2286.
Museums and exhibitions
Valencia’s Museum of Fine Arts is the second most important art gallery in Spain after Madrid’s Prado. Highlights include two extraordinary rooms dedicated to Francisco de Goya and Joaquín Sorolla, the ‘master of light’ who was born in Valencia. The Museum of Fine Arts is home to the majority of his sunlight-infused paintings and to mark the centenary of his death this year, there is a new exhibition of the Colección Masaveu (29 June until 1 October), one of Spain’s most important private collections.
In addition, Valencia is home to several smaller museums, such as the National Museum of Ceramics and Decorative Arts, housed in the 18th-century Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas, a fine example of Rococo architecture. The 15th-century former headquarters of the Silkmakers Guild, now a Silk Museum, is worth visiting for the ceiling fresco by José Vergara and the 18th-century Valencian ceramic floor.
To speak to a Kirker expert call 020 7593 2283 or visit www.kirkerholidays.com for more information.