Full of charm, and smiles, Valencia was a treat to travel through. It was so family friendly, with easy streets to walk along, lovely parks to rest, and lots of happy locals wanted to talk to Ethan. He loved it!
When visiting a new city, the first thing we search is whether it has a free walking tour and we’re never disappointed. They’re usually led by enthusiastic, very knowledgeable people who live in the city and have loads of nuggets of interesting info to share. Because they are ‘free’ tours, it also means you pay what you feel is fair which basically makes the tour guide give you an excellent service so that you pay as much as possible. Amparo from Walking Tours Valencia was fab and she seemed to know everything! She was also local and was born and bred Valencian!
Learning from our great walking tour in Barcelona, we chose to take the baby carrier again. However, after starting our free walking tour with Walking Tour Valencia, we wished we had brought the pushchair as it was ideal terrain and would’ve saved Terry’s back a bit!
The streets were flat and easy to navigate through, even the train journey to and from our camperstop into Valencia would have been fine with a pushchair.
Seeing the sights
We followed our English speaking tour leader around Valencia with an international group of fellow visitors for three hours, which was great as it can be the best way to see the city and hear a little about its history. Sometimes this kind of activity works well with Ethan, sometimes not, and on this occasion, he decided that he just wasn’t interested so we made up lots of distraction games allowing us to still enjoy the walk! Valencia has some fantastic sights to see, and they are all in a fairly close proximity to each other.
The Cathedral, the Silk Exchange, the Central Market, the Government Palace are just some of the sights we saw along the way, and we spent the afternoon relaxing in the local (and pretty magnificent) park.
- The central plazas and main squares
They are buzzing with tourists and locals having their lunch, taking a coffee and a rest, and just a place to people watch (or pigeon following as Ethan likes to do!). They are mostly tree lined, creating some great shade, and ringed with little lanes and courtyards. One of the most beautiful squares in Valencia is the Plaza de la Reina, or ‘Queen’s Square’ in English, located in the old town. It had a lovely smell, as does most of Valencia in the central areas as there are so many orange trees.
- Valencia Cathedral
Steeped in history, the cathedral dates back to 1238 and stands majestically above the city. Legend has it that the Holy grail, the actual cup Jesus drank from during the last supper, is kept in there. It’s a beautiful place to visit as the architecture and paintings are beautiful.
- The central market
Get ready for the buzz of this fantastic central market! Take your time walking up and down the rows of stalls selling anything from chilli peppers to freshly squeezed orange juice using Valencian oranges no doubt. Not only is it a great modernist building to admire, it is also somewhere where visitors get a closer insight into the daily life of the locals.
- The Turia River Bed
In the 1950’s, a big storm tore through Valencia and the river burst its banks, leaving a massive clean up mission for the city. Rather than run the risk of another flood, the city decided to divert the river elsewhere, and because of this there is now a park in replacement of the river, and it’s just lovely. It reminded us the big parks of London.
There are cyclists, kids playing and dogs running around whilst others picnicked and sunbathed. A fantastic spot to relax after a busy day of sightseeing.
Valencia is a wonderful city, and a fantastic city to take children. It was full of life, and not too fast paced. It felt like you were strolling through a village, rather than a city as the windy streets kept you entertained whilst exploring. Oh, and of course, we did manage to find the best Churros in the whole of Valencia…need a recommendation? Well search this place out, you won’t be disappointed!