Spain's third-largest city, Valencia basks on the Mediterranean coast south of Barcelona.
Amid rugged mountains and glorious orange groves, the city boasts impressive futuristic architecture, neon-lit fountains, a colorful old town and a bustling beach. The easiest way to explore the city is on the fast, efficient metro trains or, in the central areas, on foot.
For a real taste of Valencia, try its famous nightlife, arrive during March's Las Fallas festival or try local firewater, Agua de Valencia.
In Valencia you will find beaches right in the very heart of it. The city offer fantastic possibilities for any kind of sports (golf, diving, cycling, tennis, etc. are all very popular here) and a boiling nightlife, together with an ample cultural offer, then Valencia is the place for you.
Valencia is a place identified with the Mediterranean Sea because its culture deriving from the old Mare Nostrum is shown in its patterns of social behavior.
Valencia has around a million inhabitants. They are predominantly from the city itself of from the close-lying villages and towns. There is also a large number of Spaniards from other parts of Spain.
Valencia has its own cultural identity which many Valencians are proud of Being on the Mediterranean coast, half way between pragmatic North and relaxed South has created a unique character which I will leave for you to speculate upon yourself. Many foreigners find this a perfect blend.
The traditional culture, like anywhere else, is preserved in classical ways:
Language - the Valencians have their own Valenciano
Festivals - the Valencians have a number of traditional fiestas complete with unique traditional costumes, music and rituals. These fiestas are still the highlight of the year for many Valencians
Las Fallas - Valencia's Most Famous Festival: Las Fallas is a festival held from March 12th to March 19th. What are Las Fallas? Huge papier-mache art sculptures are erected on almost every square. Usually there are around 300 of these, and most are indicative of social criticism and sarcasm. Then, on March 19th the Fallas are simultaneously burned at midnight in a ritual called "la nit del foc"
Fiona Honor Hurley has written a wonderful description of Las Fallas for Boots and All, called
Artesan - Valencia is famous for its traditional ceramics and you will see it in many places in the city. Again, this is not to show off to the tourists, this is what Valencia is.
Gastronomy - Valencia has its own cuisine crowned with paella
History - the Valencian government is seriously engaged in displaying Valencia's contribution to arts, sciences and history in various museums and exhibitions.
Climate Valencia is on the Mediterranean Sea, so you can enjoy mild Mediterranean climate
Humidity The humidity is quite high, especially felt in the summer, with June and July the heaveist and August slightly lighter.
Temperatures From November to February it gets cool with some quite cold weeks.
The end of February and the beginning of November can still be quite warm, but at other times do take a warm jacket, gloves etc. That said, the Global Warming is in full swing and 2007's New Year's Day saw quite a few people sunbathing on the beach, in 20-25 degrees. The temperature gets close to zero extremely rarely and usually stays at around 7-10 degrees Celcius.
From March to October it is definitely warm and the temperatures alternate between slightly cold and very warm. The heat comes in around the middle of May and stays to the end of September, with very high temperatures (up to 35-40 degrees Celcius) and humidity.
Rain is rare in Valencia. If it does happen it doesn't usually stay long. Rain can take any form from a brief tropical downpour to a few drops. It is very unpredictable in when it starts and how long it will last. The usual times for rain are end of September - October and March - April.
The Sun is pretty much always here.
Valencia Train Stations: The Norte Railway Station of Valencia is located in the heart of Valencia. Daily connections to Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Alicante, Port Bou (French border), Zaragoza, Bilbao and trains to other provinces leave from here. For more information and train schedules see RENFE, the Spanish Railway Service. http://www.renfe.com
Valencia is fast becoming a major competitor in the Spanish Tourism market. Valencia is now challenging Madrid and Barcelona in popularity, especially for weekend breaks. Valencia has the advantage of not being too overcrowded like its larger contemporaries, while still managing to cram a huge amount of top class hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs into its relatively small city centre. More and more direct flights are arriving to this beautiful city, considered by many (including this writer who is a resident) to be the jewel in the crown of the Costa del Azahar.
If you decide to choose Valencia for your studies,
without a doubt it's the right decision.