Posted: March 26, 2017

In the month of May the weather starts to warm up and is an excellent occasion for our first beach break and to start tanning. We crave the sun and the Early May Bank Holiday offers a great opportunity to get a break from work and enjoy some great weather. If you are looking for the sun, the beach, time to relax and also want to add some tourism, gastronomy and get to know something about culture and history, the perfect place to go this Early May Bank Holiday is the city of Valencia.

Valencia is famous for the light of the Mediterranean, for its beaches of fine sand and clear and calm waters, but also for its great cultural and leisure offerings that many are unaware of but that will pleasantly surprise you. What’s more, we are sure that the Early May Bank Holiday will be too short for all the plans that we propose. You will want to return to the capital of the Turia river.

Whether you are going with family or friends to Valencia this bank holiday, a great plan is to do a ‘bike tour’ around the city. Valencia is a perfect city for cycling: its completely flat, has a great temperature, and has an extensive network of gardens and bike lanes. You will feel like you’re in a central European city. It is completely adapted to bicycles. What’s more; if you go through the Turia Garden (the old riverbed) you can tour the city from east to west, from the Cabecera Park – where the Bioparc is – to the City of Arts and Sciences, by bike, without cars and surrounded by nature.

On your ‘bike tour’ make a stop at the historical center to see the most emblematic landmarks of the city. We recommend the Lonja, a World Heritage building, the church of Santa Catalina and the Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas, in addition to the classic visits to the Cathedral, with its Miguelete tower, and the Serranos and Quart towers. The Palace of the Marqués de Dos Aguas is an authentic jewel of European baroque-rococo art. Its alabaster portal is a magnificent work of art. In addition, inside it houses the National Museum of Ceramics. Visit the palatial rooms and admire the carriages, furniture and ceramic pieces inside. By the way, on Sundays, admission is free.

If you already want to go to the sea, take advantage of these beautiful May-days to take a boat trip along the coast of Valencia. From the Marina of the Port of Valencia, remodelled and promoted after the celebration of the America’s Cup, tours depart in sailboats or catamaran to spend the day on the Mediterranean. Enjoy the sea breeze and the light of Valencia’s beach that Sorolla immortalized in his paintings. You can have lunch aboard the boat and even, if you go with friends, have a boat race between groups.

Another perfect plan for these May days is to spend a day in the Albufera of Valencia. A natural park, and one of the most important wetlands in Spain, it is just a few kilometres from the city. If you like, you can go by bike to El Saler and l’Albufera. However, if you want to go faster and more comfortably, there is public transport and sightseeing buses to El Palmar, the village that is at the heart of the Albufera. In the park you will see the fields of the famous Valencia rice as well as a rich fauna and flora. Also, you can board and take a tour around the lake in one of the typical boats used by the fishermen of l’Albufera.

You will also see in the landscape the traditional ‘barraca valenciana’, a triangle-shaped house with white walls and a straw roof in which the farmers of the orchard of Valencia used to live in. L’Albufera, by the way, is next to the park of El Saler, a Mediterranean forest where you can encounter the native species in its interpretation center. And as we are in the middle of rice fields, we can not leave L’Albufera without eating a gorgeous Valencian paella in El Palmar. You can taste your preferred Valencian rice in most of its restaurants: paella, black rice, a banda, senyoret or the typical ‘all i pebre’, a stew of eel and potato that’s famous in l’Albufera of Valencia, where the eel is the most valued species.

If you want more gastronomy, you can do a ‘tapas tour’ through the center of Valencia and get to know the most typical taverns of the city. Or visit the famous Mercado Central, where in addition to admiring its modernist architecture, you can buy the best fresh produce from the orchards of Valencia and the nearby Mediterranean sea.

Regardless of the plan you choose, at Valencia Guías we have at your disposal a great amount of experience that you can not miss out on during your visit to the capital of the Turia river. From bike tours or sailing tours with specialized guides who speak English, to organized visits with a professional chef to the Central Market to get to know the ins and outs of this building. Book your stay in Valencia now and choose the best plans at Valencia Guías. Don’t say we didn’t warn you that May is a perfect time to get to know the land of flowers, light and colour.