TRAVEL DIARY: VALENCIA WITH THE FAM
Back in January I was invited along to visit Porcelanosa’s HQ in beautiful Valencia. After getting to explore the city a little, I realised that Valencia was the perfect family getaway. Warm, easy to travel around, culture, great history and architecture PLUS a shed load of museums, galleries and days out that would keep my 3 yr old daughter Marley well entertained without boring us to tears. We booked a cute little airbnb and headed out at the end of May for what has been our first full family holiday since Stockholm a couple of years back.
Valencia, in my opinion is like a smaller, more chilled out version of Barcelona. Plus it has the amazing city of arts and sciences, which is a dream for anyone interested in architecture. We sadly ran out of time to visit, but always an excuse to go back I spose!
Here’s what we got up to in our few days in Valencia…
After an incredibly easy flight (minus my serious anxiety of airports and flying at the moment, need we ask why?) we arrived in Valencia to be picked up by our lovely host Maria. She drove us to her little flat that we would be renting for the next few days, located in the business district and pretty close to the Bioparc – Valencia’s amazing zoo that we would be visiting whilst we were there.
After Maria giving us the lowdown on how to get around and estimated costs (a cab all the way across town was only €15 so we pretty much just got around that way) we headed out to do some exploring in town.
(Vintage dungarees discovered in Paris, white cropped t shirt from H&M, Sunnies are from CTRL years ago, and the kicks are Nike Thea's in Purple fog)
In the town centre we strolled around, first landing on the Plaça de l'Ajuntament where we grabbed a beer and a bite to eat. They had some pretty fountains there which Marley loved, plus some interesting architecture with the nearby Banco de Valencia and the Rialto Teatre, with its pastel perfect art deco style.
We didn’t really have a plan so just started walking, towards what I thought was going to be the main old town with the cathedrals and churches, but actually I can’t read a map and instead ended up taking us the wrong way. A happy mistake though as we ended up discovering the MuVim museum, which had a wicked exhibition about wartime art in Valencia.
On display were beautiful and bold Art Deco style works reflecting the pain and suffering of the era. Loads of propaganda and the like.
They also had one of the best museum shops I’ve found in ages, full of hand drawn zines and cool mags. I bought a poster and a little comic book style zine, which have since disappeared! I NEED TO FIND THEM!
As the day went on we finally got over to the old town centre, which houses the Puerta de los Hierros. Cathedral, incredible!
Then we visited the Basilca, which we popped into during a service. Incredible ceiling artwork and such a decorative alter. Beautiful!
We loved the pastel colours of the nearby buildings, which served as a good backdrop for me getting some shots of Jason.
After picking up some sushi and pasta for dinner, we headed home to rest our tired legs.
Day 2, put simple was all about the beach baby. Being stuck in London with constant rain and grey clouds meant that all three of us needed a good vitamin D fix.
Maria, our Airbnb host, recommended we head to Playa de la Malvarrossa, which was a section of beach that had loads of volleyball courts (is that what they're called?!) and was really peaceful.
Bikini top - Accessorize (now in the sale for £4.50, bargs!), bikini bottoms topshop a year back, sunglasses are vintage
Considering it was really warm I was surprised at how calm and quiet it was. The last beach I went to in the UK a couple of months ago we literally had a patch of sand to ourselves and it was so packed that it’s really hard to enjoy it. Just a bit of an English moan there, come on – it’s what we’re good at!
For lunch we got a typical Valencian paella, which includes rabbit. Now I thought it might just be rabbit meat but they decided to actually put the head in there which was a little weird… luckily Marley didn’t notice or it might have been game over! Can’t lie, it was delicious. A few sangrias also helped things along!
Towards the end of the day we headed back to the apartment to splash around in the pool, which we had completely to ourselves!
It amazed me at how well kept the communal areas of the apartments were, considering what it’s sometimes like here in the UK. Another little moan there.
Zoo time! Valencia’s Bioparc is well known for immersing visitors into the animals' habitat and not vice versa. They do this by using rivers, water and lakes to separate the public from the animals instead of loads of cages and railings, which is pretty cool.
The first thing we saw when we arrived was a whole family of Lemur strolling about on the pathways! Marley loved it. Was pretty dope to be so close to something you don’t get to see very often.
I loved that the enclosures were so well crafted, they literally made you feel like you were in Africa. So beautiful. You can see a really interesting video about how they created the park here..
Real flamingos! The most perfect pink ever created!
Marley had such a great time, as did me and J! We were even quite moved when we sat and looked at the huge gorillas, it was like they were talking to us with their eyes. Amazing stuff.
The Bioparc is about €24 per adult, and under 4’s are free! Well worth it in my opinion.
Sadly day 4 was an early dash to the airport. Our lovely host Maria dropped us off and wished us well.
I hope we can go back sometime soon as the apartment is perfect for a young family. Plus having the pool to yourself is never really a chore!
If you have any questions about visiting Valencia, feel free to leave me a comment. Or if you've been before do you have any recommendations for my readers of places to go / things to see / what to eat?
If you like this post you might want to check out my photo diary from when I visited Porcelanosa on a design trip earlier in the year.