On the banks of the Turia River overlooking the gulf, Valencia is an ancient city and harbour, with a strong sailing community. Now a stop for the Volvo Ocean race and host to sailing weeks, yachting enthusiasts flock to this beautiful port.
To get your bearings, stroll the 4km long Paseo Marítimo, palm-tree lined promenade. The port itself was completely remodelled for the 32nd America's Cup, while the medieval architecture of the old city is retained in pockets of the city. Highlights include the San Miguel de los Reyes monastery and the ancient Towers of the medieval city, which afford stunning views across the city out to sea.
Don’t miss Las Fallas festival in March, which begins with deafening fireworks while the Holy Week celebrations held in Valencia are also considered to be among the most intensely colourful in Spain. During August crowds are drawn to the nearby town of Buñol by “La Tomatina”: the annual tomato fight makes a fascinating spectacle. Visit Albufera, a freshwater lagoon and estuary – a natural park perfect for bird watching and hiking. Golfers should hit the greens at El Saler, El Bosque, Manises and the Club Escorpión.