I’ve recently visited Valencia, and as always, I didn’t plan much, as a trip is more interesting, when there is some element of expectancy and improvisation.
And, it was the best decision I’ve made. The adventures during my trip to Valencia are the best or second best (Norway fjords road trip can compete with it) that I’ve ever experienced.
In this post, you will find out what were the aspects of my trip I liked so much!
Video with my Adventures during the Trip to Valencia
Trip to Valencia, Spain: Unforgettable Adventures 2017
12 Euro Flights
As always, I was looking through the best deals of flights to some southern European countries on Skyscanner, one of my favorite flight search engines. I like choosing from ‘Country (eg. Poland)’ to ‘anywhere’, choosing the ‘cheapest month’ option. Thanks to flexible job, I can adjust my plans to flight dates.
So, I found some really cheap flights to Castellon de la Plana airport. The prices were around 25 for a round trip, as it was a new airport. Trying to gather a group of people to go with was really difficult, it was changing from 2 to 10 people and back almost every day. Finally, we decided to come in 2, and the prices even decreased to 12 euros for return flights! So, we bought them.
Cities close to the airport were Castellon de la Plana and Valencia. I’ve already been to Valencia and wrote a guide on spending 18 euros in 2 days there. So, I also wanted to visit Castellon.
As a travel blogger having around 12-15 thousand monthly visitors (data from 11/2017), I can be a very good way to advertise for hotels and hostels, and I can get accommodation for free (instead of paying someone for advertising, they just pay for utilities and cleaning the room). So, I made a research and chose a couple of the best hotels in Valencia and Castellon and sent them a message.
Then, I picked the one that seemed the best out of those, who replied, and I didn’t regret…
YOLO, or Beginning of Adventures
So, I had a booking at the Palacio de Rojas apart-hotel for the second and third night, while I had no tickets or bookings for the first day and night. As the bus tickets from the airport to both cities were on a Norwegian level (12 euros for Castellon and 20 euros for Valencia), I decided to look for someone at the airport to pick us up if they had free places in a rented car.
By accident, I met a friend that I used to study and play tennis with. They were four, but they kindly agreed to let me go with them, but having only 1 free space, my friend couldn’t go. I solved this problem later…
By the way, check these 20 adventure destinations
As we didn’t have a place to sleep for the first night, I called the Purple Nest hostel (one of the best in Valencia) to book 2 beds standing in a line to enter the plane.
In the plane, I got to know my neighbors that also were going to rent a car in the Castellon airport. They also had a free spot and agreed to take my friend with them. Problem solved!
After a good 2-hour sleep, I woke up when we were flying above the Alps. Usually, in the plane you see the clouds or the dark ground underneath. Nothing much to see. This time was special. I just couldn’t stop taking pictures and filming it.
After landing, we went to our cars under the warm sun with a temperature 20 degrees higher than in Poland. We had to change some clothes and shoes because of that. The guys that I was traveling with, were fun. Over-1-hour trip to Valencia passed really fast.
I found a place on the map, which was closest to my hostel, so I asked them to drop me off there. They didn’t have enough time to move to the right lane, so I had to take my bag from the trunk and jump out of the car in the middle of the road. YOLO!
Checking In at the Hostel
After a short and pleasant walk, I came to my hostel, Purple Nest. The receptionist was Italian, and the girls checking in before me, too. So, they needed some 10-15 minutes to talk 🙂 Not a problem for me, I’m on vacation!
I’ve already visited this hostel before, but didn’t stay there. A nice bonus was a free dinner and a breakfast included into the price of accommodation. Also, they had beer pong and pub crawls organized every day. So, it seemed like fun.
So it was!
First Steps in Valencia
When my friend arrived at the hostel, we had 20 minutes of rest, got to know one 18-year-old Argentinian girl that was working at a hostel in Seville at the weekends, and traveling on the weekdays alone!
After a short evening walk around Valencia, we came for the free dinner and got to know several more people at the hostel. Tired from the trip, we went to sleep pretty early.
Second Day and New Friends
As the first thing we wanted to do in the morning after having a breakfast, was to go to one of the towers to see the city from above. That is why, we went to the top of the tower of Micalet.
We weren’t the first ones, Kim, a nice half-Dutch half-Indonesian young lady was there before us. She made my pictures even nicer. I also asked here to pose for the blog. Well, I didn’t know, she was a sports model!
Here I’m trying to do something similar, but I’m neither a model, nor photogenic.
Next person to come to the top of the tower was a Spanish guy Juan that we met the day before in our hostel. Valencia is not a small town, it has about 600000 inhabitants, but the old town is small, and we met many people that we met before here and there.
We had to move from the hostel to our apartments, so we left the guys, but agreed to go to the sea together. In the end of November, it wasn’t that warm, but we had to check in there.
First Impressions of our Palacio
We came with our bags to Palacio de Rojas, where we had a reservation. We were waiting for our rooms keys in the waiting room, where we could (but didn’t) take a champagne or anything else from the bar. Later, the friendly woman was handling us as kings, took us to our apartment with 3 beds, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, living room and a balcony (remember, we were just 2!).
A nice bonus was a champagne in the fridge (and a second one in another apartment in Palacio de Rojas, where we moved the next day).
How couldn’t we take some instagrammy pics there!?
Swimming in the Sea in November
We were thinking of taking a Uber to the beach, but it doesn’t work in Valencia, and we didn’t know where the taxis stop, so we finally took a tram. Well, first, we went in a wrong direction, but at least we saw some ‘different’ Valencia.
On the beach, we first met with Kim, then with Juan and two Argentinians. The last three were sitting in a restaurant with dozens of Spanish sitting in their suits or at least elegant shirts eating during siesta (I also don’t understand, why they need a break, when the temperature is below 25 degrees Celsius).
The southern people didn’t dare to enter the sea, as it was too ‘cold’ for them. We plunged into the sea feeling people looking at us and thinking of how crazy we are swimming in a 20-degree water 🙂 .
Trying Local Delicacies
Then, we decided to meet in the city center for an ice cream (second best in the world, as they were saying). The choice was great and the ice cream too (while it didn’t differ that much from the one I usually eat).
Then we decided to try the Agua de Valencia, local drink made with some strong liquor like rum (but kept in secret by the place they make it), cava (local sparkling wine) and an orange juice. The place was close to our apartments, so we decided to come there for a champagne (cava, to be precise).
After a nice talk with the nice people in a nice place, we felt hungry and started searching for a place to have dinner. We found one good place with Valencian paella (another local specialty), where we stayed, while our Spanish friend left. After the dinner, we all went to sleep.
Most Impressive Complex I’ve Ever Seen
Next morning, we decided to visit the most popular attraction in Valencia, Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (The City of Arts and Sciences), a huge project of famous contemporary Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and Felix Candela.
We decided to go there by foot, as the Russafa neighborhood on the way there is very beautiful, it has lots of street art, and is more authentic then the city center, as we were the only tourists walking there.
It was very difficult to choose pictures to put in here, so here are numerous!
We also tried horchata near there, and went to the shopping center to grab some food. The waitress didn’t want to serve us and we saw them talking about us. When I came to the bar to order food, she didn’t serve me for more than 10 minutes. Then the older and more friendly man looking like an owner came to me and started talking.
It appeared that I had an American accent in Spanish, so they didn’t like us just because they thought we were Americans. After talking about Spain, how we like it, that I’ve been studying in Asturias, the region neighboring Cantabria, where the owner is from, they finally served us.
CrossFit on Vacation
We went back through the Turia riverbed, where a lot of sports facilities and gardens were built since the river doesn’t flow there. A very beautiful and picturesque place for a pleasant walk.
Kim was a fan of CrossFit, and I’ve been long thinking of trying it, but couldn’t decide because of the possible harm to health that I’ve heard about. She found a good place for that and I decided to join.
It was a Black Friday, and I needed some small things, so we went shopping for half an hour. Later, we left our bags at the apartment and I went to the training (first time was free). I really liked it, as I always liked short, but exhausting high-intensity trainings. I was actually surprised that was so short, when it was over.
On the way back, I saw a lot of people hitting drums, carrying candles and torches. I asked the policeman in front of the procession, what was going on. He said that it was a protest against touristic apartments in the city center. I was a little surprised and when something else grabbed his attention, I quickly lurked in my ‘touristic apartments in the city center’ just 50 meters away from the place I was talking to him.
At home, my friend has already prepared a dinner, and in a short time, we went to the hostel, where we stayed at our first night. There, we played beer pong with some Dutch teens that came there with a school group and lost… those ‘Kids of the Bar’.
At 11:30 pm, it was the beginning of a pub crawl. So, we first went to three very different bars. In one of them, I met two fun guys that I met in my previous trip to Valencia (they were holding pub crawls and walking tours).
About 3 am, we were at the club consisting of two floors with different music. It was too early for Spanish, so the club was almost empty. We left at about 4:30 and had a refreshing night walk back to the apartments hoping to find some food on the way.
Last Day of the Trip to Valencia
Next day, we wanted to visit the Central Valencian market and the bullfighting arena near the main train station. The place was impressive, but we didn’t have much time there, as we were leaving after 12.
We took a taxi to the place, where the bus station was. We went into the bus and I asked the driver if my friend could buy a ticket. And … he couldn’t. The tickets could be only purchased online. We didn’t know that and were hoping until the last moment that there will be someone going to the airport that could pick my friend up. Fortunately, the driver was kind, agreed to let my friend in, and even didn’t take the money.
Half an hour later, I had an arranged meeting with my Polish friend to go to the airport by car. After sharing our experiences of our trip to Valencia, we were quietly and not so cheerfully (because it was the end of vacation) riding to the airport. This trip was one of the best in my life and I Valencia stayed my favorite city in Spain. Read also about my road trip around Norway fjords or check this 3-day guide to Madrid!
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