Tag Archives: carnival

Easter Week is party time in Valencia, Spain, but visitors enjoy unique sights of the city as well

2019-04-10

In Spain, every city and village has its own festivities that are unique to the community. A number of these fiestas have long traditions, whereas others, like the Tomatina near Valencia in Bunol is a recent innovation. In addition to gazillion of local fiestas, national holidays are celebrated in Spain as well. If you want to experience a genuine Spanish fiesta, and visit the best sights of Valencia, here are a few tips.
easter cavalcade through a city center in Spain

Three massive festivities in Valencia

Epiphany is celebrated on the 5th and 6th of January. As a festivity and carnival, this is much bigger than Christmas or New Year’s Eve. Every town and city organizes one or multiple cavalcades in the town center. The leading theme is the Three Wise Men who bring gifts to children. For adults, it is another perfect excuse to go out and get a table at a restaurant or bar.

Fallas is a unique festival for Valencia. The entire fiesta lasts about three weeks, but the key events in mid-March that end the celebrations draw the biggest crowds. Fallas has become a popular event that Spanish people outside Valencia want to experience, together with plenty of foreign tourists.

In some countries, people can have one extra day of holiday because of Easter, but in Spain the minimum Easter holiday is one week. The entire population of the country is on the move. Every town with any self-respect organizes big cavalcades, Masses, and other events. A reason why the Easter is Spain’s biggest national holiday is that it often coincides with warm spring weather. Beach resorts can be fully booked.

Travel guide to Valencia shows all the events, sights, places, and attractions of the city. It also covers cultural tips, key things about food and drink, and nearby towns and sights.
Valencia town hall with christmas lights

Three unique sights in Valencia, Spain

Even during a fiesta in Valencia, there is time to party, and time to do something else. The city is relatively easy to explore by foot, by bicycle, and by occasionally using the underground (metro) network. Here are three unique must-see sights in Valencia.

Old Town, the city center of Valencia, is a large and busy district with magnificent old buildings and monuments. It is not an outdoor museum, but Valencians live and work there. However, since locals like to spend plenty of time at their favorite restaurants and bars, there is an astronomical number of places to eat and drink in the city. Considering sights, La Lonja, Mercado Central, Catedral, and Plaza de la Virgen attract most visitors.

Turia Park is a green district that stretches a long way around the city center. The park is so large that there is space for everyone – well, weekends can be crowded. How is it possible that many kilometers/miles long park is located in the heart of an ancient European city? The park is built on the river banks of Turia River. The river used to flood the city so badly that finally, in the 1950s, it was diverted to flow around the city straight to the Mediterranean Sea.

The City of Arts and Sciences
The City of Arts and Sciences is a district in Valencia where modern architecture shines under the Southern European sun. It is place where a science museum, sea world, high-tech movie theater, concert hall and other institutions are open to visitors. Also, elements of parkland and water are cleverly applied to complement the ultramodern buildings.
the city of arts and sciences, sample page from book Valencia, Spain
The Valencia travel guidebook is available at all major online bookstores, for instance: Amazon.com, Google Play Books, and Kobo.

Valencia hosts the biggest spring carnival in Spain: Fallas fiesta

2019-03-05

Fallas carnival in Valencia, Spain, is considered such an important tradition that it has become a Unesco World Heritage event (Intangible Cultural Heritage). Party-goers, however, don’t have time to think about Unesco because there are so many happenings in the ancient city center – and if there are no organized events, local people make something up.

Plaza de la Virgen in Valencia during Fallas fiesta

The highlights of the loud, three week long fiesta are fireworks (every day at least once), unofficial street performances by local people, and giant sculptures that roam the streets in the city center until they are burned. A travel guide to Valencia, Spain, covers the fiestas, sights, attractions, food and other essentials of the city.

The events are fun, but perhaps the most interesting thing for a visitor is to explore the alleys and streets of the old city center. It is filled with restaurants and bars, and during Fallas, business is good all day and all of the night.

Every day in the afternoon a massive amount of firecrackers and fireworks are blown into air in the town hall square. The result is plenty of noise and a thick wall of smoke that covers the entire plaza. Yet, it is a popular event. Fortunately, fireworks are organized in evenings as well when it is possible to actually see the lights.
crowds at Plaza de Ayuntamiento during Fallas carnival in Valencia
Giant sculptures appear on the streets in city center on the 16th of March until they are burned on the 19th. The big-headed puppets represent politicians, artists, celebrities or a nasty neighbor.

The main events of Fallas take place from March 15th to 19th, but the festivities start at the end of February. The full program is available here.

The hotels can be packed during Fallas, so reservations have to be made early, or alternatively, consider finding a room in the outskirts of the city. The Metro (underground) network is fairly new and covers a large area (even the city’s main beaches). In the city center, loud street parties can go on all night which may not please everyone. Public transportation, cycling or walking are the recommended transport methods.

The origins of Valencia’s Fallas parties are fires that craftsmen used to burn outside their workshops hundreds of years ago. To feed the fire, they threw in chips of wood along with junk collected from the neighborhood. When rags and a hat were added to the object to be burned, the Ninot figure (giant puppet) was born.

Find out more about the travel guide to Valencia, Spain, here.
an excerpt from travel guidebook Valencia, Spain