Tag Archives: Mediterranean

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.

Tips for first time visitors to the French Riviera and Nice

2018-03-12

There is so much to see and to do on the southeast Mediterranean coast of France, also known as Cote d’Azur or Riviera, that travelers who land there for the first time may have problems on deciding what to do. We asked the author of the travel guide The Gems of Nice and the French Riviera how to start exploring the sights and attractions of the Riviera.
Antibes France Riviera
If you are staying in Nice, use your first day to enjoy the most relaxing activities of the city. This means a long, and I really mean, a long and slow stroll along the Promenade d’Anglais. That’s where the residents come to enjoy their lunch hour or an entire afternoon as well. Riviera is a year-round destination, so it depends on the season what is happening on the beach, but there is always something out on the sea. Watch out for bicyclists, though.

It is pretty quick and easy to get a complete view over Nice from the Castle Hill. The castle has disappeared, but wonderful views over the city roofs haven’t. The long beach, mountains, and the city squeezed between the mountains and the sea get a fresh perspective from the hill. At the foot of the Castle Hill, the old town is a obligatory neighborhood to explore and to have a meal if it is lunch or dinner time.

Antibes and Cannes are my favorites as alternative towns to stay and to spend a relaxing day strolling along the coast and in the old town (both towns have lovely coastal promenades and old towns).
Nice, Cap d'Antibes and Mediterranean
After a day in the never-ending buzz of a Riviera coastal town, a road trip to the countryside is a magnificent way to experience another side of southern France. A trip to the Gorges du Verdon is a full day mission, but worth it. The landscapes, mountains, monasteries and villages along the roads to the spectacular canyon are memorable. There are many opportunities to hike in the canyon or simply stop at the road side and enjoy a picnic in a fabulous scenery.

The travel guidebook to the southern France’s best places is available at bookstores, such as Amazon, Google Play and Kobo.
book cover image: travel guide to Nice and South France, Riviera

Here is Where the Pyrenees Mountains End (or Start)

2015-04-07

It is difficult to tell where large mountain ranges end (or where they start) when you are exploring a region. The Pyrenees is different: the other end of the mountain range plunges into the Atlantic Ocean and the other end to the Mediterranean. In any case, this setup provides beautiful sceneries from the mountain for hikers and mountainbikers.

The video was shot at the foothills of Pyrenees near Argeles-sur-mer, France. The Mediterranean can be seen behind the town.

Planning to visit southern France? Here is a travel guide available for download to smartphones, tablets, ereaders and laptops