This is a short guide to a weekends away in Valencia. In short, it’s gorgeous, go immediately! It is a great place for a short trip with friends or as a couple as there is plenty to see and do. Valencia was a favourite place of one of my best friends Emma. She always told me how amazing it was and we should all go one day. Sadly we will never get to go as a group but me and the girls decided to go in her honour, stepping in her footsteps the whole weekend. So here’s Emma’s itinerary:
We booked in advance and got great flights from London to Valencia via BA…which subsequently went on strike do we ended up on EasyJet. Can’t plan everything! The airport is about 20-30 mins (depending on where you’re staying) away from Valencia and the beach. We flew out early Friday morning and returned at midday on Monday. We went at the end of September so it was still warm and definitely bikini weather!
What to pack
Take a small hand luggage case if you can and travel in trainers. Take light dresses and loose separates as it is still warm in September and maybe a cover-up / shirt or light jacket in case it is chilly. You’ll want one pair of chic flats, heels / wedges for evening as the places here are fairly dressy (but not a deal breaker tbh). Flat sandals for daytime are perfect with beachwear.
We stayed right on the beach which has a very LA feel to it with a wide walkway for meandering. The hotel was called Hotel Boutique Balandret which had a modern boutique feel with light airy rooms. Be warned the back of the hotel looks over the car park.
We arrived around midday to the hotel so we decided to relax in the afternoon. The beach was huge (like enormous) and beautifully sandy with clear seas…just heaven. You can buy umbrellas and sun loungers plus there’s a beach bar serving nuts, ice cream and drinks.
The beach also has plenty of little beach bars next to it so we enjoyed Tapas for lunch with all our favourites including croquettes, ham, potatas bravas and octopus. I WISH I could remember the name – even Google Maps hasn’t helped me but it was a few doors down from our hotel and hopefully you can figure it out from the interiors.
In the evening, we booked into Panorama, a stunning restaurant at the end of the pier which was an approx 5 minute walk (even in heels) from the hotel. The scenery here was breathtaking as we enjoyed the sunset next to the ocean. We enjoyed chilled Rose with Instagram-worthy mains including Grilled Turbot Trunk on a bed of aspargus (16.50 euros) and a Grilled Galician Beef Tenderloin (18.50 euros). We couldn’t resist the delicious desserts of a Chocolate Brownie and White Chocolate Cream served with Cookies (5.50 euros each).
Marina Beach Club
Marina Beach Club has a chilled out Ibiza vibe which has been designed by Valerian architects with cool bars and sun loungers by day that get switched into a dance floor in the evening. We booked four sunloungers for the day which means you can stay into the evening. We took a change of clothes in our bags but to be honest it is a super relaxed vibe so you don’t need to worry about what you’re wearing. The food here is pretty special; huge plates of sushi, gorgeous salads and burgers. Try the rose wine too, it is delicious!
In the evening we booked into the main restaurant where we enjoyed a mountain of hot crusty bread followed by Mediterranean Sea Bass with stir-fried seasonal vegetables and tapenade (17.50 euros). We could see the fireworks from the beach club from where we were sitting.
It is worth noting that the menu for Panorama and Marina Beach Club were exactly the same for the evening. This wasn’t a huge problem for us but it isn’t that largest menu, so worth noting if you struggle with fish dishes.
We started day 3 off with a trip to breakfast where you could enjoy a continental breakfast and order hot food if you wished. It was nice to make the most of the September sun so we had half a day soaking up the sun on the beach. In the afternoon we waited until it was a bit cooler to take a 10 – 15 minute taxi to Valencia City of Arts & Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) which is truly breathtaking. The architecture and design is so interesting, it really is an Instagram goldmine with a calming blue water feature making a modern centrepiece. I wish we had more time to go in and explore (something to come back to) but instead we went for a cocktail at Terraza L´Umbracle, a beautiful landscaped walkway on the rooftop.
Valencia Town Restaurant
After that we headed into Valencia town where we got out of the taxi and immediately found Vaqueta Restautant…but being typical women who like to shop around…we checked every restaurant in the area before going back half an hour later, and boy, we’re glad we did! The decor is super modern and arty with a giant decorative fish hanging from the ceiling. It was classic tapas dishes with a twist, always served up in an interesting dish (see the Croquettes in the dish shaped like a giant hand) and super tasty. We finished off with a sensational huge lobster risotto to share which filled the entire table. Extra points for the boudoir style bathroom in this phenomenal restaurant.
We flew out after breakfast the next morning, making this the perfect three night trip to Valencia. I can’t wait to go back and explore more.