Valencia, five tips by…

Where to go, what to see in Valencia? We asked local René Clerx, director of Route 66 Idiomas, a language school waar Spanish is being taught. Of course you have to bike your way around, have a picnic on the beach and take Spanish classes!

“I have known Valencia since 1996. A friend from Groningen took the big step to move to Valencia to see if he could build a life there. I visited him occasionally over the weekend, but it was not until 2002 that I really got to know the city. It was during the year I took a sabbatical to contemplate my career.”

Valencia, five tips by…

The foundations for Valencia, the five tips.. were layed during that year, of course. The year flew by, I learnt the Spanish language, made many new friends and got new ideas to give my stalled career a fresh and positive future.

Valencia, de vijf tips van... Nomad&Villager Valencia, five tips by...

I quickly found a new job and went back to work. It all went well but after a year I again became discontent. Disappointment that the new path to the career did not bring what I had hoped for. I was back to square one. Not the type of job was the problem, but the form. Working for a boss proved to be my biggest stumbling block. I am not good with superiors. Opinionated, stubborn and impatient as I am, I think I can do better.

Language school

My own business? The last thing I ever thought of but looking back it seemed to be the only obvious thing to do. Brainstorming started again, this time in the Netherlands. Own business ok, but what and where ? Talking with friends about my time in Valencia it occurred to me that maybe a language school might be an option.

The more I thought about it, the more it seemed to contain a surprising amount of matching pieces, such as accidentally acquired contacts in education (teachers) and knowledge of the municipality (permits).

Route 66 Idiomas

To cut a short story even shorter; 4 weeks later I bit the bullet and another 4 weeks later I arrived in Valencia. The rest is history. On April 4, 2015 my language school Route 66 Idiomas celebrates a decade. A decade of teaching Spanish to students from all over the world. Who have come individually or in small groups (some for a week, others a year) to a beautiful city to learn its culture.

Because learning a language is step one in communicating and enjoying a new city and culture, my first tips should really be: go to a language school. If you are planning to stay longer in Valencia that should really be on top of your list.

Short trips

Valencia is also great for short trips. The city is very accessible from various cities in Europe and has a lot to offer on nature and culture.

And of course the weather is great. Here are Valencia, the five tips by…René.

1. Valencia by bike

Explore Valencia on bike. You see so much more and the city is ideal for biking: very flat and lots of sun. Although there are few trails, you’ll be fine moving through streets and on the pavement where necessary. Traffic seems much busier than it actually is. There is a bike road from the old city all the way to the beach. Biking through the Turia is fascinating and save.

2. La Torre del  Miguelete

The cathedral tower, located in the center, gives you a fantastic 360º view of the city. Valencia is flat with few high rises, so you can see the whole city, including its surroundings, the mountains and the sea. It is a bit of a climb with 207 steps but you will be rewarded.

3. El río Turia de Valencia

Characteristic of Valencia is the River Turia. This river ran through the middle of the city untill it was drained in the fifties after yet another flood. The riverbed is now an elongated park with a length of 8 kilometers.

Ideal for a walk or bike ride. The most famous attractions built here are the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (CAC) and the Bioparc. Designer of CAC is the famous Valencian architect Santiago Calatrava.

Valencia Museum van kunst en wetenschap Nomad&Villager Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (CAC)

4. Patacona beach

Valencia has miles of beautiful beaches. The easiest to reach is Malvarosa beach, but that’s always very busy. If you continue on the boulevard you hit the next beach: Patacona. Worth it! If only because of the terraces and the tasty food, such as La Más Bonita and the authentic restaurant Llevant.

Valencia Patacona strand Nomad&Villager Patacona beach

5. El Mercado Central

Valencia has many covered markets, but the biggest and most beautiful is El Mercado Central (built 1928). You will find all sort of vegetables, meat, fish, bread and pastry and spices. Ready to eat here or to take home everything is beautifully displayed and for sale. For a little food break, you can go to a corner of the market: El Central Bar. Delicious sandwiches!

Images: Nicole Franken

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