Valencia is Spain’s third-largest city, with a population of nearly 1 million. Its most famous building, La Lonja de la Seda, or The Silk Exchange, is a fantastical 15th-century structure with a magnificent great hall supported by spiral-carved stone columns. The nearby La Seu cathedral dates to 1262 and overlooks the Plaza de la Virgen, a charming square lined with rows of orange trees and busy cafés. Valencia can also boast notable modern architecture, including Santiago Calatrava’s City of Arts and Sciences, a remarkable structure that looks like the sun-bleached skeleton of a whale. Famous for its paella, Valencia is a destination for food lovers.
High-Speed Train Travel
The comfortable Euromed high-speed train from Barcelona makes the journey in three hours, hugging the coast most of the time. We also enjoy arriving at Valencia’s romantic Estación del Norte, a brilliant piece of civil engineering and a modernista (early 20th century) architectural masterpiece.
For Valencianos, an authentic paella uses only short-grained Spanish rices such as Senia or Bomba. Try it at a legendary house like Casa Roberto (Maestro Gozalbo 19. Tel. (34) 963-951-528) or La Pepica (Avenida Neptuno 6. Tel. (34) 963-710-366), founded in 1898 and a favorite of Ernest Hemingway.