Valencia has been a popular city destination for many years, facilitated by its sunny, warm weather, its Mediterranean location and stunning architecture of the City of Arts & Sciences. Valencia also benefits from being easily accessible via Barcelona and Madrid (train) and air.
Valencia is now starting to emerge as a “hip” city destination, keen to leave an impression of green, positive and crafty. A good alternative to the often overcrowded Barcelona.
Valencia and sustainability
Our impression when visiting Valencia in February 2018: the city is in the middle of a (much needed) urban regeneration, with sustainability a key theme in city development strategies. One example for this are the many cycling trails, which make it easy to commute or explore Valencia by bicycle (although its city center with all the main attractions can easily be visited by foot).
As a destination, Valencia is trying to promote sustainable tourism, for example by encouraging cycling, offering special public transport deals for visitors, and by providing information on its website.
Eco-friendly hotels in Valencia
Hotels truly dedicated to sustainability or environmental best practice are still a bit rare in Valencia. But the tide is turning and new venues will no doubt emerge. Spanish hotel chains such as NH and Ilunion now have dedicated responsible business and sustainability programs, and you’ll find them in Valencia, for example on Booking.com.
No five-star hotel will ever be fully sustainable, but Westin Valencia has gone to great lengths reducing its environmental footprint. If you’d like to celebrate a special occasion in style, Green Key-certified Westin Valencia seems a good option.
Check availability and rates here
Casa Tarsan Luxury Eco Lodge
Staying in Valencia for a longer period and looking for a perfect eco-getaway? Casa Tarsan Luxury Eco Lodge can be a good option. This beautiful Bed & Breakfast – one hour by car from Valencia – is really worth a visit. Located in the mountains, this location is perfect for hiking, nature walks or daily yoga.
Check availability and rates here
Eco-friendly tours and urban adventures in Valencia
The Travel Mob (a group of travel bloggers) visited Valencia in 2015 and produced a very comprehensive list of suggestions of what to do in Valencia. One of those bloggers was Adam of Travels of Adam, whom we interviewed as part of our Travel like a Pro series.
Zoos don’t get a lot of positive coverage these days, and often for a good reason. Not so BIOPARC Valencia, an animal park brilliantly designed and very enjoyable to explore. BIOPARC Valencia is right in the city and easily reachable by bicycle or bus, which makes it popular also among residents who benefit from the very affordable annual pass.
Apart from offering a great visitor experience, BIOPARC Valencia is also on a mission to actively support the protection and well-being of wildlife, through its conservation campaigns, breeding programs, education offers, and the BIOPARC Foundation. In terms of Valencia attractions, this is our top tip.
More information and rates here
A kilometres-long urban park which cuts the city in half. Great for running, strolling, cycling – chilling. BIOPARC Valencia is at one end, and if you decide to cycle the whole length, you’ll end up at the City of Arts & Sciences (picture). It’s architecture is remarkable. The gardens Jardines del Real and Jardines de Monforte, close to the Turia Gardens, are also worth a visit.
A well-maintained sanctuary in central Valencia, run by the university. For just a few Euros this is your chance to recover energies when sightseeing. And of course there’s many plants to discover.
More info here
Albufera National Park
This freshwater lagoon and estuary is a popular destination just south of Valencia, easily reachable by bus (though we recommend to join one of the cycling tours, for easier orientation and to make the most of a great day out). Albufera is the place for watching birds do their thing, and for taking a boat trip on Spain’s largest lake.
Close to Albufera you will find the village El Palmar where you can have the best paella lunch. This small village has around 30 great paella restaurants to choose from. When traveling to Albufera, making a stop in El Saler for its beautiful beaches is also really recommended!
More info here
Healthy food and eco-friendly restaurants
More and more restaurants in Valencia follow the slow food movement, showing a commitment to the local community and the environment. For example, you can enjoy a family meal at Kimpira (Convento de San Francisco 5), which offers 100% macrobiotic vegan cuisine using organic local produce and also has a kids area and menu. Or try Zummsalads (Paz 10), a “health restaurant” offering fun, sustainable dishes and delicious natural fruit juices.
In the city center, close to Plaza Ayuntamiento, you will find RAWCOCO. This hotspot opened recently and is already a must visit in the city. 100% raw, seasonal and ecological products for people who want to take care of their health.
The Copenhagen Group offers organic vegetarian and vegan food influenced by the healthy Nordic way of life at its three restaurants in Valencia: Copenhagen (Literato Azorin 8) and Malmo (Sueca 46) in the trendy district of Ruzafa, and Oslo (Catalanes 8) in the city centre. At Miobio (Cadiz 67), besides eating well you can join cookery courses or attend events and talks to learn more about healthy cuisine.
And Ricard Camarena’s Habitual restaurant has a changing menu offering seasonal organic produce from the huerta. The ‘bistro’ version called Canalla Bistro in Ruzafa is also really worth a visit!
Valencia weather & other travel info
For the latest weather forecast for Valencia, check for example weather.com.
For all sorts of useful information about Valencia as travel destination, check out wikitravel.org.
Still need travel insurance for your upcoming trip to Valencia? We use World Nomads. Here’s why.
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