Discovering The Beauty Of Valencia

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					Discovering The Beauty Of Valencia
In the middle of Spain's Mediterranean coastline, the city of Valencia is the third largest in Spain. It sits
opposite the Balearic Islands and has a group of mountains as a backdrop. Beautiful beaches are just a
fraction of what make Valencia popular with holidaymakers.

Founded in 138 BC, Valencia is a city steeped in culture and rich history. Much of this is evident in its
architecture. Occupied at various times by different groups, Valencia is better for it. Counted among
those who once called the city home are the Romans, Greeks, Moors, Visigoths and Aragonese. Much of
the existing architecture is a remnant of the Muslim occupation. Chief of these are the Banos del
Almirante bathhouse and minaret of an old mosque.

Each group that came took and left something of their culture in Valencia. The Moors are credited for
bringing an irrigation system. This system is still in use today. They took olives, so central to
Mediterranean diet, oranges and rice to Valencia.

Its strong economy is largely driven by tourism. Valencia also possesses the largest port on the
Mediterranean West Coast. Here too is located the renown Turia Gardens and the City of Arts and
Sciences. The city is also home to a UNESCO Heritage Site Monument, the Gothic building of La Lonja.

Sightseeing in Valencia

Valencia has always been a popular destination with Europeans. American holidaymakers also like to
explore Valencia's Mediterranean charm.

What started out as an industrial municipality gradually changed its tone, making it more tourist-
friendly. A number of old landmarks were restored and a construction boom saw the development of
new structures. The most prominent of these is the Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias or City of Arts
and Science.

The City of Arts and Science may well be Valencia's best known attraction. This futuristic complex was
built to welcome the new millennium. Its amazing architecture and size have inspired the nickname "city
within a city."

Sightseeing tours generally begin in the old quarter. Some sites to include on any list to be visited
include:

o The Calatrava Bridge: A spectacular sight at night, the dazzling lights create an attractive display. It is a
not-to-be-missed experience in Valencia.
o The Turia Gardens are sprawling gardens that stretch the length of the city. From its central point the
complex layout separates Valencia's old quarter from the new.

o The Cathedral is the religious center of the city and was founded in the 13th century. It is especially
noteworthy, as the famous Holy Grail is kept there.

Valencia is a lively city any time of the day or night. There will be no trouble finding parties at various
spots, including the beach. The weather is great and comparable to somewhere like Lanzarote in the
summer months for example - check out a Lanzarote weather forecast - and the city's cuisine is equally
famous with paella and horchata being perennial favorites.

Americans can absorb the culture at one of the city's museums if that is more their thing. These include
the Museu de Prehistoria de Valencia and the Museu d'Historia de València. The bounty of Valencia's
offerings will make any holiday unforgettable.

There is much that awaits the American tourist in Valencia. The city was the site of battles between the
troops of El Cid and the Moors. El Cid's exploits may strike a chord with those who see parallels with the
American battle for independence. The city architecture is also a likely draw for Americans appreciative
of history.

Travelling to Valencia

Now Americans can travel to Valencia faster and easier. Delta Airlines offers four flights a week on
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from JFK Airport in New York to Valencia Airport in
Manises. Tourists departing Valencia can catch flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays as
well.