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So much to discover

  • Explore Valencia on a guided coach tour and on foot
  • Included entry to the historic Silk Exchange
  • A free day to enjoy the city at leisure
  • Cruise the Albufera lagoon to see the rice paddies and thriving birdlife
  • Follow a guided tour of the medieval town of Xativa
  • Visit Elche with a local guide
  • Enjoy a tasting of the Moorish town’s date-based delicacies
  • Marvel at the Mudéjar towers of Teruel with a local guide
  • Wander the winding lanes of picturesque Albarracin with a local guide
  • See ceramic handicraft-making in action at a pottery workshop in Manises
  • Learn to make an authentic paella at a traditional farm villa with a tasting

Relax, it's included in the price
7 nights in 4-star accommodation
Return flights & transfers
Programme of daily tours & visits
2019: Breakfast & dinner
2020: Daily breakfast & 4 dinners
Expert tour manager
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Overview

Mention the Costa del Azahar and most people won't have heard of it. Yet it sits in the middle of the Mediterranean coastline of Spain, sandwiched between the better-known Costa Dorada and Costa Blanca, and looking out to the Balearics. Despite the unrelenting popularity of its near neighbours, this sliver of unspoilt coastline is as far away from package holiday territory as possible. Its cultured central city, richly decorated Moorish towns and unspoilt villages are separated by some awe-inspiring wonders of nature, including the Albufera lagoon and the lofty landscape of Spain's interior plateau. And, of course, the countryside is dominated by the lush orange groves that give this most sincere Spanish Costa the moniker 'the Orange Grove Coast'.

At the heart of this tour lies the incredible city of Valencia, the country's third-largest after Madrid and Barcelona. While the top two welcome visitors in their millions every year, Valencia sits quite happily under the radar, maintaining its authenticity as a thriving Spanish city where local life hasn't been overtaken by the tourist trade. It's undoubtedly a cultural powerhouse, showcasing an impressive architectural mix – from the cutting-edge futuristic designs at the City of Arts and Sciences to an ornate blend of Gothic, Art Nouveau, neo-Classical, Renaissance, Romanesque and Baroque – that will leave you wide-eyed in wonder.

Green spaces are treasured in Valencia – the Turia riverbed has been transformed into a beautiful stretch of parklands that now runs from one end of the city to the other, giving locals and visitors a refreshing respite from the bustle of city life. 

Surrounded as it is by the miles of traditional huerta or market gardens and abundant orange groves that keep the city's two famous market halls stocked with ripe Mediterranean fruit and vegetables, it follows that Valencia is one of the best cities in Spain for food. It's particularly passionate about being the birthplace of paella, with locals fiercely adamant that their version is unparalleled worldwide.

From our city base we'll explore the area's other varied charms, including the exceptional Mudéjar architecture in Teruel and Elche, an exotic echo of 8th- to 10th12th-century Moorish Spain and a time when the Muslim and Christian cultures co-existed peacefully. We'll also discover the compelling histories and local handicrafts of the region's tiny hilltop villages – and get an insight into how the traditional ceramics of Manises are made. A cruise through the wetlands of the Albufera lagoon and an adventure to the villages of Spain's high, dry, interior plateau complete this exceptional tour of one of Spain's most underestimated and undiscovered coastal areas.



Your itinerary


DAY 1 - ARRIVAL

Valencia Old Town

Fly to Valencia. On arrival, transfer by coach to our hotel where we stay seven nights, the four-star Eurostars Rey Don Jaime. This hotel boasts a best-of-both-worlds location between Valencia's charming old town and the modern City of Arts and Sciences. We'll enjoy our stylish surroundings during welcome drinks and dinner.

Eurostars Rey Don Jamie Hotel Double Room

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4* Eurostars Rey Don Jaime - Valencia

DAY 2 - XATIVA & ALBUFERA

Lagoon of Albufera

Morning

This morning we start by visiting the nearby town of Xativa, which is dominated by its hilltop castle that overlooks the surrounding countryside. Its history is long and distinguished, and it is even said that Hannibal stayed here en route to his daring attack on Rome. In the middle ages Xativa rose in prominence as the home of two of the infamous Borgia popes, who became infamous both for their corruption as well as their patronage of the arts. As such Xativa was dotted with numerous grand villas and churches, many of which can still be seen today. Following a guided tour of the charmingly compact old town you have free time to explore at leisure.

Afternoon

After lunch we head back towards Valencia, but first we stop at Albufera, a large freshwater lagoon just to the south of the city. Here we will take a cruise on a typical shallow-bottomed boat through the tranquil maze of reeds that are a veritable birdwatcher’s paradise, so keep an eye out for grey and purple herons, glossy ibis, grebes and even flocks of pink flamingos. This wonderfully peaceful place is exceptionally fertile, with the flat surroundings and abundant water the ideal combination for rice production, the essential ingredient for Valencia’s renowned paella. We will also stop at a traditional Valencian barraca, a triangular thatched house, to learn about the lives of the farmers of the Albufera and the Valencian region.

We then return to Valencia where the rest of the day is free.

DAY 3 - VALENCIA

DAY 4 - ELCHE

DAY 5 - FREE DAY IN VALENCIA

DAY 6 - TERUEL & ALBARRACIN

DAY 7 - MANISES & VALENCIA

DAY 8 - RETURN FLIGHT

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL IN VALENCIA

Old town Valencia: Saint Mary's square and Valencia cathedral

Fly to Valencia. On arrival, transfer by coach to our hotel where we stay seven nights, with breakfast, at the four-star Eurostars Rey Don Jaime. This hotel is well-located between Valencia's charming old town and the modern City of Arts and Sciences.

We’ll enjoy our stylish surroundings during welcome drinks and dinner this evening.

Eurostars Rey Don Jamie Hotel Double Room

View hotel details
and images

4* Eurostars Rey Don Jaime - Valencia

DAY 2 - VALENCIA & HORCHATA TASTING

Valencia

Morning

This morning we discover the exciting city of Valencia on a coach tour of its main sights. The centrepiece of this cultured city of contrasts is the ribbon of green that curves its way from the port to the riverside Parc de Capçalera, hugging the historic old town as it goes. Once the Turia riverbed, this delightful urban park is now a series of manicured gardens, wooded areas, water features, whimsical play areas and monuments, all crossed intermittently by a series of handsome bridges. 

On the port side of this green thoroughfare we'll see the City of Arts and Sciences, a truly fantastical collection of buildings designed by world-famous local architect, Santiago Calatrava. An opera house, science museum, IMAX cinema and aquarium rise out of still pools of bright blue water like something in a science-fiction movie!

Contrasting the futuristic with the historic, we'll also follow a local guide on a walking tour through the old town, where leafy, boutique-lined avenues branch off down narrow alleyways, leading to little squares overlooked by pastel-coloured town houses, and a diverse smattering of architectural masterpieces. Our tour includes entry to one-such building, the Silk Exchange, which is a UNESCO-listed site and striking Gothic marvel. It's not difficult to imagine the city's prosperous 15th-century merchants trading under the grand vaulted ceiling of the interior hall, supported by towering fluted columns.

Just opposite sits the modernist market hall, which you may wish to visit during your free time for lunch. Built in 1928, this vast structure blends coloured glass and iron to beautiful Art Nouveau-style effect – to step inside is to submerge yourself in a swirl of smells, sounds, movement and colour, from the rainbow of fresh produce grown in Valencia's fertile huerta gardens, to the calls of traders and the bustle of local shoppers.

Afternoon

In the afternoon we travel out of the city to the huerta to learn about the history and production of horchata, a traditional drink made with tiger nuts to create a version that's unique to Valencia. Of course, we also get to sample this creamy, sweet and malty drink, perfect with a farton, a spongy finger-shaped pastry glazed with sugar.

DAY 3 - ELCHE

DAY 4 - TERUEL & ALBARRACIN

DAY 5 - FREE DAY IN VALENCIA

DAY 6 - XATIVA & ALBUFERA

DAY 7 - MANISES & VALENCIA

DAY 8 - RETURN FLIGHT

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Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

Airport Hotel location Transfer time
Valencia Airport Valencia 20 mins
Alicante 2 hrs 15 mins

 

FAQs

Why should I choose Riviera Travel?

We care deeply about our customers and the holiday experience they have. We’re passionate about travel and we want all aspects to be perfect, with personal service and attention at every step of the way. Our world-class holidays include everything you need, with no detail overlooked. We carefully curate every aspect of your trip based on our own first-hand experience and expertise built up over decades in the travel industry.

What is included in the price?

The price of this holiday is per person based on sole occupancy of a twin/double room and includes:

  • Seven nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast(2019 departures), daily breakfast and three dinners (2020 departures) including a welcome dinner and drinks on the first night
  • All tours as mentioned
  • Scheduled flights as mentioned
  • Airport departure taxes
  • All local accommodation taxes
  • Transfers
  • The services of a Riviera Travel tour manager

We guarantee there are never any hidden costs or surcharges, inflated prices or artificial discounts.

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