A Refreshing Afternoon in Valencia


Valencia, Spain. I had no preconceived notions about what to expect in Valencia other than orange trees. (This is the home of Valencia oranges.) What I found was a city full of vibrant plazas, recreation, and horchata. Each more refreshing than the last.

The Plaza de la Virgen was immaculately clean. It’s pink-tinged buildings and marble ground so shiny that you’re almost afraid to walk on it for fear of messing it up was just the beginning. There are fountains. And cafes. And people enjoying the ambiance of this Spanish square.


Then there’s the Arts & Sciences Recreational Center. It’s spectacular to see! This venue for school trips, museum visits, water recreation and concerts is beautiful to behold. Doesn’t the building in the background look like a killer whale?



Only one thing makes an afternoon in the Valencia sunshine even better. That’s a nice, cold horchata made fresh at the vendor stand.

Unlike Mexican horchata which is rice-based, Spanish horchata is made from tigernuts, sugar, and water. It’s refreshingly delicious and is the perfect drink to enjoy while you watch children run gerbil-like inside big plastic bubbles.


A day in Valencia is almost a tease. It’s such a relaxing, refreshing city that you need more than a day to enjoy it. My advice? Grab an orange from a tree and stay awhile.

Has Valencia hit your radar before now?


13 responses to “A Refreshing Afternoon in Valencia

  1. Perhaps it’s because of the friends I met there, but Valencia is my favorite city in Spain. There is something magic about that place. Thanks for posting lots of lovely memories!

  2. I believe that I’d like Spanish cities. Do they serve fresh orange juice? On one of my few visits to foreign parts – Denia, Costa Blanca – we virtually lived on ‘naranja’ for two weeks. Yet in Florida, the Orange State, we found none at all.

    • Roy, you just reminded me that I meant to take a picture of the orange juice machine we saw in hotel breakfast rooms. You insert 5 oranges into the top and it squeezes out fresh orange juice. My daughter loved it. (Orange juice actually makes my mouth itch.) As for Florida — you’re right. I’m not sure I ever had fresh-squeezed there. But I must have! Right??

  3. Valencia is a city I’d like to visit too. I’m a big fan of visiting new cities, and I’m especially interested in lesser-known or less famous but still fascinating cities, like Valencia.

  4. Valencia! Few people that I know take the time to go there, but if you can spare the days, it’s very fun. The Santiago Calatrava architecture alone…!!!! And I had never heard of horchata before but stumbled upon it there. Yum!

      • you definitely hit the main ones! I think climbing the Torres or the Cathedral tower in the center are must-see arial views; the city is beautiful from the ground, but somehow even more breathtaking from above! The foodie in me would also be remiss if I didn’t mention my two favorite places: San Tommaso, the best Italian food in Valencia, and Almalibre, a quaint vegan and açaí bar. Both are to die for!

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