Whether you’re a tourist visiting the city or a local looking for somewhere new to visit, you’ll love these 11 amazing day trips from Valencia. While you can easily spend a week exploring the vibrant city of Valencia, a day trip is a perfect way to break up your holiday. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to discover hidden gems off the beaten track. That’s why I’ve put together a list of my favourite day trips from Valencia. From quaint coastal towns to Spain’s lively capital, there’s something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Let’s get exploring!
This article is written by Faraway Lucy writer, Robyn Hewson.
Situated within the Valencian Community, Alicante is a bustling coastal city filled with restaurants, lively bars and scenic beaches. Popular with British tourists, Alicante is a charming city that comes to life in the summer. Due to its status as a British holiday destination, you’ll find a lot of people here who speak English, making it easy to navigate the city on your trip. Despite its popularity with tourists, Alicante still feels quaint and authentically Spanish.
Upon arriving in the city, you can take a stroll through the city’s historic streets or take in the views of the harbour. If you’re lucky enough to arrive on a market day, you can browse through the eclectic mix of stalls. When you’re ready to eat, you can choose from traditional Spanish eateries or modern, international restaurants. In Alicante, you’ll find bustling restaurants, cafes and bars around every corner.
This attractive city is best-known for its palm-tree-lined promenade and beautiful beaches, making it a great addition to your Valencia itinerary. While it’s typically thought of as a summer holiday destination, Alicante is blessed with warm, sunny weather all year round so it’s still one of the best day trips from Valencia, regardless of if you visit in July or January.
How to get to Alicante
Alicante is easily accessible via train, bus or rideshare. The most common way to travel there is to catch a train from Valencia’s central station, the Estacio del Nord, to the Alicante Terminal Station. Trains take around 1 hour and 40 minutes, making it one of the slightly longer day trips from Valencia but Alicante is well worth the travel time.
Some people choose to visit Alicante and Torrevieja in the same day. However, this under-the-radar town boasts plenty of attractions to keep you busy all day long. Torrevieja has stunning beaches and a lively town centre, but its main attraction is the natural park on the outskirts of the town.
This beautiful park is home to two famous salt lakes, one green and one bright pink! Although you can’t swim in the lakes, they’re the perfect place to take pictures. And if you visit the lakes from March to May, you’re likely to catch sight of the 2,000 flamingos that settle in the lakes during their breeding season.
Once you’ve had your fill of the salt lakes, you can head back to the town. Here you can sample the beaches, natural swimming pools, maritime museum and more. One thing to make sure you include in your trip to Torrevieja is the Torre del Moro viewpoint, which offers panoramic views of the city.
How to get to Torrevieja
Although not quite as easy to reach as Alicante, you can travel to Torrevieja by car or by public transport. Renting a car or using a car share is a good option for this journey, which will take around two hours. Renting a car will also make it easy for you to reach the salt lakes. Alternatively, you could get a train to Alicante and a bus to Torrevieja. This allows you to see both places on the same day!
With a picturesque historic quarter and an impressive medieval castle, Xàtiva is one of the most popular day trips from Valencia for travellers looking to explore beyond the city. If it sounds familiar, it’s because Valencia’s central metro station shares its name with this enchanting town.
Famed as the birthplace of Spanish artist José Ribera, there’s lots to explore in this intriguing town. For just €2, you can visit the castle and take in the fantastic views of Xàtiva and the sea. Once you’ve explored the castle, make your way to the town centre. Here you can get lost in winding streets and discover the historic Arab quarter.
A walking tour is a great way to learn more about the history of Xàtiva and the breath-taking architecture of the town. You’ll also find a range of traditional restaurants here, where you can indulge in authentic baked rice dishes.
How to get to Xàtiva
To sample the delights of Xàtiva, you can get a train or bus from central Valencia. With a journey time of under an hour and tickets costing as little as €7, Xàtiva is one of the best day trips from Valencia for those wanting to see a little more of the Valencian Community.
If you’re in the mood to explore medieval ruins and city walls, Cuenca is one of the best day trips from Valencia for you. With its dramatic cliffs, cobbled streets and brightly coloured buildings, the walled city of Cuenca is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This unmissable city is located high up in the mountains, and it provides visitors with a unique and memorable experience. Also known as the ‘city of the hanging houses’, Cuenca’s most popular attraction is the casas colgadas. This row of buildings hangs over the edge of a cliff, almost appearing to float.
In recent years, the city has also become known as a hub of modern art. One of the famous hanging houses has even been transformed into an art gallery. The fusion of old buildings and cobbled streets with new galleries and abstract art makes this city a complex and intriguing place, that’s sure to captivate tourists.
How to get to Cuenca
Travelling to Cuenca involves a journey inland towards Madrid and away from the Valencian coast. You can easily visit Cuenca in a day, with train journeys taking less than an hour and departing five times a day.
A visit to Spain’s cosmopolitan capital is the perfect addition to a stay in Valencia. Unlike the bustling streets of Barcelona, Madrid exudes laid-back charm. The city is energetic and inviting, without being overwhelming. To make the most of Madrid in one day, make sure to arrive early! There’s so much to explore in this vibrant city, from the impressive shops of the Gran Vía to the unexpected greenery of Retiro Park.
There’s also an array of museums, art galleries, quirky bars and outstanding restaurants to check out too. If you visit Madrid on a Sunday, make sure to walk through the El Rastro market in Plaza Cascorro. Here you’ll find over 1,000 stalls filled with unique treasures.
No Madrid itinerary is complete without a visit to the bohemian Malasaña district. This popular neighbourhood is teeming with bespoke shops and trendy café-bars. While there are plenty of lively spots to choose from, you won’t regret a trip to the special Restaurante Ojalá. The first floor is a tropical oasis but head down to the basement and you’ll find a secret indoor beach. Relax with your feet in the sand while you enjoy a glass of Sangria or two!
How to get to Madrid
Thanks to the RENFE, Spain’s high-speed trains, you can arrive in Madrid from Valencia in under two hours. For a more affordable option, you can try BlaBlaCar, a carshare service popular with young Spaniards and Erasmus students looking to travel the country.
6. La Albufera
If you’re a lover of nature, you won’t want to miss a trip to La Albufera, a natural park and ecological preserve just 10km from Valencia city centre. There are rice fields, forests and a lagoon to explore. It’s hard to believe this natural paradise is located right outside the city. Head on one of the boat trips which give you a closer look at the water birds and plants. For an unforgettable experience, visit the natural park in the early evening and watch the sunset over the lake.
La Albufera is also famous as the birthplace of paella. Visitors can experience a delicious, authentic meal at one of the local restaurants. Take in the natural beauty of La Albufera and experience a side of Valencia that many tourists don’t get to see.
How to get to La Albufera
There are several bus routes that travel from the centre of Valencia to La Albufera, with tickets costing as little as €2. The journey takes less than an hour, or you can drive there in 20 minutes.
7. Castellon de la Plana
The quaint city of Castellon is just up the coast from Valencia, but it remains relatively unexplored by tourists. With an array of beaches, an attractive harbour and a marina, this picturesque city is one of the best day trips from Valencia. Wandering around the streets, you’ll notice the sculptures arranged throughout the city. There are more than 200 in total, turning the city into an open-air museum! When you’re ready for a bite to eat, head to the marina, El Grao de Castellon. Here you’ll find bars, restaurants, cafes and even a casino.
The city boasts the impressive Ribalta Park, easily reached on foot from the centre of the city. If you’re in the mood to explore, you could also visit the Columbretes Islands, located just outside of the city. These volcanic islands are perfect for those with an adventurous spirit, as you can swim, snorkel and dive in the sea surrounding them. To reach this natural reserve, boat tours depart from the city.
How to get to Castellon de la Plana
For less than €10, you can get a bus or train that takes you from Valencia to Castellon de la Plana. This journey takes between an hour to an hour and a half.
The Roman city of Sagunto is brimming with culture and history, dating back almost three millennia. You can start your journey here by walking around the city walls, taking in the views of the town and the sea. After this, you can visit Sagunto Castle, an ancient building with lots of stories to tell.
This city is perfect for fans of architecture, and as you walk around the town square, you’ll notice a range of buildings and ruins from different centuries. If you want to delve deeper into the history of the town, head to the Sagunto Museum. Or, if you’d like to relax, the beachfront is lined with cafes, bars and restaurants with stunning views of the sea.
How to get to Sagunto
Sagunto is very easily accessible from Valencia, with the choice of a bus or train costing less than €10. Whichever mode of transport you choose, you can be in Sagunto city centre in just over half an hour, making it perfect for a quick visit.
This pretty coastal town is popular with the locals of Valencia, who often swap the buzz of the city for the laid-back Peñíscola in the summer. It’s one of the best day trips from Valencia for fans of stunning beaches, medieval castles and delicious food.
Much-loved by locals, Peñíscola is quickly becoming a tourist hotspot too. The picture-perfect town was even used as a filming location for Game of Thrones! Walking through the town’s cobbled streets, you’ll be treated to a wide range of restaurants, cafes and shops in an idyllic setting.
How to get to Peñíscola
You can reach Peñíscola by car in an hour and a half from Valencia. If you don’t have access to a car, you can travel to Peñíscola via train, with a journey time of around two and a half hours. The slightly longer travel time is definitely worth it to see this beautiful slice of the Spanish countryside.
One for the adventure seekers, Chulilla is a small village nestled in the Spanish mountains, popular with rock climbers. Easily accessible from Valencia, this beautiful village features a limestone gorge, impressive mountains and views that will take your breath away. This climbing spot is the perfect addition to a cooler winter break in Valencia, as the scorching Spanish sun can make climbing a little challenging. The routes range in difficulty but all feature spectacular views of the mountains and gorge.
How to get to Chulilla
Chulilla is situated an hour and a half away from Valencia and you can reach this scenic village by train or bus. If you’re planning on hiring a car, you can drive from Valencia to Chulilla in 45 minutes.
Situated just off the coast of Alicante, this enchanting marine reserve is the only inhabited island in the Valencian Community. A visit to Tabarca will reward you with incredible views of the Mediterranean and crystal-clear waters, perfect for scuba diving. This island is a natural paradise, with an abundance of interesting plants, animals and marine life. Tabarca provides visitors with a relaxing interlude from the bustling streets of Valencia, and the chance to explore a charming and untouched Spanish island.
How to get to Tabarca
The best way to reach Tabarca is to catch a train to Alicante. Then all you need to do is hop on a ferry for a quick 50-minute boat ride to the island.
With excellent transport links and a prime location on the south-east coast, Valencia is the perfect base for exploring Spain. Whether you’re looking for a scenic beach retreat or an adventurous day out, there are so many memorable day trips from Valencia. So which of these day trips from Valencia do you want to go on most? Please let me know in the comments below!
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