Information and Tourism
The 'Land of Valencia', as it is often called in tourist brochures, boasts hour upon hour of sunshine a year, along with sandy golden beaches, yacht-packed marinas and cities that really come alive at night. Inland, it doesn't take long to discover that there is more to the region than sun, sea and sangria. The Romans, Greeks and Moors have all spent time in the region, leaving their mark for present-day visitors to see.
Valencia itself is a city both of the past and the present. In some respects, it is a thoroughly modern place, with contemporary architecture at the fore. The City of Arts and Culture presents one side of Valencia's futuristic face. The city is also rich with evidence of its Roman and Gothic history. For a spot of historic sightseeing, start in the Old Town of Valencia. Admire its cathedral, wander around the Silk Exchange (Llotja de la Seda), or pay a visit to the elegant Torres de Serranos.
The Costa Blanca didn't exist as such before 1957. That is the year the name, which translates as 'White Coast', was first used in an airline's promotional brochures. From then on, Benidorm's beaches came to be dominated by its skyscraper hotels and apartment buildings. In fact, Benidorm's nickname today is the 'Manhattan of Spain'. How it has managed to retain its 'Old Town' atmosphere is a complete mystery.
Located on the southern side of the Valencian Community, Alicante has been transformed from a rather down-at-heel port to a lively tourist city. Today, Alicante features a beach that is gently lapped by the blue Mediterranean Sea, an esplanade that is bordered on either side by palm trees, and a nightlife that rivals many larger places.
Further north, the Costa del Azahar offers a chance to enjoy a quieter beach holiday in less developed resorts like Peniscola and Oropesa. Most will agree that the best of the bunch is Morella, its narrow streets still tightly enclosed by medieval walls.
A short distance inland, Elche isn't just famous for its couple of hundred exotic palm trees, it is also the centre for the Spanish footwear industry, surely making it a shoe-lovers paradise.
Valencian Community Information and Fast Facts
- Country: Spain
- Main administrative centre: Valencia
- Population: 5.3 million
- Language: Spanish and Valencian (Catalan)
- Area: 8,980 square miles / 23,260 square kilometres
WORLD GUIDES TO THE VALENCIAN COMMUNITY
World Guide to Alicante, Spain
Located in the Valencia region of Spain, Alicante can be found along the celebrated Costa Blanca. With seafront promenades, wide esplanades and sandy beaches, many of Alicante's top sights stand in the Old Quarter.
World Guide to Benidorm, Spain
Sited on Spain's eastern Mediterranean coastline, Benidorm is one of the main resorts on the famous Costa Blanca. Offering beachfront hotels and miles of sandy beaches, Benidorm features year-round sunny weather.
World Guide to Valencia, Spain
Spain's third-largest city, Valencia is a progressive city and offers a diverse selection of architecture, ranging from historic buildings to the space-age City of Arts and Science, a truly cultural and breathtaking complex.
Map of Spain