Holiday in Valencia: sustainable and exploring local charm

22_Jul_2021Destinations, Local Nodes

Pack your values and enjoy this city on the shores of the Mediterranean that combines history and modernity with a lot of art; it has a gastronomy that has expanded around the world and is committed to eco-tourism. Here are some unmissable places and local experiences for you to taste the mix of cultures and flavors of Valencia in a responsible way.

Find responsible vacation rentals in Valencia

Valencia is the capital of one of the most touristic Autonomous Communities of Spain. So, when planning your holiday in Valencia, you will see that there are many accommodation options, both in the city and on the nearby beaches. But it is clear that some vacation rentals in Valencia are more responsible and generate a more positive impact on their community than others.

At Fairbnb.coop we seek to connect you with hosts who want to contribute to building a sustainable tourism ecosystem. That’s why we offer you holiday accommodation options in Valencia that are greener and aligned with more sustainable socio-economic principles. In addition, a portion of the commission you pay with your booking goes to support the Orriols Convive” community projects in this location.

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Move (without a motor) through Valencian history and art

Valencia is a relatively small city. The center and its adjacent neighborhoods, which bring together many of the most emblematic historical and modern buildings, are fairly flat places. Therefore, three great options for getting around during your holiday in Valencia are: bikes, electric scooters, and on foot!

It is worth noting that in 2020 Valencia became the first city in the world to verify and certify the carbon footprint of its tourist activity, and several rankings highlight it as the best Spanish city to get around by bike.

There are routes specially created to move on wheels but without motor, and they work quite well. Proof of this is that 30% of the Valencian population declares itself a regular user of the bike (the highest percentage among Spanish cities).

The bike path adapted to the old Turia riverbed is a beautiful green route, with water fountains and playgrounds for children, which allows you to skirt the center of the city from northwest to southeast. You can start at the History Museum, pass by the Botanical Garden, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Valencian Institute of Modern Art, the Serranos Towers, the Royal Gardens, the Centre del Carme contemporary culture space, the Palau de la Música and the Fallas Museum, until you reach the famous architectural complex La Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (The City of Arts and Sciences). This complex has a science museum, an oceanographic museum, a performing arts center, and an agora framed between green walkways and bridges designed by architects Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela.

During your holiday in Valencia, you can also cross by bike, on foot or by public transport the historic center of the city from north to south, from the iconic El Carmen neighborhood to the Russafa neighborhood – which went from being a marginalized multicultural area to become the trendy neighborhood of the last decade with a very high increase in vacation rentals.

Details like this should not be lost sight of if you want to get to know Russafa and enjoy art centers and delicious bistros, but keeping in mind the impact that unsustainable tourism has on many locals when trying to access decent housing.

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Holiday in Valencia: discover the community proposals

One way to get closer to the people of Valencia and understand how the dynamics of coexistence are built in their neighborhoods is to get to know a civil society organization that promotes the participation of neighbors.

Community movements discuss everything from how to take advantage of public space to how to manage new cultural spaces, and how to integrate immigrants and the languages that inhabit the city.

One example is Orriols Convive, a community initiative in the Orriols neighborhood, in the northern periphery of Valencia, which encourages the participation of people in educational and integration activities such as the creation of a community radio station. They also offer Spanish and Valencian classes for immigrants. You can support Orriols Convive by booking your vacation rentals in Valencia via Fairbnb.coop: half of our platform fees will be used to fund their activities.

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Holiday in Valencia: taste the local cuisine

If someone talks about Spanish food, what’s the first dish that comes to mind? It’s probably… Paella! A delicious rice-based recipe that was born in Valencia, more specifically in the Albufera region (15 kilometers south of the capital).

The Albufera is a coastal lagoon that you can visit in one day to enjoy a boat ride and taste the famous paella or Alli e pebre, a garlic and bell pepper sauce with fish.

Horchata is another typical Valencian recipe that you must try, especially if you go in summer. It is a vegetable milk made with tiger nut, a tuber, which is usually taken with fartons, elongated buns covered with powdered sugar. After a hot day strolling along the coast of Valencia and the Cabanyal neighborhood, stop by L’obrador del Bou or Horchatería Toni.

And if you do not want to leave the city center, enjoy the Valencian gastronomy by visiting its markets, which mix stalls to buy food and bars where you can taste real delicacies. Two markets not to be missed are the Central Market and the Russafa Market.

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As a souvenir of your holiday in Valencia: buy local products

If you want to take a typical product to remember your holiday in Valencia, the local basketry is a beautiful option. On Músic Peydró street, known as the street of baskets, you will find many artisan stores that decades ago also housed the workshops of confection.

To close with a flourish, go for sustainable fashion and visit some of the slow fashion stores in the city, such as Lacontra (in the Russafa neighborhood). And if you go with kids, stop by Dyo Ministyling, Valencian ethical brand with physical and online stores.

Beatriz Afonso Santos
Beatriz Afonso Santos

Beatriz Afonso Santos

Content creator, Editor and Translator, Akwa Labs.

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