If you think of winter, you immediately think of a lot of snow and a hot chocolate. Or maybe not? During the winter in Valencia the sun shines about 300 days a year! Are you curious about what Valencia has to offer in the winter months? Then read on!
The mild climate
“OMG, the sky is so blue!” Yes, that’s a certain thing. In Valencia the sun usually shines, with a beautiful blue sky as if it were summer. The temperatures in winter in Valencia are usually around sixteen degrees Celsius, making it pleasantly pleasant. But don’t be fooled, even for Valencia it can be fresh. Especially in the morning and in the evenings the temperature could drop so it’s recommended to bring a warm coat.
Relax in the sun
In this sunny Spanish city it seldom rains and it never snows. So there are plenty of activities to do in the sun! You can enjoy the terraces in Valencia city centre, enjoy a drink and perhaps even get a tan. Do you want to explore the city? Then you can rent a bike at Once Upon a Bike and cycle through the beautiful Turia park. This park is 9km long and is the green artery of Valencia. This park used to be a river, but it was drained because of the many floods. Today it is a beautiful place with many types of trees, flowers and various bridges. You can jog, workout, cycle or just have a picnic in this park. It is a resting place for the locals, even in the winter.
In the winter in Valencia you can eat the most delicious snacks! Do you already know the delicacy ‘churros’? At ‘El Contraste’ in the Ruzafa neighbourhood you get this Spanish snack. On a colder winter day the churros are delicious with thick hot chocolate, which are usually eaten and drunk together by the local population. Do you want to taste this at least once? Then go in the morning or around six o’clock in the afternoon for the freshest and hot churros.
In addition to the churros, there are of course also the chestnut stalls. During the winter months you can smell the scent of chestnuts from afar, as much of them are sold in the city. So you can already get a point bag with these goodies at a stall for about €3,00. In addition to chestnuts, they usually also sell roasted corncobs.
Around Christmas you can assume that a lot of ‘turrón’ will be eaten. This is a kind of nougat, which is usually eaten around the holidays. This is because it used to be seen as a costly snack. The ingredients of the turrón were not cheap, so it was even used as a medium of exchange in the time of the Moors! There are many different types of turrón, including one soft and one hard variant. These can be filled with nuts, fruit and even chocolate.
Many locals go out in the winter months and during the holidays. Do you also want to explore the neighbourhoods of Valencia? Then rent a car or stipulate a route with public transport. There is a lot to see around this beautiful city! For example, you can drive to the south via the coast, for instance to Alicante. Along the way you will encounter many places with the most beautiful bays. These can be visited in the winter because of the mild temperature, the sun and little crowds. There are also plenty of nature parks where you can go during the winter months. In only a half-hour drive from Valencia, a beautiful nature reserve with hot springs ‘Montanejos’ is located. It is wonderful to walk here and you can admire the mountainous surroundings.
Don’t be mistaken in the orange trees
During the winter months you will encounter many orange trees on the Valencian streets. In autumn and in the winter months, these trees are full of oranges. However, do not be mistaken! Valencia is indeed known for its oranges, but these are not like the ones sold. These are ornamental oranges that are rather bitter in taste. The sweet oranges we eat come from the fields just outside of Valencia. Are you in Valencia and still want fruit? Then go to Mercado Central. This is a covered market hall where you get all kinds of fresh fruits, including oranges.
Christmas and New Year
The winter period are of course also known as the holiday season! Christmas and New Year are celebrated in a big fashion, but also the Three Kings is a holiday that should not be missed in Valencia. The streets are nicely decorated starting the end of November and most shops and department stores have festive decorations. On the big square in the city, Plaza Ayuntamiento, you can find a beautiful Christmas tree in December. You can also ice skate here and there is a carousel. Furthermore, you will find all sorts of Christmas markets throughout the city with gadgets and delicacies.
Sunsets, paella and flamingos
Do you want to visit something unique? Then go to the Albufera freshwater lake. This is a place close to Valencia about twenty kilometres away. In the larger part of the Albufera lake rice is grown, which is usually used for the paella. ‘El Palmar’ is your go to if you want to taste such a traditional paella meal! Valencia is known for its ‘Paella Valenciana’, which consists of chicken, rabbit, vegetables and sometimes snails. Furthermore, Albufera is a nature reserve, where you can enjoy the flora and fauna. With a boat you can sail across the lake from ‘El Palmar’. Around six o’clock in the evening, you can admire the sunset from a boat. This is highly recommended. In the months of January and February you have extra luck when you visit the Albufera area! There is a chance that you can spot some flamingos. The Albufera lake can be reached by bus from Valencia, with a taxi or with a rented car which you can park at the town of ‘El Palmar’.