Welcome to Valencia, the third-largest and stunningly beautiful city of Spain, and possibly the best-kept secret. Travelers are drawn to the unique mixture of historical sites, contemporary architecture, busy city life, laidback beach culture, and the abundance of greenspace scattered throughout the city. The region is famously the home of paella, and a thriving culinary scene offers up all kinds of Spanish delicacies in the local restaurants and the Central Market - impressively Europe’s largest covered food market! You’ll experience the culture through the local festival celebrations, the cobbled streets of the Old Town, and the old school underground night clubs. With over 300 days of sunshine a year and very mild winters, it’s a dream destination!
Did you know that Spain has officially been named the healthiest country in the world? The Mediterranean diet is a way of life here, and you can’t help but make healthy choices when you’re indulging in the local cuisine. Valencia is the birthplace of Paella, and being sat directly on the Mediterranean, the seafood couldn’t be any fresher. Add the classic Spanish dishes of tapas to your diet and your tastebuds will be bombarded with deliciousness throughout your stay.
The two most recognizable locations in Spain are perfectly placed for weekend adventures from Valencia. Barcelona is less than a 3-hour train ride up the coast and you can hop across the Mediterranean to Ibiza on a ferry. Over a long weekend, you’ll be able to get all the insta snaps to ignite serious travel-envy in your friends back home.
No doubt at some point in your academic life you’ve tussled with the Spanish language. Whatever the level you reached, 6 weeks spent immersed in a Spanish speaking environment will do you wonders. The key ingredient most miss when learning a language in a classroom setting is the opportunity to practice in the real world with native speakers. After all, isn’t that the whole point of learning a language in the first place? Whether you’re ordering desayuno or taking a trip to the mercado, opportunities to test your knowledge and expand your vocabulary will be available at every turn!
Valencia ticks the boxes that you’d expect from a European city. An old town with cobblestone streets, landmarks erected 1000 years ago, beautiful and varying architecture from several different eras, and tales of Kings, conquests, and calamities to fill many a walking tour. In addition to the rich history of the city, there’s plenty of modern cultural attractions to take in too, from the City of Arts & Sciences to the Aquarium.
If you're the outdoorsy type you might be put off by life in a city. That need not be the case with Valencia. The city is split in half by a large meandering park. The beach is vast and always within walking distance. The cities streets are accompanied by bike lanes, and rental is cheap and accessible. The year-round sunshine and mild winters means bars and restaurants often spill out into the streets day and night. And if that isn’t enough, take a short trip out of the city to the Fuente de Los Baños hot springs.
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