(Escape, July/September 2008) Spain’s third largest city has seen an exciting revival in recent years. Our Valencia city walk will guide you through the colourful streets between the two towers of Torres de Serranos and Torres de Quart
Whether you’re an avid walker or prefer a gentle amble, a stroll through Valencia is a great way to soak up the city’s vibrant atmosphere. Our Valencia walk is a fun way to see the sights and you can do as much, or as
little, of it as you fancy. Allowing ample time for sightseeing, and a spot of lunch this walk should take you around half a day.
Along the Jardines del Turia (A) near Puente de Serranos (B) in the Casco Antiguo North, is your starting point – the 14th century Torres de Serranos (1), thought to be the largest Gothic city gateway in Europe. Follow the gardens to your right before turning into Calle Muro de Santa Ana (C), passing Palacio de Benicarló, the seat
of the Valencian Parliament, on your left. The road turns into Calle Navellos, where you’ll find the Plaza de la Virgen, home to La Basílica Nuestra Señora de los Desamparados (2). People flock here to see the statue of the
Virgin, known affectionately as la cheperudeta (‘the hunchback’).
By the plaza is the Catedral (3), founded in the 13th century on the site of the old main mosque – you can still find the Moorish influence in some local architecture and food. Walk ahead to the Plaza de la Reina (D) for a rest in the garden or head to the southwest corner for a drink of horchata at Horchateria El Siglo (5) on Plaza Santa Catalina. Made from tiger nuts, horchata is served chilled, usually with a cake called fartons.
From the plaza, follow Calle Paz before turning right towards the decadent 16th-century Palacio del Marqués de
Dos Aguas (6). Heading westwards across Calle San Vicente Mártir to Avenida Maria Cristina (E) will take you to the huge iron structure of Mercado Central (7) – a Modernist creation of 1928 and one of Europe’s largest covered markets. Pick up some ham, cheese, olives… whatever catches your eye (and nose). Just don’t forget to look up to see the incredible mosaics, stained glass and glass dome above you.
Past the market on your right is the 15-16th-century Gothicstyle La Lonja (8), a former silk exchange and now UNESCO World Heritage site. Twisting pillars that look like spun sugar are worth a stop inside, while rude gargoyles can be spotted on the outside walls. For lunch, try the Tasca Angel (9), near La Lonja where you just
shout your order from outside.Fully refreshed, it’s time to finish your walk. Stroll up Calle Bolserías until you reach Plaza Tossai (F), turn left onto Calle Quart and there your walk ends at the Torres de Quart (10).