Winter getaway in Valencia
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A feast for the senses
The first thing that catches you in Valencia is the light. The golden colour of its beaches, the blinding sparkle of the waves... Mediterranean landscapes sublimated by Sorolla, whose centenary of death is being celebrated at the Musée des Beaux-Arts. The paintings of the Valencian painter perfectly reflect this brilliance when he stages Valencian walkers and laughing children in realistic compositions, but of a moving poetry.
And then there are the smells: those of the typical cured meats of the region, freshly caught fish or paprika thrown in simmering olive oil to concoct the traditional paella. It is undoubtedly the most famous dish in the region, although the gastronomy of Valencia, a true foodie paradise, is worth the trip alone.
The city's culinary offer reflects its eclecticism to perfection. In the Eixample district, you can enjoy tapas after tapas in the beautiful Mercado de Colón; while in Russafa, the choice is vast, between Michelin-starred restaurants and hidden taverns. In Horta, which covers more than 12,000 hectares of farms and vegetable gardens, locavore cuisine is in the spotlight. The region produces the wines of two great designations of origin, Valencia and Utiel-Requena, which can be enjoyed on the terrace with delight.
Valencia: European Green Capital 2024
It is to the care it pays to the quality of life of its inhabitants and its environment that Valencia owes this prestigious award, awarded every year by the European Commission. To fill up on vitamin D, sunbathe in one of the many green spaces such as the Turia Garden, which crosses the entire city following the ancient riverbed and offers sports fields as romantic nooks.
Moving away from the city centre, you enter the wilder Valencian hinterland. On a fisherman's boat, glide along the waters of the lagoon in the Albufera Natural Park: it is an oasis inhabited by birds, bordered by forests and rice fields, ideal for recharging your batteries.
Accessible, smart and sustainable, Valencia promotes responsible tourism by implementing a range of actions to reduce and offset the carbon footprint of this activity. On site, many initiatives allow you to consume locally, encourage traditional crafts, use soft means of mobility to get around and raise awareness of the environmental issues of today and tomorrow.
Nothing prevents you from following in the footsteps of Sorolla's characters, and intoxicating yourself with sensations, sunshine and freedom in this destination that is bubbling with energy – and this, less than two hours from Paris.