Huerta, an irrigated area around Valencia, was one home to a large farmer’s market of lush vegetables and fruit gardens.
Today, Valencia’s market is set up of stands of different family firms who get their produce from the Huerta. Fruit and vegetables are sold by piece and not by weight. An estimated 300 farmers bring their fresh produce to this Tira de Contar (translates to ‘row to count’) market housing named Mercavalencia.
Valencia’s Huerta is one of Spain’s most important and largest irrigated areas where large varieties of fruit and vegetables grow. Best known for the great quality artichokes, of which steam well make a delicious tapa.
Quick facts about Valencia
— Valencia, is the capital of the autonomous community of Valencia and the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, with around 0.8 million inhabitants in the administrative centre.
— Valencia is also Spain’s third largest metropolitan area, with a population ranging from 1.7 to 2.5 million.
— Valencia, formerly an industrial centre, saw rapid development and transformed it into a newly vibrant city in 1990’s.
— Valencia is known internationally for the Falles (Las Fallas), a local festival held in March, and for paella valenciana. It is a traditional celebration held in commemoration of Saint Joseph, where big monuments (normally cartoon-looking characters) parade the cities and are finally burnt in huge bonfires in the famous Cremà stage. To learn more about this special event: click here.
Many say Valencia does not have ‘must-see’ therefore ‘must-go-there’ attractions. But sometimes it’s the little things…
What to Do & See in Valencia
1. Explore the Old Town
With two main squares, ‘Plaza Ayuntamiento’ and ‘Plaza Victoria’, a perfect place to start your walk of the city, a square with cafés and shops. Valencia’s historic city centre is nice to stroll through.
Valencia’s cathedral is said to be home to the Holy Grail.
3. City of Arts and Sciences
This mega cultural center, designed by Calatrava, is host to a dolphin show, an IMAX movie theater, a science museum and much more.
4. Port & Beach
Valencia’s revamped port area has played home to the America Cup in recent years and now hosts a Formula One Grand Prix every year. The beach is good as far as city beaches go, though there are better ones in the region.
5. Turia River
The river Turia passed through the city until a 1957 flood forced the council to redirect it around the city. The former riverbed is now a park that snakes through the city. There’s also a fun Gulliver (from Gulliver’s Travels) children’s climbing frame.
6. Mercado Central
Valencia’s market is more spacious than the more famous Boqueria market in Barcelona, less touristy and not so expensive.
7. La Lonja
The old silk exchange looks like something out of Lord of the Rings!
Valencia’s bullring is a modern design, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get some good fighters occasionally, especially during the Fallas festival.
Valencia’s self-proclaimed “new generation zoo” is walking distance from the city center.