Valencia is an expert in marrying up the old and the new. Ancient Arabian architecture and Gothic churches are given a run for their money by new icons like the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences. Beyond the city borders, Albufera National Park follows the coast south. The massive lake here is home to 250 species of birds, including flamingos.
• Valencia Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece framed by flying buttresses and intricately-carved arches. The chalice here is said to have been used by Christ during the Last Supper.
• Fallas Museum collects memorabilia from the La Fallas festivals, when hundreds of effigies are burned on bonfires. The best creations are rescued and displayed on the museum’s shelves.
• The aquarium at the City of Arts and Sciences is made up of space-age buildings and a 70-metre viewing tunnel – the longest in Europe. Residents include sharks, whales and dolphins.
SHORE EXCURSIONS► View all EXCURSIONS
Valencia City Tour►
Valencia’s well-known for its beautiful buildings. All Arabian, Gothic and Baroque flourishes, it’s literally knee-deep in design history. But there are plenty of modern touches, too. Your day starts with a fly-by driving tour taking in the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences with its space-age buildings, and the Gothic masterpiece, La Lonja – Valencia’s silk market. Next you’ll pass the Cathedral and Generalitat Palace. A flamboyant Gothic building, built in 1421 as the seat of the Valencian Autonomous Government. And be sure to check out the Gothic statue of the Virgin of the Less Fortunate you’ll find nearby. After that, you’ll make a beeline for the old quarter. Wander the cobblestone streets. Admire the Arabian architecture. And catch the rugged beauty of the city wall on camera. Other monuments that you can admire with the panoramic drive are the Bullring, Train Station, Quart Towers and Serranos Towers.
Lladro Factory & Scenic Tour►
Lladro’s beautiful porcelain figurines decorate homes all over the world - and here’s your chance to see where they originate from. We’ll take you to the famous factory of Lladro just outside of town, to see how the much-loved porcelain is produced. The origins of Lladro can be traced back to a tiny workshop built in a town near Valencia back in the 1950s. It was a family business set up by three brothers, Juan, José and Vicente Lladro. Today, the company exports to more than 120 countries. Once you’ve had a look round, it’s time to leave the factory and set off on a guided tour of Valencia. We’ll take you through the city centre, where the architecture is a mix of Arabian and Gothic styles. Head to Plaza de la Virgen and stand in the shadow of the cathedral. Now this place is a real grab-bag of styles ranging from Roman and Gothic to Renaissance and Baroque. Have a look inside then head over to the Basilica de los Desemparados. Built in the 17th century, it’s one of the most important religious buildings in the city. Next up is a walking tour of the old quarter known as El Carmen, before making your way back to the pier. En route we’ll call in at a Lladró shop near the factory.
Valencia & Oceanographic Park►
This easy-going tour does exactly what it say on the tin. A coach will whizz you from the ship to the centre of Valencia, ready for a short, guided walking tour of the old quarter. There’s plenty to see en route. Think Gothic monuments, Renaissance architecture and elegant art nouveau buildings. Part two takes in Oceanografic, the biggest aquarium in Europe. There you’ll find over 500 different marine species ranging from sea urchins and sharks to whales and walruses.