Even the name Valencia conjures up images of the hot sun bringing out the fragrance of the city, the inspiration for some of Spain’s finest artists the city is filled with beautiful architecture and with its cosmopolitan feel this city is one of the finest of the Spanish destinations.

Vibrant nightlife filled with the Spanish lust for life changes the quiet daytime feel into another creature altogether, flamboyant shows, excellent food and drink and a warm welcome wherever you go, make Valencia far more than just a city break.

A thriving port on the bay of Valencia it is so likely that you will be amazed by the city itself that you may forget that Valencia is also a beach resort, and with the sandy beaches giving a tradition seaside town feel, there is a whole different side to Valencia just waiting to be discovered.

There is an excellent range of accommodation available in Valencia to suit any budget and any size of party, large tradition hotels with luxurious amenities sit alongside small family run bed and breakfast establishments. The city has such an excellent range of restaurants that booking on a bed and breakfast basis creates no hardship at all.

The Antigua Morellana Hotel may be basic but this traditional 18th century inn is kept immaculate by the family that run it. Clean and comfortable rooms in a quaint building offer the perfect central base to explore the city. Filled with character this is an excellent choice for those on a budget.

At the other end of the scale is the luxurious Hospes Palau de la Mar which prides itself on its highly acclaimed restaurant which is much beloved by locals, but that isn’t the only thing that it is proud of. The beautiful conversion from 19th century palace to five star hotel has been nothing short of perfect. Original sweeping marble staircases perfectly complement the modern chic furnishings making this a stand out hotel.

Valencia is the home of paella, first created in the city, it has become the signature dish, but Valencia is also famed for its fresh seafood and lovely tapas bars where you can eat and drink to your hearts content.

Local produce is the key to the excellent Valencian food from locally grown vegetables to fresh fish caught in the Mediterranean, eat the specials of the day and you will never be disappointed.

Combine two of the cities finest culinary traditions at Restaurante La Pepica with seafood paella served as the house speciality although many other varieties of paella are also served here, all cooked to perfection. This beach side restaurant has been serving the rich and famous since 1898 and is absolutely the place to be seen.

For a great tapas experience be sure to book at the busy Bodega Casa Montana, the traditional building hiding one of the best tapas restaurants in the city. Local produce is the only thing served here and the wine selection is second to none. The informal setting underplays the high quality of the menu.

Falles festival in March is a five day celebration to commemorate Saint Joseph, literally a five day party, fireworks continue long throughout the night and nobody seems to ever sleep. The events culminate in the fire parade which is not for the faint hearted – floats travel through the streets with gunpowder and fireworks featuring prominently. The whole festival ends with the ‘Falla’ (a large construction that has been paraded around the streets) being burnt and the city finally sleeps, with the fire brigade breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Visit some of the cultural sights of Valencia; the Cathedral not only boasts artwork by Goya but also hold a chalice that the Vatican accept may be the ‘Holy Grail’, stunning views over the city make the trek up the cathedral tower well worth the effort. Other attractions include an array of art museums including the Museum of Fine Art, home to one of the best collection of art in Spain, with great examples of works by Goya and El Greco.

Valencia is popular with the Spanish as a beach resort and as such can become very busy during the long incredibly hot summers, but continuous sunshine is almost guaranteed. The winter months are mild with temperatures averaging 63F during the daytime although the evenings can be quite cool.

Spring and Autumn are the perfect time to visit with the beauty of the city at its most appealing. The Falles festival in March is an exciting and lively time to see the city although with its glorious weather and ongoing festival atmosphere any time is a great time to visit Valencia.