Valencia is a very lively city with a wide variety of things to see and do, but one of its best features is its prime location along the Mediterranean Sea.
This entire region of Spain is overflowing with history and sandy shores, so don’t limit yourself to the city when it comes time to set your itinerary.
With so many castles, beaches, and old villages to explore, make sure to check out these 15 day trips from Valencia to make the most of your trip.
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Known for its abundance of outdoor activities, Montanejos is the perfect day trip to feel one with nature.
Walk along the Turquoise River on a 3 mile hike from the village where you’ll see highlights like Cueva Negra, a massive cave that is believed to have been a shelter in ancient times.
Take a moment to appreciate the tranquil setting of El Chorro, the town’s reservoir, as you gaze over its greenery and clear, blue waters.
A 5 mile hike will bring you in contact with one of the most scenic spots in the area, Los Estrechos. This teal river sits between a lush, green slot canyon.
Explore the ruins of a historic flour mill located along the river of Mijares, and check out the breathtaking views of the Poza del Machón.
The most popular attraction is the bright colored spring pools at The Fuente de Los Baños, where you can spend the day relaxing in its rejuvenating waters.
Dating as far back as the 17th century, The Hermitage is a beautiful chapel structure located in the center of town that reflects the history of the village.
Take a trip back in time with a visit to Xàtiva, home to a rich history and beautiful ancient structures.
Most people visit this town solely for Castillo de Xàtiva, the village’s castle, that sits tall over the area atop a giant hill. The structure is still in great condition, considering that it was left abandoned after a shuffling of occupancies between kings in the late 1100s. It even survived a devastating earthquake that took place nearly 600 years later in 1748, but not without damage.
The castle was once three times the size you see today, so when you’re exploring, keep in mind that you are not seeing the castle in its original entirety. The journey up to the castle can feel a bit strenuous, but the feeling you get when walking the grounds makes it all worth it.
Enjoy a picnic for lunch in the flower gardens that are hidden behind the royal ruins, and take in the views of the untouched nature that surrounds it.
3. The Maestrazgo
The historic region of The Maestrazgo is made up of a cluster of small, ancient villages all within close proximity, making it easy to enjoy a day hopping from one to the next.
Morella, Castellón sits high on a hill over 3,000 ft. from ground level and is home to a castle, cave paintings, remnants of its military presence, and deliciously tasting croquettes.
Cantavieja, Teruel is known for its adorable town square with cobblestone buildings, the unique structure of La Asunción (the church), the towers of ancient knights, and The Carlist Wars of Cantavieja Museum.
A short trip away you’ll find Mirambel, Teruel where you can admire the exquisite detail that was put into the Portal de las Monjas Gate and walk amongst the many stone mansions and temples.
Make sure to save time to walk through the historic village of La Iglesuela del Cid. Try the fresh cheeses at La Iglesuela del Cid, take in the panoramic views at Ares del Maestrat, and partake in the festivals at Molinos.
4. Albufera Natural Park
There are six different nature parks to choose from in the area, but Albufera Natural Park is by far the largest and most diverse of them all.
With over 50,000 acres to explore, you can spend the day venturing around the lagoon, walking along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, and climbing the Dunes of Saler.
Deep within the park, you’ll find the historic landmark of Casa de “Demana”, where you can appreciate history that dates back over 300 years.
Take a boat ride across the lagoon to observe the thriving wildlife, and be sure to taste the local delicacy – freshly caught eels seasoned with garlic and parsley.
5. El Saler
Located on the outskirts of Albufera Natural Park, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Saler Dunes, is the beach of El Saler. The soft, white sand of the dunes and the crystal clear waters of the sea makes this one of the most popular beaches in the area.
Arrive early to enjoy some peace before the crowds pile in, and listen closely for wildlife hidden away in the greenery that surrounds the beach. The breeze that rolls in from the dunes makes it the perfect place to partake in water-based activities, like wind surfing.
There are no amenities on site, which adds to the feeling of untouched nature – but also means you’ll need to plan accordingly.
The sandy town of Gandia is the perfect combination of beach vibes, historic importance, and cultural influence.
The area revolves around Playa Beach, a vast, white sandy beach with calm, clear waters, and a lively night scene. Wooden pathways line the beach for those who would prefer to bike or take a stroll along the sandy shore.
If the main beach is crowded, there are three other beaches to choose from – each sporting their own amenities.
Playa De L’Ahuir is a beach where anything goes; it’s popular for nudists and people looking to spend quality time with their furry friends.
Make your way over to the village to admire some of the historic landmarks like the Santa Maria Collegiate Church and the Los Borja Ducal Palace.
Finish your day tasting the local cuisine or taking a cooking class to learn how to make the local favorite, Fideuà, yourself.
Located on the edge of a peninsula, Peñíscola is nearly encircled by the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
As you walk through the gates of the castle walls, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world with its unique architecture, old town vibes, and never ending view of the sea.
The centerpiece of the town is the Castle of Papa Luna, where you can climb the steps to its highest point and take in its panoramic views.
There’s no better way to take in the views than with a beer and tapa in hand – and the local bar, Cervezas Badum, is happy to make that a reality. Pick from a variety of local drafts, and consider tasting the artichoke draft made fresh from their highly acclaimed artichokes.
Just a stone’s throw away from Valencia lies the quaint village of Alboraya, known for its farms, old buildings, and close proximity to the water.
The historic, vibrant buildings are unlike others in the area, as many were built in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Some landmarks you worth exploring include the religious temple of Ermitas de San Cristóbal and the municipal building of Antiguo Matadero.
Nicknamed “Little Venice”, Port Saplaya is one of the most beautiful places to visit, with a harbor in the center of town, a variety of beaches, and colorful buildings.
Enjoy the local flavors of horchata made fresh with chufa nuts from the nearby plantation, and classics like ice cream and a squid sandwich.
Requena is not only rich with history, but is a hotspot for those who enjoy their fair share of food and wine.
Start your day by learning about the village’s history in the silk business at the Colegio del Arte Mayor de la Seda Museum. Take a tour of the ancient caves hidden beneath the city, and visit a few of the museums that revolve around art, wine, and medieval times.
Admire the gothic architecture as you walk the main streets, and keep an eye out for historic structures like the Homage Tower and the Santa Maria and Salvador churches. The area is peppered with wineries, so you can hop from one to next, tasting some of the best wine Spain has to offer.
Enjoy a Castilian inspired dish at La Posada de Agueda, known for its hearty meals of meat, rice, and dried sausages.
With over 12 miles of beaches, Jávea is a popular location for a relaxing weekend – with a majority of its attractions based along the shoreline. Arenal Beach is Jávea’s main beach, with a variety of amenities, including bathrooms, restaurants, playgrounds, and sports facilities.
Spend the day exploring the local shops, cafes and bars at the Arenal Waterfront. Tapas are a popular dish here, like in most of Spain, but you can also find American, Italian, and Chinese style restaurants if you want to switch things up.
The Historic Centre has been modernized for the growing, popular tourist location, but the architecture of the buildings maintains the old time charm.
Sneak away to Playa de la Granadella for a more secluded beach, but make sure to rent a sun lounger as the shore is made up of gravel.
Centered around a natural park, Torrevieja has five beaches, two lagoons and flourishing marine life.
La Mata Beach is about a mile and a half long, and is lined with over 10 beach bars – so you can enjoy a day of sunbathing with a cocktail in hand.
Visit the pink waters of Laguna de Torrevieja, known for its salt mining, and venture through the vineyards that surround Laguna de la Mata.
For a quieter beach experience, head over to Playa del Cura and stop by Avenida de Los Marineros for ice cream when you need a break from the sun. If you’re visiting with children, consider a visit to Aquapark Flamingo, a waterpark with slides, pools and fast food.
Watch the sunset over Torrevieja from Dique de Levante, a long, pier-like structure that takes you about a mile out over the sea.
Once known as the capital city of the Taifa Moorish Kingdom, Albarracín is filled with one historic building after another and museums galore.
- The Castillo Musulmán De Albarracín is impossible to miss, as it stands tall on a hill above the city and the architecture is truly stunning.
- The Catedral de Albarracín, located along the Guadalaviar River, has been restored on multiple occasions – giving it a unique combination of architectural styles to admire.
- The Antiguo Hospital Museum dates back to the 18th century and displays artifacts from medieval times, including ceramics, parchments, and money.
- The Torre del Andador was one of the first structures built to protect the land during the 10th century, and it’s definitely worth the climb.
Make sure to save time to explore the Diocesan Museum within the Episcopal Palace, visit the lost toys at Eustaquio Foundation Castilian, and admire the work of ancient blacksmiths at Museo de Forja.
The town is known for its beautiful white structures with wrought iron balconies and timber roofs, and is perfectly located along the coast. Along the shoreline, you’ll find the town’s promenade, or boardwalk, with many benches and terraces to sit and enjoy the view.
Walk up and down the peaceful, staircase streets of Altea Old Town, and stop at the local shops, cafes, and craft stores. For the best views of the city, make your way up to the Cronistas Viewpoint, located above the old town, and watch the sunset over the sea.
Spend a few hours admiring the exotic plants and bird species at El Jardín de Los Sentidos, where you can also enjoy breakfast and tea amongst the flowers.
Explore the ancient ruins and sandy beaches that make Sagunto a common destination for tourists and locals alike.
Established as a historical monument in 1931, Sagunto Castle provides stellar views overlooking the city and is made up of a variety of different architectural styles. Many additions to the structure have taken place over the centuries by different religious groups.
Another monument worth seeing is the ruins Temple of Diana, located in the Town Square alongside the Municipal Palace. While in town make sure to try a flavorful dish of paella made with freshly caught seafood and a variety of different spices.
Take a short drive over the countryside to reach the town’s beach, where you can enjoy the golden sand between your toes and tons of amenities to keep you busy.
Prepare for a day of outdoor adventures in Chulilla, home to the National Park of Los Calderones and its unique nature based activities.
The park’s main attraction is Senda De Los Pantaneros, a vast but narrow hanging bridge that takes you from one canyon to the next. This is not for the faint of heart and definitely not for those afraid of heights, as the bridge is very open – with clear views of the gorge below.
The limestone walls that make up the park are a favorite amongst rock climbers, so you may see people scaling the canyons.