If you love road-tripping in Europe, check out my ultimate Valencia Road Trip itinerary across the Spanish region of the Valencian Community.
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Visiting Valencia, Spain
One week in Valencia
While the region of the Valencian Community has been my home for the past 15+ years, planning new Spanish road trips still feels exciting for me. In this post, I will share a brief Valencia Road Trip Itinerary for those of you who plan to visit Valencia for a week and want to cross off your Spain Bucket list all of the local hidden gems.
About the Valencian Community
You might already know that Valencia is one of the top Spanish cities and the capital of the Valencian Community (or La Comunidad Valenciana in Spanish). The whole region of the Valencia Community is formed by three provinces – Valencia, Castellon, and Alicante. The capital of each province holds the same name. This Valencia Road Trip itinerary is mostly focused on top landmarks of Valencia and Castellon, to read more about Alicante, head to this other article of mine instead.
More Valencia Travel Tips
If you want to explore the region of Valencia like a local, check all of my travel stories on the region: One Day in Valencia, How to Spend An Epic Week in Valencia, The Best Day Trips From Valencia, Valencia With Kids, The Best Day Tours From Valencia, Breakfast in Valencia: Cute Cafes You´ll Love, Spanish Eating Habits: Almuerzo in Valencia, Valencia Day Trip to Manises, Valencia Hidden Gems Blog Series, The Coolest Hikes near Valencia, Beautiful villages of Valencia – Bocairente, Top Valencia Day Trips by train, Unique Valencia Gifts to Get Right Now, Hiking to Penyagolosa, one of the Highest Peaks of Valencia, and The Borgia Sights in Valencia.
Planning to stay in Valencia for more than one week? – I got you covered as well. You can easily combine the Valencia Road Trip Itinerary with my other trips across the nearest regions: Castellon Road Trip, Tarragona Road Trip, Teruel Road Trip, Madrid to Valencia Road Trip. a Weekend in Matarranya, and One Week in Alicante.
Valencia Road Trip Itinerary
How to organize your trip to Valencia
To make the most of your week in Valencia, you can follow these three main travel strategies:
- to spend the whole week of your holidays in the city of Valencia (for this plan check my upcoming post 40+ things to do in Valencia)
- to stay in Valencia, while dedicating two days to the city, and then explore the rest of the region via day trips (or organized day tours)
- to spend one day in Valencia, and plan an exciting road trip across the Valencian Community
If I am honest with you, I prefer the last two options. But it´s really up to you to decide: I do realize that many international travelers visit Valencia for the Spanish beaches. Therefore if you plan to enjoy laid-back mornings on the Mediterranean coast, you can simply book a few adventurous water activities. Afterward, you can dedicate your afternoons to sightseeing.
Nevertheless, I never recommend this option to my friends, unless they visit Valencia with kids (I am fully convinced that 95% of children will enjoy the interactive museums of Valencia more than eventual hikes and charming remote villages). But if you are visiting Valencia solo, as a couple, or with friends – why not make the most of it by exploring the region to the fullest?
Even though I still eventually come across travel articles where someone calls Valencia “one of the most underrated cities in Spain“, in my opinion, this content is outdated. It used to be this way long ago, back when I first visited Valencia in 2005. These days Valencia is one of the most touristy Spanish cities, right after Madrid or Barcelona. Additionally, it is a popular stop on the Mediterranean Cruises.
But the region of the Valencia Community is still full of Hidden Gems waiting to be discovered.
Day 1 – Exploring the city of Valencia
Even if it´s not your first time in the city, spending one day in Valencia is always a great idea.
New cafes, museums, and temporary expositions – things do change quickly in this Mediterranean capital. If it´s your first visit, you can follow my 1-day Itinerary for Valencia. If not – check the websites Visit Valencia and Agenda Cultural de Valencia (in Spanish) to learn more about trending events and workshops.
Where to stay in Valencia: Hotel Malcom and Barret, Sercotel Valencia Alameda, Holiday Inn Express Ciudad de las Ciencias, or Melia Valencia. I have always enjoyed living anywhere close to the City of Arts and Sciences and not in Valencia’s old town.
Day 2 – Xativa
During your Valencia Road Trip, you simply can´t miss the Castle of Xativa, one of the dreamiest Spanish castles.
The small town of Xativa (also called Jativa) is known for two main historical insights – it was the first European center of paper manufacture and the birthplace of the two Popes of Rome, belonging to the famous Borgia Family. Nevertheless, the Castle of Xativa is the most unique local landmark.
You can read more about my visit to Xativa in this article.
Where to stay in Xativa: Mont-Sant.
Day 3 – Bocairente and Villena
If I were to recommend only one charming local village to visit in Valencia, I´d stick with Bocairente.
Usually, one morning is enough to stroll across the small town and visit the famous Moorish caves. You can read more about Bocairente and check the photo gallery from my visit in this post.
In the afternoon, you can not miss a tour of the Alataya Castle in the small town of Villena. It was built in the 12th century to provide shelter for the Muslim residents of the town. It is mostly known as home to the Treasure of Villena, a collection of 59 gold, silver, iron, and amber pieces dating back to the Bronze Age. Till the present day this is the biggest gold tableware discovery in Spain (and the second most important in Europe).
Here, I recommend you double-check the opening hours online. Usually, the Alataya Castle is closed on Mondays and open in the mornings from Tuesday to Sunday (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and in the afternoons from Tuesday to Saturday (from 4 p.m. to 7 pm). You can get your tickets online or stop by the Villena Tourist Office (Plaza de Santiago, 5).
Alternatively, you have other two Spanish castles to visit nearby – The Castle of Biar and the Sax Castle.
Day 4 – Requena and Sagunto
Requena is a unique small town to taste local delicatessen of the Valencia region and shop for some local food souvenirs from Spain. Besides its unique caves and the secret museum Casa del Arte Mayor de la Seda, the village is known for its wine and cheese-tasting experiences. While Valencia can not outnumber the wineries in La Rioja, tasting wine in different Spanish regions is always interesting. The popular bodegas of Requena are Murviedro, Bodegas Hispano Suizas, Bodegas del Valle, Bodegas Carcel de Corpa, Pago de Tharsys, and Coviñas Bodega Coop. The local goat-milk cheese production is Hoya de la Iglesia.
After, your wine or cheese-tasting tour I suggest you head to Sagunto, known for some of the most unique Roman ruins in Spain. On the road to Sagunto, you can also make a quick stop in Alboraya at Horchateria Daniel to savor the authentic horchata, Valencia´s most traditional drink.
Aside from the hilltop remains of the Roman Castle, Sagunto is also known for the oldest traces of the Jewish presence in Spain (dating back to the 2nd century). If you are not into Roman Ruins at all, another interesting sightseeing alternatives near Sagunto are the caves of San Jose, known for the longest navigable underground river in Europe (you need to book your entrance online).
Day 5 – Vilafames and/or Benicassim
At this point of your Valencia Road Trip, you will start exploring the top landmarks of the Castellon Province.
One of the most beautiful villages of Castellon is Villafames. It is my personal favorite, however, street art lovers might enjoy visiting the secret graffiti village of Fanzara instead, or even swimming in the hot springs of Montanejos (depending on the dates of your Valencia Road Trip).
Nevertheless, if you want to take a small break from sightseeing, you can simply spend the day enjoying the beaches of Benicassim. You can read more about my beach getaway to Benicassim in this post. There are lots of delicious seafood restaurants in the port area of El Grao de Castellon, for instance, El Mirador del Port (!try the sea urchins!), Mediterraneo, and Tasca del Puerto.
The touristy alternative to Benicassim is the nearest Oropesa and its Marina D´Or Resort.
Day 6 – Morella
Morella is one of the top storybook locations in Spain, most of the Valencia day tours usually combine a visit to Morella and Peñiscola, but in my opinion, that´s too much for one day. You can read more about my visit to Morella in this post.
If you enjoy visiting mysterious and haunted places in Spain, right near Morella you will find Santuario de la Virgen de Balma. It is a sanctuary carved on a rock and located near the tiny village of Zorita del Maestrazgo. Back in the Middle Ages, it used to be the ultimate destination for those “possessed by the Devil”. People would come to Santuario de la Virgen de Balma in search of Divine Healing. Even though most of those searching for the magical cure were suffering from illnesses modern medicine now has clear names for (like epilepsy, for instance), back then those people were simply doomed and could only hope for a miracle.
Also, some of the secret villages of Teruel (like Mirambel, for instance) are located quite close to Morella. So, you can easily combine your day in Morella with visiting at least one Spanish village off the beaten path.
Day 7 – Peñiscola
On the last day of your Valencia road trip, you can spend a day (or morning) in Peñiscola, known for its stunning Castle of Pope Luna which served as one of the most iconic GOT filming locations in Spain. You can read more about Peñiscola in this post.
If you are doing this Valencia Road Trip in February, do not miss the Artichoke Gastronomic weeks in the nearest small town of Benicarlo. Also, those of you who love birds might enjoy visiting the nearest Jardin del Papagayo – it is still one of my kids’ all-time favorites in Spain.
Check all the locations of this Valencia Road Trip on the map:
- Accommodation: For short stays, I usually book via Agoda, Booking, and Hotellook
- Tours&excursions: My favorites for guided tours are GetYourGuide and Viator
- City breaks&sightseeing: Go City helps to avoid multiple entry fees and paper tickets
- Travel Insurance: find the best trip insurance plans via VisitorsCoverage, EKTA, and Insubuy
- Flights: To find the best deals I like WayAway and Aviasales
- Airport Lounge: Get independent airport lounge access worldwide via Priority Pass
- Train&bus tickets: Currently, I book via RailEurope, Omio, and Busbud
- Car rental: To find the best deals I use Rental Cars, Discover Cars, and GetRentalCar
- Transfers: For individual transfer services I like Kiwitaxi
- For Foodies: Eatwith is great for finding culinary experiences with locals
- Cruise Reviews: To find the best cruise offer I check out Cruise Critic
- Suitcases&Luggage: To eliminate problems of early arrivals/late departures I find helpful Radical Storage
- Compensation for delayed/canceled flights: AirHelp is useful for all flight cancellation or delay claims
- To avoid roaming fees I use Airalo eSIMs around the world
- Budget-friendly stays: Check Hostelworld to find the best deals around the world
- Events: To find the best offers I use Ticketmaster and TicketNetwork
- Renting Bikes: to find motorcycles, scooters, quads, and bicycles I use BikesBooking
- Package Tours: head to CheapOair, Expedia UK, Tourhub, and loveholidays
- For Bloggers: To monetize my blog I use Travelpayouts