As one of Spain´s largest cities, Valencia definitely has a lot to offer. Although its vibrant and cosmopolitan vibe might be just too much at times… But the good news here is that you don´t need to stay in the city all of the time. Let´s explore more of the Valencian Community via day trips!
Visiting Valencia and exploring the region
“What do I see in Valencia outside of the city? Off the beaten path, if possible.” It is probably the most asked question I get from friends planning a trip to Spain.
It always makes me smile deep inside. I admit, my inner explorer gets happy when people don´t just settle up with a few instagrammable places. We travel in search of unique experiences, aren´t we?
Therefore, if you plan a trip to Valencia – make sure not to limit it to the city itself. Although Valencia is one of my all-time favorites, The Valencian Community has quite a few places that simply can´t be missed. So after you´re done with the main sights and experienced Valencia at night, it´s time to take a few day trips to discover more hidden gems of the region.
While sharing my top 10 places in the province of Castellon, I´ve already mentioned that my residence in Valencian Community will soon hit the 10-years mark. And guess what?! I still haven´t seen it all!
More hidden gems
Nevertheless, when your travel obsession has no limits… I currently came to the point where I suggest places to my local Spanish friends [lol] There´s no shortage of ideas when you head somewhere new every weekend. Besides, as you already know, having 2 babies made me travel locally more.
Do you realize how many hidden gems are out there to be explored yet – if after 10 years I still haven´t seen it all! Even despite all those weekends on the road?!
While the city of Valencia is very touristic, the whole region of the Valencian Community is full of beautiful undiscovered places. Besides, who wouldn´t mind a change of scenery every once in a while. Let´s switch a vibrant city life for some charming local villages, unique rural landscapes, challenging hikes, and magical castles&palaces!
Check this list of the best day trips from Valencia. For your convenience, after each place, I´ll list the average time it takes to get there by car from the city of Valencia. Most places on this list can be visited by train as well. However, I personally, prefer driving in Spain (except the big cities, of course). Besides, it´s the best way to combine several places on the same day. My travel-time is often limited, so my only option is to be as efficient on the road as I possibly can.
The Best Day Trips From Valencia
1.Port Saplaya and Alboraya (20 min)
Let´s start with the closest one of the day trips from Valencia. Need a little splash of colors? – Then consider visiting Port Saplaya. It´s definitely one of the most colorful villages in Spain. Plus, here you could also visit the nearby village of Alboraya, famous for its horchata drink.
The most famous and touristic place for the horchata tasting is Horchateria Daniel. However, most of the bars ad cafes in this little town also serve their horchata drinks. In summer it´s quite typical to ask for horchata and granizado de limon mix or simply granizado de horchata (ice crushed horchata drink).
2. Albufera (40 min)
Albufera is not my personal favorite, but I can´t argue that it´s the closest place to get an authentic experience of the region´s traditions and gastronomy. Plus it is one of the easiest day trips from Valencia. You can see with your own eyes how was life in the Valencian Community before Valencia has turned into the 3rd biggest Spanish city.
Most of my friends loved it there. On the road, you could notice some traditional Valencian houses and farms. The most typical thing in Albufera is a boat tour. I´d suggest you visit during the sunset for some beautiful shots, as the landscape itself did not impress me much. But again, it really depends. Some people like it, others not so much. You should visit at least once to decide where you stand.
3. Sagunto (30 min)
Sagunto will be one of the most interesting day trips from Valencia for history lovers. The city is famous for its gorgeous Roman Castle lying on the top of the hill, right in between the cities of Valencia and Castellon. More places nearby you could visit on the same day: Vall D´Uxo Caves, Segorbe, The Holy Cave of Altura.
A visit to Vall D´Uxo Caves (also Coves de San Josep) includes a boat ride. It is currently the longest navigable underground river in Europe. However, they have a strange requirement of not taking pictures once you´re inside. I get it when no flash is allowed, but people sneak around to take quick shots anyway. So why not let them take nice pictures instead? The word of mouth and social media shares could be the best marketing to attract more potential visitors.
Also read: The Most Beautiful Cathedrals in Spain
The city of Segorbe historically has a significant Catholic influence in the region. It resulted in the construction of numerous churches, seminaries, and a cathedral. The Cathedral Museum of Segorbe offers one of the most important holy art collections in the region. While wandering around the city, you can also spot the remains of ancient walls & towers, a medieval aqueduct from the Arab times in Spain, and a Roman reservoir. There´s also a museum of Olive Oil and Bull and Horse Droving interpretation Center. If you´re interested in visiting it all, Segorbe could be a separate day trip from Valencia.
The Holy Cave of Altura or Santuario de la Cueva Santa is a 20min drive from Segorbe. It is a Roman-Catholic cave-chapel, one of the most impressive caves in the Valencian Community. Keep in mind that they are closed from 1.30 PM till 3.3o PM.
4. Jativa (50 min)
Jativa is one of my favorite day trips from Valencia, all thanks to its historical significance and an important connection to the famous Borja family. Check this post for more details. History geeks could check more interesting places in the area following The Borja Route.
5. Chulilla (1h)
Most people visit the Province of Valencia in search of beautiful beaches and sandy coastlines. Therefore, you’ll be surprised to find out that there are actually are many amazing hikes in Valencia nature lovers simply can’t miss. The route of the hanging bridges of Chulilla is definitely one of them.
Once you decide to take one of the day trips from Valencia to escape the city buzz – you just never expect to encounter a hidden oasis of greenery somewhere in the province. Or at least I absolutely did not. It just does not fit into the general plain and dry landscape panorama.
However, the province of Valencia is full of surprises, hidden gems, and undiscovered places. One of the coolest hikes in Valencia is definitely The route of the hanging bridges of Chulilla or La ruta de los puentes colgantes de Chulilla in Spanish. It is a little oasis of greenery you should really check once in the region. Check more details&tips here.
6. Gandia (1h)
The Ducal Palace of Gandia (14th century) is an important part of the Valencian architectural heritage. Situated in the heart of Gandia town, the palace takes us back in time to the years of prosperity for the famous Borja family. The luxury decorations, full of significant artistic and architectural elements, make The Ducal Palace of Gandia a must-stop in the region for all the art lovers.
The modern range of artistic styles includes Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-gothic elements. It could be explained by the fact that the palace was built, enlarged and restored during the last seven centuries. Check more photos and details here.
7. Anna (1h)
Valencia´s secret Alhambra or The Palace of the Counts of Cervello, built in the 17th-century over the ruins of Anna Castle. Seriously, did you know this place even existed?! – I´ve honestly had no clue of its existence till this year (and I live in the region lol).
You can combine your cultural visit to the city of Anna with a picnic or stroll at Albufera de Anna lake. Only keep in mind you need to book your visit to The Palace of the Counts of Cervello in advance (by calling to Anna´s Tourist Office). Only guided visits are allowed. We were lucky to book just a day before, but it was in the offseason.
8. Bocairente (1h 15 min)
Not only is Bocairente one of the most beautiful villages in Spain in my opinion, but it also has lots of unique historical sites to explore. The historic quarter, the Moorish caves, the Ice caves, the Bullring, the fountains and bridges, the Parish church. While you walk up&down the streets of Bocairente every corner is so beautiful that you end up … read more
9. Montanejos (1h 15 min)
Up for a swim?! Montanejos is a beautiful natural area that long ago was chosen by the Arabs as a perfect leisure spot: here they´ve built their thermal baths. Since 1863 locals could enjoy the Montanejos hot springs all year round – the temperature is always around 25 ºC.
10. Navajas (1h)
Another must stop for nature lovers in the Valencia region- The Jump of the Bride (in Spanish “Salto de la Novia”), a 60m-high waterfall with an old local legend behind. It is a creepy legend, to be honest…read more
11. Castellon (1h)
Despite several nice places in Castellon city center like Park Ribalta, Castelló Cathedral or the building of Correos, this day trip should be more about places outside of the city for me. Check one of my favorite beaches in Spain – Serradal Beach in Benicassim. You can also enjoy a seafood dining in the Port of Grau de Castellon, or a boat trip to Islas Columbretes… read more
12. Fanzara (1h 30 min)
Your turn street art lovers. Ever heard of Fanzara?!
Home to more or less 300 people, Fanzara was about to make it to the list of “Spain’s dying villages” until its streets were converted to an open-air Museum. Around 15 graffiti artists were invited by the young generation of locals to transform the village. Thanks to their amazing works the small village gained its unique identity and become an ultimate stop for the art lovers of the region… read more
13. Peñiscola (1h 40 min)
One of the coolest Valencia day trips to combine history with the beach vibes is definitely Peñiscola. Recently, it was one of the Game of Thrones filming locations in Spain, which brought a lot of international fans to this small Spanish town.
Peñiscola Castle is one of the most dreamy Spanish castles. Rising 67m above the Mediterranean, it was a residence of pope Benedict XIII (Papa Luna) from 1417 till 1423. Built-in 13 century on the remains of the Arabic fortress, El Castillo de Papa Luna is one of the most dreamy castles to visit in Spain. You can check more details here.
One of the coolest day trips from Valencia and place to visit in the region is definitely the Peñiscola castle. Recently, it was one of the Game of Thrones filming locations in Spain, which brought a lot of international fans to this small Spanish city.
Rising 67m above the Mediterranean, the Peñiscola castle was a residence of Benedict XIII (Papa Luna) from 1417 till 1423. Built-in 13 century on the remains of the Arabic fortress, “El Castillo de Papa Luna” is an important monument of our history which survived several époques… read more
14. Morella (2h 10 min)
Morella is one of these unique places in Spain, which makes you coming back again and again. If your visit overlaps with one of the Gastronomic weeks in Spain, Morella can turn into your ultimate foodie adventure in Spain. Every year from the end of January till the beginning of March Morella celebrates the gastronomic weeks of Truffles. However, you can still buy some local delicatessen, like Truffle cheese, all year round.
The city of Morella is definitely one of those Fairy-Tale Places in Spain that are straight out of a Storybook. Rising 984 meters above sea level and fortified by 2 km of walls, Morella has always been of great strategical importance throughout history. Its murals have seen various civilizations – Romans, Arabs, Christians… I guess, all these cultural influences have given Morella its uniqueness. Gothic buildings, handicrafts, artisans and antiques – the streets of Morella are full of history and old charm… read more
Day Trips From Valencia: More Ideas
As we´ve already crossed the 2h driving distance limit with Morella, it won´t be fair not to mention other options you have here.
The Valencian Community is formed by 3 provinces: Valencia, Castellon, and Alicante. Each of the following could be a day trip fit.
However, the province of Alicante doesn´t seem to me being one of the reasonable day trips from Valencia, as it´s even more touristic than the first one. But here you have lots of interesting places within a 2h drive: Javea, Denia, Guadalest, Calpe, Pink Lake of Torrevieja, Benidorm, Novelda, Elche, Santa Bárbara Castle in Alicante, Atalaya Castle in Villena and more.
Moreover, the Province of Teruel is relatively close (1.30h – 2h). Visit the city of Teruel or one of its most beautiful villages – Albarracin. I honestly, wouldn’t mind the drive here myself as I always enjoy visiting Teruel and plan to take my kids to visit Dinopolis Theme Park in Teruel soon (I´ve only visited it myself a while ago, but it´s definitely going to be even more enjoyable and educational visit for them).
Let´s not forget Madrid. With Ave, a high-speed train reaching 310 km/h, it only takes 1h52min to get to Spain´s imperial capital. It´s a pricy option though. A return ticket might cost you around 100 euro, or 60 euro if you book in advance. Ok, a day trip is not enough to explore Madrid. But let´s say you´re a huge Real Madrid fan and your dates overlap with a game. Or you´re into Musicals, Theatres, Concerts and there´s some unique performance going on in Madrid. Or Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum hosts an exclusive exhibition you´re dying to visit. If you don´t mind spending more, why not?!
Ok. This post is turning eternal…[lol]
To sum up
Is it a full list of the best day trips from Valencia? – No. There are many more places you could find if diving into my blog series Undiscovered Spain.
If you have any questions, doubts or simply want to know something else about the Valencia region, you can always leave a comment and I´ll get back to you. As someone, who lived in the region for 10 years, I still have a lot of places to share with you, but let´s leave something for future posts, shall we?!