Check this ultimate list of the best Valencia day trips by train. Planning to visit Valencia and want to explore a few lesser-known places in Spain? – Look no further, you´re on the right page.
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Day trips from Valencia
Exploring the region
My loyal readers might get a small deja vu feeling, as this summer another similar post of mine called The Best Day Trips from Valencia just went live. Even though I´ve literally scratched the surface while trying to showcase everything the Valencia region has to offer, that post turned out very long. I couldn’t keep it brief – with my 10+ expat years in Spain, there are simply too many places I want to share with you. Searching for local hidden gems in Valencia and exploring Undiscovered Spain are my all-time favorite activities.
I created this post for those of you who plan to visit Valencia City and want to explore more things in the region without renting a car.
Let´s face it – there are many people who prefer public transport to driving on holidays. In my case, it really depends: renting a car in Iceland or New Zealand was an obvious choice, while for a city break in Europe, I´d rather go for public transport myself.
Driving and parking in Valencia
Let me share with you a few things about driving in Valencia from a local perspective.
We live outside of the city and often head to Valencia with kids to explore local museums, shopping, or discover cute Valencia cafes. Usually, it´s way more comfortable to take a train Renfe Cercanias, since it leaves you in the heart of the city.
Sometimes we do go to Valencia by car, but it has its drawbacks. The parking around the Valencia city center is expensive (last time we paid almost 15 euros for 3 hours). But that´s not even the worst thing – they are all so tiny and we have a huge car: it´s always such stress to sandwich our vehicle somewhere in between and not to scratch any pillars.
Therefore, I get it why many people don´t want to deal with all this, especially if booking a hotel in the city center and renting a spacious car. By the way, the area near the City of Arts and Sciences is more modern and easier to park. But you will have to walk 40 mins to the city center.
Moreover, if you are planning to visit Valencia city and plan to see more of the Valencian Community – just focus on all the interesting Valencia day trips by train.
Train tickets guide
Depending on the distance of each of your Valencia day trips you might need to get a different ticket at the Valencia Nord Train Station. Let me share with you some details so that you won´t get confused once there.
You have three main types of train tickets to choose from:
- Cercanias train tickets (for the actual surroundings of Valencia)
- Media Distancia train tickets (for traveling throughout the Province of Valencia)
- Larga Distancia train tickets (for traveling across Spain and Europe, including the Spanish highspeed train AVE)
You can get Cercanias and Media Distancia tickets from ticket machines only. Although you might check the schedules online (and even print them out). If you get Cercanias “ida y vuelta” (return ticket), you can take any of the trains running through the day and seat anywhere you like.
With Larga Distancia tickets, you should really book in advance (especially around the holidays or the peak seasons). Here you´ll have a specific time and seat. Your train ticket can be bought online, by phone, or at the station. Depending on the tariff (note that flexible tickets cost more) you might be able to change or return it.
For more details, you can check this Valencia Train Guide. Keep an eye on the ticket offers – last December we got 4 tickets (2 adults and 2 kids) for 60 euros with a high-speed train and enjoyed a spontaneous getaway in Christmas Madrid.
Best day trips from Valencia by train
Why to visit:
Jativa is one of my favorite Valencia day trips by train, known for one of the dreamiest Spanish castles. It´s known for its connection to the famous Borja (also called Borgia) family. I am sure you have heard of or seen The Borgias TV Series, a historical-fiction drama with Jeremy Irons. Well, two of the future Popes of the Vatican from the Borja family were actually born in the small town of Jativa.
You can check more details from my trip to Jativa and its castle here.
Also read: The Most Beautiful Cathedrals in Spain
As you might have already imagined there are more places in the region connected to the famous Borgia family. I´ve put together a whole Borgia Route for you – but you´d need a car to see it all. However, the small town of Jativa itself could be easily accessed by train.
How to get to Jativa
Buy a Cercanias ticket from Valencia Nord to Xativa ( Xativa is the name in Valencian, and Jativa – in Spanish) from one of the ticket machines at the Valencia Nord Train Station. The journey will take 50 min one way.
Why to visit Sagunto
Sagunto will be one of the most interesting Valencia day trips for history geeks and fans of the Roman ruins in Spain.
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. Make sure you walk your way through the city towards the castle walls for some epic views.
You can actually start your Sagunto visit by visiting the local Tourist office (at Plaza del Cronista Chabret) and asking for a map. Make sure not to miss: The Roman Castle, Casco Antiguo (Historical city center), The Roman Theatre, La Juderia (Medieval Jewish Neighbourhood), Historical Museum, Ermita de La Sangre chapel, Santa Maria Church.
Also read: The Most Colorful Villages in Spain
How to get to Sagunto
Buy a Cercanias ticket from Valencia Nord to Sagunt from one of the ticket machines at the Valencia Nord Train Station. The journey will take 30-40 min one way.
Why to visit Gandia:
The Ducal Palace of Gandia is also connected to the scandalous Borja or Borgia family. It was their official residence since 1485 and the birthplace of Saint Francis Borgia (a great-grandson of Pope Alexander VI). The Palace is situated in the heart of Gandia with its origins going back to the 14th century. The interiors make us time-travel back to the years of prosperity for the Borgia family.
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.
While the Ducal Palace of Gandia was my favorite stop in the city, there are more places you can not miss: Historical City Center, Museu Faller de Gandia, Collegiate Basilica of Gandia, and Archaeological Museum of Gandia.
Gandia is a popular winter-sun destination and is famous for some of the coolest Spanish beaches: you can also hit Playa de Gandia to enjoy the sun’s rays. By the way, it´s typical in between Spaniards to celebrate bachelor parties in Gandia.
One of the most popular foods to try in Gandia is fideua (it´s like paella but with pasta instead of rice). Actually, you can eat fideua anywhere in Valencia, but it´s considered a must-try in Gandia.
How to get to Gandia
Buy a Cercanias ticket from Valencia Nord to Gandia from one of the ticket machines at the Valencia Nord Train Station. The journey will take 1 hour one way.
Why to visit Castellon
Despite its location in between the touristy Valencia and Barcelona, Castellon is still relatively in the shadow for international visitors.
It is one of the top regions in Spain for Ceramics lovers. The local economy is mainly fueled by the Ceramic industry, while there are some cool artisanal places as well.
Castellon´s train station is located close to the city center, so you can just walk around. Make sure not to miss: Park Ribalta, Castellon Cathedral, the building of Correos (Post office), Central Square Plaza Mayor and Central Market, Museu de Belles Artes of Castellon. Museu de Belles Artes of Castellon has a free entrance and a whole floor dedicated to Ceramics of the region.
Also read: Gastronomic Weeks in Spain – Hazelnut
You can also take a bus to the beautiful coastal towns – Grau de Castellon and Benicassim (one of my favorite beach getaways in Spain) from Plaça del Jutge Borrull in Castellon (check the schedules here, they may vary depending on the season). The driver will ask you inside the bus for a number of your potential stops to issue a ticket (Grau is around 5 and Playa Serradal – is 7-9).
The Port of Grau de Castellon is an amazing area to taste fresh seafood and paella. Last time I even shared on IG cool local street art. In summer you can take a boat trip to Islas Columbretes Natural Reserve from the Port of Grau.
How to get to Castellon
Buy a Cercanias ticket from Valencia Nord to Castello de la Plana from one of the ticket machines at the Valencia Nord Train Station. The journey will take 1 hour or 1h20min one way, depending on the type of train.
Why to visit Peñiscola
One of the coolest Valencia day trips to combine history with 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 beautiful small town in Spain.
Peñiscola Castle is one of the top dreamy Spanish castles. Rising 67m above the Mediterranean, it was the residence of Pope Benedict XIII (Papa Luna) from 1417 to 1423. Built in the XIIIth century on the remains of the Arabic fortress, El Castillo de Papa Luna is a must-stop in the province of Castellon. You can check more details in this post.
Also read: Must-See Magical Forests in Spain
The only drawback here is that while you can get to Peñiscola by train, it´s not as easy as with Jativa, Sagunto, or Gandia. Peñiscola shares a train station with the nearest town of Benicarlo, it´s a 14-minute drive by car/taxi to Peñiscola center from the station. There are also two bus companies operating between Peñiscola and Benicarlo – Autos Mediterraneo and HIFE.
On the plus side, Benicarlo is another great place to visit in February, since local authorities organize Artichokes Gastronomic Weeks. So, you can really enjoy a nice artichokes meal with a creative twist in Benicarlo before/after your Peñiscola sightseeing route. Besides, nearby you will find one my kids´ favorites in Spain – a park of birds Jardin del Papagayo.
How to get to Peñiscola
Get a ticket online (or at the Valencia train station) from Valencia to Benicarlo/Peñiscola. The journey will take 1 hour 20 min or 2 hours one way, depending on the type of the train. Then take a taxi or bus (Autos Mediterraneo or HIFE) to the city center.
Why to visit Alicante
The other popular destination in between Valencia day trips is definitely Alicante. Last time we really enjoyed our one week in the Alicante region with kids.
The city of Alicante has several great places to visit: Santa Barbara Castle, the Archaeological Museum, Basilica of Santa Maria, MACA Contemporary Art Museum, Explanada de España Promenade, Casco Antiguo (Alicante´s old part), a boat trip to Tabarca Island.
So, Alicante absolutely deserves a visit. Besides, you have quite a few trains from Valencia per day to choose from.
How to get to Alicante
Buy a ticket online (or at the Valencia train station) from Valencia to Alicante. The journey will take 1h 40min or 2h one way, depending on the type of the train.
Have you ever heard the romantic legend of Diego and Isabel (Spanish Romeo and Juliette)? Do you like vibrant Mudéjar architecture? Or are you into the archaeological finds and the dinosaurs? – No matter which one here is your case, Teruel is your ultimate choice to cover it all. Not to mention all the secret medieval villages in the province of Teruel, including one of the top beautiful small towns in Spain – Albarracin.
If I am completely honest with you – Teruel is a better match to go by car (it will only take 1h30min, while by train it´s 2.30 min). Besides, you´d need a car to visit the nearby village of Albarracin anyway.
However, Teruel is still quite reachable by train from Valencia. You´ll have only 3-4 options per day. So, ideally, you take the first one around 9 a.m and return with the last one around 8 p.m. (10.30 p.m. – arrival to Valencia).
How to get to Teruel
Buy a ticket online (or at the Valencia train station) from Valencia to Teruel. The journey will take 2h 30 min one way.
Although Cuenca borders a few well-known Spanish regions, like Madrid, Toledo, and Valencia, it is still considered Spain off the beaten path. You can check my full Cuenca Travel Guide here.
A huge advantage of Cuenca compared to other Valencia day trips on this list is the fact that Cuenca lies on the way of AVE highspeed train line between Valencia and Madrid. This means that despite a higher ticket price, you can get to Cuenca really fast. With AVE, it only takes 1 h to get to Cuenca´s Fernando Zobel train station from both Valencia and Madrid. While with a regional train, it´s 2.40 min ( or 2.30 min by car).
Therefore, you can´t miss a chance to see with your own eyes The Hanging Houses of Cuenca ( Casas Colgadas in Spanish), walk the impressive San Pablo bridge, and visit Santa María la Mayor Cathedral. Besides, the Palacio Episcopal near Cuenca´s Cathedral houses an impressive art collection, including a few paintings of El Greco.
How to get to Cuenca
Buy a ticket online (or at the Valencia train station) from Valencia Joaquin Sorolla to Cuenca Fernando Zobel station. The journey will take 1h.
Best Tours from Valencia:
If you want a care-free vacation in Valencia, where everything is already organized for you – check out these Valencia Day Tours:
You should really take advantage of a visit to Valencia City and explore more of Spain´s hidden gems. Especially as there are quite a few Valencia Day trips completely doable by train. Jativa, Gadia, Sagunto, and Castellon are definitely the easiest in terms of logistics. Plus, as all these fort part of the Valencia Community, you get a local train Cercanias and it´s quite budget-friendly (10-15 euros for the round trip).
On the other hand, with Cuenca and Teruel, you get a unique opportunity to explore Spain off the beaten path and experience an authentic Spanish vibe beyond its touristy areas. Of course, tickets are more expensive (as both are located outside of the Valencia region). It will cost around 30 euros for Teruel (round trip) and 50 euros for Cuenca (round trip). But it´s such a unique opportunity to visit places you might have never been able to see otherwise (unless you plan a few Spanish road trips across the whole country).
Therefore, the destination here is really up to you. But to see at least one place from this Valencia day trip list absolutely belongs on your Spain Bucket List.
- 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
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- Budget-friendly stays: Check Hostelworld to find the best deals around the world
- Events: To find the best offers I use Ticketmaster and TicketNetwork
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