Art lovers, get ready to fall in love with Manises, a UNESCO Creative City near Valencia. If you are into Spanish pottery, traditional and modern art&crafts – Manises might be your ideal Valencia day trip choice.
Valencia Day Trip to Manises
Why visit Manises?
Valencia is an amazing city with lots of unique things to see and do. But if you have a chance to escape the city buzz for a day and learn more about the region – you should definitely do so, as historically the Valencian Community is full of ceramic artisans and local productions. Not to mention the Ceramic tile industry, set in the Province of Castellon, and an International Ceramic Tiles Fair of CEVISAMA taking place in Valencia every February.
While there is a bunch of places you can visit from Valencia on a day trip, fans of the Spanish ceramics, as well as arts & crafts, should definitely start their explorations of the Valencian Community from the small town of Manises. This small town is known for more than 700 years of ceramic crafts. Within numerous local ceramic styles and decorations, Manises is particularly famous for its golden and blue pottery pieces of the 14th and 15th centuries, as well as polychromatic earthenware and tiles of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Manises is on the list of my 2022 favorite travel experiences in Spain.
How to get to Manises
Manises is located nearby the Airport of Valencia and only 8 km from Valencia City. You can get to Manises by subway ( lines 3,5, and 9), bus (90, 150), or taxi.
When to Visit
You can visit Manises all year round, but there are also quite a few unique local celebrations you might have a look at. For instance, Fiesta de Ceramica (July 16-17) and Calalcada de la Ceramica (July 18) a local parade with a giveaway of ceramic pieces taking place since 1900. Usually, around September 17 there is an open day with workshops (check the exact date, it might slightly change every year).
Must-see places in Manises
As I can´t get enough of the Manises ceramic pottery and decorations myself, I´m sure you´ll enjoy seeing even more artworks from Manises on my IG Highlights and Tiktok. I simply can´t upload every single ceramic creation here, but believe me – there´s a lot to chew on there!
Edificio el Arte
Once in Manises, you should start your visit from the local Tourist office (also grab a free map or a city guidebook). The building housing a local Tourist office is simply gorgeous, it is called Edificio El Arte. Built in 1922, it was once a ceramic factory and home of a local ceramist Juan Bautista Huerta Aviño.
On the second floor, you’ll find a permanent exposition MUMAF (with its collection of old photo cameras), and temporary expositions.
Mercado Municipal Els Fitres
Right next to Edificio El Arte you will see the impressive facade of a local market Mercado Municipal Els Fitres(1974), full of ceramic decorations depicting customs and traditions of the 18th-century Manises.
Parque el Filtres
Right nearby the local market you’ll notice the park full of ceramic decorations – Parque Els Filtres and an impressive Modern Art & Ceramic exposition housing the participants of the international ceramic contest Bienal Internacional de la Ceramica.
Avenida Blasco Ibañes
Have a stroll through the central avenue Avenida Blasco Ibañes, full of ceramic decorations with scenes from the daily life of its citizens. If you have an extra moment you can marvel at peculiar facades nearby – Antigua Escuela de Ceramica and Antigua Fabrica de Francisco Valldecabres.
Iglesia Parroquial de San Juan Bautista
The dome of the Church of St.John of the Baptist (1734-1751), Iglesia Parroquial de San Juan Bautista in Spanish, is covered with lustre ware tiles. Also, you will find numerous decorations from the 20th century inside. Check the opening hours before going, during my visit in august it was open only from 6.30 till 7.45 p.m.
Museo de la Ceramica de Manises
To enjoy the highlights of the ceramic history in the region of Manises, you simply must visit a local ceramic museum Museo de la Ceramica de Manises. It is located inside of an 18th-century house and showcases unique ceramic pieces produced in Manises from the 14th century till the present day.
AVEC – Gremio is the headquarters of the Valencian Ceramic Association. Here, you will find a shop with a collection of ceramic pottery and decorations created by local artisans. During my visit, there was a small temporary exposition of Manises pottery, including a wall commemorating the ceramic creations of local artist Antonio Cordero.
Right nearby, you can find a great workshop La Ceramica Valenciana de Jose Gimeno Martines, but to visit it, you need to book your tour in advance and it´s closed on weekends. In fact, all of the local workshops work the same way, unless you visit Manises during the Open Day (around September 17 every year). Other workshops in Manises are Ceramica Artesanal Creativa Domanises, Arturo Mora La ceramica de Reflejo Metalico, Taller de Ceramica Artesanal Pepe Royo, EncisAR-TE, Ceramicas Palanca.
Also, if you are looking for a small souvenir – set your eyes on Mercedes Flores de Porcelana, an artisan shop full of unique porcelain-flower jewelry pieces. They also have an online store.
Casa de Cultura
Casa de Cultura (1923) or the House of Culture is set in a beautiful Neo-Gothic building and it also hosts local and temporary exhibitions. During my visit, there was a cool modern art exposition – Casa 8 by Uxue Lopez from Bilbao.