Las Fallas Festival – Valencia

Las Fallas, an annual event placed in Valencia between 15th to 19th March. It attracts foreign and Spanish visitors and is the most crazy festival in Spain.

Las Fallas, the craziest festival in Spain?

Las Fallas feast, is an annual event taking place in Valencia between the 15th to 19th of March. The festival bases its celebrations towards Saint Joseph, or in Spanish, San Jose. San Jose is the patron saint of carpenters and the origins of Las Fallas go back to the Middle Ages. You can read more about its origins here. It is by far one of the main events that attracts many visitors, both foreign tourists as well as Spaniards from all over Spain.

The focus of the festival is the creation and destruction of ninots, which are huge Paper-Mache statues. These often take several months to construct and costs run into the thousands. The ninots usually depict satirical scenes making fun of Spanish and foreign politicians and current events. Should you ever go to experience it, this is one of the most crazy festivals you will ever witness.

Las Fallas Valencia photo by Brian Maudsley
Photo Copyright Brian Maudsley

Daytime

Las Fallas festival commences early each day beginning with what they call  ‘La Desperta’. This is a mind blowing experience at any time of the day, let alone at 8:00am in the morning. La Desperta consists of brass bands and what seems to be an endless stream of fire crackers, loud enough to set off car and burglar alarms. The alarms alone should drive you mad let alone the bands and explosions that follow.  Throughout the day expect continuous loud explosive bangs together with processions and other unusual activities just until around 2:00pm. Then La Mascieta commences. Although spread across the city, La Macieta mainly takes center stage in Valencia’s main square, Plaza Ayuntamieno. This is a succession of choreographed pyrotechnics, that make you think the earth is going to crumble below you.

Las Fallas Valencia Photo Copyright Gábor Kovács
Photo Copyright Gábor Kovács




Night Time

Along the old river bed, firework displays provide a string of spectacles in the night. On the 18th of March you will get to experience the night of fire or La Nit de Foc. The following night all the ‘ninots’ are burnt during la Crema. Ninots are carnival floats, build by the neighborhoods that take months of preparation and dedication to build. Children get to have their own version of the fiesta with Falla Infantile until around 10:00pm on that night. Later on at around 12:00am the main ‘Fallas’ will commence.

Huge crowds gather at Plaza Ayuntamiento to witness the greatest burning fire of all the event, where a series of around 25ft model ninots will have been stuffed with fireworks. The public vote to save one of the ninots from the burning. Then as the street lights are switched off, the remaining gigantic models are set on fire, burning to ashes in the most spectacular manner.

Las Fallas Photo Copyright Karol Kozlowski
Photo Copyright Karol Kozlowski

Is it for you?

Las Fallas is not a festival for the faint at heart or for those wanting to visit Valencia for some peace. Every year several people faint or suffer injuries therefore pregnant women are forbidden from attending. The huge amount of noise and earth shattering explosions the fireworks create make your head spin sending an uncontrollable adrenaline rush throughout your body. Forget about resting at anytime of the day as from 8:00am until 2:00am Valencia turns into a city of loud parties and other noisy activates.

Las Fallas Valencia Spain
Photo Copyright Gábor Kov

When to book

If you intend to visit the Fallas festival be sure to book your Valencia trip well in advance. Bear in mind that you will need at least 2 days after the festival to recover from the overwhelming experience Las Fallas provides. Hotel bookings increase during this period therefore it is wise to prepare and plan everything well ahead of your visit. Check out our calendar of events here.

There is absolutely no way understanding this festival until you go and experience it first hand. The crazy atmosphere, the sounds, smells and earth shattering bombardments will touch each and every sense and expect anything to happen at anytime. It is not suggestable to go to Valencia during this period if you suffer from claustrophobia, hate noise and crowds or if you are pregnant.

Top 5 Things To Do In Valencia – Spain

According to TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is used by travelers worldwide because it provides a platform to check out places before visiting. Users place personal reviews about the places they visit, the food they try and hotels they stay in. Although some reviews may be unreliable, most of them are accurate and false reviews are usually easy to point out. We have taken the liberty to scan TripAdvisor in order to check out the top 5 things to do in Valencia. It is good to note that the 3rd top thing to do in Valencia seems to be something you can find worldwide.

The top 5 things to do in Valencia City

According to TripAdvisor, the top 5 things to do in Valencia range from sightseeing tours to a day at the Bioparc. Of course there is so much more to see and do and we urge you to seek out some of the more original stuff. Because of the vast array of things to see and do, you are sure to enjoy a memorable visit to this city. Be sure to experience at least one of these top things to do if you have not done it before. We highly recommend the Bioparc because it is quite a unique experience and a must if you love animals. If you are not into animals why not experience more of the city? Sightseeing tours are also in the top 5 things to do.

Be sure to check out our event calendar on a regular basis as new events are added on a frequent basis. If you have an event that you would like to list please click here.

The top 5 things to do in Valencia as of the 10th of July 2017 are as follows:

Number 1: the Central Market (Mercado Central). Plaza del Mercado, 6, 46001 Valencia.

Mercado Central is famous for the quality, variety and freshness of the products on trade there. Not only is it an important place for the sales of fresh products but also a major cultural and tourist attraction.
The market is split into two zones that cover 8,160 square meters in the center of Valencia. The fish market area is octagonal shaped and covers 1,400 square meters. The other housing the fresh vegetables is 6,760 square meters. The basement, now a car park covering 7,690 square meters, was previously a fish auction.

Almost 300 traders and 1,500 people run the market’s daily activity. This makes it the largest center of its kind in Europe. It is the first market to rise to the challenge of computerising sales and offering home delivery services.

The market is an important economic focal point of Valencia because of the work of its traders, the large number of visits it receives and events it organises.

Number 2: The Turia Gardens ( Antiguo cauce del Turia).   Parque del Gulliver, Valencia.

Running through the city along a nine kilometer stretch, Turia Gardens is one of the largest urban parks in Spain. It extends itself from Cabecera Park to the City of Arts and Sciences. The gardens boasts green space which includes quiet spots to unwind as well as leisure and sports areas. Since its inauguration in 1986, it is providing the perfect place for runners, cyclists, families and nature enthusiasts.

Various urban planners and landscapists designed different sections of the park, recreating the former river scenery. The gardens offer a unique array of trees, plants, rose beds, ponds, fountains among other things. 

Along the way. one will find many bars and cafés with extensive terraces, where you can take a break for refreshment. 

Number 3: Room Escape Games in Valencia

According to TripAdvisor, the third popular thing to do in Valencia seems to be ‘Room Escape’ games. At the time of publishing, TripAdvisor lists 18 different ‘Escape Room Games’ across the Valencian community. These sort of games are the kind that you can play in teams which makes it good if you are travelling in a group. If this is your kind of thing, then you may wish to check out the various options on offer here.




Number 4: Bioparc Valencia. Avenida Pio Baroja Escriptor 3 | Yes, 46015 Valencia, Spain

Bioparc Valencia is spread across a large area and displays animals as per their respective continent. It is a zoo that employs a concept in which recreations of the natural habitats on show surround the visitor. It is a very enjoyable experience if you have never went to this kind of zoo before.

Different species appear to coexist in the same habitats. Predatory species are separate from the other species by barriers invisible to the eye. This ensures the safety of both the animals as well as the people visiting. The animals, vegetation and landscape provide the opportunity to discover the complexity of natural ecosystems.

Number 5: Sightseeing Tours in Valencia 

Again, according to TripAdvisor, the fifth popular thing to do in Valencia seems to be Sightseeing Tours’. There are various tours to choose from. If you are a fan of tours, then you may wish to check out the various tours on rated on TripAdvisor here.

Have you read our two day guide to Valencia? If not then read it because it gives you a good idea on what to experience and why. You may wish not to do anything at all and just relax and let the world go by. In Valencia you will find whatever it is you are looking for.

Plaza De Toros Valencia

 

 

 

Valencia – Unique and full of intriguing contrasts

“Valencia, a fusion between history, tradition and the modern!”

Valencia is a dynamic destination with attractive sights and activities suitable for any age. Furthermore, the city offers a vast array of traditional culture and history combined with modern, original and intriguing contrasts. Its architecture dates from the first century B.C. to the most futuristic, 21st century design.

Just 15 minutes off the city center, you will encounter a fantastic beach running across it coast. This is close by the Marina Real Juan Carlos I, an up-and-coming sport and tourist area. The Marina is close to becoming the most attractive of its kind in the Mediterranean.

Valencia and Tourism

Valencia is also a major destination for incentive trips and is quickly becoming the focus for conference tourism. It attracts several international companies since it is quite easy to reach and offers great possibilities. Its proximity to the Albufuera nature reserve, located in the old Turia river-bed, serves the city and its visitors with a wide-ranging environmental ambient.

Due to its vast experience, the city is capable of hosting all kind of events. In turn, it enjoys a reputation as one of the most complete and versatile destinations on the continent.

Languages

There are two official languages in Valencia. The first is “Valenciano”, used mainly in the Valencian Community and of course Spanish, Spain’s official language. English is also widely used and many locals do in fact speak English well. Therefore communicating in Valencia is very easy for English speakers as well as for many other nationalities.

Climate

As in most of Spain, Valencia enjoys a mild climate. With warm summers and very mild winters, rarely below 10ºC , the average annual temperature in Valencia is 17ºC . There is only light rainfall, mainly in autumn and at the beginning of spring. It is delightful and especially relevant for those seeking to retreat to a warmer destination during the colder months. This makes it an ideal place to visit all year around

Getting Around

Using public transport to travel in Valencia is easy. There are metro stations in all parts of the city and most places are within walking distance from the metro station. The bus system is efficient and easy, with various routes and well timed trips on a regular schedule. One may also opt to take a taxi which is also a good alternative and relatively cheap to get around in a timely fashion.

Hiring and driving a car in Valencia is relatively easy and cars are left hand drive. The roads are well structured, signs are good and the road surface is of good quality. Traffic is quite orderly and drivers seem to be quite educated and disciplined when driving. As in most major cities, Parking may be a problem however there are several car parks and designated parking in various parts of the city.

Besides air and sea, travelling to other countries by coach or train is possible.




Eating

The cuisine is tasty and food is fresh and mainly locally produced. Traditional dishes consist of hearty family dishes. It boasts a diverse gastronomy  incorporating a choice of seafood, vegetables, olive oil and fruits. Oranges and other fruits along with a variety of rice dishes are the most popular in Valencia.

People in Spain eat later than in other European countries, consequently restaurants serve lunch between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm. Dinner is usually served around 8:30 pm until 10:30 pm.

Although tipping is not obligatory in bars and restaurants, if the service is satisfactory, a tip is often desirable and good to leave. If in doubt on how much to tip, a tip of about 10% to 20% of the bill is normal. Of course feel free to tip as much as you want to, as you would expect, tipping more is never rejected.

Shopping

Valencia offers a great array of shopping experiences, making it a great place to spend hours on shopping sprees any day of the year. Most shops open between 10:00 am to 8.30 pm therefore there is ample time for shopping enthusiasts. Around tourist areas, malls and shops are open almost every day, including Sundays and public holidays, hence this makes Valencia a shopper’s haven all year, especially during weekend breaks.

The most famous brand in Valencia and all parts of Spain is the El Corte Inglés. El Corte Inglés have several stores spread around all major cities in Spain including Valencia. One can shop for clothes, electronics, white goods, shoes, sport equipment, fragrances and just about anything else at these stores. Expect to find several of its stores across various parts of Valencia. If you are looking for shopping malls, then visit Neuvo Centro. This three story shopping mall, contains several outlets and brands in one building, including a branch of  El Corte Inglés.

Supermarkets

Supermarkets are available around the city and purchasing daily needs is easy indeed. The Spanish chain of supermarkets, Mercadona, is the most popular supermarket chain in Spain and rightly so. Its products are genuine and inexpensive yet of superior quality. You will also find the Carrefour Supermarket chain offering a vast array of cheap yet excellent products.

Paying In Valencia

Most hotels, restaurants and shops in Valencia accept major credit cards such as, American Express, VISA, Mastercard and similar. In addition, banks open from Monday to Friday between 8:30 am – 2:30 pm 24 hour whereas automatic teller machines across the city are also available. Alternatively you can pay in cash. The currency is the Euro.

Events in Valencia

Expect to discover events year round, from sporting events to concerts most of them open to the public whereas others are more private. To find out some of the current events, check out our event calendar.

Public Holidays.

Most shops open during the public holidays, with the exception of a few days, most noteworthy New Year’s Day.

  • 01st January – New Year Day, most shops close.
  • 22nd January – San Vicente Mártir.
  • 19th March – San José.
  • 05th April – San Vicente Ferrer.
  • Good Friday and Easter Monday. Dates change every year, most shops close.
  • 01st May – Labour Day.
  • 09th October – Sant Dionís the Valencian community national day, most shops close.
  • 01st November – All Saints day.
  • 06th December – The Day of the Constitution, most shops close.
  • 08th December – The Feast of the Immaculate Conception.


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