Our Experience in Valencia Spain and Surrounding Area

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In September of 2016, we lived in Valencia, Spain.

We selected Valencia after reading an article in International Living magazine and doing other research about the city and surrounding area. The Lonely Planet chapters on Valencia and Murcia were also great resources.

Our rental car was from Hertz, sourced through AAA: a compact-sized Hyundai i30 at an amazing 137€ rate for the month. Because the rate was so low and I had some concern about the size of the i30 to accommodate our four suitcases and backpacks, I also rented an SUV through Thrifty as a backup.

That’s less than Two Beers a Day!

dinerLittle did I know Hertz and Thrifty share the same Valencia Airport counter/agents! When the agent asked if I had rented two cars, I fessed up. She laughed and mentioned my 137€ rate was “less than two beers a day and how did I get this rate?” Because she was incentivized to upgrade me, I got a monthly rate for an SUV at 100€ less than my backup deal. A very fair price and another tip: Ask for a free upgrade; maybe you’ll get lucky. If not, negotiate a price for an upgraded car at the counter (but know the Internet price before starting negotiations).

We found our luxury apartment on www.valencialuxury.com and enjoyed a 50% discount from the posted rate by dealing early in the season (January) with the leasing agent. This 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment with patio and parking worked out great, as one of Alicia’s forever friends joined us for a few days early on, and great friends joined us for a week, mid-month.

We spent our first week in Valencia learning about the city, its food and produce market, its beautiful cathedral and basilica with adjoining plaza, the beach, and what turned out to be our favorite tapas restaurant – Escalones next to Lonja (Exchange of Silks Market).

Alicia’s forever friend arrived for a few days and we showcased the city around the cathedral as well as cliff-hillsheaded several blocks west and discovered the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, surrounded by the government/town hall and post office buildings and near the bullring and primary shopping area. We found many new restaurants where we enjoyed filling lunches and a new “friend”, Aqua de Valencia – a smooth drink made from orange juice, champagne, gin and vodka (Google for recipe). Yummy! However, limit yourself at lunch unless you’re planning an afternoon siesta.

While eating our way throughout Valencia, we discovered Agua de Valencia – a smooth drink made from orange juice, champagne, gin and vodka (Google for recipe). Yummy! However, limit yourself at lunch unless you’re planning an afternoon siesta.

We ventured on a day-trip to Cuenca – a city with hanging houses on a hill about two hours north towards Madrid. Perched high atop a hill, Cuenca lacked the option to spread out as it grew. Its solution: Expand upward and outward. This is a must-see attraction.