The Luvaville Blog
The Luvaville.com Blog is ALL about travel and lifestyle for urban parents. Here, we wish to share with you some of our travel experiences as well as tips and various recommendations on fashion, great design, trendy and practical products that go along with life as parents.
Mini Guide to beautiful Valencia
Springtime is always the perfect time for a little city escape. Last year in April, me and my family (husband, daughter 2, 5 year and me - very pregnant) went to Valencia. We spent 8 days in this lovely city. We found Valencia to be really beautiful and romantic and very childfriendly. Valencia is beautiful and perfect to visit during spring or fall since the temperature hasn't reach that high yet. It's is a good alternative to Barcelona, smaller, but still rich in culture, activities, great food & shopping.
Where to stay? We stayed at two hotels during our stay:
Palau del Mar: This aristocratic nineteenth century building is located in the heart of Valencia, near both the shopping district and historic area. This fabulous centrally situated hotel is housed in a refurbished palace and offers guests the best of contemporary Valencia: the historic city centre and the modern heart of the city. Romantic architecture, including an impressive hall and a marble staircase, has been reinterpreted in modern terms for the complete enjoyment of beautifully serene spaces. The staff is very kind and helpful, the restaurant servs delicious food and the indoor swimmingpool (which is very small), is perfect for young children.
Hotel Las Arenas Valencia: The majestic Las Arenas Balneario Resort is a beachfront hotel in Valencia. Overlooking azure oceans and walking distance from the city centre, Las Arenas Spa offers great accomodations as well as all the needs a modern family might have: children's pool, children's club/playground, high chairs, baby cots, restaurants etc. The beachfront location is amazing!
What to do? Kids can really enjoy them selves in Valencia, as there are several options and activities designed specifically for them.
The Zoo: The Bioparc is the new zoo of Valencia, located in the Cabecera Park. Valencia Bioparc is in a 200,000 m2 section of the extensive Turia Gardens and is a new kind of zoo. The Biopark is created employing the concept of zoo-immersion which means immersing the visitor completely in wild habitats. The zoo offers you the unique opportunity to watch many of the animals roaming freely just like on an African Safari. Most of the animals are set in their natural habitat, log cabins with thatched roofs give it an authentic feel and the really dangerous animals are well cared for and can be seen behind glass in well made pens. We loved it!
Aquarium: Valencia Aquarium is housed in L'Oceanografic, the largest marine park in Europe and it's the largest aquarium in Europe! This stunning building was designed by Felix Candela and is reminiscent of the amazing work of Barcelona's Antoni Gaudí. Valencia Aquarium at the Oceanografic can be found in the stunning City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i de les Ciencies) which also contains a planetarium, science museum, botanical garden and opera house. The oceans and species of the sea are well represented in this truly spectacular area in the center of Valencia.
The park Turia Gardens: The gardens stretch the length of Valencia like a lovely green ribbon ending not far from the beach and port of Valencia. For a few minutes you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the peace and tranquility of a very shady and green Valencian city park. The lovely park is a 7 kilometer promenade of flowers, parks, ponds, fountains, sports facilities and playgrounds - Amongst others the impressive Gulliver Playground where kids can climb and slide on top of the giant Gulliver. Playing on the top of Gulliver, the kids naturally look like the small citizens of Lilliputs. Not suitable small kids, though! A stroll in the Turia Gardens is one of the top things to do in Valencia because you can easily reach other parts of Valencia.
Valencia beaches: The white sandy beaches are edged with palm trees and are perfect for children to build sandcastles on. Take a dip in the sparkling Mediterranean sea and when it gets too hot and you need some shade, there are plenty of pretty thatched parasols to sit under. You will find many beach-side activities such as small playgrounds, special lanes and the promenade which is ideal for rollerblading or riding bicycles.
Where to shop? Valencia has alot to offer, fashion wise. Both for kids & adults. The kids of Valencia are well equipped and their are many shops dedicated the little ones. Our favorites are:
Nanos: Nanos is a traditional Spanish childrenswear luxury label. The name Nanos, which means little ones in Spanish, caters classic pieces with an edge: colours are bold and styles fashion-savvy with on trend cuts and embellishments. Thanks to Nanos classic luxury clothing for children goes beyond pastels, beige and pale pink, to fully embrace colours and festive patterns. All with the distinctive style and the utmost refinement you expect from a luxury label. The beautiful shop has a little corner where the kids can play while the parents are shopping.
Yo Solito: Yo Solito is this very cool and personal shop where you will find all the best from Spanish and International brands such as Bonton, Babe & Tess, Imps&elfs, Zef, Normandie and much more. The decor is black and white and very stylish. Definately worth a visit.
Imaginarium: The Spanish chain that sells great & high quality toys Imaginarium is also to be found in Valencia. There are several branches in Valencia, so check out the website to find an adresse.
Where to eat? People in Valencia seems to be very childfriendly. Kids are more than welcome at most restaurants and even though there are no specific children's menu, they are always ready to prepare a special meal for your kids; a smaller portion, not too spicy etc. Also you will find high chairs in every restaurant (at least all the restaurants we visited had high chairs).
Baby Deli: Baby Deli is a fantastic concept store and café offering gorgeous and organic products: food, toys, baby care etc and a café with great lunch and everything parents and kids need for having a nice time in beautiful surroundings! Baby Deli also offers different activities for children like cooking classes amongst other things. The perfect place where toddlers can play while parents enjoy a cup of coffee.
Cacao Sampaka: Cacao Sampaka makes delicious chocolate using only authenthic cocoa. In the shop you will also find a little cafeteria where you can enjoy a typical hot chocolate, mousses, pastries and cakes, chocolate granita, chocolate deserts etc. Delicious!
Valencia is truly beautfiul and you can easily get around the city with a stroller. The Metro has lifts and you will find bicycle paths all over the city. You can rent bicycles in the Turia Gardens and in the City of Arts & Sciences. You can also rent bikes here and here.
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