The Valencia Flat
Sherry and bob, on
I didn't know Roberto when I first contacted him about the flat. I only knew that we wanted to spend a month in Spain in spring. Roberto was very responsive and friendly and patiently answered all my questions, since we had never done something like this before. Once we decided to book, Roberto was very organized and efficient and it was so easy to deal with him. I kept thinking of more questions, which he answered thoroughly. Then when the time came closer, we met for lunch and he gave us even MORE information. I had done quite a bit of research on Valencia by this point and I was really getting excited.
We arrived in Valencia in early March. The flat was a short ride by cab from the airport and everything in it was exactly as described -- and shown in the pictures. It was so comfortable and we had absolutely everything we needed. We felt at home immediately.
It didn't take us long at all to find our way around the city by subway and bus. It is very easy and inexpensive and I was so impressed by the cleanliness and efficiency of public transport. We never had any concern at all about our security or safety. Valencians didn't speak that much English but they were very friendly and tried to help at every turn. With a little Spanish and pantomime we made out just fine.
We bought groceries and cooked some breakfasts and suppers in the flat. We were mostly out for lunch, exploring the old city and the beaches and the neighbouring communities. The kitchen was very well equipped and the staples were all there. Great quality cooking utensils and super coffeemaker! There were excellent grocery stores nearby with a huge selection of food -- including local specialties which we tried -- at very very good prices. We also enjoyed shopping at the Central Market which is an experience for all the senses.
Valencia really has everything -- and more! It's not as touristy as Barcelona but it feels more Spanish to me. (We also went to Barcelona by train, which is definitely worth it, but a very different experience.) I adored the old city -- it was brighter and more colourful than the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona and felt like such a happy place. There is so much to do and see that we didn't even do it all in the extended time we were there. We went to the City of Arts and Sciences twice, the Bioparc, many churches, some museums (loved the Ceramics one) and had many lovely lunches in outdoor cafes.
Restaurant food is wonderful and very affordable. Tapas are everywhere but be careful where you eat Paella, the true Valencian speciality. We picked an authentic family-owned spot full of Valencians that had been there for years. It was amazing!
One of the highlights was a paella cooking course that we took in La Albufera. It was four hours and we cooked a paella from scratch. We were hooked. Naturally we bought a paella pan and plan on making it here at home. We also took a boat ride in the Albufera, the largest freshwater lake in Spain. It was beautiful.
We were in Valencia during Fallas in March, which was a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Yes, the city does get crowded for a couple of weeks but taking in the displays and lights and fireworks, the offrenda and the burning at the end make it all worthwhile, because you'll never seen anything like it again. Google it for more info.
Roberto's flat was a great base for all our travels. The neighbourhood is safe and friendly and the flat is only minutes from the old city and the train station. You can also get an app that summons a taxi right to your door, which we used a few times. Taxis are not expensive.
If you're looking for a lovely authentic living experience in Spain we can't say enough about the flat in Valencia. We would love to go back.
Sherry Galey and Bob Hussey
Scot and Nancy, NS
We rented the flat in Valencia from Roberto and it was perfect for our needs. It is clean, tastefully decorated, spacious, well equipped and conveniently located. It has Wifi and cable TV (in Spanish) It is in a residential neighborhood with restaurants, neighborhood bars, a supermarket and a shopping centre close by. There is a metro station close by (more about that later) which connects you with the entire city.
This rental is well administered. The terms and conditions are plainly laid out in a formal contract. There is a checklist to follow when leaving. There is a wonderfully informative website related to the unit and it is accurate. Roberto is very helpful and always open to questions. His suggestions and information contributed greatly to the success of our trip. The English book on Valencia that is in the living room has been worth its weight in gold. The tourist information books from home have very little about Valencia so to have this one to refer to has been invaluable. We have been able to identify several buildings using it for reference.
The city of Valencia is a wonderful place to visit. It has an incredible amount of green space, beautiful beaches, historical and cultural attractions, great restaurants and very friendly and helpful people. There is not a great deal of English spoken there but that did not matter. A very basic Spanish vocabulary, good will and patience will triumph! We always felt safe and secure day and night. We walked everywhere. Valencia is fast becoming our favourite city anywhere. The apartment is great and very conveniently located; food and restaurant costs are app. 30% lower than Canada.
Valencia is very accommodating to retirees (pensionistas). Many attractions have seniors discounts but the best of all for us was the seniors discounted monthly passes we purchased for the Metro. The Metro has extensive coverage in the city and includes the trams for that portion of the system aboveground. The regular monthly pass costs 72.8 euros for unlimited use. We were able to purchase discounted Senior’s unlimited passes for 9.7 euros (less that $15 per person). That’s a discount of 86%!!! There is a one time charge for the card of 5 euros as well but the card is valid for five years. You just load it up as needed. The bus system is also great but we mostly used the Metro. I presume that you can also get a senior’s card for the bus system.
Yazmin and jose, ON
As this was our first time in Valencia we found the apartment is very bright and perfect for rest and relaxation. The fully equipped kitchen has oven, fridge, freezer, microwave, coffee maker, toaster and utensils varied. A full bathroom with towels, shower gel and hair dryer. A large living room with TV and comfortable sofa and full dining room. The bedrooms have very comfortable beds, full closets and fans. There is air conditioning but not needed as much. There is internet available with WiFi, and laundry facilities.
The location is great and very well connected with the rest of the city by bus lines and metro. If you choose to travel by taxi, you only have to walk a couple of blocks to where they will be parked.
There are many amenities close by, a supermarket, restaurants, and a bank that you can walk to.
You can lose yourself in the remote and narrow streets of the famous Ciutat Vella and Barrio del Carmen, where you will find tranquil and picturesque squares filled with bars, restaurants and taverns where to try the tapas and rice dishes and all the Valencian cuisine. You can visit the Central Market (the largest in Europe in fresh produce), Lonja de la Seda (World Heritage Site), the Cathedral, the Miguelete, the Church of Santos Juanes and Santa Catalina, the Palacio del Marqués de Dos Aguas, Town Hall Square, Calle Colón, Jardines del Turia River, and so many more.
Our stay in Valencia was not as long as we would have liked it to be as there is so much to see and do but we can’t wait to go back and we would definitely stay at the flat again, it is like home away from home.
tim and sue, On
This apartment is a gem in a location close to the colourful Historical City of Valencia.
The flat is located within 1-minute walk to a bus stop and only 5-minutes walk to the bus that takes you to the fantastic Arts and Sciences Centre with a world class aquarium. The nearest Metro stop, Nou d’Octobre, is only 8-minutes walk away and this system will spirit you to most parts of the city’s historical sights or to the beach area in less than 10-minutes. The incredible BioParc Zoo is only 20-minutes walk away, where you can watch wild animals in as natural a setting as can be imagined (the Madagascar lemurs are a must see). Only 10-minutes walk from the flat is the Museum of History built in an ancient underground brick-lined water reservoir.
The flat is in an area well served by a wide variety of shops, restaurants and bars. A Bank is around the corner. The Mercadona supermarket is very well stocked and sells cut-off-the-bone Iberian, and other hams at prices much lower than in Canada. There is even a Chinese store, similar in concept to a Dollar store and an Electronics store selling the most amazing gadgets. The Pastry shop around the corner serves bread, pasties and delicious savoury empanadas. There are several pharmacies including a 24-hour pharmacy only 10-minutes away close to the General Hospital, both great resources which hopefully no one needs.
The apartment itself
The flat is spacious, light and airy with full-length windows along one wall of the principal rooms leading to a common balcony where we often sat for breakfast or in the evening air. The powder room and bathroom are clean and efficient.
We cannot explain how much we enjoyed our visit to Valencia, in no small measure due to the apartment where we stayed, which became home within a very few days and which we were sad to leave, especially as we were returning to Fall in Canada. If you go please, look after it because we hope to return.