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Searching for the best day trips from Valencia? I’ve got you covered!
Sitting on Spain’s eastern coast, Valencia is in a prime location for exploring loads of other exciting nearby destinations. With a coastline filled with picturesque towns and beautiful beaches to the north and south and mountains sprinkled with Medieval villages and ancient castles to the west, there’s something for every style of traveller.
So if you’re looking to escape the city for the day, these are 9 of the best Valencia day trips not to miss…
Albufera Natural Park
Located just south of the city along the coast, Albufera is one of the quickest and easiest day trips from Valencia.
Albufera is both the name of a large freshwater lagoon – the largest of its kind in Spain – and the serene nature park in which it sits. The scenic lake is surrounded by rice paddies, pine forests, and sand dunes, and is known for its rich biodiversity.
Escape the city and take a walk or cycle along one of the signposted routes through the nature reserve. Then hop on a boat for a peaceful ride across the lake to get a closer look at the many birds and plants that call the lagoon home. If you can time your boat ride for the end of the day, you’ll get to experience one of the most magical sunsets in Valencia.
On a day trip to Albufera, you’ll also discover the origins of Valencian cuisine. Paella was invented in the area, using the rice from the many paddy fields.
You’ll find some of the best and most authentic paellas in all of Spain at the restaurants in the village of El Palmar. There’s also plenty of fresh seafood directly from the lake. Albufera is an essential Valencia day trip for foodie travellers.
How to get from Valencia to Albufera:
By taxi: A taxi from Valencia to Albufera takes around 20-30mins and costs approx. €25-30 each way. Make sure to pre-book your return taxi to pick you up.
By bus: Jump on the EMT city bus No. 24 from Valencia to El Palmar. The bus takes under an hour and costs just €1.50 each way. Keep an eye on the schedule as the buses aren’t too regular.
By bike: For cyclists, there’s a scenic bike route that takes you between Valencia and Albufera. The route starts at the City of Arts and Sciences and ends at the town of El Saler. Depending on your fitness level, it takes 1-2hrs. You can rent a bike or book a cycling tour of the park from Valencia. Some guided bike tours even include paella.
On a tour: Visit Albufera on a half-day group tour from Valencia. Or for something a little more exciting, opt for this Albufera jeep and boat tour from Valencia which includes tapas and drinks on the beach.
One of the easiest day trips from Valencia by train is the ancient town of Sagunto, which sits just 30km up the coast.
Sagunto dates back almost 3,000 years and is absolutely brimming with history. It was once the location of the Roman city of Saguntum. In 219 BC infamous military commander Hannibal laid siege to and captured the city. This triggered one of the most important wars of antiquity, the Second Punic War.
On a day trip to the town, you can delve into its history at the fascinating Sagunto Museum, visit the ancient Roman Amphitheatre, and climb up to the large hilltop castle, which features Roman and Moorish elements.
For history buffs and those who enjoy exploring ancient ruins, Sagunto isn’t one to be missed. Just remember to bring your walking shoes.
How to get from Valencia to Sagunto:
By car: Driving from Valencia to Sagunto takes around 30mins.
By train: Direct trains to Sagunto run several times a day from Valencia North Station and take just 30mins. Tickets cost €4 each way.
Coves de San José
Coves de San José – or Caves of San José – is a spectacular cave system that’s home to the longest navigatable underground river in Europe.
The caves and river are believed to date back to the Triassic era. They have been known about by man for thousands of years, which is evident from the many archaeological finds and cave paintings inside.
You can explore the mesmerising caves and stunning underground river on an 800-meter boat ride and a 250-meter walking tour. Or if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, you can also take a kayaking tour along the river.
Interestingly, the caves maintain a warm 20°c temperature all year round, so don’t be worried about getting chilly while underground.
Above ground, you can also discover the remains of an Iberian-Roman Village dating back to the 6th century BC.
How to get from Valencia to Coves de San José:
Coves de San José is located around 50km north of Valencia, slightly further than Sagunto. These two can also be combined into a single day trip from Valencia.
By car: Coves de San José is around a 45mins drive from Valencia.
On a tour: The easiest way to visit Coves de San José if you don’t have a car is by taking an organized tour from Valencia.
Sat in the province of Castellón in the larger Region of the Valencian Community, Montanejos is one of the most popular day trips from Valencia with locals and tourists alike.
The main reason visitors flock to the area is to soak in the famous Montanejos Hot Springs – an area along the River Mijares where natural pools have formed from a fast-flowing spring in the mountains. The ancient pools are known for their crystal-clear waters, therapeutic properties, and year-round 25°c. temperature.
But there’s far more to Montanejos than just the Hot Springs. Montanejos is a charming little village, packed with history and surrounded by spectacular natural landscapes.
From the calm turquoise waters of the Arenós Reservoir to the plunging canyons and lush forests that can be explored on many scenic hiking trails, Montanejos is the ideal spot to unwind and reconnect with nature on a day away from Valencia.
For more information, check out my full post on everything there is to do in Montanejos.
How to get from Valencia to Montanejos:
Montanejos is difficult to reach by public transport, but there are other ways to reach the town.
By car: The drive from Valencia to Montanejos takes around 1hr 15mins.
On a tour: Many people choose to visit Montanejos from Valencia on an organized tour. For nature lovers, there are also some great organized day tours from Valencia that include Montanejos Hot Springs, plus waterfalls and other stops in the surrounding area.
Located in the historic Aragon region to the northwest of Valencia, Teruel is a captivating and exciting city packed with spectacular UNESCO protected Mudéjar architecture.
Mudéjar is a distinctive style that dates back to the time when Christians and Muslims first began to live side-by-side in Spain and the two cultures and styles became intertwined. The unique structures are truly like nothing else you will experience outside of the region.
Other than the beautiful buildings, Teruel is known for its tragic love stories that rival Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and its many exciting annual festivities.
Interested in visiting? Check out the best things to see and do in Teruel.
How to get from Valencia to Teruel:
By car: The drive between Valencia and Teruel takes approx. 1hr 30mins.
By train: Trains between Valencia and Teruel run several times a day and take around 2hrs 30mins.
The town of Albarracín is also found in Spain’s Aragon region, just a short distance from Teruel.
The hills surrounding Albarracín are best known as one of the top climbing and bouldering destinations in the country, attracting climbers from Valencia and beyond. You can rent pads and other climbing gear there.
Even if you don’t climb, Albarracin is definitely worth visiting from Valencia. The ancient Moorish town has been voted one of the most beautiful towns in all of Spain.
Its narrow cobblestone streets are lined with ancient pink-hued houses and traditional hanging balconies, while colourful domed towers peak above the rooftops.
Sitting on a hilltop above the town are Albarracin’s ancient Medieval walls, which provide stunning panoramic views back over the town and the lush natural landscapes that surround it.
Don’t miss my detailed guide to visiting Albarracin for the first time. If you don’t speak Spanish, you’re going to need it – there’s not a lot of information in English out there right now.
How to get from Valencia to Albarracin:
Albarracin sits close to Teruel in the Aragon region. The two destinations can be visited together on a single day trip from Valencia. But if you do have more time to spare, I’d definitely recommend staying in the region overnight and exploring for longer.
By car: The drive between Valencia and Albarracin takes around 2hrs.
By public transport: If public transport is your only option, you can take the train to Teruel then jump in a taxi. A taxi between Teruel and Albarracin costs around €40-50 each way, so it’s not the cheapest trip.
The Vineyards of Utiel-Requena
Utiel-Requena is a Spanish DOP protected wine region close to Valencia. The region has over 85,000 acres of vineyards and 60 different wineries.
The main grape grown in the area is the native Bobal variety, which is used to produce fruity, medium to full-bodied red wines. You can also find whites, roses, and cava.
Wine lovers can visit the region on a wine tasting day trip from Valencia. Many of the wineries in Utiel-Requena offer tours and tastings. You can walk amongst the beautiful vineyards, visit the historic wine cellars, and sample the local produce. Most winery visits must be booked in advance.
How to get from Valencia to Utiel-Requena:
By trains: Trains run regularly from Valencia North to the towns of Utiel and Requena. However, these are slow regional trains that take between 1hr 30m and 2hrs. Quicker trains run from Valencia Joaquín Sorolla to Requena-Utiel Station in just 22mins. Requena-Utiel Station sits between the two towns, so you’ll need to book a taxi or transfer to reach the towns or wineries once you arrive.
On a tour: To avoid having to choose who is going to be designated driver or messing around with trains and taxis, you can take a wine tasting tour of the vineyards and wineries of Utiel Requena from Valencia. This is the method I’d recommend – it saves a lot of time and hassle!
Xàtiva is another of the most popular day trips from Valencia, sitting 60km to the southwest and slightly inland.
You can discover thousands of years of history by exploring the town’s narrow Medieval streets and picturesque Arab quarter. There are plenty of shops and charming little cafes to stop for a coffee or glass of wine while you soak up the sun and people watch.
But the highlight of Xàtiva has to be its historic hilltop castle. You can walk up to the castle in around 30mins (bring good footwear and water) or jump on the small train. From the top, take in the spectacular views over the historic town and right out to sea.
How to get from Valencia to Xàtiva:
By car: The drive between Valencia and Xàtiva takes around 45mins.
By train: Trains from Valencia North Station to Xàtiva run daily and the journey takes around 45mins. Tickets cost as little as €4 each way.
On a tour: You can book a private day tour to Xàtiva with a local.
There are plenty of charming seaside towns and beautiful beaches near Valencia to escape the crowds of El Cabanyal, but Peñíscola is one of my personal favourites.
Peñíscola is a popular summer day trip destination for Valencian locals. The pretty coastal town doesn’t yet have the same international recognition as the likes of Alicante or Bendorm. But this is exactly what makes it a must-visit. Although, the tourist trade is certainly picking up ever since the town was used as a filming location for Game of Thrones!
Peñíscola’s beautiful sandy beaches and coves are perfect for a relaxing day of sunbathing or swimming in the tuqoise Medditeranean waters.
Known as ‘the city in the sea’, Peñíscola’s historic old town is built on a rocky headland, joined to the mainland by only a narrow strip of land. The historic town is surrounded by ancient city walls, and at its highest point sits an imposing 14th-century medieval castle.
Other enjoying the town’s beaches, you can take a wander around its narrow cobbled streets, browse the local craft shops, and visit the Museo de Mar to learn about the area’s seafairing past.
You can explore the sights of Peñíscola on your own, or book onto a tour of the castle and artillery park to learn more about the town’s history and see GOT filming locations up close.
How to get from Valencia to Peñíscola:
By car: The drive to Peñíscola from Valencia takes around 1hr 45mins and is your best option for a day trip from Valencia.
By train: Trains run from Valencia to Benicarlo-Peñiscola station daily and take around 2hrs. However, the station is located 8km outside of the city. During the tourist season, buses run regularly from the station to Peñíscola, but outside of peak season, you’ll need to grab a taxi.
On a tour: You can book a full-day tour from Valencia to Peñíscola and Sant Mateu.
Transport Options for Day Trips From Valencia
With Spain’s excellent public transport network, you can take many day trips from Valencia by train or bus. I’d recommend using OMIO to check routes and schedules, and to book tickets in advance.
However, some of the more rural destinations and smaller towns and villages on this list can be difficult to reach by public transport.
Looking for more to do in the city itself? Check out these cool and unique things to do in Valencia.
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