We took our summer holiday to the magical city of Valencia, Spain this year. The main reason being, my brother and his fiancée were due to wed there; something at first I didn’t quite grasp why, but now I know why! There’s always something so special about going abroad for a wedding, last year my sister got married in Sorrento, Italy (I will eventually get round to writing a blog about it). It was like a big jolly holiday, 40 odd family and friends all in Valencia together to celebrate Mr and Mrs Bulsara, most of which stayed in the same amazing hotel; SH Valencia Palace.
Before now I had never really heard what Valencia has to offer and now having been, I can’t believe I didn’t know it! Valencia is a very cosmopolitan city, there are endless amounts of restaurants; from traditional Spanish, including the home of the very first paella, to Japanese, French, American, Steakhouses – you name it, Valencia probably has it. You will never run out of places to eat in Valencia!
Whilst I do love a relaxing pool holiday where you just soak up the sun and quite frankly could be anywhere, what I enjoyed about our trip to Valencia was taking Aiva somewhere with real culture, sight seeing, endless things to do in addition to the option of relaxing by the pool, soaking up the sun.
Valencia – the best bits
#1 Roof top pool
We stayed at SH Valencia Palace hotel. Not only was the hotel amazing, the rooms were spacious, the maids cleaned every day leaving the rooms spotless, the hotel bar did the most amazing cocktails, the hotel offered 2 bars, a restaurant and a rooftop terrace bar. In addition to all this fabulousness the swimming pool was on the roof! Aiva was in love. It wasn’t a huge pool but it was perfect for our stay, we could keep A in sight while we lounged on the sun loungers, it wasn’t very busy and to top it off you could order food to come up to the rooftop (something we enjoyed a tad too much).
We didn’t spend all day at the pool but most days we either started or ended the day at the pool. Aiva bought her swimming float belt so she could swim around as she pleased with the peace of mind that she was ok. Our friend bought her underwater camera so we enjoyed fooling around taking selfies underwater. By the end of the holiday Aiva was swimming without her swimming belt (aka ‘floatie’) and swimming underwater constantly. The pool alone was enough to make this holiday the best, just watching how much it benefited Aiva’s swimming just made me want to get a pool in the garden at home!!
No time for relaxing Mummy
A happy little swimmer
Getting my hair wet, for a change!
Always fun at the pool
You can’t go to Valencia without going to Oceangrafic, or so we were told! We took a trip to the aquarium and we bought tickets for the night time dolphin show. I don’t know how words could justify the experience at Oceangrafic. It was just unbelievable, we were all so blown away by everything. The architecture, the views, the many aquariums, the shows, everything was just out of this world. Every sealife creature you could think of, was there. Aiva was just overwhelmed with excitement and was basically bouncing off the walls from one site to another. After a few hours around the aquarium, from flamingos to penguins, we had seen it all! We then went on to be seated for the nigh-time dolphin show, which was AMAZING. From synchronized swimmers to dolphins doing double flips it was everything a dolphin show should be.
It was a busy and eventful trip, and its safe to say we were all out for the count by the time we got back to the hotel!
30 seconds from the hotel you can catch the bus to the beach for €1.50 with buses running every 10 minutes. A taxi to/from the beach costed around €6 so we tended to get the bus there and a taxi back. It was a beautiful beach, shops, bars and restaurants all along the strip so you can pop over for a lilo or beach ball, or a mid-day snack and beer. There’s not a lot you need at the beach with little ones, just the sand and sea was enough to keep Aiva happy for hours on end; and boy did we have fun at the beach.
There was a fair on in Valencia while we were there, we didn’t go to begin with but repeatedly went past it when going to dinner each night – perhaps considered child cruelty as Aiva was desperate to go. On our third night, after dinner we made a spontaneous trip to the fair. By this point it was 10:30pm but with our Spanish daily routine in full swing, Aiva was full of beans. Our daily routine consisted of waking up around 9.30, a day jam packed with fun, Aiva would have an afternoon siesta 4 til 6 and then we would go out for dinner around 7.30. Although Aiva would never have a nap in the day back at home, it worked well because of the late nights we were having – we were adapting to Spanish life! So, here we are at 10:30pm riding on a ferris wheel and eating candyfloss!
The best part of Valencia, for me. Was that it offered 2 holidays in one. We got to enjoy the relation of beach and pool days but we also got to explore and actually see some culture, architecture and history. I love relaxing by the pool with a cocktail in hand, don’t get me wrong but that doesn’t reflect where in the world you are. I pinched some photos from my friend (I can’t take any credit for the artistic shots). So, Valencia sight-seeing…