Definitive guide

Best day trips to make from Valencia

A list of 7 day-trip ideas that you can easily make from Valencia with public transport.

Valencia is undoubtedly a place full of history, sights, and cultural events, but this beautiful city is not all the region has to offer. For all of those that need a break from the metropolis, explore the regional nature and history, or simply want to see more of the Spanish east coast, here are seven destinations ideal for a day trip away from Valencia. And what’s best, they are all easily reachable by public transport.

Albufera Natural Park

The Albufera Natural Park works as a great destination for a last-minute day trip from Valencia, as it is only 10 kilometres (6 miles) south of the city and super easy to reach. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll particularly like this ecological preserve and unique habitat. The Albufera is famous for its rice fields, vast lagoon and lush forests.

Sunset over Albufera Natural Park next to Valencia.
Sunset over the Albufera lagoon is ideal for a quiet and introspective evening. Author: Marcela Escandell. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Park is also famous for the numerous bird and plant species it is home to. To see them in their habitat, you can hike through the park or go on a boat ride on the lake - we recommend going at sunset for blissful scenery.

To get to the Albufera, just take EMT bus lines 24 or 25 from Valencia’s city centre.

Our recommendations

The perfect time to see the rice fields is between June and September.

El Saler and El Palmar

In the villages surrounding the Albufera Natural Park, like El Palmar and El Saler, time seems to have settled onto a different rhythm, much slower, and much more gentle. These small fishing and rice farming towns have carried on living a quiet and undisturbed life for centuries.

El Saler seen from the plane.
El Saler is known to have the best beaches near Valencia. Author: Enrique Íñiguez Rodríguez. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

El Saler is especially famous for its tranquil beach, where fine sand rolls around in ripples against the pine forest background. For the aficionados, the town is also home to a well-known golf course, the Campo de Golf El Saler. When it’s time for dinner, you’ll find that the local restaurants specialise in rice and seafood dishes.

But if you’ve come to the Albufera to try out its authentic local cuisine - i.e. paella - go a few kilometres down to El Palmar. This village was once a fishing island and it still has all the charm of its history, with the typical thatched-roof cottages. Here, you will find the best rice dishes you could wish for in Spain - it is after all the birthplace of paella. To get to the Albufera, just take EMT bus lines 24 or 25 from Valencia’s city centre.

Our recommendations

Paella can take a long time to prepare, so we suggest you reserve at the restaurant and let them know when you’re coming, as to avoid waiting or not finding a spot.

Sagunto

This three-millennia-old town, just 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Valencia, is the perfect getaway for ancient history lovers. Sagunto is known for its castle which, perched on a scenic hilltop, is a perfect mix of all the civilisations that remodelled it over time: the Iberians, the Romans, the Visigoths, and the Moors.

Sagunto Castle.
If you’re an ancient history lover, Sagunto is an unmissable day trip. Author: Diego Delso. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Below the castle is an open-air Roman theatre. The town centre itself will not disappoint either: it is a maze of narrow streets, where you can find traces of all the populations that have inhabited them. For those that want a complete picture of the town’s history, we suggest the Sagunto Museum, otherwise, you can always enjoy the nearby beach.

Reaching Sagunto from Valencia is quite simple, you just have to take the Cercanías train (line C6).

Xátiva

Xàtiva is a lovely little town, just about 60 kilometres (37 miles) south of Valencia. Its most notable feature is definitely the massive mediaeval castle, a two-fortification complex that develops along the crest of a 300-metre tall hill (990 feet), just above the town.

Xátiva Castle
The spectacular Xátiva Castle is definitely worth the hike to get up to the hilltop.

We recommend you head up there before doing anything else and enjoy the view. After that, you can make your way down the town, stopping at the archaeological museum, the Almudín de Játiva on the way. In the town, you will certainly enjoy the quiet and upbeat centre, along with its Arab quarter and delicious local food (we suggest a baked rice dish).

You can reach Xátiva from Valencia in about 40 minutes by Cercanías train (line C2).

Our recommendations

Reaching the castle on foot is quite a hike, although definitely doable, as long as you have comfortable shoes. If you don’t feel like that’s for you, you can always take a bus on the way up (and down).

Alboraya

Just north of Benimaclet district, Alboraya is one of the closest towns to Valencia’s city centre, and home to vast chufa fields. Chufa, tigernut in English, is the tuber from which the typical Valencian drink horchata is made.

Whitechurch in Alboraya.
Alboraya and its white buildings have an old-time charm. Author: Antonio Marín Segovia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

These lush and green fields are the perfect destination if you feel like exploring the more rural areas of the region. On your visit, you will get to see the typical white sloped-roof farmhouses, the barracas and alquerias.

As you make your way through the Valencian Huerta (the farmland that surrounds the city), make sure to look at the irrigation channels: they are hundreds of years old, built by the Moors back in the 8th century. If you don’t feel like walking or cycling there, you can get to Alboraya with the metro (line 3 or 9).

Our recommendations

The ideal time to visit the chufa fields is in July, when they are at their greenest. Just make sure to always wear sensible shoes.

Castellón de la Plana

Castellón de la Plana is a large town 70 kilometres (43 miles) north of Valencia. Although not very well known by tourists, this town has a little bit of everything: beautiful beaches and clear waters to the east and quiet mountains with hiking trails to the west.

Castellón de la Plana old town.
Castellón de la Plana is known for its many (more than 100) street sculptures. Author: amamolina. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

In the city centre, the mediaeval streets are populated by numerous sculptures, Renaissance-era buildings, and beautifully landscaped parks. If you have the extra time, we recommend you explore the Els Columbrets, a small archipelago of quiet, rocky islands off the coast of Castellón. Here you could swim in the crystalline waters or even try out snorkelling.

You can easily reach Castellón de la Plana from Valencia on a Cercanías train (line C6) or an ALSA bus.

Port Saplaya

Just 8 kilometres (5 miles) north of Valencia, this small seaside town is ideal for a quick day trip away from Valencia. Port Saplaya, with its small colourful houses by the canal, has a whimsical and quaint vibe.

Port Saplaya colourful buildings next to the water canal
Bright colours, palm trees, and quiet waters are the defining elements in Port Saplaya. Author: Marasmo. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

As the town develops mostly on the shallow waters of the port, it is often referred to as Little Venice. But fear not, Port Saplaya is definitely not as touristy as you might expect, and is thus perfect for a relaxing walk by the canals or a quiet afternoon at the nearby beach.

Port Saplaya is easily reachable from Valencia by bus (MetroBus line 112), or even by bike or on foot from Platja de la Patacona.

Introduction
Best day trips to make from Valencia