For many Americans, going across the pond is a summertime thing, as it is when Europe is at its most vibrant, beaches feel livelier, and seas are warm for swimming, but what if we told you not all parts of the continent are plunged into darkness and freezing temperatures over winter?
In fact, this lesser-known resort city in Spain is notoriously known for having pretty mild winters, with average temperatures of 63°F during the day and an average of 8 hours of sun per day most days, even in January, the coldest month.
Looking at the weather forecast, it's no surprise Valencia stays popular with tourists well into the off-season, but that's not the only reason why it's essentially become, at this point, a year-round destination:
Valencia Is Spain's Next Tourism Hotspot
Valencia is Spain's third largest city, as well as one of the most populated anywhere in the Mediterranean, with as many as 1.6 million people residing in the wider metropolitan area.
It's become a permanent feature on summer trip itineraries due to its privileged coastal location, with easy access to beaches and stunning natural parks, and an impressive concentration of tourist attractions, ranking up there with Madrid and Barcelona as a Spanish tourism hotspot.
A little introduction if we may: Valencia was founded as a Roman colony, and over the years, it has been ruled by several different empires, including a North African-Muslim caliphate, until Spain came into being.
This makes it a melting pot, with its many different influences evident in its urban layout.
It still follows Roman city planning, lying on a fertile ground where the Turia River and the Mediterranean meet, yet its architectural heritage is anything but harmonious, combining European and Moorish (North African) styles, and of course, modern developments.
What To See Around Valencia
A symbol of Valencia, the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences is popular among museumgoers, as it encompasses a planetarium, a science museum, an aquarium, an innovative opera house, and immersive art exhibits.
At the same time, the city boasts a vast collection of far older monuments, some of which have been added to UNESCO's ever-expanding list of World Heritage Sites, including Lonja de la Seda, a late-medieval secular building with a majestic Hall of Columns.
Walking around central Valencia, tourists will be stepping on centuries upon centuries of History, dating back as early as the Greco-Roman period up until modern times, and the unique combination of ancient, Baroque, and modernist monuments is sure to blow their minds.
Valencia is primarily a coastal resort destination, however, and there are plenty of luxurious beachfront hotels offering sweeping views of the turquoise Mediterranean and its sandy coast to choose from.
Valencia Is An Affordable Coastal Destination
The top-rated ones include Las Arenas Balneario Resort, which is significantly cheaper to stay during winter, with overnight rates starting from $184, the stately One Shot Palacio Reina Victoria, in the heart of Valencia, from $193 per night, and the SH Valencia Palace, with overnights as cheap as $141.
Additionally, consumer prices in Valencia are typically lower than in other Mediterranean hotspots, which is why the city has emerged as one of Europe's most prominent digital nomad and expat destinations.
Sunny days and vibrant culture aside, you can lead a comfortable life in Valencia, earning on average $3,040 per month, or the equivalent in euros.
Perhaps more surprisingly, Valencia is rapidly becoming a year-round destination, to the surprise of local authorities themselves, as it continued to register a higher number of arrivals, compared to most European sunny cities, as late as October.
Is Valencia Already A Year-Round Destination?
One could argue this is hardly a noteworthy feat, as Valencia is Mediterranean and, thus, it is poised for a better-than-average off-season due to its hotter climate, but tourism in nearly every single other ‘Med' competitor tails off the closer we inch to December.
The cobbled hills of Santorini feel more tranquil, the fortified Croatian port of Dubrovnik suddenly becomes walkable again, and Southern France returns to its crowd-free, Savoyard glory – in other words, they are (nearly) abandoned by tourists as weather conditions turn gloomier.
Though this spells great news for budget travelers, who typically prefer the shoulder months as prices drop, it is a double-edged sword, with many accommodation providers and restaurants only operating seasonally, thus reducing options and a lacking social scene.
Valencia, on the other hand – like much of Southern Spain – does not suffer from the seasonal draught as much, with 85% of hotels staying open this winter and over 1.036 million arrivals recorded in October alone.
This is proof foreign visitors are quickly realizing Valencia has a lot more to offer than just beaches:
The Med may not be exactly ideal for swimming in January, and evenings may be chilly, but with the temperate climate and long hours of sunshine, this is still a perfect winter sun getaway and, most importantly, a cultural behemoth of the highest order.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.