We decided on a final visit to the coast before heading for home, choosing a site near Valencia (Camping Valencia) in a small town called Pucol.
Even though first impressions of our chosen site were, shall we say, less than favourable, we managed to move to the nicer part of the site on the 2nd day and ended up extending our stay to a whole week 🙂
We did spend a fair bit of time simply relaxing here, but we also visited the nearby town of Pucol on our bikes – there are many opportunities for cycling, with a really good cycle/running path into town. We also cycled the other way along many green lanes/farm tracks – of which there are many 🙂
Days out were 1 day driving to Valencia, failing miserably to find a parking space so parking on the outskirts and riding back in! More on that later 🙂
We also drove in the opposite direction to visit the ancient town of Sagunto, which is well worth a visit.
So let’s start with our visit to Valencia. Having parked on the outskirts (I’m sorry I can’t tell you where exactly (it might have been Benimaclet), but it was adjacent to the cycle path and we parked for nothing). I do know that we headed past the university and into the city before finding our destination of The Turia Gardens. We had heard that this was a wonderful way to cycle the city situated as it is through it’s heart where the Turia River flowed until it was diverted to prevent further flooding.
With numerous exits and entrances to this 8km long area we joined a little way before the futuristic Museum of Arts and Sciences, an amazing building bordered by numerous wasterways and fountains. A beautiful, tranquil area to relax.
We simply cycled along the paths of the gardens, eventually stopping for some lunch near the old city – I think it was the Bar Baja la Puente Calatrava (no. 7 on this list of Turia Garden eateries from JuliaEats). I do know that we enjoyed our lunch and that there was plenty of parking available for our bikes 🙂 I also know that whilst we were sat there there was a long series of VERY loud bangs, which startled us but seemingly nobody else! We later discovered that this is a daily occurrence in the weeks leading up to The Fallas Festival – The Mascleta; read all about it here.
We left the gardens at the Puente de Flores, bordered as it is on both sides with beautiful floral displays 🙂
We came out by the old gateway to the city (that we saw on our last visit), had a little cycle around the fountains before returning to the gardens and heading towards the car. Which we eventually found – even though we took a completely different route!!
Our other day out was to Sagunto, a small town with a big history. There was a market on the day we visited so we couldn’t drive directly into the old town; after a detour of about 2 miles (well it felt like it anyway) we found ourselves about 100m up the road and on the other side of the old town – these were very narrow streets! Even in the little car it felt tiny. We had to be really careful as many of the streets turned out to be dead-ends and it was pretty awkward reversing back down the steep hills whilst navigating the amazing Spanish parking!! We finally spotted a space by the side of the road. Leaving the car we headed up one of the steep roads towards the hill holding the massive castle.
I say massive – this castle is visible from miles away (including from the campsite), and during our visit we discovered it actually ranges across the top of the hill for about 1/2 mile.
We followed stone steps and pathways up, up and then down, down the hill. Which was a little disconcerting! We passed a small white chapel on the way before coming across the Roman Ampitheatre, free to visit and definitely worth a visit.
Around the hilloutside the ampitheatre was the old cemetry (Judio Cemeterio) consisting of graves dug into the hill itself. We walked passed many more as we made our way up the steep hill towards the castle itself. Also free to visit we maybe managed to see half of what there was to see! There are extensive ruins to be seen, although it is a work in process of renovation. I would suggest taking a picnic and spending the day exploring 🙂
I need to point out that the beach at Pucol was lovely, but unfortunately we didn’t really have the weather to take advantage of it 😦
All in all we had a lovely time here and there were a couple more excursions that we could have taken, but we just wanted to relax by then!
Here’s hoping I manage to finish off posting about our last trip before we head off on our next one (in a couple of month’s time!!)
We stayed: Camping Valencia, Pucol
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