Four fun activities for enjoying Valencia with friends
Valencia’s pleasant climate and its location on the shores of the Mediterranean make it the perfect city for outdoor activities, offering sport, nature and culture in an unbeatable setting. If you and your friends are looking for group activities to get to know the city whilst having fun, you’ll find four different ideas below. We’ll look at everything from the Valencian tradition of tardeo—relaxed drinking sessions at sundown—to canyoning, then cover the music concerts in the city centre, finishing up with bike rides to discover the natural areas surrounding the city. You’ll find everything you need to know to enjoy all of these activities below.
Canyoning near Bunyol
You can do all kinds of things in Valencia itself, but if you want to go canyoning then it’s best to expand your horizons a little and look to the areas surrounding the city. Yes, you heard that right. Canyoning. That’s working your way down a canyon or gorge following the course of a river, using both swimming and climbing techniques. The province of Valencia, thanks to its plethora of river gorges, is perfect for this sport, a firm favourite of daredevils.
We suggest taking the C3 line from the Estación del Norte train station and getting off in the town of Bunyol, which is just an hour and a half away from Valencia. Bunyol is a small village inland in the province of Valencia. You might have heard of it thanks to its most famous fiesta, La Tomatina. But it’s got more to offer than that. Bunyol is a beautiful place for discovering history and architecture, thanks to its town centre and castle of Moorish origin.
Canyoning can be found in the nearby Barranco de Carcalín. As well as largely dry pools, the terrain here hides a cave and an underground river. However, due to the presence of bats, this cave is protected, and access is limited from March to October. You can access it freely during the rest of the year. But you’re guaranteed abseiling, caving and swimming as part of this adventure. How can you organise this activity? You can contact either Máxima Aventura or Canyoning Valencia, Valencia-based companies, who will organise both your transport to Bunyol and your guide and equipment for the descent.
Join the tardeo crowds in Valencia
For a while now, many Valencia residents have been embracing the trend for drinking during the afternoon, known as tardeo. It’s like having a night out in a pub or club, but just earlier. And the Valencian capital is, thanks to its benign climate and beach vibe, the perfect setting for this trend for bringing the night forwards, which allows the people that embrace it to go to bed nice and early without having missed out on the fun.
One of the spots that have really got into the spirit of tardeo, despite being a nightclub, is the Marina Beach Club, a complex of buildings located at the Platja de la Malva-rosa beach, which has both a restaurant and a club with its own swimming pool. Sip the first gin and tonic of the afternoon enjoying the relaxed atmosphere, whilst the sun goes down and the DJ gets revved up.
The Delorean Lounge, this time in the inner-city neighbourhood of Russafa, pays tribute to the eighties look. It draws crowds of young people every afternoon thanks to all the events it puts on, from after work drinks during the week to “minitardeos” on Friday and Saturday, always with discounts on food. This place’s terrace is the perfect spot for planning the night ahead.
Free concerts in the Mercat Colón
Located in the district of Eixample, the Mercat Colón is always a great place to visit thanks to its interesting stalls selling fresh produce and the wide variety of restaurants and bars that you’ll find here. But, if you happen to be in Valencia on a Sunday morning, you should know that, in the square where you’ll find the entrance to the market—on Carrer de Jorge Juan—there’s a free concert every Sunday from 12:00 PM, with different local bands playing. As it’s a different band every week, it’s best to take a look at the market’s schedule.
This is a great way of getting the day started, ideal if rather than hitting the tardeo you went out the night before and need to recharge your batteries with the help of tapas and vermouth. All that whilst enjoying the Modernist architecture of the building that houses the market.
Valencia by bike: Enjoy the Jardí del Túria Gardens, going as far as l´Albufera
If you’ve been to a concert in the morning, why not spend the afternoon and evening on two wheels? It’s best to wait until after 5:00 PM, which is when, on summer days, the temperatures become slightly more forgiving. Valencia is the perfect city for doing sports on two wheels as it’s wonderfully flat and relatively small, considering the size of its population. That might be why in recent years the City Hall have been building a bike lane that allows you to access all of the city’s neighbourhoods without worrying about traffic.
An interesting route to take is the one that follows the old course of the River Túria, which has been converted into urban gardens, perfect for exercising. It’s 11 kilometres long and winds through the centre of the city. It starts at the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències [City of Arts and Sciences] and reaches as far as the Parc de Capçalera, both important tourist hubs in Valencia.
But if you’re up for a challenge then you can take a longer but relatively easy ride out to the L’Albufera de València, a natural park just twenty kilometres from the city centre. This also starts at the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, and as you cycle along the path you’ll be able to enjoy views of some of the region’s most typical landscapes, from extensive rice fields to beaches. As you leave the city behind on the cycle path, you’ll find yourself in small villages within the Albufera like Pinedo or El Saler, both of which have their own beaches and are the perfect opportunity for you to rest and recharge. Paths take you off the main cycle track in both of these villages and turning off down them allows you to completely immerse yourself in this natural habitat brimming with ducks and gulls fluttering happily amid the reeds.
Note: If you’d rather be in the hands of the professionals, the company Visit Albufera offers group bike tours of this natural area.