Valencia is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city on the Mediterranean coast. Once the capital of its own kingdom, it is now a regional capital and Spain’s third largest city. Surrounded by orange orchards and sandy beaches, the city enjoys year-round sunshine and has become a popular conference centre. The city was founded by the Romans, taken by the Visigoths, and prospered under the Moors. Each civilisation has left its mark and the historic centre includes a 13th century cathedral (La Seo) with paintings by Goya, and a splendid gothic 15th century silk exchange (La Lonja). However, the city is looking to the future and is now home to one of Europe’s most exciting urban development projects. Some $200m has been invested in building an immense and futuristic Arts and Science Centre ( Ciutat de les Arts I les Ciencies ) near the port area. Valencia’s mild climate is another reason to come for a stay. Its warm atmosphere is always inviting and hospitable. Ready to be enjoyed. Valencia means commerce and culture, cinema, theatre, museums, music and business. It is a centre for industrial design and avant-garde movements. During your stay in Valencia, you will also be able to enjoy the peace and quiet of several exceptional natural sites. Between the sea and the rice paddies, closed in by two river mouths, the Albufera Natural Park is a paradise for migratory birds and a recreation area for the city. Along the coast next to the Albufera are broad sandy beaches. There are pleasant recreation areas where people come to enjoy the sun and the sea. No visit to Valencia would be complete without a taste of its ample mediterranean cuisine based on a fertile ‘huerta’ or market garden, and fresh fish and shellfish. The queen of local products is rice, served in an infinity of manners as the internationally acclaimed Valencian paella.