Spotlight on Valencia as an incentive travel destination
Aimee Law
Travel & Events

Spotlight on Valencia as an incentive travel destination

16th June 2016

With heavyweights such as Barcelona, Madrid and Ibiza taking centre stage in the Spanish incentives market, it's easy to overlook Valencia, on the beautiful Orange Blossom Coast, as a group incentive travel destination. However, this incredible city is well worth considering, particularly if you can time your visit with their yearly festival - Las Fallas. This event is a celebration of the Spring Equinox, lasting for almost three weeks and beginning at the start of March. I visited Valencia on a research trip during the second week of the festival when celebrations were in full swing. The city was alive with a parade of 65ft statues, fire crackers were being let off everywhere and spirits were high in everyone I met.
 
After a busy weekend of research, great food and delectable local wines, I would highly recommend Valencia and Las Fallas for any group looking for something different for a trip in March.

 

Valencia incentive trip

 

Valencia, Spain

 

 

Where to stay

I stayed on the coastal side of Valencia in the De Eugenia Vines area. Just a 20 minute drive from the centre, this side of the city offers clear sea views, long sandy beaches and lots of seafront restaurants and bars to enjoy. Staying in the city centre however, will offer a more lively experience. You'll be immersed in the impressive architecture around every street corner and will be spoilt for choice for dining options, with authentic restaurants and bars tucked into almost every side street. There's also the added bonus that the Las Fallas celebrations will be happening right on your doorstep.
 
Like any big city, hotels come in all shapes, sizes and styles. Your best choice for luxury at an affordable price, along with some of the best meeting spaces, is the 5* Hotel Balneario Las Arenas. Situated 20 minutes outside of the city centre and overlooking the Balearic Sea, the hotel is modelled on a Greek Temple and became the meeting point of aristocracy at the end of the 19th century.

 

Valencia incentive trip

 

Valencia incentive trip

 

Valencia incentive trip

 

 

What to do

Las Fallas! Watch the city come to life with the sound of firecrackers down usually quiet side alleys, comical statues filling pockets of open space all over the city and traditional dancing in the streets. The festival is a metaphorical cleansing of all things bad from the previous year; intricate statues represent those moments in a satirical but cartoon like interpretation. One thing you can say once you have seen some of those statues - Valencians sure do have a wicked sense of humour! At the end of the three week celebration the statues are judged, with a prize being awarded to the winner. The statues are then burnt in a glorious manner reminiscent of Burning Man and the city rejoices in a fresh start for everyone.
 
If you need a break from the celebrations, don't miss the breath-taking architecture along the port and in the older parts of town. Valencia is a city of contrasts; here you can take in the sheer size of the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences complex or admire the historic 750 year old cathedral at the Plaza De La Virgin. The best way to explore Valencia is by bike. Take a guided tour through the city's own Central Park, formerly an old river bed, now a hub of smooth cycle lanes, water features and rogue roller skaters. A guided tour also ensures you don't miss the fascinating history behind almost every building and bridge you pass.
 
If you fancy feeling the wind in your hair, head to the Ricardo Tormo Circuit for an afternoon of 4x4 off-roading, go-karting and extreme safety driving, followed by a tour of the F1 test track. This activity would be every competitive guy's dream, especially once they know a trophy is up for grabs for the top three go-kart drivers. There was no trophy for me unfortunately!

 

Paella, Valencia

 

Valencia incentive trip

 

 

 

Dining out

Like most coastal parts of Spain, the food in Valencia is bountiful in seafood options and incredible paella. L'Estibador offers both of these delicacies on the beach. If the moreish paella and fresh breaded calamari doesn't make you unbutton your trousers, their dessert platter certainly will. Ma Khin Café, located in the city centre, is the perfect way to end your trip. Here Burmese and pan Asian influences combine with Mediterranean flavours. Dishes are beautifully created by two of the top cooking trailblazers on the Valencian gastronomic scene; each course here was faultless and tasted as good as it looked.

 

Nightlife

At weekends, Valencia is a city that doesn't sleep. Most don't head out to the trendy part of Carmen until midnight where the party goes through the night until 6am. If you're looking for something a little less audacious you are spoilt for choice, with rooftop bars offering spectacular views of the restless city streets below and a host of late night cocktail bars in the historical squares.

 

Valencia incentive trip
 

 

Key facts

Valencia is one hour ahead of GMT. There is a steady pace of flights from the UK every day with flight times under 2 hours 30 minutes, giving you enough time to brush up on your Spanish greetings and making it perfect for incentive trips of two to four nights. With 320 days of sun, Valencia is suitable for travel all year round, but we would recommend timing your trip to coincide with Las Fallas for a more unusual experience.

 

 

Active are experts in arranging incentive travel. For more information on Valencia, or to get a quote for your next group incentive trip, please contact us.

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