Spring in Valencia

12th - 17th February 2018

Image : Sorolla - Spanish Art in Valencia

Valencia has been absent from our programmes for far too long. Spain’s third city has enjoyed a complete urban and cultural re-fit over the last 30 years and is now one of the most exciting coastal cities in Europe. The centre-piece of this renewal is of course the City of Arts and Sciences where we spend much of one day culminating in a performance of ‘Peter Grimes’ in the spectacular setting of the opera house. Stall seats are included.

Valencia is a great historic city and our visits embrace the medieval city as well as the modern one. It is also the city of Joaquín Sorolla and Vicente Blasco Ibañez, author of ‘Blood and Sand’ and ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’. We shall explore Sorolla’s paintings in the Fine Arts Museum and travel out to the Albufera, which figures so prominently in Blasco Ibañez’s wonderful novels. There we shall lunch on Valencia´s national dish- the authentic paella.

DAYS 1 & 2 : Flying into Valencia Airport we travel the short distance to our home for five nights; the handsome Hotel Inglés, perfectly located opposite one of the city’s most splendid Baroque buildings and now the National Museum of Ceramics. The cuisine of Valencia is excellent and we shall dine in some of the best restaurants in the city including the Michelin-starred ‘El Poblet’.

We spend our first full day exploring the medieval city, in particular the spectacular Gothic Exchange building- a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and the cathedral, which the local faithful believe holds the Holy Grail. In the evening, we shall attend a performance of ‘Peter Grimes’- given in Valencia’s stunning opera house. It is a classic production by the great Willy Decker and the leading role is taken by the tenor superstar, Gregory Kunde.

DAYS 3 & 4 : We return to the City of Arts and Sciences, taking a specialised guided tour of the architecture of this epoch-making complex. Lunch will be followed by an hour or so in the world-class Aquarium and a film in the Hemsiferic – the ultimate Imax cinema.

Our time in Valencia is nothing if not varied! Day 4 will be devoted to the glorious surroundings of the Albufera- Valencia’s freshwater lagoon whose atmospheric and brooding landscapes were used so effectively by Vicente Blasco Ibañez. We take to the water for a very gentle excursion and then repair to a waterside restaurant where we taste various local specialities including stewed eel with paprika and a real paella.

DAY 5 : Valencia has a central role to play in the history of Spanish Art. Today we visit the handful of galleries where we can follow the story of Valencian art, from the major artists of the middle ages to the magnificent renaissance of the 19th century from which Joaquin Sorolla emerged as a major world-class artist. Sorolla is THE artist of Valencia and we shall focus on the excellent rooms devoted to him in the Fine Arts Museum.

Day 6 : We take our return flight to London.

Tour details

Tour dates : 12th – 17th February 2018

Number of days : 6

Price : £1840 (per person based on 2 sharing a twin or double room)

Single supplement : £185

Fully inclusive : Flights, transfers, accommodation and meals are all included.

Number in party : 14 – 18

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