Valencia, Spain’s third-largest city, has an enviable location on the Mediterranean coast. The city is home to one of the busiest ports in Europe, connecting it with the Balearic Islands and further afield, as well as a large marina. There are plenty of boat trips to choose from, whether you’re looking for a day trip or a connection to the islands. Here’s our pick of the best.
From Valencia, it’s easy to hop over to the infamous party island of Ibiza for a couple of nights to enjoy its famous sun, sea and nightlife. There are two ferry companies, Balearia and Trasmediterranea, operating on the Valencia–Ibiza route, with a total of up to 12 crossings per week in high season. The trip takes between five and seven hours, depending on which ferry you take.
There are also ferries to another famously beautiful holiday destination, the Balearic island of Mallorca, where you can enjoy the nightlife, relax on the stunning beaches or explore the history-packed city streets and medieval walls of Palma de Mallorca. While you can fly between Valencia and Palma de Mallorca airports, many people opt for a cabin on an overnight ferry crossing ,which takes between seven and eight hours. On your return from Mallorca, you have the option of taking a ferry to other mainland Spanish destinations such as Barcelona or Dénia.
It’s a long trip, but from Valencia’s port you can also catch a ferry to the furthermost Balearic island, Menorca, a gorgeous little island with beaches straight out of paradise. The crossing, which is available once a week with Trasmediterranea ferries, takes up to 15 hours and lands at the main port and capital city of Mahon, on the far side of the island. From here, you could choose to take a ferry to Barcelona, or continue east across the Mediterranean to one of several Italian destinations, including Sardinia.
One way to get a different perspective of Valencia is on a catamaran tour. There are several companies based at the city’s Marina Real Juan Carlos I, with boats travelling just a short distance out to sea for the day or afternoon. You’ll see the seven kilometres (four miles) of golden sandy beaches backed by mountains, and discover hidden coves, perfect for snorkelling and sunbathing, that would never be found by car or on foot.
Valencia is famous for its sunsets, and what better way to enjoy them than from out at sea? One of the most romantic things you can do here is hire a sailboat (with captain) from the main marina, Marina Real Juan Carlos I, to take in the shoreline from out on the Med as the sun goes down in a fiery blaze. If your budget doesn’t stretch to private hire, there are several companies advertising shared trips at sunset, which also leave from the marina.
One of the most popular things for holidaymakers and Valencian 20-somethings to do at the height of summer is to join a boat party complete with all the food and drink you could want, with plenty of stops for diving, snorkelling and swimming. Visit the marina to compare prices and packages available from the various party boat organisers.
If you fancy a short and sweet boat trip on more serene waters, another option is to visit the famous Albufera lake just ten kilometres (six miles) south of Valencia, easily reached by bus or bike. There are plenty of traditional flat-bottomed fishing boats for hire ready to take you out into the middle of the still waters just before sunset, to enjoy the stunning effect of the light on its mirror-like surface.