While the run of bank holidays may be over, things aren’t slowing down in Valencia and as summer begins there are plenty of ways to enjoy the Turia city and the whole Valencian Community. From live music beside the waters of the City of Arts and Sciences to trail running events, here are some top picks for your diary, writes Sarah Gordon
Catch an al fresco concert in Valencia
Balmy evenings in the Turia Gardens are back and once again you can be serenaded by the students of Berklee College of Music’s international campus in Valencia. The line-up is packed with soulful tunes, flamenco classics, folk music and Latin jazz. A collaboration between the music school and the City of Arts and Sciences will see a selection of talented students from 51 countries bring their skills to the open air on select dates in May and July.
Situated on the crystalline waters of Calatrava’s Science Museum, these free open-air concerts offer the perfect way to spend an evening in the city and the chance to support these young musicians too. While admission is free, you’ll need to book your ticket in advance on the Berklee Valencia website.
The late May dates include May 19 and 26, with further performances held on July 21, 26,27, and 28, courtesy of the Summer Performance Programme.
Hit the trails in Morell
Known as one of the prettiest villages in Spain, Morella also makes a great backdrop for a sporting challenge. Coming up on May 27, the Trails Denes Morella trail is an annual race that is growing every year. Centred around the ancient walled city of Morella, in northern Castellón, three adrenaline-pumping routes of 14km, 25km and 45km will take you through the rugged natural surrounds of this hilltop town.
Spectators can combine thrilling views of the race with strolls around the cobblestoned town, visits to the romantic castle and refreshments in the sun-soaked squares. The village is also surrounded by charming hiking routes and a canopy walk that the whole family will love.
And if you fancy taking on the challenge yourself, you can still register as a runner until May 21. There’s even a children’s race, open to those aged from two to 11 years old, with flexible distances for every age.
Experience Aras en Flor
Situated 60 miles northeast of the capital, the charming terracotta-roofed village of Aras de los Olmos puts on a grand spectacle every spring, with a flower festival that makes the drive more than worth it. From May 20, the entire village will be overflowing with vibrant flower displays, with 17 gorgeous spaces celebrating the best of local flora and human creativity.
A visit to these ephemeral gardens is free, with many of the displays facing the quaint streets, allowing locals and tourists to stroll through the open-air gallery from May through July. The prizes for gardens will be awarded in the Ethnobotanical Gardens on June 3, and the prizes for vibrant facades follow on July 1.
Discover the perfect bite
The Tapas d’Aci competition is drawing to a close, but you still have a chance to savour the exquisite entries until May 14. A community-wide event with local chefs competing to create the best tapa dish from local Valencian ingredients, the competition has certainly added a dynamic edge to bars and restaurants across the region.
A collaboration between the local tourist board and the Confederación de Empresarios de Hostelería de la Comunidad Valenciana (Conhostur), this competition promotes the unique tapas traditions of Valencia through the use of local flavours, influences and the freshest seasonal produce. It’s certainly not one to be missed!
Don’t miss: The magic of flamenco arrives in Valencia’s own Radio City, with live shows in the El Carmen hot spot every Tuesday in May.
Date for the diary: Missing Las Fallas already? Pirotecnia Vulcano brings the wonder back with a mega mascleta in Benicalap on June 17.
Did you know: There are 56 restaurants in the Valencian Community featured in the latest Michelin Guide. Which have you tried?
Travel editor Sarah Gordon relocated to Valencia city from London, where she was the online Travel Editor for the Mail and Commercial Travel Editor for the Telegraph. She is now Editor at Valencia Style, a travel guide to Valencia a travel resource for the best experiences in the Valencian Community