With summer upon us, the Valencian Community is gearing up with more events and openings. From captivating music festivals to a chiringuito blending fine dining with beachside bliss, here are some unmissable activities and events for your diary.
Try a gourmet chiringuito
Valencia’s chiringuito beach bars are open for the season, and this year a revamped option is making its mark. La Barraquita Beach Club & Restaurant is set at the very tip of the marina located at the southern end of the port, on the way to Pinedo Beach.
An unusual location for a chiringuito, it is famed for offering incredible sunset views and is looking to up its game thanks to a collaboration with chef Luis Valls, famed for his two-Michelin-star Valencian restaurant El Poblet.
Set among the yachts and sailing boats by the Real Club Nautico de Valencia, La Barraquita started out just serving drinks to sailing club members six years ago. As it has grown in popularity, it now wants to focus on quality food, serving Valencian almuerzo brunches from 9am, lunches and dinners on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Valls will bring his culinary expertise to elevate its menu with grilled fish, shellfish, tapas and, of course, rice dishes, all served under a thatched roof where rustic wooden decor and atmospheric lighting combine chiringuito style in an unusual location.
Listen to the blues
The resort town of Benicassim may draw beach-lovers to the Costa Azahar every summer, but plenty is happening before the season officially gets underway. The annual Benicassim Blues Festival, taking place from June 2-4, will animate the streets of the coastal retreat for a whole weekend of live music, workshops, masterclasses, and children’s activities – meaning there’s something for all the family.
Make your way to the vermouth and blues masterclass, or combine the soulful sounds of the Spanish and international blues scene with an al fresco paella. Music will play in open-air venues across the town and the whole festival is free to attend.
Artists will include soul, hip-hop and funk band The Main Squeeze, jump-blues and rockabilly band Micky & The Buzz and award-winning blues artist Alice Armstrong.
Stay at Castellón’s newest hotel
The famous beachside Hotel Del Golf Playa in Castellon has been given a fresh lease of life under new management from the hotel chain RH. The transformed hotel, which once welcomed Hollywood stars Charlton Heston and Sofia Loren in its heyday, will reopen its doors to guests on June 2 under its new name, RH Silene Hotel & Spa.
The four-star hotel is just a few metres from Playa del Pinar, opposite the Costa de Azahar golf course, and close to the fishermen’s quarter of Castellon.
Set around a central patio, the hotel has been designed with light, neutral interiors, a new minimalist facade with wood accents and pretty terraces dotted with palms. It will offer a state-of-the-art spa, 127 comfortable and modern rooms, two outdoor swimming pools, and restaurant.
Take in Europe’s best museum
Valencia has already been voted the best city to live for expats according to users of expat community site Internations. Now it is also home to Europe’s best museum.
With its commitment to driving positive change in the region, Valencia’s Museum of Ethnology, L’ETNO (L’ETNO, Museu Valencià d’Etnologia), was recently awarded the prestigious Europe Museum of the Year title by the European Museum Forum (EMF).
The award comes from the museum’s permanent exhibition It is not easy being Valencian, which studies the idea of identity and captures Valencian popular culture, past, and present.
Visit and take a sneak peek into life in Valencia and what it means to be Valencian. You’ll find L’ETNO in the neighbourhood of El Carmen on Calle Corona, 36. It’s open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am until 8pm and general admission is two euros, or free on weekends and bank holidays.
DON’T MISS: Valencia’s best tapa. Family restaurant Casa Toni, in Paterna, won the city’s Mejor Tapa d’Aci competition for its modern take on the traditional L’esmorzaret sandwich.
DATE FOR THE DIARY: The new immersive Sorolla exhibition launches at the La Base building in the marina on June 15, using projections and virtual reality to showcase the artist’s paintings.
TOP TIP/DID YOU KNOW: Oceanografic is Europe’s largest aquarium and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
Travel editor Sarah Gordon relocated to Valencia city from London, where she was the online Travel Editor for the Daily Mail and Commercial Travel Editor for the Telegraph. She is now the Editor at Valencia Style, a travel guide to Valencia, which describes unique experiences in the Valencian Community.