VALENCIA has topped a survey of favourite coastal destinations in Europe among British tourists conducted by the UK Consumer Association’s Which? Magazine.
Benalmadena and Fuengirola were amongst the lowest-ranked Spanish areas.
Over 3,500 people were asked to rate their experiences of 44 coastal towns and cities across Europe, with Valencia getting a 91% rating.
Locations were marked on 12 criteria – the town’s beach; seafront or marina; food and drink; accommodation; tourist attractions; attractiveness; shopping; entertainment; peace and quiet; safety; friendliness; and value for money.
Valencia was praised for its beaches getting a five-star rating and it was the only Spanish location to also win a five-star rating for value for money.
The city also nabbed full marks for the quality of its tourist attractions, shopping, friendliness, and attractiveness, and scores no less than four stars in any of the remaining categories.
A Which? spokesperson said: “It may seem a less obvious choice than Barcelona (ninth, 84%) but, visitors to Valencia felt the benefit of its comparatively lower tourist numbers, with bustling but not overcrowded streets evidenced in its five-star rating for peace and quiet.”
‘It also offers a renowned gastronomic scene and an intriguing mix of historic and futuristic architecture, which one respondent praised as “amazing, even away from the city centre,” the statement continued.
Spanish locations fared really well in the study, accounting for eight out of the top 20 destinations.
Pollenca on Mallorca was fifth-overall with 86% with Barcelona ninth on 84%.
Other top Spanish spots were Nerja, Estepona, Malaga, Bilbao, and Cadiz.
Calpe was 21st and Alicante came in 28th place.
The second-lowest rated Spanish area(and second-bottom in the list) was Fuengirola with 66%- three percentage points worse than Benalmadena.