See our favorite day trips from Valencia (and our rankings of them), then extend your sights for more inspiration for how to get off the beaten path in Spain. Back in the city, see our first-time Valencia visitor's city guide, honest answer to, "Is Valencia worth visiting?", and favorite restaurants.
Valen… See Ya!
As much as we enjoyed living in Valencia, we could only handle so much heat, humanity, and random midday fireworks before needing a break. We also wanted to explore as much of Spain as we could.
So we went on day trips from Valencia at least a couple times a month. We tasted wine, walked in the wilderness, did bike rides, relaxed on beaches, cooled off in mountains, and meandered through medieval towns.
And of all of our getaways, the following Valencia day trips were our favorites.
P.S. At the bottom of the post are tips on finding cheap car rentals, navigating Valencia's train stations, and a reliable, cheap bike rental shop.
Our Favorite Valencia Day Trips
We've ranked our favorite Valencia day trips from good (#7) to great (#1) to help you prioritize.
Wine and… More Wine
Requena's best to visit at the end of August for the Fiesta de Vendimia, the annual harvest festival. The town celebrates with parades, special markets, and, most importantly, wine.
Dozens of local wineries fill into the convention center to fill your cup with local grapes like Bobal and Murviedo. And let's just say we had more than our fill (especially me) during our visit.
If you can't do a day trip from Valencia to Requena in August, you'll have to visit the individual bodegas for tastings instead. Book in advance and expect to pay €15 minimum for a tour followed by a tasting.
Aside from wine, Requena's small, walled old town is worth a one-hour wander. Get a self-guided walking tour from the tourist information office. But if you're looking for pretty old towns, we recommend other Valencia day trips on our list instead.
- Recommended bodega: The owner of Terra a Vins wine bar in Valencia told us to visit Alberto Pedron's Bodegas Sentencia for some of the Utiel-Requena region's best wines.
- Another wine-tasting day trip from Valencia: As an alternative to Requena, consider going south from Valencia to the wine region around Moixent and Fontanars dels Alforins. We've been told to visit Celler del Roure.
Regular regional trains (1h50min, ~€6) and buses (1h10min,~€5-5.50) go between Valencia and Requena.
To visit the bodegas you'll have to drive or go on a group tour because few are within walking distance of town.
A Castle, an Old Town, and a Bike Ride
Sagunto's only a half-day trip from Valencia…
It only takes half-a-day to hop on the 40-minute train north to Sagunto, walk the half-hour or so through town up to the crumbling castle (free entry), take some photos from up top, walk back down with a detour through the old Jewish quarter, grab a snack, then return to Valencia.
…But you can make it a full-day trip by biking back!
Put your bikes on the train (it's allowed) and ride the roughly 29km (18mi) back to Valencia after touring Sagunto.
The whole bike path from Requena to Valencia is flat, peaceful, and paved. It takes you through orange groves, chufa fields, and a couple small towns.
Along the way, reward yourself with a high-quality, friendly, and farm-fresh meal at Ca' Pepico. They don't mind if you're a bit sweaty (or dripping wet, as we were on the 40°C / 100°F day we went).
- Be prepared if you bike. Roughly plot out the bike route back on your Google Maps beforehand to not get miserably lost on highway-sides like Kim and I did. The paths to look for are: Camino de Lliria -> vía Augusta -> Vía Xurra. See our Google Maps tips for how to use the app offline and save locations.
- Don't bike uphill. Ride from Sagunto station to the tourist information office, lock your bike there and get some maps, then walk up the steep hill to the castle and back.
40-minute train on cercanía line C6. €4.20 each way.
Flamingos, Rice, and A Sunset Boat Ride
Stretch your legs and get a tan by getting off at Parque Natural de la Albufera, checking out the flamingos at Estany de Pujol, then going over the dunes to relax on Playa Lago Saler.
Then stretch your stomach by heading to El Palmar for some all i pebre (eel stew) followed by paella (order in advance to not be disappointed).
And, since you're there, join a €4, 40-minute guided (in English and Spanish) boat trip through the reeds and past the traditional barranca thatched houses of Spain's (unbelievably) largest lake. It's best done at sunset. Otherwise, don't expect much from the tour and feel free to skip it.
About 50 minutes on bus #25 from Valencia. Most buses have tap payment terminals (€1.28). Otherwise, pay €1.50 in cash (exact change only).
Check the return bus schedule in advance to avoid long waits.
Fortified Seaside Town and Nearby Nature Reserve
Peñiscola's baby-blue-trimmed white walls and turquoise waters are Mykonos-esque. The walled town on a peninsula
Too bad the level of tourism is Mykonos-esque, too. Some famous French guidebook or magazine must have featured prominently because it's particularly busy with them.
Despite the overabundance of multi-lingual sandwich boards advertising high-priced, low-quality food and made-in-China souvenir shops, on the outer walls, Peñiscola's inner streets are quiet and quite beautiful.
- Picnic pick: Rather than picking your poison from Peñiscola's high-priced, low-quality sandwich board menus, pack a picnic (there are many supermarkets nearby) and take it to Serra D'Irta Park. From there you can admire Peniscola from afar, minus the crowds.
- Parking: Park at Parking Voramar Empark. It's a bit expensive, but much preferred to getting greedy, taking the wrong turn getting stuck driving through Peñiscol's pedestrian streets like we did.
Peñiscola's train station is inconveniently 15km north of town in Benicarló, so your best bet is to drive (2 hours).
3. Port Saplaya and Alboraya
Chufa, Tapas, Little Venice, and Beach Cruising
This day trip is one of our top-recommended things to do in our off-the-beaten-path Valencia city guide.
Start biking through Albufera' chufa fields, where you can fuel up on a fresh (and sugar-free, if you prefer) horchata from our favorite, Horchateria Vida.
Next up, join the crowds at Bar Tendes for some traditional tapas.
Then go to Port Saplaya. Some call it "Little Venice," but it's more like a "Bigger Las Vegas Venetian," so don't get too excited. Peddle around the marina, grab a snack if you wish, and move on.
Finish your day trip by returning down the coast, past Playa Patacona and Playa Malvarosa, then up the Turia Park and back to Valencia's city center.
- Bike it. Do this day trip from Valencia by bike because the journey through the fields and along the beaches is a highlight in itself. Jumping from one spot to the next by car would underwhelm.
The whole loop is only 25km / 16mi and completely flat.
2. The Maestrazgo
Hilly Chill Pueblo-Hopping
The Maestrazgo is the anti-Valencia: a hilly, chilly, and old antidote to Valencia's flat, hot, and relatively modern metropolis.
Morella is the largest and best-known town, but don't just drive there and back. The Maestrazgos real appeal is the collection of medieval towns like Puertomingalvo, Mirambel, Cantavieja, and Ares del Maestrat. Each has its own charms, so spend the day hopping from one to the next.
All the towns are within a 2 to 2.5-hour drive from Valencia and roughly 20 minutes from each other.
- Hot springs: Consider stopping at the Montanejos Hot Springs along the way.
- Double dip: Extend your day trip from Valencia to a multi-day getaway by spending the night in Morella and looping back past Peñíscola the next day.
Our Favorite Valencia Day Trip
Albarraccín is the day trip from Valencia we wish we could have spent more than a day on.
We'd love to have had more time to hike the surrounding hills, eat its famous sausage and cheese, and wander the streets during the twilight hours when the buildings are their deepest pink and the narrow passages are empty of tour bus crowds, leaving the streets feeling like they must have centuries ago.
- Teruel: If you have the time, stop by Teruel for a quick visit of its Mujédar monuments, which reflect the blend of Christian and Muslim culture and architectural techniques.
Just over a 2-hour drive from Valencia.
Bonus Suggestions: Day Hikes
Valencia Day Trip Tips
Cheap Car Rental
Car rentals are ridiculously cheap—as low as €1/day!—if you book in advance.
Be sure to get the full-to-full policy and unlimited kilometers and ensure your credit card offers decent insurance to avoid nasty surprises.
Following a tip from Valencia Expats Facebook group, we discovered that Skyscanner, which we thought only had flights, offered the best rates.
Non-EU Drivers Beware
Spain requires non-EU drivers-license holders to have International Drivers Permits.
Valencia's Multiple Train Stations
The local cercanía trains, which are the ones you take for day trips to Sagunto and Requena, depart from Valencia's Estación del Norte. If you're staying in Cabanyal, they go through that station, too.
Check the schedule and rates here. And note that cercanía tickets are only valid on the day you buy them!
Inter-city Renfe trains leave from Joaquin Sorolla station, which is about a kilometer south of Estación del Norte.
Best Bike Rental
We rented from Rent Bike Virgen every time we needed bikes for our day trips and had nothing but excellent experiences with them.