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Teach English in Valencia – the city, culture, food and beaches
If you think that you would like to teach English in Valencia, read this article. I am recently back from Valencia in Spain. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by what I found there.
I drove to Valencia from Madrid and stayed at a budget hotel located next to the largest mall and factory outlet, Bonaire, in the entire state of Valencia. I have to say that the hotel where I stayed is not a great place if you do not have a car. The hotel itself was affordable, clean and very well maintained. It had a small bar, cafeteria, free WIFI and 24-hour room service so at 33 Euros a night I could not complain.
The city of Valencia
Valencia itself is a mixture of old and new. The old part of the city is stunning. Many of the old buildings have highly ornate carvings and sculptures. Valencia is home to the famous “Fallas” that is held in the city in the spring. If you are in Valencia in August, take a short trip of 30KM (18 miles) to Buñol, the home of the world’s biggest tomato fight, “La Tomatina”.
I was amazed at the detail of these carvings and patience of the stonemasons who created these things of beauty.
A walk around the old town revealed wide avenues lined with palm trees, small plazas with lively cafés and restaurants.
I stopped off in one and had a paella Valenciana (well you have to really). I never had one before and always thought that the Valencian paella was mainly chicken and seafood. To my surprise, it was rice, chicken, broad beans and liver. Sounds like an odd mix but tasted good.
Close by was a family-run ice-cream shop. As a confessed ice-cream addict, I had to try my favourite, pistachio. Not only did it have real pistachio chunks, but it also had candied fruit (orange, lemon and ginger) in it. Never in my life have I tasted such good ice-cream.
After a day exploring old Valencia, it was time to explore further afield.
I drove down to Oliva, about 90 KM south of Valencia on the coast. It is about a one-hour drive on a 2 and 3 lane motorway until you hit the Oliva exit. After you exit you drive through the town of Oliva and head for the beach.
I headed out to the beach near the Oliva Nova resort. The beach did not disappoint. It is several miles of long, clean sandy beach. When I went, it was not crowded and had a charming chiringuito (beach bar). The water was warm and clean. I spent around an hour swimming and paddling around. What a great day! I also like golf, so I played at the Oliva Nova Resort golf course. The course is next to the beach. It is a beautiful course, and the 19th hole was no disappointment either. There is an all you can eat buffet in the clubhouse restaurant for 18 Euros. The food was excellent. The price included drinks.
La paella Valenciana
As mentioned before, Valencia Spain = paella, so I tried a couple more places. One was in a seaside town called Canet d’en Berenguer. A pretty place with a long boardwalk and an excellent beachfront restaurant called El Galeon. Aside from the paella de mariscos (seafood paella) they also had a local dish called clochinas. Clochinas are like mussels but smaller and more tender. They are unique to Valencia and served steamed in a lemon and garlic sauce. If you are ever in Valencia, order them because they are tasty.
The final port of call on the ongoing paella tasting tour brought me to El Timonel in downtown Valencia. I went there twice so you know I liked the food. The paella in this place was the best of all.
To keep the fat from building up, I played golf again in El Bosque golf about 20 KM west of Valencia.
Meeting up with an EBC graduate near Alicante
After Valencia, I went down to see an old EBC graduate, Carol Jefferies, who lives with her husband in Almoradi, Alicante. Carol graduated a couple of years ago and is now teaching locally, in Elche and via Skype to students in Russia. I spent a very lively and fun evening with Carol and her husband. The following day we went for a trip to the beach (what else!) and then, as I sometimes get homesick, we went for fish and chips in Ciudad Quesada. An English family run the place. The food and service are excellent. For 6.95 Euros you get a big plate of fish, chips and mushy (or regular) peas.
After returning from Almoradi came the obligatory shopping trip to the mega-mall and factory outlet next to the hotel. The prices were low. I managed to pick up a couple of Pierre Cardin shirts (shows his age :-)) for just under 19 Euros each.
After ten days of sun, culture, food, beach, golf, fish and chips and refitting my wardrobe, it was time to head home. Three hours later I was back in Madrid. The amazing thing was that despite all the eating, golfing, travelling, shopping, etc. my 10-day holiday cost just a bit over 600 Euros, hotel included.
Teaching jobs in Valencia
Valencia is a great place to visit, and I suppose I should mention that they also need English teachers. Valencia is a super location for teaching English in Spain.
If you like the look of Valencia Spain, take your TEFL course with us in Madrid and then we will help you get a job in Valencia.
If you are not from the European Union, do not worry, you can get a one-year Spanish student visa.