Recently, Not In The Guidebooks’ Carol and Debbie headed to Valencia on a business trip, both keen to experience the best that the city had to offer in a short space of time.
While Debbie met our hosts and enjoyed some of the local experiences that we offer, Carol explored alone, and the difference in the respective times they had was clear.
Debbie packed in some of the very best of Valencia, and left having felt she’d seen everything the city had to offer and inspired to take her family back, whereas Carol felt underwhelmed and unlikely to have Valencia as her top holiday destination any time soon.
Valencia without Not In The Guidebooks
Carol is far from an inexperienced traveller. Even so, when trying to find a good travel experience in the short space of time she had outside of work, it was a hassle.
In theory, Carol did all the right things: asked for recommendations at the hotel, booked to visit Valencia’s most popular market, and as Valencia is a coastal city, made time to visit the beach.
The problem is, without local knowledge, how are you supposed to know that the beach at Valencia is not a major attraction, or even that close to the city centre? Underwhelmed by Valencia’s beach, Carol’s next aim was the main market.
Again though, after travelling with a taxi driver who spoke no English, arriving at the wrong market, and eventually arriving to enjoy a breakfast before heading back to the hotel and off home again, Carol was left feeling short-changed, and unlikely to bring her family to Valencia in the future.
Debbie’s experience of Valencia could not have been more different.
Valencia with Not In The Guidebooks
Debbie had organised her experiences pre-departure with our hosts in Valencia, which meant she was really making the most of the short time she had whilst not working, and didn’t waste time trying to figure out where to go and what to do.
Old Town Tour an Authentic Tapas
After checking in at the hotel, she headed out with a group of travel agents to grab lunch in Valencia old town, visiting an authentic tapas restaurant where they enjoyed 6 courses and some classic Valencian paella.
After, they joined their guide for the evening, Bogi, for a tour of Valencia old town and a private tapas experience in an 11th-century monument. As they explored the old town, stopping in the basilica, the Plaza de la Reina all the while getting a great insight into local life and learning everything worth knowing about the beautiful part of town thanks to the knowledge and enthusiasm of Bogi.
After the tour, they stopped at two large wooden doors, heading through them into an idyllic little courtyard, one wall of which was the remains of the ancient Roman wall, for a private evening of wine and tapas.
In this unique venue, they enjoyed a 10-course tasting menu of local produce and paired local wines, with Bogi talking the group through each dish in detail so that by the time the meal was over, each member of the party had a real grasp of authentic Valencian cuisine.