Spain's third largest city of Valencia sits on the east coast. It is the capital of the region of the same name, and one of the country's oldest, after being founded in 138BC by colonial Roman settlers. Hire a car from Valencia Airport and tour the city's old town, home to its historic landmarks. Navigate the cobbled streets to find Valencia Cathedral with its prominent tower, topped with a beautiful belfry. Drop by the rustic Mercado Central market for a glimpse of Valencia's hustle and bustle, or stop off at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the city's central square.
Every March Valencia is home to one of the country's biggest festivals, Las Fallas, the five-day and night celebration of St Joseph. During the fiesta, the city is continuously awash with fireworks, parades and bonfires, while the celebrations are concluded when an effigy known as a fall is burned on the fifth night. Valencia is said to have created one of Spain's most iconic dishes, paella, which was first stirred up in the 19th century close to the city. The original version of the rice medley includes snails, rabbit and chicken meat. Rent a car from Valencia Airport and visit the traditional beachside paella restaurant La Pepica 25 minutes away, which has been serving the dish for over 100 years.