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Things to do in Valencia

Dive the warm waters of the Costa Blanca

The entire coastline of Costa Blanca makes for some great diving, and most sites are just a short drive away from Valencia. Popular spots include Jávea, Denia and Altea, with Centro de Buceo Bentos (tel: +34 963 564 505; www.buceobentos.com) running excursions to them all. The dive centre also offers PADI diving courses.

Escape the heat of the city with a hike

Valencia’s mountainous terrain and undulating slopes make hiking a picturesque activity. A plethora of day hikes are great for escaping the city and the Hoces Del Cabriel is a popular option. For a more challenging trek, try the Via Ferrata at Dos Aguas. Avensport (tel: +34 961 235 076, http://avensport.com) can help organise the adventure.

Jump on a man and make him your plaything

Never kick a man while he's down. Instead clamber over his chest, run across his face and slide down his hair. Parque Gulliver (tel: +34 963 370 204) is the only playground in Valencia to make you feel two feet tall. Based on Gulliver's Travels, this surreal adventure park is anything but short on fun.

Make waves with a multitude of water sports

Blessed with miles of Mediterranean coastline and excellent weather, Valencia has no shortage of aquatic activities. With so many beach towns dotted along the Costa Blanca, you don't have to go far to enjoy lapping waves. If you're after adrenalin, head to the port where operators offer surfing, wakeboarding and jet skiing.

Saddle up and ride the city

Valencia is a great city to explore on two wheels, especially around the City of Arts and Sciences area, which is lined with leafy gardens and traffic-free lanes. While there are plenty of cycling opportunities within the city, you can also explore the surrounding countryside by bike. Try Orange Bikes (tel: +34 963 917 551; www.orangebikes.net) for rentals.

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Hostal Antigua Morellana

Set in an 18th-century townhouse, this classic Spanish inn is run by four sisters and situated in a narrow lane close to Valencia's historic silk exchange and cathedral. Its cosy, no-frills rooms feature memory-foam mattresses and private bathrooms, as well as TVs and free Wi-Fi. Some rooms also have small balconies.

Hotel ibis Valencia Alfafar

Opposite Albufera Natural Park, this straightforward, chain hotel features modern, budget rooms with flatscreen TVs and Wi-Fi access. Hotel amenities include a restaurant, a bar and a fitness centre, plus guest parking, a business centre and an all-you-can-eat buffet breakfast.

Hotel One Shot Colon 46

Within walking distance of the Cathedral, this hotel is part of the Spanish hotel chain One Shot and offers simple chic for a reasonable price. The unfussy rooms have smart TVs, mini-fridges and rain showers, and those on the top floor have balconies. There's a cafe in the first floor where breakfast is served.

Hotel Ad Hoc Monumental

Situated near Valencia's Cathedral and the Serranos Towers, this charming hotel dates back to 1881 and boasts original features such as exposed brickwork and wood-beamed ceilings. The airy rooms are decorated in old-world style, and many have marble floors and private balconies.

Hotel Las Arenas

Set on the beach, this resort-style hotel dates back to 1898 and offers bright, modern rooms with city, garden or sea views. Its renowned spa and wellness centre includes indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis, bubble beds, ice fountains and a relaxation garden. Its brasserie offers the best in modern Spanish gastronomy.

Hospes Palau de la Mar Hotel

A unique example of Valencia's architectural heritage, this boutique hotel is set in an elegant former palace that dates back to the 19th century. A contemporary, design-led interior patio offsets the classical nobility of the property's overall architectural style, and rooms and suites offer modern decor and amenities.