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Des plages magnifiques, Attractions à la Disney & pizzas à 2 € – trois pauses en une

UP for balmy beaches? Or are marvellous museums more your thing?

Perhaps you just want to wander around a thriving city with authentic restaurants on every corner. bien, Valence has it all.

Enjoy several holidays rolled into one as you visit stunning Valencia in Spain

Enjoy several holidays rolled into one as you visit stunning Valencia in SpainCrédit: Getty
Wander around the city's authentic restaurants

Wander around the city’s authentic restaurantsCrédit: Alamy

Here you can have several holidays rolled into one — and that’s exactly what I did in Spain’s third city, down on the south-eastern coast.

Star of the show is the City Of Arts And Sciences — a £760million spaceship-like mega-complex, which took a decade to build.

It is a stunning sight — one of the 12 Treasures of Spain — and made me feel like I’d been transported into a future of hovercars and space travel.

The grandiose structures that make up the attractions within are so surreal that shows including Doctor Who, Westworld and Tomorrowland have all used them as filming locations.

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As I walked around the impressive buildings, I realised that the huge resort reminded me of another famous one — the land of Epcot at le monde de Disney dans Floride.

The aviary at L’Oceanografic, the complex’s massive aquarium, resembles the golf ball-shaped Spaceship Earth at Epcot.

And there is even a nearby playground, Park Gulliver, with oversized slides that don’t quite compare to the rollercoasters at Disney, but are still fun for little ones.

To really explore all the city has to offer, buy a Valencia Tourist Card, which gives you free bus and metro travel.

For kids, there is the sprawling Science Museum with interactive attractions to learn about everything from the human body to space exploration.

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Adults can try the Festival Of Arts at the Opera House, which has a range of live musical performances during the summer months.

Le meilleur de tous, the attractions sit so close to some incredible beaches, where I lost hours drinking cocktails — mostly at Las Arenas strip, which overlooks a busy stretch of sand with paddleboarders in the distance.

Just around the corner is the trendy El Cabanyal neighbourhood, known as Little Havana thanks to the rainbow-tiled buildings lining the streets.

It was here that I bopped along to a live band at a local jazz festival while filling up on Iberian ham, croquettes and local wine.

For some of the best tapas, mais, head to Colmado LaLola in the city centre, run by local Jesus and his rescue chihuahua.

The small dishes just kept coming (as did the tales about his life).

‘Absolute must-try

I washed the fresh scallops, spicy patatas bravas and fried padron peppers down with a vermouth that was so punchy I needed to embrace the Spanish siesta back at my hotel, Valencia Oceanic by Melia.

But don’t nap for too long as, like all of Spain, the city really comes alive at night.

The bars spill on to roads that are decorated with ornate Victorian streetlights that make you feel as if you are in a musical.

If you’re looking for a budget night, head to La Finestra. Everyone comes for the cheap beers and mini pizzas (€2.50).

It’s so popular you’ll find people perched on the nearby kerbs when the tables are all taken.

For something more extravagant, you can dine on a tasting menu at Saona, a small chain across Valencia that serves “cups” of local wine.
The absolute must-try for any foodie, mais, est paella.

Valencia is where the famous rice dish was invented and Nou Racó, in Albufera Nature Park, does it best, serving up wood-fired paellas the traditional way with either meat or seafood, but never a mix of both.

In a few days, I’d barely scratched the surface of Valencia’s city attractions.

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But I’d still managed to get my fill of Disney-style excitement, blissful beach relaxation and top-notch wining and dining — all at a bargain price.

Not bad for just one city.

Star of the show is the City Of Arts And Sciences — a £760million spaceship-like mega-complex

Star of the show is the City Of Arts And Sciences — a £760million spaceship-like mega-complexCrédit: Alamy
The absolute must-try for any foodie is paella

The absolute must-try for any foodie is paellaCrédit: Getty
Le meilleur de tous, the attractions sit so close to some incredible beaches

Le meilleur de tous, the attractions sit so close to some incredible beachesCrédit: Getty

ALLER: VALENCIA

GETTING THERE: Ryanair flies from Manchester to Valencia from £43 return. Voir ryanair.com.

STAYING THERE: One night at Valencia Oceanic by Melia is from £72 a night based on two sharing. Voir melia.com.

EN DEHORS & ABOUT: Get a Valencia Tourist Card with free bus and metro travel and discounted attractions from £21.50. It includes a15 per cent discount on City Of Arts And Sciences complex tickets from £34. Voir visitvalencia.com.