Situated in the centre of the Spanish Mediterranean coastline, the province overlooks the wide Gulf of Valencia and is skirted at the back by a mountain range and rolling orange grove-filled plains leading to the lands of Aragon and Castile-La Mancha (Don Quixote country). Valencia is where Spain´s national dish, paella, originated in the mid 19th century. The province, together with neighbouring Alicante and Castellón make up the Community of Valencia. Attracting visitors from all over the world, Las Fallas is the traditional feast of Saint Joseph, when between the 12th and 19th of March, the people of Valencia take to the streets with towering sculptured statues that have been a year in the making. All day and night crowds of locals and foreigners fill the streets and the sounds of exploding firecrackers and fireworks fill the air. At the end of the week, the huge statues are awarded prizes and then set on fire, which marks the end of Las Fallas and the beginning of spring.
Weather and climate
Valencia experiences a semi-arid climate although humidity can be quite high, especially felt in the summer. The average annual temperature is 17ºC with warm summers and very mild winters, rarely below 10ºC. There is only light rainfall mainly in autumn and the beginning of spring
Spring is a great time of the year. At the beginning of the season, the average temperature is 18ºC rising to 21ºC in May.
Throughout summer Valencia is hot but it is not intolerable. On average the season hits around 28ºC with mild humidity. Throughout June the average daily temperature is around 28ºC, gradually climbing to 28ºC by the end of the season.
Usually autumn is milder and has slightly heavier rainfall. Between October and December, it is the wettest time of the year. The temperatures vary between 18ºC and 22ºC.
Valencia are usually quite mild with lots of blue sky days. January are the coldest months, with an average minimum temperature of 6 ºC and an average maximum of 15 ºC.
People and population
Valencia is the 3rd most populous province in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona with over 2.5 million inhabitants. Almost one third of these live in the capital city, also the 3rd largest city in the country.