Watch Valencia come alive during the month of March for the annual Fallas festival, which dates back to the 15th Century. See the city’s population increasing three-fold! Whilst the festival is ongoing throughout the month, the main events take place from March 15th-19th. Every commission within Valencia (238) has their own Falla, each of which features a unique and elaborate “ninot” (a type of extraordinary float constructed from paper, wax, wood and paper maché). This ninot is ultimately filled with firecrackers and set alight in a huge celebration. Artists spend the whole year fundraising and constructing their floats- some of which are up to 5 stories high! Additionally, each division elects a Queen of the Falla every year (both a Fallera Mayor and a Fallera Mayor Infantil) and a President, all of whom wear traditional dress and represent their Falla both during the festival and throughout the year in other events and celebrations.
1. Fallas Trail
2. Float Along
Valencia is a great walking city; virtually everything is in walking distance and the ground is very flat. This is especially exciting during Valencia Fallas because of how easy it is to explore the myriad of things on every street. Follow our Valencia Fallas guide for the most awe-inspiring sights!
Begin by strolling through Falla Cuba – Literato Azorin to gaze in wonder at the incredible ninots. The Fallas are divided into different districts, indicative of the amount of time and money invested in the monuments. The “Secció Especial” (Special Section) is a selected group of the most important Fallas commissions in Valencia. From 1942 until today, its awards hold the highest prestige and are the most impressive across the city. Your trail of the Secció Especial begins in Ruzafa, Valencia’s bohemian treasure known for its picturesque, narrow streets, independent art galleries and french-inspired balconies. During this time, Ruzafa is also home to more epic ninots in your second site Falla Sueca – Literato Azorin. You will notice that there is an element of tongue-in-cheek in the design of the floats, with the local artists taking the opportunity to express humour and satire through their constructions. From here, experience a change in ambiance and architectural style as you pass through to Falla Reino Valencia – Duque de Calabria. This Fallas spot is in the Gran Via district, a traditional, classy neighbourhood in Valencia full of stylish buildings and wide, tree-lined avenues. Ending in Falla Almirante Cadarso – Conde Altea leaves you in the perfect place for your first pit-stop of the day.
Pause to reflect on the incredible sights you’ve seen so far with a traditional Valencian delicacy. Similar to a churro, buñuelos de calabaza are sweet, deep-fried dough balls made of pumpkin, and served with cups of hot chocolate. Horchatería Fabián is famous in the area for serving the best traditional buñuelos and you will need to re-fuel before the rest of your busy day. Due to its popularity, it is likely that you will need to queue (roughly 15 minutes), but it’s well worth the wait!
Opening hours; Monday-Friday, 8am-1pm; 5-9pm: Saturday and Sunday, 5-9pm.
Venture through to Valencia’s old town via Falla Convento Jersualén for more incredible ninots on your way to the Mascletà. Mascletàs are at the heart and soul of the Fallas celebrations and are unique to Valencian culture. Every day during Valencia Fallas at 2pm in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, the Mascletà begins. The experience is exciting, rousing, and loud—glass windows have even been known to shatter with the noise! In order to truly embrace the spirit of the Mascletà, arrive early (around 1pm) to secure your place in the centre of the action.
The explosions last for 10 minutes leaving plenty of time for a rest and an aperitif in the stunning Mercado Colon.
Take a rest in one of Valencia’s architectural wonders- Mercado Colon. With its high ceilings and stain glass features, the market possesses distinct Valencian Art Nouveau style and is truly one of Valencia’s most beautiful places to stop for a drink before stopping by your final destination to view the ninots: Falla Plaza del Pilar. Plaça del Pilar has been the most awarded commission in the last 50 years with up to 12 Special Section prizes, making it a must-see for your Valencia Fallas trail!
At the end of your day of walking around the city, why not experience a tour given by an expert guide and then enjoy tapas and wine in one of two magnificent locations? In our City of Arts and Sciences Tour, marvel at the incredible designs of the buildings and learn the origins of this unique space, accompanied by your expert tour guide. After experiencing the buildings at eye level, take in incredible panoramic vistas from a bird's-eye perspective, from the most exclusive view in the city. Relax on our private rooftop terrace, enjoying a selection of regional Valencia wines and specially-designed menu of tapas featuring local, seasonal produce and appreciate the sun-drenched views of the city. Or, in our Old Town Tour, learn more about the sights you have passed throughout the day in the old town and then enjoy tapas and wine in an Moorish cave dating back to the 11th century.
If you still have energy after your jam-packed day, head back to the city in time for the Valencia Fallas fireworks.
Firework times: March 16th at 00.00am, March 17th at 1am, March 18th at 1.30am (‘Nit Del Foc’ or Night of the Fire)