It’s Orange Blossom Time!
Once again Spring is upon us here in Spain, and although the weather is the northern countries of Europe is still trying to stay cold and bleak, the temperatures here are steadily rising, and all the signs of the new season are appearing.
The cherry trees inland have already been in bloom and the fruit is shortly to be gathered in, but here along the coast it is the citrus trees that herald the onset of warm weather. Unique to citrus trees is the fact that fruit from the previous season can remain on the tree (and depending on the variety this is often the case) whilst the blossom for the next season’s crop is also to be seen – which gives a wonderful and colourful display. Most of all, of course, it is the overwhelming scent of orange blossom in the air that makes an indelible impression on any visitor to the La Safor region in springtime.
Whilst so much of the continent (and indeed much of Spain too) is still only just beginning to see some occasional warmer weather, the La Safor region has already emerged from the cold and is basking in beautiful sunshine and mild temperatures. April and May are two of the best months for visiting this part of the country. The days are lovely and warm, and you can be out and about enjoying the superb scenery but without the higher temperatures of summer proper, when (great as it is) you mostly want to just laze around a sparkling pool or enjoy the superb beaches in the area.
Mountain biking and hill walking opportunities abound in this region, with many designated routes marked out for the enthusiast, which will take you through some of the most gorgeous scenery you could hope to find anywhere. Due to the fact that this area has natural reserves of underground water, the overall impression is one of lush green countryside – an image very much at odds with the common assumption that all of Spain becomes brown and arid as soon as winter is over. Further south, and this is true to a greater or lesser extent – but here in the La Safor region of Valencia province the hills and mountains retain their green freshness all year round. If mountain biking and hill walking is not for you, it can nevertheless still be great to jump in the car and go on day trips to the inland attractions that are within easy reach – towns like historic Xativa with its quaint streets and dominating castle, or beautiful Guadalest – again with a wonderful castle and overlooking a turquoise coloured lake! And then of course there is the historic city of Valencia itself with a wonderful mixture of the old city with its ancient walls, cathedral and beautiful squares contrasting with the stunning architecture of the ultra-modern City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias).
Whatever you are looking for in a spring break, the La Safor region has so much to offer that there has to be something to suit everyone! And if you really just want to have a truly relaxing time and unwind from the stress of everyday life, you can of course stretch out on a sun lounger, enjoy the beautiful scent of that orange blossom in the air, and savour the unaccustomed warmth of the spring sunshine on your back!