Valencia, officially the Valencian Community (Valencian: Comunitat Valenciana, Spanish: Comunidad Valenciana), is an automous community (region) of Spain located in central and south-eastern Iberian Peninsula.
The Valencian region is divided into three provinces.
- Castellón (Valencian: Castelló) is the northernmost province, with a mountainous interior and the much visited Costa del Azahar (Costa dels Tarongers – 'orange blossom coast').
- Valencia (València) has the largest population and the capital city of Valencia.
- Alicante (Alacant), the southernmost province, is most known for its Costa Blanca ('white coast'), which draws millions of visitors from all over Europe each year.
- Valencia (València)
- Alicante (Alacant)
- Castellón (Castelló)
- Peñiscola (Peníscola)
- Sagunto (Sagunt)
- Xàtiva (Játiva)
The first official language is Valencian (Catalan), which aside from a few minor differences is essentially the same language as Catalan spoken in neighbouring Catalonia. Valencians prefer to refer to their own version of the language as Valencian (Spanish: Valenciano), not Catalan. While nationalist sentiments in Valencia are not as strong as in Catalonia, locals are proud of their language and appreciate any attempts by outsiders to speak it. Valencian is not spoken universally throughout the region, however. Roughly 10% of the population speaks only Spanish, primarily in the western mountainous regions of Castellón and Valencia provinces.
As with other parts of Spain, Spanish is co-official with the local language. English is spoken by staff at major hotels and the main tourist attractions, but otherwise, it is not widely spoken.
Agua de Valencia, the water of Valencia, containing Champagne, Vodka and Orange Juice. One can find it at most restaurants or bars.