Valencia is famous for many things. It’s warm climate, tasty paella, beaches, beautiful buildings, and… sweet juicy oranges! Across the world, oranges are exported from Valencia. You’ll also see orange trees dotted around the city.
Oranges in Valencia, when and where?
You can buy fresh oranges all year around in Valencia city and region, but there is also a season you can find the oranges literally on the trees. The oranges start growing in fall, so around September and October, allthough they will be green then and you barely can’t see them. Around November they will get the orange color and give the streets and fields that happy Valencian vibe. Time to get the cameras out!
By the end of January the oranges will be very ripe and start falling of the trees. To prevent mess and accidents, the government of Valencia shakes the oranges of the trees. This is truly a spectaculair event to watch! In 2021 we’ve made a video of this which went viral. Did you see it?
Allthough the oranges look delicious, the oranges in the trees in the city of Valencia are known for not edible – they taste a bit bitter. Some people do like to make marmelade of it, but most of them will be used as compost for the agriculture.
A quick history of oranges in Valencia
There are several theories about the history of oranges in general. Therefore, we are not sure where they originated. However, oranges used to be extremely bitter and were more of a decoration on trees (which is why we still see them in Valencia’s city centre). Sweet oranges were introduced during the time of the Moors and are what is now known as the typical Valencian orange.
In the 18th century, the first commercial plantings of orange trees for consumption were registered in the Valencian Community. They have brought much to the entire Communidad Valencia, which is why they are the pride of the city. Historic buildings such as the Mercado Central and Estacion del Norte incorporate decorations of oranges. Valencia rightly flaunts the name ‘city of oranges’.
Where to buy oranges in Valencia
You can, of course, buy oranges all around Valencia… The supermarkets and the many fruit & vegetable corners will have plenty of them. But it’s worth visiting Mercado Central or Ruzafa market, as they are both emblametic buildings and you can have a good taste (litterally) of what it’s like to be a local in Valencia.
Fresh orange juice in Valencia
Along with buying delicious oranges, you can also enjoy fresh juice from lots of cafes around the city. It makes the perfect drink to start the day if you’re looking for brunch or breakfast! For a truly Valencian experience, you need to try freshly squeezed orange juice at a restaurant with a terrace in the sun. Perfect for getting your fix of vitamin C and vitamin D at the same time!
You’ll also see bottled freshly squeezed orange juice in many supermarkets, plus juice machines are often in the aisles if you want to make your own!
If you’re a fan of alcoholic drinks with fresh orange juice, you certainly won’t be disappointed as it’s even possible to order fresh orange juice at bars! This brings us to our next point…
The best places for Agua de Valencia
Agua de Valencia, (Valencian water in English) is a famous drink you must try! It is made out of fresh orange juice, gin, wodka, cava and sugar. It is served in a big glass (copa) and often you can order it in a can that is filled with some ice and oranges (just like a sangria). It’s a sweet, but refreshing drink and you don’t even can tell there is alcohol in it. Be careful 😉
Out of all the places to try Agua de Valencia in the city, Café de Las Horas is one of the most popular. But there are more places in Valencia to have a good Agua de Valencia. With good we mean: made out of fresh orange juice. Be aware – some places are just trying to make money out of this populair drink for tourists, and don’t use fresh orange juice!
Best places for Agua de Valencia…
In the city center (Ciutat Vella):
- Café de las Horas, Carrer del Comte d’Almodóvar, 1, 46003
- Café Lisboa, Plaça del Doctor Collado, 9, 46001
- Café Sant Jaume, Carrer dels Cavallers, 51, 46001
- La Lola, Pujada del Toledà, 8, 46001
- La Pizzara, Carrer dels Vivons, 20, 46004
- Cafecito, Carrer del Pare Perera, 1, 46006
- La Bella de Cadiz, Carrer de Cadis 54, 46004
Creative ways to use oranges in Valencia
If you have a sweet tooth, you can indulge at many of the bakeries in Valencia which serve a range of orange treats such as cakes and pastries. If you feel like experimenting with your own baking, you could try your have an orange cake like the one above or perhaps some marmalade?
Looking for more tips on life in Valencia?
If you’re interested in learning more about Valencian culture and places to go, we’ll be happy to help! You can book an orientation trip to help you find your feet in Valencia as we’ll guide you around the different areas. Get in touch with us!
If you’re interested in buying a property in Valencia, our colleagues at Dream Properties Valencia will be able to advise you every step of the way.