Port Saplaya is one of the most unique and picturesque places around Valencia. The name means “harbour and its beach” (in Valencian: Port Sa Platja) and the place could be described as a little hidden oasis just a stone’s throw from Valencia city’s hustle and bustle. It’s located just a few kilometres north of Valencia by the beach of Alboraya and “La Huerta”, tiger nuts fields, where the famous horchata drink is produced.
The construction project of this purpose-built holiday resort started in the early 1970s and was inspired by other similar projects in France and Italy. The village is constructed around the marina and has a very special feel created by the moorings on canals, pedestrian streets, plazas and colourful terraced houses. Port Saplaya is known as “Valencia’s little Venice” and the nickname is indeed well-deserved. The first citizens moved into the brand-new apartment blocks in 1975 and today Port Saplaya has a bit less than 2,000 inhabitants. Although more and more Spanish people live there permanently, it’s definitely at its liveliest in the summer when holidaymakers arrive.
The apartments are built round two plazas, the Plaza Mayor and the Plaza de la Señoría, which you can access through an archway. What is unusual about the construction is that basically all apartments have at least one balcony and some of them several. The terraced houses have pastel colours and taking a stroll round this little oasis is a feast for your eyes. The seafront promenade is about 1 kilometre long and the beach is nice and tranquil, though at least until now the lack of a lifeguard has made it less suitable especially for families with children.
For those interested in boating, Port Saplaya is an interesting option as you have moorings basically at your door. There are currently 323 moorings for small and medium-sized boats. There´s an active nautical club in Port Saplaya which organizes activities and has a sailing school, restaurant and social club.
When it comes to food, Port Saplaya offers something for everybody. Both the interior of the construction and the seafront promenade have lots of cafés and restaurant serving food for all tastes. And as we´re basically next to tiger nuts fields, you get to enjoy excellent and refreshing horchata. Lots of locals from Valencia come here at weekends to enjoy a good lunch or dinner in completely different surroundings. Right next to the marina there are big stores such as the hypermarket Alcampo that sells basically anything and Leroy Merlin, a big store selling DIY stuff and things for home and garden. You also have some fast food restaurants in the shopping mall if you prefer just have a quick snack.
Port Saplaya is a comfortable place to live as it offers peace and quiet by the sea as well as lots of restaurant and places to do shopping. In summertime you can enjoy “Cine de Verano”, free films shown on the beach. However, Port Saplaya has also received criticism. Some people dislike this kind of purpose-built places in the middle of nature and so close to the seaside. Be that as it may, Port Saplaya is bound to grow and become a permanent or holiday home to more and more people in the future. After all, whether you´re looking for a home or simply a place to spend a day out and see something different, Port Saplaya is definitely worth a visit.