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What do you do when you want a beach vacation that is near a major city and loaded with charm? Well, if you are Spanish, you might consider Port Saplaya, a charming little area that is perfect for a few days of relaxation. Why only a few days? Well, to be honest, there isn’t much there except boats and vacation homes.

Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing that I like more than a few days to simply hang out and relax. Port Saplaya is perfect for that, but does not have any real commercial zone aside from restaurants. No banks, no business offices, and no cars zooming around near the beach. There is a major shopping area quite close with an extremely large El Campo grocery and department store in walking distance, and a few minutes on the bus will find you in Valencia proper. It’s that close.

What I like about Port Saplaya is also what I like about other resort-type towns. You are almost forced to slow down and relax some. As the summer here slowly retreats, I visited Port Saplaya to see why it is called the “Venice of Spain,” and now, gentle reader, I understand.

Port Saplaya is an extension of the area of Alboraya (the birthplace of the drink horchata) and a 20-minute walk from the zone of Benimaclet. Closer to the beach, the community of Port Saplaya sprang up, offering a great place for a few days at the beach. Buildings are brightly colored, and the center of the town is a marina surrounded by beautifully colored buildings, landscaped architecture, and restaurant terraces with striped awnings and fantastic views. To get from one side of the town to the other, you must walk through the marina in a convoluted path or go behind the marina to the road. Both are scenic and provide lovely places to sit and relax.

It was easy to see everything here in a couple of hours, but spending a day or long weekend here would not be a bad thing, either.

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