The Valencian Community (Comunidad Valenciana) is a region of Spain located in the central-eastern area of the Iberian Peninsula. This region overlooks over 500 km of coastline on the Mediterranean Sea, while in the interior it has borders in common with the regions of Murcia, Castilla-La Mancha, Aragon and Catalonia.
The region corresponds largely to the ancient Kingdom of Valencia (Reino de Valencia), and is now administratively divided into 3 provinces: Alicante, Valencia and Castellón. The capital is the city of Valencia. The Valencian Community has two official languages: Spanish and Valencian (Catalan).
The mountains occupy a large part of the region’s territory, the flat areas are limited to a narrow strip along the coast, and to the Valencian depression. Here is the metropolitan area of Valencia, the largest conurbation in the region and the third largest in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona.
In the Valencian Depression, at the Júcar river, the two large chains of the Iberian peninsula meet and end. These are the Iberian System, which is located in the north, and the Bético System in the south. The highest mountain in the region is the Cerro Calderón (1,837 meters) located in the Rincón de Ademuz exclave, and part of the Sierra de Javalambre, in the Iberian System. At the western end of the region is the Requena-Utiel plateau, part of Meseta Central, located at an average altitude of 750 meters.
Thanks to the beautiful coast overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, tourism is one of the key activities of the regional economy. The Costa Blanca (Alicante, Denia, Benidorm, and Torrevieja) and the Costa del Azahar (Vinaroz, Peñíscola, Benicassim) are the two coastal tourist areas of the region rich in beaches, entertainment and tourist centers. From a naturalistic point of view, the region has 22 natural parks. The city of Valencia is also a strong attraction for tourists, both for its well-preserved historic center, and for the numerous testimonies of modern art, and for the food including the famous paella.
In the Valencian Community there are 3 sites declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site: La Lonja de la Seda in Valencia. The Palmeral of Elche. And the prehistoric art of the Mediterranean basin in the Iberian Peninsula (numerous sites in different regions of Spain).
- Area: 23,255 km²
- Population: 5,000,000 (2019)
- Capital: Valencia