Valencia is Spain's third largest city and forms part of an industrial area on the Costa del Azahar. It has a changeable Mediterranean climate with warm dry summers, mild humid winters and stormy autumns and springs.
It is home to paella, Spain's most famous dish, and it is believed by some that the Holy Grail resides in the city's cathedral. It was there that El Cid fought the Moors.
Valencia's major tourist attraction is City of Arts and Sciences. It attracts four million visitors each year and appeals to adults and children alike. Galleries lure visitors with wonderful works by El Greco, Goya and VelÁzquez.
Spain has produced many successful sportsmen and sportswomen, and Getaway had the pleasure of meeting former world number one tennis player Juan Carlos Ferrero. His nickname is Mosquito because of his speed and his wiry, strong physique.
Juan Carlos was born in the municipality of Valencia in 1980 and lives in Villena where the tennis academy bearing his name is located. He moved to Villena to begin training at the academy at the age of 10. The residential facility houses Spanish junior tennis players keen in high performance training leading to them competing at the elite level of competition.
It certainly captured the best of Juan Carlos' talent. He won the men's single title at the French Open in 2003, and later that year became the 21st player to hold the number one ranking. He has also been a runner-up at two other Grand Slams.
Juan Carlos' coach encouraged him to undertake a new challenge. He is now a hotelier.
The Ferrero Hotel is a very chic property near Mariola Mountain, 50 minutes from Valencia. Juan Carlos spent over $11 million on his own piece of paradise which covers 12 hectares.
Until recently, it was an antique Bocairente cottage, but has been totally rebuilt. It has 12 superb suites with the latest in technology. Six suites are adjacent to a terrace, each with private spa.
Regional cuisine is served in Restaurant Gavara and Restaurante Goku's cuisine has an Asian flavour.
On Spain's Mediterranean coast, near Valencia.
Hotel Ferrero rooms start at around $370 a double a night. Breakfast is included.
Emirates has flights to Nice with connections to Madrid.
Prices quoted valid at November 29, 2007.
For more information
Carretera Bocairent Villena 16km
CP 46880 Bocairent Valencia
Ph: 34 962 355 182
ATP Tennis website
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