This year we decided on having a proper holiday rather than planning on going to see my family. We opted for Valencia, Spain and I tell you it did not let me down.

It’s such a beautiful place and there are so many incredible things to do with a toddler apart from sun, sand and sea – which was obviously our daily activity that my daughter could not have enough of.

We booked the tickets way in advance around February and the excitement built up so the expectations were high. I needed this time off and I was set on relaxing, not stressing about anything and trying to read as much as possible by the beach (my all time favourite).

We did not take a stroller with us being very set on getting rid of it soon anyways so I wanted Ruby to get used to walking as much as possible. We did have the occasional “pick me up” moments when her tiny feet got tired but I tell you she was a champion at walking exclaiming “I am so excited!” every time she was shown something new.

These are just few of the many captions I took around the city central. It was so fascinating walking around and discovering historic buildings hidden between the modern blocks and offices. Yes, the ice cream was 10 bloody euros but I guess you pay for the view and those incredible orange trees growing freely right next to the Ice Cream store.

As it was a family holiday, we concentrated more on the activities Ruby would like so we went to visit the Bio Park – that is the actual Zoo. Such an incredible space. Opened and clean, with animals from all over the world. You can tell they are so well taken care, specially as the authorities definitely made a huge effort in creating similar views with animal’s natural habitat. As for tourists and visitors, there are so many places where you can sit down and enjoy lunch, a coffee, a juice or ice cream, lots of toilets around the park which made things so easy for Ruby as she is recently potty trained.

It took us few good hours to enjoy the entire park and we had such a wonderful time looking at the animals from up close, almost touching the giraffes. My only disappointment was that the gorillas were asleep so we couldn’t interact much but Bio Park is by far one of the most incredible places I have visited.

My second favourite place was absolutely the Oceanografic. We got to see dolphins for the first time, not to mention pet the turtles, admire the beauty of the sea lions, penguins and sharks but also the greatness of the walruses and beluga.

My daughter was so happy exploring everything around, discovering new things and watching the animals and fish from up close but she also enjoyed the hot weather, fresh fruits (they taste divine and remind me of my childhood), new toys and practiced her Spanish to everyone’s delight.

My mummy time in Spain is a completely different post that will contain lots of food, wine, books by the beach but also some crazy laugh out loud moments that were so frustrating at the time.

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