I’m heading to La Tomatina in August and have the weekend free before the festival starts. Can you recommend any good places to visit? Preferably within easy reach of Valencia. ThanksAmy, via email 

You are spoilt for choice in this varied region of Spain, Amy. There is something for everyone, whether you love food, beaches, history or nature. My advice would be to spend one of your days checking out Valencia itself.

This fabulous city too often plays second fiddle to the likes of Madrid and Barcelona, but you’ll find it’s bursting with culture, fantastic food and a buzzing nightlife. 

A stellar tourist spot is the just opened City of Arts and Sciences complex. The building is an architectural wonder from Valencian architect, Santiago Calatrava Valls, with an IMAX cinema, aquarium, arts centre and science museum. 

After working up an appetite here, sample the region’s famed paella, then head into the winding labyrinth of cobbled streets that make up the Barrio del Carmen to sample the nightlife or, as it is known locally, la marcha (the action) on the Calle de Caballeros.

On the second day of your weekend, choose one of the region’s great coastal spots to relax. The Old Town of Peñíscola and its 5km beach, stretching to Benicarlo, is a great option 90 minutes from Valencia.

Or if you fancy checking out historic sites, visit Sagunto’s hill-top castle and Roman theatre. If nature is more your thing, opt for a short 15km trip south of Valencia to La Albufera, a huge freshwater lagoon.

Lonely Planet’s Laura Lindsaywill give you the benefit of her infinite wisdom if you email a question to  traveltips@tntmagazine.com. If your  question is answered, you’ll win a Lonely Planet guide of your choice.

Photo: Getty