The World Vegan Travel Podcast

#20 | Valencia for Vegans | Natacha Parmantier

May 09, 2020 World Vegan Travel / Natacha Parmantier Season 1 Episode 20
The World Vegan Travel Podcast
#20 | Valencia for Vegans | Natacha Parmantier
Chapters
00:00:58
World Vegan Travel updates
00:03:03
Introducing Natacha - What we'll be talking about
00:04:38
Natacha's story - Why she's in Valencia
00:06:51
Location of Valencia
00:07:27
Valencia attractions
00:09:08
Surrounding Valencia attractions
00:12:24
Public transport in the region
00:13:58
Is Valencia vegan-friendly and favourite restaurants
00:20:26
Natacha's vegan tours and her Airbnb in Valencia
00:24:48
Vegan accommodation in the Valencia area
00:26:47
Contact Natacha
The World Vegan Travel Podcast
#20 | Valencia for Vegans | Natacha Parmantier
May 09, 2020 Season 1 Episode 20
World Vegan Travel / Natacha Parmantier

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we would get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you.

I am thrilled to have Natacha Parmantier! A mother, a polyglot, someone who has lived in many different places around the world, and also she’s a vegan business owner. She’s born French but has made Valencia her home and we will be talking about Valencia and the surrounding area in our podcast today! You’ll get the highlight of things to do and see in the area, favorite vegan restaurants, and even some accommodation options! I know Valencia will be on our list for when we go back to Spain! Like all of the podcasts for the rest of the season, they were recorded pre-COVID so perhaps Natacha’s plans are on hold. Whatever happens, make sure you connect with her so that you can see what she’s up to.

Timestamps
00:58 World Vegan Travel updates
03:03 Introducing Natacha - What we'll be talking about
04:38 Natacha's story - Why she's in Valencia
06:51 Location of Valencia
07:27 Valencia attractions
09:08 Surrounding Valencia attractions
12:24 Public transport in the region
13:58 Is Valencia vegan-friendly and favourite restaurants
20:26 Natacha's vegan tours and her Airbnb in Valencia
24:48Vegan accommodation in the Valencia area
26:47 Contact Natacha

Places we talk about
Location of Valencia
Turia Gardens
El Saler
Castle of Cullera
Sagunta
Horchata (vegan drink)
Accidentally vegan Paella
Horchata Recipe
Place to try Horchata
Happy Cow Listings for Valencia
Almalibre Restaurant - Vegan Restaurant
NOMÏT

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning we would get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you.

I am thrilled to have Natacha Parmantier! A mother, a polyglot, someone who has lived in many different places around the world, and also she’s a vegan business owner. She’s born French but has made Valencia her home and we will be talking about Valencia and the surrounding area in our podcast today! You’ll get the highlight of things to do and see in the area, favorite vegan restaurants, and even some accommodation options! I know Valencia will be on our list for when we go back to Spain! Like all of the podcasts for the rest of the season, they were recorded pre-COVID so perhaps Natacha’s plans are on hold. Whatever happens, make sure you connect with her so that you can see what she’s up to.

Timestamps
00:58 World Vegan Travel updates
03:03 Introducing Natacha - What we'll be talking about
04:38 Natacha's story - Why she's in Valencia
06:51 Location of Valencia
07:27 Valencia attractions
09:08 Surrounding Valencia attractions
12:24 Public transport in the region
13:58 Is Valencia vegan-friendly and favourite restaurants
20:26 Natacha's vegan tours and her Airbnb in Valencia
24:48Vegan accommodation in the Valencia area
26:47 Contact Natacha

Places we talk about
Location of Valencia
Turia Gardens
El Saler
Castle of Cullera
Sagunta
Horchata (vegan drink)
Accidentally vegan Paella
Horchata Recipe
Place to try Horchata
Happy Cow Listings for Valencia
Almalibre Restaurant - Vegan Restaurant
NOMÏT

Brighde:   0:07
Welcome to the World Vegan Travel Podcast Episode 20. I'm Brighde one of the founders of World Travel Tours and the World Travel Podcast is all about showing you how you might explore this world as a vegan. We do different types of episodes. We share our vegan travel experiences and the experiences of others to inspire you to get out into this beautiful world.  We conduct interviews with people doing amazing things to promote vegan travel as well as individuals and organizations that are protecting human and non-human animals in a destination you could be visiting.  

Brighde:   0:50
So let's get into it .  At the time of recording. British Columbia is starting to open up a bit. Yay! So as of next weekend, gatherings with 2 to 6 guests will be allowed. Parts of the economy will be reopened beginning in the middle of May, such as dental care, which is great because I have a chipped tooth, physiotherapy, chiropractic, scheduled surgeries and things like that. The goal, according to public health officials, is to allow for a return to about 60% of normal interactions without causing a surge of infections. This is such fantastic news and hopefully, it is the right decision and all of us, of course, we have got a huge responsibility to make sure that we are extremely careful moving forward. But it does seem to be like a huge win. I can't wait to get out into my new community, to volunteer with some really worthwhile organizations that are here. Meet people, make friends and explore these national parks. In not such good news. We've had to cancel our trip to the Dordogne that was scheduled for the end of June. I think everybody us and our guests were pretty confident that the trip would be canceled. But the travel industry, our suppliers in France and a lot of those different parties they seemed to be reluctant to make any decisions until now. I guess like us, they wanted to really wait and see before sort of canceling their services, canceling trips. All of those kinds of things are travelers have been informed, and of those that responded, they have been incredibly supportive so I just want to say thank you so much to those.  Something seven I have been mulling over is running a possible BC four day trip for when things start to open up again. There are plenty of things to do in British Columbia, of course, including some spectacular animals spotting experiences. If this sounds interesting, please do let us know so we can gauge interest. And also, if anyone has any good suggestions for this area, then let us know as well.  Okay, so onto our guest. I'm thrilled to have Natasha Parmentier, a mother, a polyglot, someone who's lived in many different places around the world. And she's also a vegan business owner. She's born French, but, like I said, lived in many different places and has made Valencia her home.  

Brighde:   3:20
We'll be talking about Valencia and the surrounding area in our podcast today. This is Valencia in Spain, in case that wasn't clear, and you'll get a highlight of the things to do and see in the area's favorite vegan restaurants and even some accommodation options. I know. Let's see, it will be on our list for when we go back to Spain one day. And like all of our podcasts for the rest of the season, actually, they were accorded pre covert. So perhaps some of Natasha's plans that she talks about are on hold. Whatever happens, make sure you connect with her so that you can see what she's up to. That's chat with Natasha. Hi, Natasha. Thank you so much for joining  me.

Natacha:   4:01
Brighde and  thank you for inviting. It's great to be again together on the podcast, but this way,

Brighde:   4:08
That's right. Yeah. I was on your podcast / video a few months ago and it was a lot of fun. Exactly. So, Natcaha, you are a vegan with  family and you live in Valencia. But you're not from Valencia originally, so that intrigues me greatly. Can you tell me a little bit about your story and how you ended up in such a lovely part of the world?

Natacha:   4:39
So the story is kind of long, but I will make it short. And I was born and raised in France, mostly in Paris. But 10 years ago, exactly 10 years ago today I left France. So I have been traveling and working in Germany, in the UK, in the west, in Hong Kong, China and three years ago I decided a bit more than three years ago, decided that I wanted to go back to Europe from China. I wanted to see the blue sky again and be closer also to my family, to my friends that I was missing at the time and I decided Okay, I was looking because I have a lifestyle. I'm working online. I cannot afford to work in every place of the world like some places are more expensive than others. And my goal is not to spend hours and hours in front of my computer working still treaties the goal.  So I decided, OK, which countries are good for this lifestyle. And Spain, Spain and Croatia, where the top listed places and from some reason I decided that Spain, Valencia in fact was going to be the one. I decided to try it first for two months and I went there I liked  it. It's amazing you have the beach, you have nice restaurants. You have a very nice crowd of people who are going out all the time because this country's living to have such a lifestyle where you don't have to just work or the time and have no time for leisure like I will have in Paris. So I decided, Okay, that's a perfect place. At the same time, I met the father of my child and now child, and so everything was just right so that only stay in, Valencia tells us. That's how I ended up in Valencia. 

Brighde:   6:46
So whereabouts is Valencia?

Natacha:   6:50
So if you take Barcelona and if you take Madrid and you go down to from Barcelona on east from Madrid at this point where the two lines are crossing, this is there basically three hours from both cities 

Brighde:   0:00
on DH? You're right. It's becoming more and more touristy. Why? Because people are kind of getting tired ofthe mozzarella. So the next destination, which come toe their mind after Barcelona, which is amazing for culture. I would recommend it, but Walesa is amazing because it's it's not smaller. It's not as big as Barcelona or Madrid. You can get everywhere by food or by bicycle when which you can rent. When you're traveling there and you have again, you have as buster. Now you have the beach. You have amazing restaurants. Began a friend of restaurants You have, um wait. What? Because Israel, which is Old river which is a park wishes all over own around the city. And I think if I'm not mistaken, it's seven kilometers long. So if you just want to have a piece of green, this is perfect. This is all around the city. It's comes from the Albert ISS where you have the bitch up toe. The other part of the town's over tall. So if you just walk by yours off the new city which is a city of art and science, where you have a lot of very modern buildings, Tio, go from the elbows, the new city, Then you have a nice walk, and then you arrived in your own. So it just is a very, very beautiful place. Toe visitation.

Brighde:   0:00
on DH? You're right. It's becoming more and more touristy. Why? Because people are kind of getting tired ofthe mozzarella. So the next destination, which come toe their mind after Barcelona, which is amazing for culture. I would recommend it, but Walesa is amazing because it's it's not smaller. It's not as big as Barcelona or Madrid. You can get everywhere by food or by bicycle when which you can rent. When you're traveling there and you have again, you have as buster. Now you have the beach. You have amazing restaurants. Began a friend of restaurants You have, um wait. What? Because Israel, which is Old river which is a park wishes all over own around the city. And I think if I'm not mistaken, it's seven kilometers long. So if you just want to have a piece of green, this is perfect. This is all around the city. It's comes from the Albert ISS where you have the bitch up toe. The other part of the town's over tall. So if you just walk by yours off the new city which is a city of art and science, where you have a lot of very modern buildings, Tio, go from the elbows, the new city, Then you have a nice walk, and then you arrived in your own. So it just is a very, very beautiful place. Toe visitation.

Brighde:   0:00
ow I have not been to Valencia at all, and I know it's a really popular tourist destination certainly for European visitors It's on the Mediterranean Sea. So what is so exciting about Valencia? Why would people want to visit there?on DH? You're right. It's becoming more and more touristy. Why? Because people are kind of getting tired ofthe mozzarella. So the next destination, which come toe their mind after Barcelona, which is amazing for culture. I would recommend it, but Walesa is amazing because it's it's not smaller. It's not as big as Barcelona or Madrid. You can get everywhere by food or by bicycle when which you can rent. When you're traveling there and you have again, you have as buster. Now you have the beach. You have amazing restaurants. Began a friend of restaurants You have, um wait. What? Because Israel, which is Old river which is a park wishes all over own around the city. And I think if I'm not mistaken, it's seven kilometers long. So if you just want to have a piece of green, this is perfect. This is all around the city. It's comes from the Albert ISS where you have the bitch up toe. The other part of the town's over tall. So if you just walk by yours off the new city which is a city of art and science, where you have a lot of very modern buildings, Tio, go from the elbows, the new city, Then you have a nice walk, and then you arrived in your own. So it just is a very, very beautiful place. Toe visitation.

Brighde:   9:00
Oh, wow. It does sound so lovely and what are the things to do around the city of Valencia?

Natacha:   9:10
So around the city, that was in fact, that was the next thing I want talk about, because there are lot off, like, nice things to see in Valencia. But you have also amazing places around Valencia. My favorite one, which is the easiest one to get to is  Elsalere and which is a place we call it in English, like a natural area where you have a big lake, which is amazing for sunset. I recommended for everyone to go to sunset, but also before sunsets. It's also has a beach, so you go as they spend time at the beach. I recommend taking your picnic if you like or going to one of the restaurants, but it's nice to just have a picnic at the beach. Then you take a walk. There is a botanical walk that I did with my family when my parents came with my daughter or  a few months ago, and it's very nice to a lot of information about the different trees. And even if you don't care much about the information, you can just walk and enjoy this natural walk with very nice. And at the end of this tour, you arrive in the lake where either you can just sit and enjoy the sunset, or you can take some boat tours, which are going on the lake so that the one thing I would really recommend that you have a few cities around which are very nice. Quiera, where you have a big castle at the top of the city, where you also off the beach and some caves which are amazing for caves. I would recommend, or so Denia and Havira, which is between Valencia and Alicante which is the next town south which is amazing for beautiful caves. In summer it's perfect because you go there, you can go into cave, on the water swim. There are a lot of water sports to do there. It's very nice and also Sagunto, which is in north of Valencia so all those were in the South Sagunto is another town famous as well, for I think I haven't checked the data, but it's very big castle for me, one of the biggest that I've seen in Spain. It's very, It's nice, it's not. It's a touristy place, a lot of people, even from Valencia don't go to the city, but it's a very nice place and I found a restaurant there which is not vegan but vegan-friendly where even the dessert were vegan-friendly so you could have a whole meal. And I'm not talking about fruits for dessert like talking about it a real dessert. And so, yes, that's what it was like to expect because it's not such a big town this town? So it's nice to find some vegan places, vegan-friendly places there. And you have other places where you have canyons and you have rivers and your buy in interesting Boone, you're you have where it's oh, for people who like me nature and going on trips,  day trips. It's amazing. You have so many places, so many festivals.

Brighde:   12:25
And, I'm curious about what public transportation is like in the area. Can you easily access these places with public transportation? Because I think most of the audience is from North America, and getting to these sort of out the way places is certainly more challenging unless you have a car. But some people are really anxious about driving in a country that they're not familiar with. So is it easy to access these places? 

Natacha:   12:53
I would say. I don't have a car. I would say it's easier by car honestly let's be honest In all the places. I think in the world I've been traveling by public transportation and car.  By car. It's easier, but it's totally possible by public transportation in any place. Any place I would recommend the best is by train by train it is very easy to get to any of those places from Valencia. You have trains going everywhere. So you know, as I mentioned, there is connections to, you know, I can get around one hour the same second to less than one hour and then Denia. I think it's two hours by bus. Clear eyes by train less than an hour yeah, all of those places in less than one hour. in between one and two hours. We can reach them by public transportation. Mostly trains and a few of them by bus.

Brighde:   13:55
Yeah, that well, that seems totally doable to me. Is Valencia vegan friendly? Could vegans expect to not only to survive but also enjoy the delicious food that is available in Valencia, the traditional Spanish food and the incredible produce. How would they do that?

Natacha:   14:18
Yes, they can definitely. Valencia is very big and friendly.  First,  one thing, which is famous.  Well, two things that are one thing is famous and the other one is known by locals. This is something that we all drink, but maybe some tourists don't know what it is called Horchata. So Horchata is milk, but made from it's a plant-based milk from local produce. I honestly, I know in English. I think it's called Tiger nuts is what is made from and it's a drink that everyone likes even non-vegans like it. But it's good for vegans because this  is plant-based milk and you can get it in all of the places. There are few places that are very beautiful inside as well that I would recommend I can give you the links. After that, you can put them in the description. So this is one thing that I would really recommend. It then vegan Paella is available so because this is the most traditional thing in Valencia just for the little history and geography and around Valencia there are a lot of lot of rice fields for me it's really strange and for you as well. I'm sure if you come and go in the train and you look at the landscape, you would think, Oh, I'm back in Asia because we have the rice fields, you have the mountains around and you think OK, but that's why the Paella is so famous here. This is because it's in the middle of the rice fields and, of course, most of the places are not offering vegan Paella so you need to go to a few restaurants which are offering vegan Paella or to take you can take cooking classes with vegan Paella things which could be like non-vegans do as well, cooking classes for Paella, and there are some which are vegan So those are the two things I think that you would be very try the local food. After that you have a lot of different restaurants where we shall either vegan-friendly or fully vegan. If you're going with some people who are not vegan and we don't want to go just to vegan place. I have two places that I would recommend. One is Armalibre where you have the famous Acai Bowls, which are getting famous worldwide right now. But they also have amazing burgers that I would recommend. I'm changing in Spanish, but in English you would call it Red Red Rice and tempeh Burger with ande Acai sauce now it's new the Acai as a sauce. It's spicy Asli. And so that's one place and he owes in place and right now. But I will give you the link because I don't remember. Nomit. It's called Nomit and it's perfect because it's and you don't tell people who are eating meat. Well, they are not vegan when that they are going to a vegan restaurant. There were not know, so they will not know. It's a place where I took my parents and my parents to go to both those places. They liked the Acai burger and the burger in that place. But they were really amazed by this one, This is a restaurant I like. So. I would recommend this restaurant for everyone. Nomit is very nice. And the menu for when you come for lunchtime There is a daily menu, which is really good. And you have This is only two off the restaurant that I would recommend that you around 50 restaurants. I think that is good for vegans.

Brighde:   18:20
That's really fantastic. I really do think I'm curious to know your thoughts, but my anecdotal observation is that it really has got a lot better for Spain in recent years and that even outside of the cities, probably not everywhere there are options available. I have some friends that go back to Spain every summer for six weeks or so that both vegan and every time they go they'll come back with, like, I can't believe they've got this product there this product and it's just really, really changing. So I think even if there are no vegan restaurants near where you're traveling, there's gonna be some really good options in the supermarket. So and if you self-cater and you're gonna be absolutely fine,

Natacha:   19:15
Definitely, like Mercadonna, which is one of the biggest supermarkets, there is getting more and more products which are vegan. You have seitan in Mercadonna you're vegan sausages that I have never tried because I'm not a fan off those mock meats. But if you want sausages, you have them. You have tofu available as well. In Mercadona you have a lot of options. Then you have a lot of organic shops, not in the small towns, but in the small towns you will get at this Mercadonna. And so that's where you can get a lot of your things. You have a lot of also seeds. And if you want to buy, you will find, quinoa, uh, you will find everything if you're self-catering. Yes, you will find no problems

Brighde:   20:06
And you combine that with the incredible produce. You've gotten yourself delicious food right there. So I'm so curious and I didn't know about this until we pressed when we spoke to each other a few minutes ago that you are actually providing some travel services for vegans to please tell us about that.  

Natacha:   20:32
Yeah, that's something completely new that I decided to do because I love food and I love meeting other people, and I know a lot about Valencia So that's why I decided okay. Why not mix all those things together and offer tours and retreats? But right now, tours. Four people were coming to Valencia for vegan people who are coming to Valencia or people who are curious about plant-based lifestyle, and who want to go to restaurants or places where you have you can have local foods and you can go to vegan-friendly places knows of what's the best thing to choose and the menu, and two at the same time discover the city or discover the surroundings not only in Valencia everything around the inside, because, as we talked about in the beginning of this podcast, there are some very beautiful places around it so. And maybe soon, if I have a place, I would also do some cooking classes for Paella because I know that someone, some people, are very interested in this and for all people who are joining the tours, they will have a booklet with information about,in Spanish, how to say that you're vegan, where to find the best produce that you were staying in Mercadonna but also in other organic shops. So we have all the information as a guide so that you're not lost when you go to a restaurant and you don't know how to ask for it, because it can be not always easy as a vegan. 

Brighde:   22:16
Yes, there is definitely an added challenge to that. Of course, I agree with you there. So are your tours up and running are people able to go on a site and book something. or see what you have on offer?

Natacha:   22:32
For now, there is a Facebook page that is up and running and I would very, very much appreciate any likes that you can give to this page. Because this is the beginning snd you can just send your message on this page to have more information about the tours as I am still in Brazil. The tours will not start.  So at the end of March, then the tours will be available. But I'm available already. To give information, even for people who are coming to Spain,  Valencia before that date. Then don't hesitate to send me a  message and I will give them information about the best places to go to.

Brighde:   23:21
Oh, fantastic. Well, I wish you all the best of luck with that. I bet you're excited to get all of that started. And you're far away from home at the moment in Brazil, That's so interesting. And you also have an Airbnb property. Is that right? 

Natacha:   23:39
Yeah. I have an Airbnb property but right now I'm kind of revamping,  renovating because I was not attracting the people that I wanted to attract so now I am going now to do it more, much more family-friendly because I have a lot of things for kids there. But I need to be there to take the pictures and everything. So after that, it will be open again and I can host people. But my goal is to have a place because now it's a flat in the countryside, which is nice, and you have mountain views. It's kind of a good size, but my goal is really to have a place where I could host people who are vegan with a garden and fresh produce. As you were saying so hopefully next year. I mean, next year we are already next year 2020 end of 2020 or maybe 2021. Then I can have this place for also vegan people who would come and really enjoy a traditional and laid back lifestyle.

Brighde:   24:47
Oh, that just sounds so lovely as far as I know. There are a few lovely little Bed and  Breakfasts further south. But my understanding is that there are no Bed and Breakfasts or small boutique hotels or anything in that area. Is that correct?

Natacha:   25:08
In Valencia,, you have two Bed and Breakfasts well around Valencia. Around Valencia,, you have two bed and breakfast that I know of and I really like one is called  Casa Tarson. And that is a very beautiful place. From Nikta it's in the mountains from Valencia it's around two hours, honestly, without a car will be court to arrive, but maybe they provide transportation or they pick you up, I don't know exactly. It's very beautiful. It's all vegan and you have access to breakfast Another one in the south of Valencia near to Denia, which I was talking about is vegan Life Energy, which is a place which is very nice by Tania. And she has a place right at the beach so. it's just very beautiful with a big garden. And she has different accommodations. And this is a bed and breakfast also pet friendly for anyone want to travel with their pets. It's possible. In Valencia city. I'm not that I know off there's nothing.

Brighde:   26:20
Okay. Well, I stand corrected then. No, no vegan accommodation near Valencia. It feels stuff is just sprouting up all of the time and I'm sure it's gonna increase as well. So thank you so much Natacha for joining me, especially when you're on holiday with your family in South America I so appreciate it. Before we go, could you please share some details on how people can connect with you and get notified with this amazing tours and accommodation when it is  set up.

Natacha:   26:57
So first of all, thank you very much. I really appreciated this interview it. It's so nice to talk from Salvador in Brazil where I'm on holidays. And to connect with me. Well, you can connect with me on social media  Instagram where I'm sure you will put the link. I'm sure we put the link or on Facebook and appreciate any new likes. The nuke page which is called,  vegan foodie tours and retreats travel Spain. So that's where you can find you can send your message and that's where I will publish any new information about the tours and the retreats that I will create for vegan people and people and people transitioning to the vegan diet.

Brighde:   27:45
Fantastic. Thank you so much. Again. All the best.

Natacha:   27:49
You're welcome. All the best to you as well. 

Brighde:   28:01
I hope you enjoyed the episode and we'll cheque Natacha's site and look her up. If you're going to Valencia and the region, make sure you tell her I said hi. Stay tuned for more episodes which should get you ready to discover this beautiful planet whether you stay in your local area or go further afield. If you're interested in finding out more about World Vegan Travel and what we do. Please check out our website World Vegan Travel.com. And if you like this podcast and want to dig a little bit deeper into the content, we've made you can do that by going to look at this show notes. Thank you so much for joining us. Please leave a review. Please consider subscribing If you have a spare a few minutes and, we hope you'll join us next week.

World Vegan Travel updates
Introducing Natacha - What we'll be talking about
Natacha's story - Why she's in Valencia
Location of Valencia
Valencia attractions
Surrounding Valencia attractions
Public transport in the region
Is Valencia vegan-friendly and favourite restaurants
Natacha's vegan tours and her Airbnb in Valencia
Vegan accommodation in the Valencia area
Contact Natacha