The Oranges of Valencia Orange Growing & Picking and a Picnic in Orange Groves The climate of Valencia on the Costa Azahar is ideal for the growing of citrus fruit and Spain’s main exporter of oranges. Taking a tour of the orange groves is a great way to spend the day. Since the beginning of the 19th century Valencia has been a major grower and trader of oranges and Valencia now produces 70 per cent of Spain’s oranges for export, the secret of success for this region lies in its location on the edge of a climatic zone that has cold winter spells which help produce the deep orange colour. The long daylight hours of sunshine combined with mild winter temperatures produce a balance of sweet and sour flavour. Burriana is an area that has long been surrounded by orange groves, the exports of which made the town wealthy. It didn’t have to rely on tourism like so many of its neighbouring towns but it now has the Orange Museum which is well-worth a visit. It’s housed in an old merchant’s townhouse in the historical part of the town. The Spanish Citrus Historical Museum The Spanish Citrus Historical Museum or Museu de Ia Taronja, is now closed, but it should be remembered as Labels in the orange museum unique. It was the only museum dedicated to oranges – growing, trade, history and transportation in the world. The museum was also the main tourist office. It houses displayed old photographs of the methods of orange cultivation and trade but the most interesting display contained more than 5,000 orange-box labels, a huge collection of old posters and hundreds of old printed tissues that the oranges would have been wrapped in for transportation. The Museum was situated in Burriana, Castellón in the Valencia region, 35 miles north of the city of Valencia. This is the Costa Azahar also known as The Orange-Blossom-Coast. To experience the orange groves first-hand Valencia Guias offer guided day-trips around the orange-growing areas. The tour includes a visit to an orange factory, orange picking and a tour of the Museu de la Taronja. – Taronja means orange in Valencian. The Orange Tour A visit to a citrus-fruit storehouse, showing the processing of the fruits arrival to the sorting, washing and packaging for departure. A meander through the dwarf fruit trees where picking of fresh oranges is possible and the place for a picnic in the orange grove. The time to go is from early April to mid-May when the trees are blossoming. The orange tour is available from October until the end of April, when the oranges, tangerines and clementines are fully formed on the trees. For more on the tours of the orange groves, museums or any part of Valencia, see Valencia Guias.