The history of the Port of Valencia is one of many difficulties overcome in order to create a completely artificial Port. Starting from a beach without deep waters or shelter of any kind, came the beautiful reality of a port with such magnificent depth and breadth that it is considered one of the best on the coast.

There was likely once a pier — probably in exactly the same location as the present port — which was in use even before the conquest of Valencia by King James I of Aragon, seeing as his forces were helped by it. This pier, where King James I established his camp, was called “grau” (from Latin, gradus). The long-standing maritime importance of Valencia is confirmed by the fact that in 1283, King Peter III of Aragon granted an important privilege to Valencia when he designated it as the Consulate of the Sea. The town centre of Valencia, located next to the Turia River and about 3 kilometres from the coast, was connected to the sea in the fourteenth century by the Turia River, which was somewhat navigable up to the walls of Valencia.

The first works of which we have record were carried out by Antoni Joan, under his privilege granted by King Ferdinand the Catholic and issued in Córdoba in 1483. The King granted the license to build a wooden bridge on the beach of El Grau, starting on mainland and going into the sea, which is now known as “Pont de Fusta“. In the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, the shipyards were expanded. In the sixteenth century, the gap between the needs of a maritime power and a port inadequate to cover them became clear. After various negotiations, in 1679 the capital of the Kingdom of Valencia was awarded, by royal order, the right to be a freight traffic port to other realms. This made the refurbishment works even more urgent in order to achieve fluidity in the maritime relations. The Port of Valencia remained in poor conditions until the eighteenth century; nevertheless, important traffic always passed through.

From 1792 onwards, refurbishment works began again but they were interrupted several times. 1852 was a decisive year in the history of the Port of Valencia, as the civil engineer Juan Subercase presented a project that involved the construction of two docks and an isolated breakwater together with transverse docks. The purpose was to divide the sheltered site in both the outer harbour and the inner harbour. In 1897, the engineer Manuel Maese carried out a project in the new Port of Valencia, with the port being modified (expanded) in the second half of the twentieth century. The increase in freight traffic and storage made it necessary to build the Port of Valencia’s warehouses in line with the project drawn up by the engineer Fausto Elio.

In 2005, due to the election of Valencia as the host city for the 32nd America’s Cup, the northern area of the Port of Valencia underwent major transformations. A jetty service for superyachts was built and endowed in the inner harbour which also opened to the sea through a channel leading to two marinas and a harbour mouth; buildings were erected for each of the participating teams as well as the event’s organisational staff, television media and volunteers; finally, the House of the America’s Cup museum and the emblem of La Marina, the Veles e Vents guest building. As a result, the shopping and leisure zones of La Marina Real Juan Carlos I are physically separated.

Currently, the Port of Valencia is the leading Spanish port in container traffic and it is among the top ten ports in Europe and the top fifty in the world. In terms of passenger transport, it has regular traffic with the Balearic Islands and Italy as well as a growing market in cruises.

Source: Port Authority of Valencia

1930 Port Valencia Marina Real Juan Carlos I

La Marina Real Juan Carlos I - Valencia - 1889