Get to know Anabel Arco Sola

As part of our series of short interviews with leading tour guides

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Anabel Arco Sola - tour guide

Get to know me with a short video

Why did you become a tour guide?

I have always been an inquisitive girl. I was born in Valencia but soon the willingness to travel and discover new cultures and countries woke up. I juggled the university with trips such as London, New York, California… there were no excuses to take advantage of every chance to move to another country for some time to learn and improve languages. Since I finished my studies, I have never stopped working in the tourism area but in a different way than I do nowadays. I was an employed worker for a long time but this way to work did not allow my imagination and creativity to run free. That is why in 2014 I took an important decision to be freelance and set up my own business. It was the moment when I realized that my dream was to become a tour guide.

What do you like the most about being a tour guide?

Every day is different, every group is different and challenged and every day I learn new things thanks to my tourist.

What is the hardest part about being a tour guide?

To be honest, timings. Tourists don’t know the city and they want to discover everything and sometimes they have a limited time to do the tour, especially the tourists who are arriving by cruise ship.

Pick a city you love, and name your top five things tourists must do in the city

I choose Valencia

  1. Old town walking tour
  2. City of Arts and Sciences walking tour
  3. Turia´gardens walking tour / bike tour
  4. Albufera
  5. Oceanogràfic / Bioparc

In that city, name one dish they must taste and in which restaurant?:

Paella Valenciana / Any restaurant at El Palmar.

What do you take with you on every tour?

My tour license, Valencia photo book, maps, and water.

Why should tourists join a guided tour or hire a private tour guide?

Private tours

Could you tell me an interesting or funny story that happen to you with tourists?

I have many of them but one I remember and it makes me laugh is the moment when a cruise ship stopped in Valencia and it was very early, it was also a rainy day and they were wearing blue raincoats. The main square in the old town was infested with all of them and it was like acting in an Avatar film.. actually, it was a very hard day!

Which destinations are still on your bucket list that you still haven’t traveled to?

Argentina, Perú, México, Jordania, Australia, China, Japón….. I can continue….

If you could recommend one place in the world everyone must see, what would it be?

Valencia, definitely. Tourists from EEUU or Asian countries they just know the main cities in Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, Granada… but when they visit Valencia, all of them agree that they did not expect the city like that and they got shocked.

Anything else you wish to share with our travelers’ community?

I would like to suggest to them that if they want to discover the city, its culture, traditions, cuisine…and not miss anything, they should do it accompanied by an official local guide.

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