With pleasantly mild weather and a sure-to-shine sun bathing Valencia in warmth, it's only natural that Valencia be brimming with parks and gardens in which to relax or picnic outdoors in the sun or shade. Valencia parks are not only places for visitors and locals to idle away a few afternoon hours, but they also beautify the urban landscape, show off a great variety of local and exotic flora and provide zones for a wide range of sports and recreation activities.
Valencia Parks & Gardens
After a flood in 1957 that damaged much of the city, the Río Turia (River Turia) was diverted, now passing around the southern and western suburbs of the city. The former river bed wrapping around the northern and eastern rim of historical Valencia, now boasts what is easily the largest urban park in Valencia, the Jardín del Turia. Stretching for an impressive 10 kilometers, this Valencia park has a bit of everything. Aside from the expanses of green and flower-filled gardens, the sheer amount of things to do in the park is enough to wow any activity-seeker.
Along with footpaths ideal for strolling, jogging and rollerblading, there are tons of sports installations, including a running track, a baseball-softball field, a rugby field, seven football (soccer) fields, four artificial turf all-purpose sports fields, a dirt-bike area, three petanca courts, two rollerskating/rollerblading areas, a skateboarding zone and a giant chess board. For youngsters there are various playground areas, but the real highlight is the Parque Gulliver. Featuring the giant figure of the mythic character Gulliver attached to the ground by the habitants of Lilliput, the young and young at heart can romp around on all sorts of ramps, ladders and slides.
Along the banks of this Valencia park you'll find many museums, monuments and cultural points of interest - for which the park has garnered the nickname "river of culture" - culminating with the City of Arts and Sciences located in the southern-most part of the park.
Where? Antiguo Cauce del Turia
Of Arabic origin, the Jardines del Real, more commonly known as the Jardines de Viveros, is a delightful Valencia park featuring fragrant rose gardens, shady pine trees, statues to admire and benches to sit back and revel in the atmosphere. The major highlight of the park, however, is that set within its lush vegetation and tranquil atsmosphere you'll find Valencia's zoo. Located on the northwestern periphery of the park, head inside another world full of birds, fish, crocodiles, giraffes, wallabees, chimpanzees, bears, tigers, hippopotamus... you get the idea!
Where? Calle San Pío, s/n
Telephone: 963 52 54 78, ext. 4304
Designed in the Neoclassical style, the Valencia park of La Alameda was begun in the 17th century. Tucked amongst the poplar, acacia and ficus trees and a wide range of regional plants and flowers you'll come across marble statues, square towers decorated with beautiful ceramic tiles, and ornamental fountains. Of particular interest is the fountain depicting the four seasons. Plus, running around the edges of the park is a one-kilometer lane perfect for walking, jogging, rollerblading, etc.
Where? Paseo de la Alameda, s/n
The Jardines de Monforte, located right by the Jardines del Real (Jardines de Viveros) is a Neoclassical Valencia park with a romantic atmosphere. Considered one of the most beautiful parks in Valencia and even in Spain, it's divided into three slightly varying yet complementary parts. The first zone is the geometric, Neoclassical garden featuring groomed shrubbery, marble statues, ornamental fountains, pavilions and other various typical Neoclassical details. The second part is dominated by a small, tranquil palace, and the third is a more naturalist garden of romantic character. Be sure to seek out the park's permanent exposition of bonsais, the only one of its kind in all of Europe.
Where? Calle Legión Española, s/n
Telephone: 963 52 54 78, ext. 4345
Part of the university, the Jardín Botánico was originally designed and put together as an aid to teaching botany to students. Within these botanical gardens, you'll find a wide range of exotic plants, featuring upwards of 3,000 species of trees, plants and flowers from all over the world. The two zones that most visitors find to be especially interesting are the palm and tropical area and cactus and desert area.
Where? Calle Quart, 80
Telephone: 963 15 68 00
Along with El Parterre, La Glorieta is one of the oldest gardens set into Valencia's historical district. Extremely well cared for, this smallish urban garden features regional plant life, famoous statues, sculpted fountains and a tranquil atmosphere perfect for cracking open your favorite book on a park bench.
Where? Calle General Tovar-Palacio de Justicia
One of the oldest and most centrally located parks in historical Valencia, El Parterre features an eclectic mix of pine, palm and giant magnolia trees well over 100 years old. Within the park you're sure to come across a dominating statue of King Jaime I, the Spanish monarch who definitively liberated Valencia from the Moors back in 1238. (Learn more about Valencia history...)
Where? Plaza Alfonso el Magnánimo