Skip to Content

Another Reason to Love Valencia, Spain: The Long River Park!

I am having a little addiction problem. At this time, according to the original plan, I was supposed to be merrily chugging through Seville and Cadiz, and perhaps even Toledo… but instead, I’m back where I was a week ago: in Valencia, Spain.

Valencia, Spain has this great park where a river used to be.
Valencia, Spain has this great park where a river used to be.

“Woman, why can’t you just move on?!” you exclaim. My answer: Because Valencia is great. And thus let us continue our Reasons I Love Valencia series.

Today’s reason: I love Valencia because it has a giant, snaking park that used to be a river!

If you gaze at any map of this city (such as the one conveniently pictured below) you will see that Valencia has a sexy emerald belt draped around its waist. From whence did this feature come? Well apparently, there used to be a fat river winding through Valencia, but when it flooded and badly damaged the city, the government diverted the water to the outskirts of town, leaving behind a big empty riverbed.

A map of Valencia's river park.
A map of Valencia’s river park.

The head honchos in town started plans to turn that riverbed into a highway, but the people of this town united and hollered: “NO! That riverbed shall be a park, not a mass of concrete!” And thanks to their rallying, Valencia now sports miles and miles of luscious grass, trees, and playing fields! It’s called the Jardín del Turia, and stretches 10 kilometers long.

Words cannot express to you how important green space is for my happiness, and thus in my overall rating of any city. Perhaps this preference is embedded into my bones, having grown up in Boston, so famous for its “Emerald Necklace” chain of parks, and also being a fan of Drake Park in Bend, Oregon. But one thing is for sure: green space keeps me sane.

Now here’s a question for you: What do you think is a more useful green space shape for a city: a big rectangle like Central Park, or a scrumptiously long, thin river of green? For all that it may get me beaten up by New York fanatics, I vote for the river-shaped park as superior!

Walking through the park in Valencia.
Walking through the park in Valencia.

My reason is, with a long skinny park, you are able to access the grass from a greater swath of the city because you get a much longer perimeter. This means more people can be made happy by the green!

A girl just came in this hostel dorm and flopped on her bed, exclaiming: “I like this city so much! And yet, I had never even heard about it before.”

I’m supposed to take a train somewhere else in Spain sometime soon (I really should, right?), but instead, I may just extend my stay here yet another night. While I’m at it, maybe I should check out a meeting of Valencia Addicts Anonymous! But first… off for a run in that riverbed park. Yum!


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Friday 21st of September 2012

Hello from Valencia Lillie!

I've just read your article about our city and it makes me feel proud of it, even more considering you are a passionate traveler.

I hope you enjoy it again very soon!


Friday 21st of September 2012

Thanks so much, Luis! Glad to make you proud. :)


Friday 21st of September 2012

Valencia is a great city.. its got everything you could need to enjoy your time here.... Lovely buildings, interesting museums, great bars and restaurants, not to mention our famous Aqua de Valencia.. and of course the Paella....we've even got a beach too.. what more could you want in a city thats got a heart.. I Love Valencia ; )


Thursday 8th of July 2010

I've been living in Valencia for 2 1/2 years now and I think it is a great city. I would like Turia to be greener though, but the climate... Anyway, the Botanical Garden is great too (and full of cats) :)

Hola Valencia

Tuesday 29th of June 2010

Pssst - you are not supposed to tell everyone that Valencia is a hidden gem. Let them run to Madrid and Barcelona :)

We are living now in Valencia for 2 1/2 years and are loving it. You have to come back for Las Fallas:

or any other crazy festival (honestly though, forget La Tomatina .... Valencia has so much more to offer)

Imported Blogger Comments

Thursday 27th of May 2010

Dave said... I'm with ya on the long skinny parks - just like the Panhandle 2 blocks south of me in San Francisco!

May 8, 2010 9:37 PM

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.