The Jardín del Turia are easy to recognize on the map of Valencia. It is a long park in the middle of the city in the shape of a river. That’s because it actually used to be a river, but after a big flood in Valencia in 1957, it was decided to reroute the river, so that it wouldn’t run through the city anymore. This meant that a big area in the city center would become available. At first the government wanted to use the space for a big highway, but after protests from the citizens, the area was turned into a park, the Jardín del Turia.
Cycling is a great way to explore the long park. It’s a nice alternative if you’ve been walking a lot on your city trip through Valencia and your feet are starting to get tired. There are also bicycle paths in the park and there are bicycle stalling places around every tourist attraction. And hiring a bicycle isn’t even that expensive in Valencia. It’s either about €1,50 an hour or about €10 a day. Here’s a nice route to cycle, but of course you could also reverse it
Start at the Torres de Serranos. These towers were built in the first century, when Valencia was part of the Roman empire. The towers then became a part of the city wall and eventually they were turned into a prison. They are some of the oldest buildings of the city that are still standing today.
The fun thing about that the park used to be a river, is that you’ll be cycling beneath a lot of bridges, both old and newer ones. The most famous old bridge is the Puente del Real. There had been a bridge there since before the 14th century, but the bridge that stands there today was built in 1589. One of the well-known newer bridges is the Alameda bridge. It was built in the 90’s and designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava, who also designed the famous Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.
On the way, you will pass by a huge playground, called Parc Gulliver. It looks like there is a giant lying on the ground that you can play on, because his hairs, tie and body parts are turned into slides and stairs. It was inspired by the tale Gulliver’s travels, where a man ends up in a place with tiny people. Because children can play on the huge man, it looks like they are the tiny people from the tale that are walking on and around Gulliver.
You will also pass the Palau de la Música de València. This is a large concert and exhibitions hall and it is home to the orchestra of Valencia. It is an important musical centre in Spain and is well-known for its great acoustics. But the architecture of the building designed by José María García de Paredes is also interesting to see.
The route ends at the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. you can park your bicycle behind the last blue building and explore the special architecture of the buildings designed by Santiago Calatrava. And the huge aquarium of Valencia, l’Oceanogràfic, lies right behind the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias and is also really fun and beautiful to see.