don’t know about you, but I really need my little nature breaks. That can be challenging when you live in a city and don’t have time to go on a trip. I mean, if you’re in the middle of a busy workday you can’t just grab the car and drive into the mountains, right? But throughout the day, we need to find a few moments to press pause and be in nature, even if it’s just a couple of minutes.
Now, here’s the good news: Valencia’s Turia park has everything you need to rewind a little, it doesn’t even feel like you’re in the city! 9 kilometers of hidden gems, authentic bridges, cute little ponds, beautiful trees, pretty flowers, interesting architecture, and fountains. Yeah, sounds like the perfect place to take a break, doesn’t it?
Explore, get some fresh air, and your happy hormones will increase in no time ;-)
And just like anywhere else in Valencia… a surprise is always around the corner.
There’s a reason why Valencianos call the Turia park: el río (the river). It has a very dark history. In 1957, on October 14th, one of the most tragic events in Valencian history happened: the river Turia flooded into the city and destroyed many people’s lives. The Spanish government then decided to transform the old riverbed into the largest urban park in Spain. It was designed by several architects, including Ricardo Bofill. After years of hard work, the Turia park officially opened in 1986. The Spaniards knew how to make something beautiful out of a disaster, that’s for sure.
Full of life
Taking a break in the Turia park is anything but boring. You’ll notice that this park is full of life. You’ll see kids playing, people picnicking, making music, dancing, doing sports, walking their dog, joining different kinds of outdoor classes, having birthday parties, and whatnot. I used to teach my Sing & Swing classes in the park and you know what? I really miss those days. It was so much fun to teach outdoors. Maybe there’s something special you’d like to do in the park? Think about it! :-)
Throughout the year there are lots of events such as markets, festivals, fairs, and concerts. They mostly take place in Summer, but honestly, I feel like there is always some kind of event I don’t know about. That’s also one of the things I love the most: when you just go for a stroll or picnic in the park and you suddenly end up watching elderly people dancing salsa. Or you’re unexpectedly partying for hours with a beer in your hand. Life works in mysterious (and Spanish) ways.
From the futuristic area of the City of Arts and Sciences to the authentic old flower bridge, the Turia park has multiple personalities (no, it doesn’t have issues) and is divided into twelve sections.
It’s difficult to pick a favorite spot because no two are the same and every spot has its own story. Some of my favorite spots are Palau de la Música, the Flower bridge (Puente de las Flores), and the area of the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias.)
- There are lots of beautiful orange trees, but don’t eat the oranges! They are very bitter and not meant to be eaten. If you really wanna get some fresh oranges, buy them at the local grocery store or go to the special fields outside of the city to pick them!
- Check out Berklee's events, they organize concerts during Spring and Summer.
- If you want to know which beautiful tree or flower you just stumbled upon, download the app: Picture This. It’s easy: you take a picture and the app recognizes what it is and shows you all the information. So cool, right?
- If you’re with kids, you should definitely go to Gulliver park. It’s a huge playground and let me tell you a secret: I enjoy it too.
- Are you a yoga fan? Go join one of Jenny's classes in the park, you won't regret it!
So, tell us, what does your ideal nature break in the Turia park look like?