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Spain’s Largest Urban Park Runs Through Valencia Like a River (And 5 More Must-See Parks in Valencia)

Valencia Insider Guides
by Matador Creators Jul 24, 2023

When ancient Romans founded Valencia, Spain, the city was built around the Turia River. The Turia River no longer runs through Valencia. In its place, a beautiful urban park snakes more than five-and-a-half miles through Spain’s third-largest city.

The history of the park, Jardín del Turia, began with a tragedy. In 1957, a flood caused by the Turia River wreaked havoc on Valencia, a city that was historically plagued by floods. In response to the disaster, the Spanish government and then-mayor of Valencia concocted a plan to divert the river outside of the city bounds.

The plan to reroute the river was completed in 1969, leaving behind a dry riverbed in the middle of the city. Initially, a highway was proposed to occupy the space, but Valencians quickly rejected the idea in favor of creating a green space where the river once ran. The city complied.


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That green space is now the Jardín del Turia, which at more than 250 acres is Spain’s largest urban park. Its development enlisted the work of various urban planners and landscapers to tackle different sections of the park, aiming to recreate the natural beauty that the river once bestowed upon the city. The result is an oasis of green grass and rose bushes; palm, orange, and pine trees; fountains; ponds; and a variety of recreational facilities.

Today, Jardín del Turia is a cherished green space in Valencia and an icon of the city, but it’s not the only one. There are several gardens and parks in Valencia that double as leading attractions. These are the most beautiful Valencia parks and gardens to see on your next visit.

Cabecera Park


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Cabecera Park picks up where the Jardín del Turia ends, located midway between the Balearic coast and Valencia’s airport. A more traditional park, the oblong green space adds another 80-plus acres of greenery to the cityscape. Like the Jardín del Turia, Cabecera Park occupies part of the former riverbed, and it’s actually incorporated a central water feature in the shape of a lake that’s popular for boating. But if you ask many Valencians, especially those with kids, they’ll say the real highlight of Cabecera Park is its Bioparc, Valencia’s largest zoological park. In addition to mountain views, serene woodlands, and an up-and-coming amusement park, Cabecera Park also has a few cafes and restaurants where you can stop for tapas with a view.

Parque Central


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Valencia is a city that continually strives to improve and reinvent itself through large-scale urban development programs. Jardín del Turia, Cabecera Park, and Parque Central are all testaments to that. Still under development, Parque Central was envisioned as a relaxing green space that doubles as a social hub in Valencia. Its location was chosen between youthful Ruzafa and sleepy Malilla, bridging two neighborhoods that were previously divided by railway lines. The park currently spans more than 25 acres of paths, promenades, landscaped spaces, and art installations, as well as relics of the old railway tracks.

Botanical Garden of Valencia


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Though Valencia’s popular botanical garden belongs to the University of Valencia, it’s an attraction that feels like it belongs to the whole city (although visitors will need to fork over $3 to gain access to the garden). The garden has a long history of use as an educational venue, beginning in the 16th century when it became a center for botanical studies. The current garden began to take shape in the 19th century when the second iteration of the orchard, the Tramoveres Orchard, expanded both physically and in its collection. Today, the botanical garden houses a diverse array of plants, notably palms and desert flora, as well as beautiful greenhouses, a section dedicated to aquatic plants, an aviary, a shade garden, and more.

Viveros Gardens


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The Viveros Gardens go by many names. They’re also known as the Jardines del Real and Royal Gardens, with the name viveros coming from the Spanish word for “nurseries” after the gardens were given to the city as a horticultural center in 1903. The original gardens date all the way back to the 11th century. In addition to beautiful flora, artistic and historic attractions pepper today’s gardens, including a series of statues depicting Greco-Roman gods, a farmhouse that epitomizes Valencian architecture, and the restored facade of an old palace. The National Science Museum of Valencia is also located within Viveros Gardens.

Monforte Gardens


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Nestled in the space between where the Jardín del Turia meets the Viveros Gardens, Monforte Gardens, or L’Hort de Romero, are Valencia’s oldest gardens. They date back to 1849 when a marquis named Juan Bautista Romero bought an orchard that once belonged to a baron and created a beautiful floral space around the mansion there. The site was declared a National Artistic Garden in 1941 but was not designated as a public green space until 1973. Part neoclassical, part naturalist, the garden has a grand and classical look that’s enhanced by design elements such as statues, pools, and fountains in addition to different floral attractions, including a rose garden and a gallery with climbing plants.

Where to stay near Valencia’s parks

Because the Jardín del Turia cuts all the way across central Valencia — from the coast, skirting the Old Town, and farther inland — pretty much all of the city’s best hotels are located within distance of it. Many of them hug the boundary of the park. Add in the rest of the city’s parks and the wealth of Valencia Airbnbs you have the option to book, and you’ll have no problem finding accommodation near the finest parks in Valencia. If a nice hotel near Valencia’s parks is your preference, here are a few of the best to get you started on your search.

We hope you love these Airbnbs near Valencia’s nicest parks! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

Caro Hotel


Photo: Expedia

Located near the Jardín del Turia’s central bend, within walking distance of Valencia’s Old Town, the Caro Hotel is a five-star accommodation that’s sleek and modern yet still cozy. The on-site restaurant, Alma del Temple, is one of Valencia’s fine-dining establishments, and the seasonal outdoor pool really sells the place on hot summer days.

Where: C/ de l’Almirall, 14, 46003 València, Valencia, Spain
Price per night: From $208

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The Westin Valencia


Photo: Expedia

In addition to being located near landmarks such as the City of Arts and Sciences, The Westin Valencia is situated close to where the Jardín del Turia, Viveros Gardens, and Monfort Gardens all meet. Art Deco design touches liven up the rooms — some of which come with private terraces and hot tubs if you’re looking for something extra cozy.

Where: Carrer d’Amadeu de Savoia, 16, 46010 València, Valencia, Spain
Price per night: From $240

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MYR Palacio Vallier

Photo: Expedia

MYR Palacio Vallier is an elegant five-star option for fans of boutique hotels. There are only 31 rooms total but still plenty of amenities on site, including a rooftop terrace, bar, cafe, fine-dining restaurant, bike rentals, and EV charging. The hotel is located between the edge of the Old Town and a bend in the Jardín del Turia.

Where: Pl. de Manises, 7, 46003 València, Valencia, Spain
Price per night: From $210

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