The Turia river bed gardens stretch for nine kilometres (5.6 miles) through the city of Valencia. The original river was diverted due to flooding in 1957 and the fertile earth now supports lush vegetation, play areas, cafes and more.
The gardens attract walkers, cyclists, acrobats, dancers, musicians and skateboaders – and there's space for everyone! It's a vibrant, beautiful and cultured area of the city and you'll often find exhibitions and fairs held in the centre of the park.
A cycle path runs the entire length of rive bed, from the City of Arts and Sciences at one end, to the Parque Cabacera and its stunning lake, at the other. Also a few minute's walk from Cabacera Park is the Bioparc.
Starting from the City of Arts and Sciences, after about a 10-minute stroll you can rent four-wheeled bikes in the shape of cars for all the family to ride. They come in two sizes and hire is for a minimum of 30 minutes, priced about €9 or €12 for the smaller or larger models.
You can also hire regular bikes, starting from around €5 per hour for the first hour – the price gets cheaper the longer you hire the bike. The bike hire shack is open from 10am-10pm, Monday to Sunday.
TIP! Too tired to cycle? Pay around €5 to take the tourist train around the river bed and see all the sites without any effort. The train departs from opposite the bike hire shack and stops various times throughout the river bed.
In this area of the river gardens you'll see pretty water features, mini-golf and the Gulliver children's playground. There are special activities organised for children up to the age of 14 every Sunday from June to September in the Rovella area of the park.
The Palau de la Musica is also in the river bed, flanked by a large pond where you'll find dancing fountains and music on Saturday lunch times. This area is where you'll see skaters and skateboarders practicing, as well as in the half-pipe nearby.
The river bed is crossed by numerous bridges; two of the most attractive are the Calatrava Bridge, designed by the famous architect who designed the City of Arts and Sciences, and the colourful Puente de las Flores, the 'Bridge of Flowers'.
TIP! Follow the river bed and find some of Valencia's best museums and architectural delights which are on the river banks.
Next to the river bed gardens you'll find: the San Carlos Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the Regional Military History Museum, the church and convent of El Carmen, the Corpus Christi Museum, the Fine Arts Museum, the Valencian Institute of Modern Arts and the Fallas Museum, to name but a few.
TIP! Visiting Valencia in May or June? Visit the Feria de las Naciones which runs from mid-May to mid-June in the river bed. There are food and drinks stalls from all over the world and music and dance from a myriad of cultures. It's tasty, cheap and fun!