The Coolest Thing in Valencia: A River Without Water

Hailey Kilbarger is a student at Grand Valley State University and an ISA Featured Blogger. She is currently studying abroad with ISA in Valencia, Spain.

Nestled around the border of Valencia’s city center is the beautiful Río Turia. It’s unlike any other river because there is one main component missing: water. Back in the 1950s, the river was drained after the Great Flood of Valencia and the water was redirected to a man-made river that now loops around the southern border of the city. Plans were drafted to turn the empty river bend into a multiple lane highway zooming through the center of the city. But the Valencians were not happy with this idea, and they protested. Thanks to their efforts, we can now enjoy an afternoon stroll through the unique, urban park.

The “river” is very long and runs through the center of the city.

The river bend spans about 5.5 miles across the city, starting at a Biopark and ending at the famous City of Arts & Sciences. The river has so many different characteristics and serves a purpose for every type of Valencian. Whether you’re a biker, runner, walker, skater, fútbol player, gym junkie, nature enthusiast, or just simply looking for an escape from the city, the Río Turia has a spot for you. There are several different trails, gardens, fútbol fields, and gym equipment stations. There’s even a ginormous playground for adults and children!

Living in a city is exciting and lively, but it can also be overwhelming at times, especially if you’re used to being near nature. The Río Turia provides a quick getaway to anyone living in the city of Valencia. Also, if you’re new to the city and you get lost, just find your way back to the river. It’s a great guide to get you to where you need to go. Regardless of if you’re studying in Valencia, Spain or simply visiting, I highly recommend exploring the Río.

The world awaits…discover it.

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