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It has

the largest market in Spain

and the number one for fresh products in Europe. It is also home to the largest freshwater lake in our country. And they even say it's the

Holy Grail

. It was a

Roman colony

and its name comes from that time. And one of its symbols is a bat. More curiosities: some towers of its old wall hid

Las Meninas



during the

Civil War

because they were believed to be safer than the Prado Museum. And another one that, be careful, plays the game of confusion: in this place the largest chorizo ​​in the world was made, according to the

Guinness Book of Records.

It was 800 meters long.

If you have not yet found the destination at hand, here is the key: it is the city of Fallas,

paella, horchata and the Turia,

even if it cannot be seen. Valencia, yes. Well, to this entire list of benefits, records and labels, a new one has just been added, that of European Green Capital 2024, a distinction granted by the EU to cities with

more than 100,000 inhabitants

committed to "environmental innovation, sustainability and the improvement of the urban environment", as explained by the

Commissioner for the Environment,

Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevièius.

Tour of the Turia Garden.SHUTTERSTOCK

She did so during the opening ceremony held just a few days ago at the

Palau de la Música

in the Mediterranean city, the first, by the way, to hold the title of the 15 that have already done so since that first time in 2010, including another Spanish one, Vitoria, in 2012. "We must take advantage of this award to become a powerful brand with international impact, associated with

quality tourism

, sustainable food and excellence in green infrastructure," said the mayor of Valencia, María José Catalá. , during the act.

The Turia succeeds the Estonian Tallinn and then will come Vilnius, in Lithuania. But until then, more than

400 events and activities,

both international and local,

will be held throughout the year to turn the city into "the beacon of green policies in Europe," in Catalá's words.

The Town Hall square has become pedestrian.I. GARCIA

To achieve this, there will be congresses, exhibitions, conferences and thematic forums,

biological Olympics

, weeks of mobility, water or the right to energy, markets and samples of


or local gastronomy, days without cars or against food waste. and

environmental outings

to the garden, beaches or neighborhoods. Even the Fallas and the December marathon will be green. "There will not only be big events, but Valencians will be able to enjoy themselves in their neighborhoods," says the director of the Capital, Antonio García Celda.


Many of the ideas have to do with (sustainable) tourism, one of the

axes of the capital, which is

why Visit Valencia, the foundation in charge of its promotion, has designed three routes (

The Green River, A Center to Share


The Huerta , the sea and

the Albufera

), focused on nature, sustainable mobility, the recovery of

public space

and a healthy eating model. Each one can be done separately or joined by a fourth,

The Essential

, which would integrate the main points of the trio.

Bike route through the City of Arts and Sciences.V. VALENCIA

The tour would consist of nine stops and would start at the


, one of the largest animal parks in the world, until ending at the City of Arts and Sciences, the famous architectural complex designed by Santiago Calatrava. In between, there would be the

Parque de Cabecera

—so called because it is located at the head of the old Turia riverbed, so that it recreates its original landscape, giving prominence to the water—; the

Citizen Forest,

planted in the 80s by popular initiative; a meadow that promotes biodiversity or the Alameda metro station, also the work of


as well as four of the 18 bridges that cross the Garden, some from the 15th and 16th centuries and others, such as the Arts Bridge, signed by

Norman Foster.

The route also includes

Gulliver Park

, a children's area in the form of a gigantic 70-meter sculpture of the character created by the writer Jonathan Swift, as well as the floral shields of the Aragón Bridge or the aforementioned

Palau de la Música

. There is more, since the objective is to expand the Garden with an underground access channel that will bury the train tracks, replacing them with a large boulevard. It will also be connected to the sea through the future

Desembocadura Park.

A young woman picks the famous Valencian oranges.VISIT VALENCIA

We move on to the second route of Visit Valencia,

A historic center to share

, with

11 points

that allow you to explore the old town from the modernist North station to the

Serrano Towers

on foot or by bike (the city has 160 kilometers of cycling lanes) , since the number of pedestrian streets and squares has multiplied in recent months. Among them, the Queen, the Virgin,

the Central Market

and the Town Hall stand out, which has gained more than 12,000 m2 of traffic-free public space.


In between there are important buildings such as the


, dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady - this is where they say the Holy Grail with which we started the article is -, with its famous Miguelete bell tower, the

Silk Exchange

or the Mercaderes, in the Market Square and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the new

Hortensia Herrero Art Center

, located in the Valeriola Palace.

Bicycle itinerary through the city.

It is the turn of the last tour,

The garden, the sea and La Albufera, the pantries of the city

, since that is where

the fruits and vegetables, fish and rice

that so characterize the area come from. A triple proposal of healthy eating with local products to taste in restaurants that is completed with a visit to the

Rice or Blasco Ibáñez museums

, two of the 10 locations on the route, available by public transport or bike from the northern orchards and south that embrace the city to the Albufera Natural Park.

In this, locals like Alex Ribera, in charge of the

Visit Albufera company,

offer boat rides on the lake, "which can fit 2,100 football fields," he explains during the journey, which lasts between 45 minutes and an hour. "

The best time is sunset,

when everything turns a special color," he adds after listing the number of fish that dot these waters. From eels to bass, pike or perch. The only thing left to do is take a dip in the beaches of

El Cabañal, La Malvarrosa and Patacona

or go to the Marina, the enormous balcony that welcomes the Mediterranean.

Boat trip through the Albufera.I. GARCIA

Let's start with the green river, which refers to the

Turia Garden,

the urban park conceived by architect

Ricardo Bofill

in 1986 that structures the metropolis through nine passable kilometers through which the river previously ran. It is the true lung of the city. And this has more than five million square meters of

green spaces.

Or what is the same, seven meters for each inhabitant. And the idea is to reach 10.

It was the neighbors who stood up to the original plan to transform the Turia riverbed into a gigantic highway after the great flood that Valencia suffered in 1957. Today, however, it combines

nature and architecture

, being flanked by some of the most highlights of Valencia, being a perfect place to go cycling, running, practicing yoga,

having a picnic,

walking or simply contemplating its fauna and flora, as it brings together 40 tree species, 70 varieties of birds and thousands of insects.

The lake of the Albufera Natural Park.I. GARCIA



Watch the sunset from a boat on the freshwater lake of the Albufera Natural Park.


Try a native menu with products from the Valencian garden.


Travel the eight kilometers of the Turia Garden on two wheels.


Stroll through new pedestrian plazas such as Mercado or Reina.


Practice some non-motorized nautical activity on the beaches or the Marina.


Buy local products made with ceramics or hand-painted silk.


Taste an authentic paella in a traditional restaurant.


Enjoy heritage sites such as the Fallas, the Lonja or the Water Court.


Use the filtered water sources distributed throughout the city.


Participate in the events of the European Green Capital program until December.

One of the urban gardens that dot Valencia.



By plane or by train.


Wide variety of sustainable hotels:

Vincci Mercat, NH Valencia Center, Hospes Palau de la Mar, Sercotel Valencia Alameda 41, The Westin Valencia

or the 11 of the local group


the first Spanish to have the

S Tourism Sustainability

certificate .


Quality local cuisine at

Casa Carmela

(their paellas are sublime),

Casa Montaña

, a classic in El Cabañal since 1836, or

Bon Aire,

in El Palmar. To try the typical


breakfast you should go to Bodega Alenar.



Visit Valencia


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