By bike, faster, further... Better!
The nice weather is a constant in Valencia and invites you to explore it by bike. The city is completely flat and has about 200 kilometres of cycle paths, which allow you to reach any point of interest. Cycle at your own pace, as it is within easy reach for everyone and does not depend on your fitness level. You do not own a bike? This will be fixed soon. There are many companies to rent bikes in Valencia by the hour or by the day. You do not want to cycle alone? Then sign up for one of the guided bike tours of València. Problems solved? Watch out, we ¡ are going to start!
Valencia from corner side to the other through the Jardín del Turia Park
Our first route crosses the city from east to west, passing through the historic centre and leads to the beach. We have divided the proposal into two days of three and a half hours each to make it more bearable. But if your legs allow it, you can cover it in one go (7 hours).
We start in Parque de Cabecera, on the west side of the old Turia riverbed. From here we have a contemplative 3.5 km ride to the Torres de Serranos, one of the town's two old gates that are still standing. We continue through the Plaza de Manises, in front of the Palau de la Generalitat, the seat of the autonomous government, and the Plaza de la Virgen. At this point it is advisable to stop for a moment to visit the Basilica of the Virgin, the Cathedral and its famous bell tower, El Miguelete, and the Archaeological Museum de la Almoina, which contains remains of the Roman city. The palace of the Marquis de Dos Aguas and its impressive façade will welcome us on our way, as well as the headquarters of the University of Valencia with its Renaissance style, and the El Patriarca church-museum. Here we will finish the first stage after about 5 kilometres.
Bridges, villages and beaches
The second stage takes us to the old tobacco factory, crossing the old riverbed on the Puente de la Exposición Bridge, designed by the local architect Santiago Calatrava. Very close by is the palace of the same name, a remnant of the 1909 regional show that changed the face of this neighbourhood. After the first kilometre and a half, we have to cross the old riverbed again on the colourful Puente de las Flores Bridge, to re-enter Spain's largest city park and pedal at leisure. On the left side in the direction of our route we will be surprised by the unmistakable silhouette of the Palau de la Música. A little further on, on the right side, we will enjoy a gigantic figure of a reclining Gulliver, which has been transformed into a park for the amusement of children. This is the intermediate step to the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències and its spectacular buildings, all creations by the genius of Calatrava, except for the characteristic hyperbolic parabolic structures of l'Oceanogràfic, the posthumous work of the great Felix Candela. Once we have had enough of one of Valencia's main attractions, we still have three kilometres to enjoy the Marina de Valencia, an area of one million square metres for leisure activities.
After a highly recommended drive, which should not leave aside the Veles e Vents building designed by David Chipperfield, you are only a stone's throw away from the seafront promenade, from where you can enjoy the beaches of Malvarrosa and Cabanyal and the fabulous Mediterranean Sea. What a great plan!
El Saler and the l'Albufera Nature Park
If you feel like a little more, don't worry. Valencia offers many cycling routes. Don't miss the route that follows the cycle path that starts at the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències and leads to the beaches in the south of the city. It is 48 completely flat kilometres (round trip), which can take just over two and a half hours. Although you will usually spend more time because the landscape is so beautiful.
First you reach Pinedo to get to a series of beautiful beaches that seem to have no end: Pinedo's own beach, and the Arbre del Gos, El Saler, La Garrofera - beaches ... We are located in the heart of the L'Albufera Nature Park, that large natural freshwater lake, the largest in Spain, which is located directly on the sea and delimits a narrow strip of sand, dunes and pine forests through which you will walk. Exciting, isn't it?
We suggest you spend a few minutes at the Gola de Pujol viewpoint, where there is a pier, to get to know this beautiful wetland. La Devesa de El Saler, the only virgin beach in the municipality, will delight you with its 5 kilometres of pure nature. Shortly afterwards we reach our final destination, the small village of El Palmar, where it is highly recommended to end the day with a delicious paella prepared on wood. You may find the return trip a little more difficult, but you will reach the state of perfect happiness!
Landscape, mountains and full speed!
Via Xurra: Bicycle touring in the farmland
If you love biking or hiking, you've probably heard of the Green Routes (or even tried some of them). These trails take advantage of old disused railway lines to offer an unparalleled opportunity to combine exercise, nature and history and explore otherwise inaccessible rural environments. We invite you to learn about the one that starts in Valencia: the Via Xurra.
Its name refers to the term used to identify people from Aragon (Churros) at the time of the Reconquista. It was originally a railway line built by the Central Railway Company of Aragon to connect Valencia with Calatayud (Zaragoza) in the early 20th century. The last section, between Valencia and Puçol, ran parallel to the railway line to Castellón belonging to Compañía del Norte, so decades later Renfe decided to close it and combine the routes.
This section of the railway was closed and dismantled in 1985. After a few years of neglect, it was gradually reclaimed as a green route, which you can now conveniently travel along on foot, by bicycle, on horseback or even in a wheelchair along its 15-kilometer length. The ground it covers is practically flat, so you don't need to be in great shape to enjoy the experience.
The route starts at the Torre Miramar roundabout, in the neighborhood of Benimaclet. Leaving the city behind, it passes through olive and orange groves that make the walk a delight, especially in April when the trees are in bloom. It ventures into the north section of La Huerta, where traditional farmhouses jut out among fields of crops and chufa (tiger nut), that small tuber that is a Valencian exclusive. Sign that you're in the land of horchata! Why not stop to cool off in Horchatería Vida (you'll pass by the door) or Sequer lo Blanch, Panach or Daniel in Alboraya, just a few meters from the route? A little further north, the Barraca de Toni Montoliu is the perfect place to savor an authentic Valencian paella in the middle of the Huerta. Park your bike there and enjoy!
In the area near the route (about five kilometers all around) there are also protected natural spaces, such as the wetlands of Marjal de Rafaiel, Vistabella and Marjal dels Mors, the Municipal Natural Park of La Costera and the Natural Park of La Calderona, whose peaks of reddish earth and pine and cork forests dominate the horizon. For some culture, stop by the historic Puig Monastery, founded by King James I the Conqueror in the 13th century.
These and many more activities can be added to your trip along the Via Xurra to make the experience even more complete and unforgettable. And if its 15 kilometers leave you wanting more, in Meliana it crosses the Metropolitan Green Ring, the new 56-kilometer circular biking-pedestrian corridor that connects the sea and the Huerta. The Via Xurra has a lot to offer. What are you waiting for? Check it out!
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If your fitness level allows you and you feel like it, there are other routes that start in the city and are a constant challenge. These are routes where you must your bike for a road bike or at least take a mountain bike with narrow wheels and a suitable gear ratio. They are not for everyone, but if you feel like it and want to try them out... they will convince you. Have a good trip!