Wildlife in Valencia

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The rose gardens in the Turia park near the City of Arts & Sciences

Valencia is Spain’s third-largest city after Madrid and Barcelona. Famed for its historic Old Town and its expansive beaches, Valencia also lays claim to arguably one of Spain’s biggest and most innovative urban renewal projects, the Turia park. The Turia River used to flow through the city but devastating floods in 1957 prompted the city government to divert the flow of the river around the city. After a lengthy and hotly-contested debate about what to do with the old riverbed, the government turned it into a leafy park which stretches almost 9 kilometers. These days, the park is home to a variety of Valencia’s best attractions including the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, extensive flower gardens, fruit orchards and space for all sorts of sporting and cultural activities. It has become a very popular spot for both locals and visitors who come here to relax, enjoy a picnic with family and friends or to utilise the mile upon mile of jogging and cycling paths. The old riverbed is, as I soon discovered, also home to two of Valencia’s spectacular wildlife parks: the Bioparc (at its northwestern end) and the Oceanogràfic (adjacent to the City of Arts and Sciences at the southeastern end of the old riverbed).

Bioparc

The Bioparc is a massive park that showcases African flora and fauna. The park is divided into various sections, each of which houses a specific eco-system. There’s the savannah, a section devoted to Madagascar’s unique wildlife, the Equatorial forests and wetlands.

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Giraffes and antelopes

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Rhinos lazing in the sun

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Elephants

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Flamingos

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Lemurs roam freely in the Madagascar section.

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You’ll get the opportunity to see a hippo underwater!

I’ve been to many zoological parks around the world but the Bioparc is certainly unique. I especially love how the park encourages ‘immersion’. The enclosures are so cleverly designed that visitors often feel as though they are walking through the animals’ natural environment, not simply observing the animals from behind a fence. The Bioparc truly is a lovely place for a morning or late-afternoon stroll.

Oceanogràfic

The Oceanogràfic is Europe’s largest aquarium and houses a great diversity of marine environments including the oceans, the Arctic/Antarctic, wetlands and the tropical seas. The curvy white roofs of the pavilions, designed by Félix Candela, will grab your attention as you enter the park but head below and you’ll find yourself in a fascinating marine world with massive basins and tanks interconnected by glass tunnels.

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Feeding time!

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The stunning roofs of the Oceanografic.

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The birdlife is equally stunning.

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A series of tunnels link the different pavilions.

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Sharks and rays

While in Valencia, make sure you set aside some time for these two parks. I definitely enjoyed visiting both and I’m pretty sure you will too!

Valencia Tourist Card

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Valencia Tourist Card

One more tip: if you’re visiting Valencia, I recommend purchasing a Valencia Tourist Card which can be used for your public transport needs (unlimited use of metro, bus and tram services within the city and to/from the airport). The card is available in three durations: 24, 48 and 72 hours. Those who purchase the card also receive a handy pocket map and a voucher booklet with heaps of discounts and free offers at many attractions and restaurants.

In partnership with the City of Valencia Tourism Board, I’m pleased to offer my readers a 10% discount when the card is purchased via this page.

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7 Responses to “Wildlife in Valencia”

  1. rob hermans 11/07/2013 1:30 pm
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    `now that certainly saved a trip to Africa. It’ beautiful! I think the lemur is actually a meerkat?
    . Anyway, you don’t see a lot of African Elephants in zoos, normally the Asian type. I guess they really feel at home because the weather is hot as in Africa..?

  2. Keith Jenkins 08/07/2013 11:36 am
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    Hi Tim,
    It’s way up at the other end of the Turia park in a newly developed area.

  3. I was going for daily jogs in the riverbed park when I was there but never did I see this biopark!

  4. Keith Jenkins 27/06/2013 11:31 pm
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    Thanks for your comment Janice! :-) I love Valencia. It offers a fab mix of sand/sea, culture, cuisine, history and cutting-edge architecture. And these two parks add a distinctive touch!

    Cheers,
    Keith

  5. Sand in my Suitcase 27/06/2013 9:16 pm
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    Wow! The zoo & aquarium look like great attractions. Have to put Valencia on our travel list!

  6. Keith Jenkins 25/06/2013 2:53 pm
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    They’re amazing! You have to visit Valencia one day. Surely one of my favourite cities in Spain.

  7. ciki 25/06/2013 2:51 pm
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    Love the underwater pavilions. truly stunning! I wanna visit Valencia !

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