I didn’t actually realise until I moved to Valencia how great this city is for running. And, that’s why they call it the Cuidad del Running (the city of running).
Yep, it’s not just a clever name. In fact, it’s quite easy to do a casual triathlon in a day without really planning it. In fact, in the summer I realised that we may have come pretty close to doing just that…
If you love a bit of running, or you’re looking for somewhere where you can swim, cycle and run at a leisurely pace (and refuel with epic food after), then this is why you should head to Valencia, aka the City of Running.
Reason number one to head to Valencia as a runner is the Turia Park. Once a river that ran through the city, in the 1950’s the river flooded and devastated the city. So, they diverted it around the city and turned the old riverbed into a park.
Today Turia Park is one of the most pleasant places to spend time in the hot sunny Valencia weather, and makes an excellent running trail. Stretching for 9 kilometers, from Mislata in the north of the city to the port, the Turia Park is a popular running spot with several trails to follow.
At the bottom of the park is the iconic City of Arts and Sciences, which makes a great view. This is also where the annual Valencia marathon starts and ends, so any running in Valencia will take in this epic view eventually.
As if having a stunning park isn’t enough, Valencia also has the miles of spectacular beach. From Campanar and Arenas beach, past Malvarossa all the way to Patacona, you can enjoy a leisurely jog along the seafront promenade – in fact, you can go as far as you like. The walkway goes almost all the way to Barcelona! (although that is a very long way).
Running along the seafront is of course pretty hot work, but there are plenty of water fountains and of course you can always have a dip when you’ve finished.
Being in such a lush area, Valencia is surrounded by fields growing all kinds of crops. From pumpkins to melons, and of course the ubiquitous oranges…. The fields surrounding the city are called Huertas, are there are popular walking trails amongst them. And, of course, they’re also popular for runners too.
If you’re looking for a more rural running experience in Valencia, take a look at the Huertas. They are usually mapped out by town, so for example, there will be a huerta de Almassera or huerta de Burjassot.
Valencia itself is pancake flat, which is probably why it is such a popular place to run. But, you’re merely a short metro ride from some great mountain trails to explore on the hop. Head to the end of the line, and towns such as Lliria, Xativa and Rafelbunyol for starting points for country running.
Swimming & Biking
I mentioned the beach already, but another key feature of Valencia is the bike potential. As I said, I almost accidentally ended up doing a triathlon in the summer. Wake up for a run, jump on your bike, cycle to the beach and swim.
If you want to explore on your bike, head south to Albufera and the wetland nature reserve. Also, while you’re here, this is the best place to get paella, so refuel before you cycle back to Valencia town.
Ready to go running?
Up for experiencing the City of Running? Valencia has running events all year round, with the main event, the marathon at the end of the year (when temperatures are a little cooler).
Remember that the summer months can get incredibly hot, so enjoy your running in Valencia in the morning or evening.