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Camins al Grau

The Camins al Grau district doesn’t usually draw much attention, despite bordering other zones that are filled with monuments and popular attractions. It’s district 12 of Valencia’s administrative districts and borders Quatre Carreres to the south, Eixample to the north, El Pla del Real to the east and Poblats Marítims to the west. The district itself is divided into five neighbourhoods: Albors, Aiora, La Creu del Grau, Penya-Roja and Camí Fondo. Metro stations Amistat-Casa de Salud, Metro Ayora and Marítim-Serrería make it easy to travel between Camins al Grau and the rest of Valencia. There are also plenty of buses that run through its neighbourhoods.

In the past, Camins al Grau was poorly connected and attracted little interest, but ever since the Albereda was expanded it’s become a popular area to live and with travellers exploring the city. It now has top quality hotels and some fantastic restaurants.

Parc Gulliver is also located in Camins al Grau. This park’s main attraction is the gigantic sculpture of the famous character from Gulliver’s Travels who has been captured and tied down by the Lilliputians. Gulliver was built in 1990 by architect Rafael Rivera and Falles artist Manolo Martín and the sprawled figure is covered in slides and other fun games for children. This children’s area sits in a part of the Jardí del Túria, an immense park that runs in a straight line along the old course of the Túria river from the port to the innovative Bioparc zoo. The section of the park that falls within Camins al Grau district borders the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, the space designed by Santiago Calatrava that has become an important icon of Valencia.

The Jardí del Túria is one of the biggest parks in Spain and is visited by the largest number of people. Its paths, avenues, rose gardens and bridges are used daily by local residents doing sports and tourists who love cycling along its 10 km traffic-free route. Another green space that is well worth visiting in Camins al Grau district is the Jardí de Ayora or Aiora. This well-maintained park has a beautiful small palace, reminiscent of the mansions wealthy families built near the beach to enjoy the health benefits of the sea breeze. Wander along its lovely paths, read a book or play a game of boules like a local.

The district also still boasts signs of its industrial past, such as the chimney that once belonged to Fábrica Layana, a company that manufactured rolling paper. Its twisted, stylised chimney was designed by Luis Layana Alsina, the owner of the company. It’s perhaps unsurprising that the area was once busy with industrial activity considering its close proximity to the port. In fact, Valencia Marina and popular beaches such as Platja de la Malva-rosa are just a short walk away.

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