24th Annual General Meeting
25 to 28 October 2018
Programme of Events
Optional Post-AGM Trip
Monday 29 to Wednesday 31 October
Valencia, the city centre and Cathedral
Valencia, on the east coast of Spain and about 170 km north of Alicante, is Spain’s third largest city. It was founded in Roman times and was later occupied by Moroccan and Arab Moors, who left a legacy of improved irrigation practices and new crops. It was reconquered by the Christian King James 1st in 1238 and grew to be a very important Spanish city, so its historic centre is one of the largest in Spain. Recently, the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences has added to the attractions of the city, and the many parks and gardens have been brought to a new standard of excellence. We are fortunate in having one of the most experienced city gardeners, an MGS member, as our guide around the gardens.
Monday 29 October
Participants will travel by coach from Alicante to Valencia and meet up to enjoy refreshments in the Turia Gardens. These extensive gardens occupy the old bed of the river Turia, which used to flow through the heart of the city to the port. Since the catastrophic flood in 1957, which led to the re-routing of the river, the 9 km of riverbed have evolved into a wonderful set of much appreciated public gardens.
The new Turia Rose Garden
We shall visit several areas of the gardens before taking a short coach ride through the historic buildings of the Old Port area to the attractive maritime zone for lunch. We shall end the day at the historic Ayora Garden, where mature trees of many kinds shelter a great variety of plant species, and an attractive rose garden.
Tuesday 30 October
In the morning we shall begin with a tour of the University Botanic Garden, which has developed from a small 16th-century medicinal garden to a 4-hectare mature and extensive collection of over 4500 plant species. There are several attractive glasshouses, a shade house and areas devoted to plants from different geographical or climate zones.
The shade house in the University Botanic Garden
We shall then walk through the historic city centre where participants will be free to spend several hours visiting some of the important buildings and to choose their restaurant for lunch. There are many wonderful places to visit, including the old Silk Exchange, the 15th-century ‘Lonja de la Seda’, a magnificent stone edifice which has World Heritage status.
‘Lonja de la Seda’
The nearby Central Market is a masterpiece of Valencian Art Nouveau architecture, designed in 1914, and is best appreciated from inside, while surrounded by the scents and colours of the produce for sale. Valencia Cathedral is an impressive structure that spans a variety of architectural styles including Baroque, Romanesque and Gothic. The site housed a Roman temple, a Visigothic cathedral and a mosque before the present cathedral, which was consecrated in 1238.
We shall all meet up at the end of the afternoon to enjoy a drive through some of the attractive tree-lined boulevards to visit the Cabazera Park with its Mirador offering views across the city.
Wednesday 31 October
We start the day with a visit to ‘Central Park’, an ambitious new project for a 23-hectare city park by an international team of designers, which has only recently opened its first phase. We shall then drive to the Viveros Gardens (formerly the Royal Gardens), one of the most important in the city for its historical origins as the pleasure grounds of a Muslim, and later a Royal, Palace. It is now a public park containing many garden areas in different styles, sculptures and a splendid line of monumental Washingtonia filifera palms. After lunch in the gardens we shall visit the nearby more formally designed Monforte Garden, in whose beautiful palace we shall end the day with a farewell celebration of the Valencian experience.
Monforte Garden Palace
See Carol Hawes’ article on the Jardines de Monforte and the Valencia Botanic Garden in TMG 80 and Edith Haeuser’s article “Valencia – A Town of Trees” in TMG 82.
All evenings will be free for participants to enjoy the atmosphere of the city.
Cost – Post-AGM Trip to Valencia
The price of the optional post-AGM tour to Valencia not including accommodation will be 150 euros per person, including coach travel from Alicante to Valencia, coach travel to gardens, garden admissions, two lunches and the farewell celebration.
Hotel Information and Prices
Please make you own hotel bookings and mention the Mediterranean Garden Society or MGS. This hotel is recommended, and rooms have been provisionally reserved there. You can also make your own arrangements for accommodation in Valencia through booking.com, Airbnb or the various hotel booking sites, although prices may vary from those quoted below.
Zenit Hotel Valencia, C/ Bailen, 8, 46007 Valencia
Rooms at the Zenit Hotel have been provisionally reserved for arrival 29 October and departure 1 November (3 nights). The room rates (including tax and breakfast) are 85.00 euros for singles, and 98.00 euros for doubles per night. The hotel has reserved the right to adjust these rates after 15 May but is not expected to do so. The hotel is close to the principal Valencia railway station (with shuttle bus also to the nearby High-Speed Train station) and to a metro station (for metro trains to Valencia airport) and is within walking distance to the city centre.
Telephone the hotel on +34 912 182 028 and speak (in English) to Martina. Alternatively you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please check the time in Spain before telephoning – Spain is usually 10 hours behind Melbourne and 9 hours in advance of Los Angeles.
- The MGS strongly recommends that you do not send your credit card details via an insecure email even if requested.