Wild beaches, peace and quiet, nature... and a good paella! You really can't ask for more. In Valencia, you can find all this in the Albufera Natural Park, just half an hour from the city. What better place to escape the urban hustle and bustle on hot days?
Make the most of your visit with our recommendations:
How to get there
Getting to the Albufera is very easy, even if you don't have your own transport. Bus number 25 takes you from the city centre (Porta de la Mar) to El Palmar and El Perellonet, with stops at the Albufera pier and beaches, among others. You can also opt for the Albufera Tourist Bus which leaves from Plaza de La Reina. The tour includes a boat trip around the Albufera and, if you want to stay longer, you can return on another bus later.
If you are sportier or want to stay fit and in shape, you can get there by bike and without having to fight with traffic, as you have a bike path on the whole route. Once there, you can follow different cycling routes through the park. Or you can spare yourself the trouble of pedalling there, by choosing the Ruta del Arroz en bici (Guided Rice Tour on Bike) a guided tour of the park in which the transport from the city is by bus.
If all this exercise makes you hungry, you're in the best place. Don't forget that it is here, in the Albufera's rice fields, where the most Valencian dish was born: the paella. Come to El Palmar, the classic village of fishermen and rice farmers that inspired the works of Blasco Ibáñez and choose any of its restaurants to enjoy a paella, arroz a banda or any other type of rice, or try All i pebre, a typical dish prepared with eels, of course from the Albufera.
You want a table with a view? At the Nou Racó restaurant, on the shores of the lagoo, you can watch the boats - and the ducks - glide across the water in front of you while you eat. And at Arrocería Duna you can have a paella - or a drink at sunset - while contemplating the dunes of El Saler and the sea.
Nature in its purest form
The Albufera is the largest freshwater lake in Spain, and an important wetland where birds of up to 300 different species take refuge. The autumn months are the most interesting from an ornithological point of view, with the arrival of thousands of water birds to spend the winter. But at any time of the year you will find ducks, herons, cormorants and much more. The best place to get to know the park's bird life is the Racó de l'Olla Interpretation Centre, with its observatory and lookout tower with a panoramic view.
But it's not just about the lake's water environment and the wildlife it attracts. The Albufera National Park is a unique place where you will find different ecosystems. Walking along the marked routes you can explore marshes and pine forests or get close to the natural dunes of its fantastic wild beaches. Enjoy the extensive sand areas between the wild vegetation and the sea on the l'Arbre de Gos, La Devesa, El Saler or La Garrofera beaches. The ideal place to relax in the sun.
In the Albufera there is no rush, no stress. It is the ideal place to disconnect and enjoy a beautiful natural environment at a much calmer pace, as in the old good times. And if you go on June 23rd, July 21st, September 8th or 29th, you can literally move into another era with the traditional latin sailing exhibitions.
On any summer day, there is nothing better than rounding off a day of nature, paella and beach with a boat ride on the calm waters at sunset, when the reddish and golden tones of the sunset create a magical atmosphere.
An escape to another world... without leaving Valencia!