The Albufera is one of Valencia’s hidden gems.
I say hidden, it’s actually huge and just 20 minutes down the road in the car. But even so, it is often overlooked by tourists visiting the area.
Who knew that Spain’s third largest city sat next to a beautiful 52 acre natural park and freshwater lake – one of the largest lakes in Spain? The protected area stretches from 11km south of Valencia city to Cullera and includes many seaside towns including El Perelló and Mareny de Barraquetes.
The surface area of the lake was once exceptionally larger than it is nowadays, but farmers drained sections of it in order to grow rice as this proved more profitable than hunting. A key part of the landscape is the protected sand dunes that are home to a variety of wildlife.
Albufera highlights? Grab a paella in the small fishing town of El Palmar – here, the typical valencian recipe of chicken and rabbit is often altered to include duck. Also remember to stop off at the mirador for a boat ride or to catch the sunset reflecting on the lake.
The Albufera further features on our Valencia highlights map here.
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