If you take the road south from the city of Valencia, you’ll soon come to the beautiful Albufera Nature Park and the Dehesa de El Saler. The Park, which could be regarded as the real “lungs” of the city, is of exceptional ecological value and a paradise for migratory birds, so much so that it is included in the list of internationally important wetlands established by the Ramsar Convention and has been declared a Special Protection Area for Birds.
The La Albufera de Valencia area is also important cultural point of view, as it preserves many aspects of a traditional way of life which has been profusely reflected in literature – especially the marvellous cuisine based on locally-produced natural products from the rice fields, fishing and local smallholdings. These dishes can be enjoyed in any of the many restaurants of the area.
There are many interesting routes through the La Albufera Nature Park, such as El Quarter in La Devesa through the salt marsh of the same name and the Els Tancats route from El Palmar to the tancats (groups of rice fields) in Zacarés and El Campot stopping off at the Dreta and l’Overa irrigation channels and the viewpoint over the lagoon. El Palmar allows you to delve into the origins of the inhabitants of Valencia.
You can also follow the Na Molins routes from La Muntanyeta dels Sants de la Pedra – a unique rocky headland with excellent views – to the Ullal de Baldoví,stopping to see the ullals (ancient springs), or the El Port route from the port of Catarroja to the end of the Massanassa and Torrent ravines, stopping at Punta de Llebeig. Other interesting places to visit include El Cabeçol – the highest point in the Nature Park and the Bassa de Sant Llorenç in Cullera – a small lagoon in the limestone folds of Mount Cabeçol and the Raboses range.
Routes and Places of interest.
Ecotourism, tours around the beautiful Natural Park and traditional ways of life. Visits to the Nature Park including fishing, tours, boat trips and food tasting.
Boat trips, guided cultural, ecological and photographical routes, food tasting and cycling routes.
The Gastronomy of Albufera is internationally Famous.
Lovers of good food are in luck because they can satisfy their culinary appetite in the many restaurants they will find along the way, which offer dishes made from local produce. Valencia’s most famous product comes from the immense rice fields that extend across the La Albufera: Paella, whose many varieties delight the most demanding palates. Rice is the basic ingredient of other delicious dishes which you will only find in the Region of Valencia – such as arroz a banda (made with fish and shellfish and served separately), arroz con pato (the typically reddish rice with duck), arroz caldoso (rice stew), arròs amb fesols and naps (with beans and turnips), arroz negro (black rice with squid and its ink) or arroz con langosta (rice with lobster) to mention just a few.
When talking about local gastronomy, it would be a crime not to mention the all i pebre, a traditional stew made with eels, garlic and paprika. This dish is typical of the villages around La Albufera – the source of its main ingredients. Nowadays it is also made with a combination of eel and chicken to create the espardenyà – or with monkfish or other more delicate fish instead of the eel. The main restaurants all serve llisa torrà, the llobarro a la sal (sea bass in a salt crust) and an infinite variety of fish and shellfish dishes, together with others created from local farm produce.