Mon 15 November 2021
Spain News | L´Albufera- Outstanding natural beauty and the origin of Paella.
L´Albufera Natural Park.
On a recent trip to play in a golf competition at El Saler, near Valencia, I was captivated by the stunning scenery in and around the Albufera Natural park. On my return home, I discovered more about this beautiful place.
An area of stunning natural beauty and ecological importance, L´Albufera Natural Park, has been given a Special Protection Order. Located 10 kms from the city of Valencia, this freshwater lagoon and estuary, covers an area of 21,120 hectares. It´s rich biodiversity attracts attention for its wildlife and flora.
What to see in L´Albufera Natural Park-
The freshwater lagoon is the largest in Spain. Local fishermen catch bass, eels, mullet and American blue crab and sell them in nearby villages and markets. Said to be where the national dish of Paella was invented, all of the restaurants nearby serve fish caught in the lagoon.
The beach of Devesa with its dunes and scrubland. The dunes are protected due to their geographical importance to the coastline and it´s inhabitants.
The Paddy fields cover a vast area of the Park. Rice has been produced here since the 18th century. Located on a hill, with panoramic views of the rice fields, is the Museu de Arroz (Rice Museum). It is housed in the Hermitage of Sts Abdo and Senent, the patron saints of the protector of crops. The museum shows the origins, traditions and history of rice cultivation and demonstrates the importance of rice in the gastronomy of the region.
The rice fields are important, not just for the agriculture, but also because the rice fields are home to many species of wildlife that can no longer live in the marshes. The water in the rice fields is filtered by the vegetation, which purifies the water and makes it habitable.
Championship Golf Course- El Saler Golf The Parador de El Saler in Valencia is a must for golf lovers. Here you can enjoy the sport in a unique setting, between the Albufera lagoon and the sea, on what is considered one of the best courses in the world.
How to see Albufera Natural Park.
Walking tours- There are several walking trails which criss cross the paddy fields and the woodland. Plan your hike and the designated trails will make sure you see everything.
Cycling- There are many cycling routes in and around L´Albufera. You can also hire a bike just to tour the Park. For those cyclists who are looking for more of a challenge the Vuelta a L´Albufera, is a 78km circular route from Valencia.
Boat trip- There are lots of boat trip options. It is a perfect way to truly see the stunning waterways through the paddy fields and into the lagoon. Make it unforgettable by adding sunset and champagne.
Here in the Marina Alta we are lucky enough to have the Albufera Natural Park on our doorstep. It is a place where you can spend a day, at one with nature, recharge your batteries and take the time to appreciate Mother Nature in all her glory.