Albufera, which literally means ‘lagoon’ in the Valencian language, lies 11 kilometres south of Valencia and is the biggest lake in Spain. It is a great place to go to escape the city, especially for nature lovers. You can take a boat trip around the lake, allowing you to observe an abundance of wildlife in its natural habitat. There are some beautiful nearby areas to explore, including a smaller lake and a beach. And, to top it all off, you can try some tasty paella where it originated!
How to get there
From Valencia, you can take the number 25 bus and it costs 1,50€ each way. You can see the bus route here. If you are staying in Valencia for a few days you can buy a 10 journey top-up card from any ‘kiosco’ you see around, which works out cheaper. The journey takes 30-40 minutes. Get off at stop ‘Embarcador de l’Albufera (I)’.
Once you get off the bus you will see the vast green lake in front of you. The boatmen will approach you, asking if you want to go with them, bear in mind they don’t speak English. There are a few boats and they all charge the same price, 4€/person for a 45 minute trip. It’s a really peaceful trip, passing between the tall reeds all around. If you enjoy nature, watching the calm water and huge variety of waterbirds and fish passing you by, this is a wonderful experience.
Things to see nearby
On finishing the boat trip, cross the road and head south. Soon after you will see a wooden path on your left. Follow this windy path surrounded by trees and it will take you to the smaller lake, Estany artificial del Pujol. To the right is a great spot to have a picnic in the shade. To the left are some dunes, wander through and you will find a quiet, secluded beach called La Devesa, El Saler.
Eating paella nearby
While many non-Spaniards consider paella to be Spain’s typical dish, it is actually a Valencian dish. It originated near Albufera, so in Valencia everyone will tell you the best place to try it is around there. There are 4 types of paella: Valencian (chicken and rabbit), seafood, mixed (seafood and meat) and vegetable. We are newly vegetarian so we tried our first vegetable paella and it was really delicious. It was full of mushrooms, peppers, beans, artichoke and more. We had it at Ca Pepe which is in El Saler, a town on the way back to Valencia. It’s best to call up and order the paella the day before and each paella is for minimum 2 people. We will definitely be going back there when we have more visitors.
Fancy another day trip out of Valencia?
Check out… Port Sa Playa: Valencia’s little Venice
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