Lake Albufera is only 12k's south of the city. Lake Albufera is huge. It spans about 27sq kms and is very shallow - about 1.5m deep. It is a national park and surrounded by wetlands with about 250 different bird species.
It is definately worth visiting. MaheshSamtani kindly offered to take us and we saw this stunning sunset there - more about that in my travelogue. But it is easy enough to get to. The red Hop on Hop off Tourist bus will take you there.
Totally different world next to the city!
If you want to have walks in the forest this is the place for you and beaches are not that crowded either. You have really chance to enjoy of the sea and dunes!
My favourite place in Valencia without doubts!
About 10 miles South of Valenia is the fresh water lagoon of Albufera. Just S of the little town of Saler, the lagoon is filled with fish and birds. There is not supposed to be fishing, but there were two guys fishing in a very sneaky way next to the fishermans meeting house. Hmmmm?
This famous laguna south of València is an important wetland, and birds of passage love to feed in its surrounding rice fields. People like to eat here, too: the village of El Palmar, more or less surrounded by L’Albufera, has been transformed from a collection of reed-thatched fishermen’s huts into an agglomeration of restaurants, each trying to outdo the others with the magnificence of its paella valenciana.
A friend of mine, who is valencian, took me there especially to go and eat paella, so I'm guessing it IS one of the places where you can eat the best paella valenciana in the world ...
I can recommend coming here for a delicious paella at lunch time, taking a short walk through the rice-fields to stretch you legs a little after having sat down at a table for two hours and finally for going on an incredibly relaxing boat trip on the lagoon!!!!
Valencia is shore to the eastern coast of the mediterranean sea and would therefore be normal to recommend you to see sunrise. I am however going to recommend you to see sunset with the magical background of the albufera. An experience filled with great sensations. After all life is the total of different sensatiosn added together and this is a great one.
This natural park lies 11 kilometer south of the city Valencia. It consists of a lagoon, wetlands around it and the adjacent shorelines. It is considered as paradise for migratory birds. Our trip here was organised with a visit to the barraca, boating across the lake and lunch.
During hot days, some sunscreen is advisable during the boatings
These are Valencia's traditional house for many centuries. They were made from raw materials such woods, reeds and mud. The Barraca is protected and has an important asset to cultural heritage. They typically have two floors. the main floor was normally used as the reception area, where the work in the fields were discussed and also sleeping area for the workers. The main bedroom was for the owner and his family. The top floor was used mainly keeping the harvest.
I can add little to what I read here previously, exept how to get there without a car: http://www.valenciabusturistic.com/albufera.htm
By bus (with airconditioning!) . You get in on Plaza de la Reina and on your way to the lake you can listen to comment in one of the 8 languages by means of an earphone. A boat trip on the lake is included in the price ( August 2004: 12 Euro )
Best way to visit Albufera: rent a boat! There are around 3 or 4 "casetas" where you just arrive and rent a boat with someone who drive it and explain about Albufera. Bad thing is that drivers do not speak English ... well, give me a ring and I will translate it to you.
Some drivers stop the boat between some bush and you hear all kind of birds and the wind ... great!