The region of Valencia is committed to its organic production and the agricultural sector has been foundational to the Valencian economy for centuries. A member of the ‘24/7 Valencia’ team was kindly invited to visit Huerto Ribera over the weekend to learn more about citrus cultivation and its history in the landscapes of the Valencian region. Huerto Ribera is a typical Valencian orange grove from 1870 in Carcaixent, just 35 km from the city. Offering guided tours of their idyllic and historic orange grove, Huerto Ribera invites guests to explore and taste different fruit varieties and learn about the process of pruning, grafting, and flowering citrus fruits.
Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a warm welcome before beginning their guided tour of the orchard. My tour was led by a lovely woman called Ana who was very friendly and extremely knowledgeable. The tour covered the history of orange production, especially focusing on the introduction of the railway in the middle of the 19th century and how this revolutionised the industry. As tons of fruits were now able to be transported to the city, Carcaixent became the hub of orange production with rail links to Denia and Madrid.
It was also explained how there are hundreds of varieties of citrus fruits and each one has a specific harvest season and optimum time for consumption. The first varieties are harvested from October, ending the seasons with other varieties harvested in May. The current orange trees at Huerto Ribera were planted in 2016, as the fruit trees take around 4 years to bear their first fruits from the moment the seed is planted. However, some of the trees at Huerto Ribero have been around for over a hundred years! Amongst the variety of fruits, the orchard is home to clementines, Valencian oranges, blood oranges, grapefruits, buddha’s hand, kumquats and lemons! Guests are invited to pick and try all these fruits directly from the trees guaranteeing the best flavour, freshness and quality.
The authenticity of the citrus fruits is due to their natural production as the oranges are grown without waste contribution to the environment. Huerto Ribera contributes to the sustainability of the Spanish agricultural sector as they avoid intermediaries by collecting and sending fruits directly from the field to homes. During the tour, guests will learn more about the route of the orange with an interesting stop at the production warehouse to see how oranges are sorted and distributed.
Before the tour comes to an end, guests are invited to taste a variety of typical Valencian products. These range from juices to homemade jams, orange blossom honey and mandarin, orange, and rice liqueurs. There is also a quaint shop where guests can purchase gifts to take home as a unique souvenir from Huerto Ribera.
Immerse yourself in the world of citrus cultivation at Huerto Ribera. Stroll through the orchards and collect your own oranges enjoying the fresh, authentic flavours of naturally sourced fruits. This wholesome experience promises to be an unforgettable day out in the Spanish countryside that connects us to the landscape and roots of Valencian culture.
Report by Imogen Hockings
Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’
Photo copyright Imogen Hockings/ ’24/7 Valencia’
Visiting hours: Wednesdays at 15:30h and Saturdays at 11:00h
Visit and tasting price: €15 adults, €8 children over the age of 5
Duration of visit: 2 hours
Languages: Spanish and English. French on request.
How to get there from Valencia:
- Train from Estacio Nord > Carcaixent (approx. 35 mins)
- Purchase a ticket from station at the machine: “Tren Cercanías y media distancia”
- 3 possible destinations with stops in Carcaixent; L’Alcudia de Crespins, Xativa & Moixent
Watch our Instagram reel for more of an idea of a day out at Huerto Ribera: @24_7valencia