Just 10 kms outside of the centre of Valencia, Albufera Natural Park hosts the largest lake on the Iberian peninsula. Albufera is an Arabic word “al-buhayra” meaning small sea. This freshwater lagoon is surrounded by rice fields, forests and minutes away from sandy shores. Famous for its dreamy sunset views but most importantly, the invention of Paella.
Easily accessed by the number 24 or 25 EMT bus, for only 1.50€ a journey, Albufera and the surrounding villages are less than an hour away. We started the day by riding bikes until El Palmar and eating at ‘Restaurante L’Albufera’. With plenty of outdoor shaded seating or the option to sit inside. We ordered fresh bread with oil and traditional tomato Valenciano, the Spanish staple Patatas Bravas and of course Paella. The Paella was fresh and full of flavour, we opted for just the vegetables but the Duck and Seafood options were highly recommended.
The waiters were all attentive, friendly and more than happy to suggest food and drink options. The camarero explained that in El Palmar restaurants normally only open for lunch and not for dinner, so options may be limited if only visiting for the sunset.
We decided to walk the hour from the village back to the Mirador de l’Albufera, which is where most of pictures you will find of Albufera online are taken. The route is pleasant but remote, so we highly recommend you stock up on any water or snacks before starting your walk whilst in El Palmar. As you walk, you will pass farms and see the true Spanish countryside. For a longer walk, there are six possible routes around the Nature Park with large varieties of water birds, wildlife and plants to watch.
When we reached Mirador de l’Albufera we experienced the most incredible view of the lagoon, the sun sets perfectly behind the water casting golden lighting off the water creating a warming glow and dreamy sky. There are several jetties reaching out into the water which you can sit and enjoy the view or wait for a “paseos en barca” aka a boat ride.
We were lucky enough to find a free jetty for ourselves and were amazed with the views and wildlife. L’Albufera is beautiful anytime of the day but we would highly recommend going at dusk or sunset for the best experience!
Report & photos by Elizabeth Williams
All Aboard, Photo Copyright: @elizabethlauren95 // 24/7 Valencia