The Albufera (Boat trip, ornithology, Gastronomy)
It is essential to visit the Albufera Lagoon if coming to Valencia. The thousands and thousands of birds traveling from northern Europe to Africa stop in our lake during the winter. A boat trip lets you observe them up close (we have binoculars available) and with the sunset, the landscape and the colours of the sky, it is a unique experience. There are several boatmen, who if not immediately available they can be booked by calling the phone numbers listed on their signs. In the small village of El Palmar, near the lake, you will find several excellent restaurants that have Valencian specialties such as Paella and Ail i pebre, we recommend one by the lakeside, for its gastronomy and its idyllic setting, ‘Nou Raco’. Furthermore you can complete your tour with a visit to the information center and nature park conservation center but we suggest you find out opening times before you go.
The Murta (lovely valley with its monastery and a natural spring)
There are two easy pathways (as examples, because La Murta has many marked trails) and these are both perfect for relaxed strolls, even with small children and buggies. From the area of the Natural spring you can find many other trails.
Botanical route (3.5 km):
You can start this circular route from the Information Point. Past the gatehouse, take an ascending path on the right right, which leads to the shady side of the Murta. This area contains abundant vegetation due to its orientation to the north and reduced hours of sunlight. As we move along the track it tapers into a path until you reach the fork at Pas de Pobre. Take the path on the left that will take us in slow descent into the pine forest by Felipe II Bridge and the entrance to the grounds of the old monastery.
To the left of the monastery, next to the Old Murta House (former hospice), you can find the “romantic” garden with natural beautiful landscapes. After resting, follow the road that passes in front of the house. On the left is the Barranco de la Murta, with the vegetation of a wetland. Follow the pathway until you come to an opening to some ancient cultivation fields, these are abandoned and overgrown by Mediterranean vegetation and inhabited by local nature species. When you reach the Corrals take the path on the left and go down to the Information Point, where the tour ends
La Casella (Valley with a beautiful deer park)
The Valley of the Casella is an area of exquisite magnificence, covered by a thick blanket of orange groves, palm trees and outstanding old houses built by the local bourgeoisie in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the so-called golden age of orange exportation.
Like its twin, the Murta valley, it has its own charm, a deer park where you can see the deer in a relaxed environment. We recommend you go with binoculars to get a better view of their young behind the bushes.
A few miles into the valley is the bar Casella, where you can recharge your batteries after finishing one of the many hiking routes.
El Manantial de Baldoví and La Montanyeta dels Sants (in Sueca)
The Estany lagoon
The Estany lagoon or the transition between the marshland and the coast, is a saltwater lagoon located south of the mouth of the river Júcar’s estuary, with great biological diversity of animals and plants that make it worthy of its inclusion in the regional catalogue of marshlands.
It is a peaceful and quiet place, visited by fishing enthusiasts, especially rod fishing, with their little traditional wooden boat in the middle of the lagoon, which adds a romantic touch to the place. It’s a perfect area to taste the local cuisine. Virtually unbuilt, almost untouched, this naturally preserved landscape gives great value to this picturesque lake.
A mile walk along the banks of the Estany and the spectacular sunset, whatever the season, are two real pleasures that would be a shame to miss.
We recommend eating on the water’s edge at the covered terrace restaurant Casa Salvador or the Picanterra, both a treat you will not forget.
Brosquil beach is a very quiet beach and is situated at the mouth of the picturesque Estany, the clarity of its waters, its tranquility and views over the bay are all definitely worth a visit. Also the existence of many reputable restaurants serving undoubtedly good rice dishes and tasty fresh fish on a terrace overlooking the lake, all add to its charm.
The River Júcar and the Riola – Sueca assut
EThe Assut is Arabic word which means ‘barrier’ or dam, but it tends to preserve the Arabic word corresponding to smaller versions of the Muslim origin. The weir is an important part of the traditional irrigation systems, the canals along the route form part of a hydraulic system which serves to irrigate the fields and was once used to fill the old washing areas and drinking troughs for animals and its natural force was used to run the mills.
Here are details of a beautiful route along the River Júcar.
This part of the river has been designed to protect the local villages from floods from the River Júcar. Its width and especially its elevation of about 5 meters, make it an ideal place to stroll, walk or run, with panoramic views over the entire area of La Ribera, the orange groves, rice fields and mountains on the horizon.
Example route: Polinya – Riola weir – Polinya , 8.86 km
From the roundabout at the entrance to the village of Polinyá, coming from Corbera, you will see a car park with access to the river and a high pathway that goes to the town of Riola. Walking along the river, you can enjoy the views of the area from the top of this privileged pathway. Take a break at the weir near Riola to watch the birds and ducks, listen to the gentle rustle of leaves … and when you have had enough relaxing, take the same pathway back. Amongst the orange groves you can see some country houses near the pathway, that date back over a century, and in some cases have been lovingly restored.