Did you know Valencia is the home of paella and that the region also has its very own rice growing region, Albufera, just 10km from the city centre? Centred around the lagoon of the Albufera Nature Park it’s a fantastic place to visit for all the family and a welcome oasis from the city during the hot summer months.
This beautiful park is home to Spain’s largest lake and one of the most important wetland areas on the Iberian Peninsula, offering the chance to see rare species of wading birds and a rich variety of wildlife. Its waters have been traditionally worked by fishermen and rice growers for centuries, supplying the ingredients and inspiration for many of the region’s most succulent dishes.
Paella lovers will be in heaven as it’s quite possibly the best places in the world to sample traditional Valencian paella. Typically a dish made from rice, chicken or rabbit, there are also seafood or vegetarian versions for those that prefer. Visitors will find plenty of restaurants in many of the villages surrounding the park, including El Palmar one of the most popular. Other delicious rice dishes typical of the area include Arroz a Banda or All I Pebre made with eels caught fresh from the lake.
So if you fancy a day out of the city this should be top of the list! It’s easily reached on the Albufera Bus Turistic that takes visitors on a complete tour of the park, and includes a boat trip on the lake. And what’s more the Valencia Tourist Card gives a discount on the price of the bus.