Sunsets in El Saler and Albufera
El Saler is small village on the southern fringes of València, whose stunning natural surroundings have earned it environmental protection status. Albufera Natural Park covers an area of 21,000 hectares. It is an area of great ecological value, the chosen hibernation spot for many rare species of waterbirds and home to a wide variety of local vegetable crops.
On one side is the Devesa del Saler, which boasts extensive pine groves and a beach composed of sand dunes, in addition to serving as a separating strip. Then there’s the Albufera, the biggest fresh water lake in Spain and one of the most important wetlands on the mainland. Visitors can find walking routes, cycle paths and boat trips throughout the national park.
The latter two can be done at any time of the day, although they tend to be especially popular at sunset. The boat trips are carried out in traditional vessels called albuferencs, and are led by experts who know everything there is to know about the local area. Albufera Parc (www.albuferaparc.com/), VisitAlbufera (http://www.visitalbufera.com/) and El Mirador Albufera are tourism companies which have all received the Parcs Naturals seal of quality.
The area is also known for its rice fields. For this reason, the village of El Palmar, the inspiration behind many of Blasco Ibáñez’s works, serves some of the best rice dishes in all of València. Its also worth trying some of the area’s local dishes, such as the famous all i pebre, made using freshly-caught eels from the nearby lake.