Albufera touristic bus and boat ride: Escape from the hustle and bustle of the big city with a visit to Albufera Natural Park just a few kilometres south of the city. This wonderful wetland is centres around a large lagoon and is served by a hop on-hop off bus service from Valencia. The contrast between the urban jungle and the unspoiled wilds so close together could not be greater. This tour also includes a cruise on the lagoon.
The bus has six stops within Valencia proper, including the futuristic City of Arts and Sciences, before heading south past rice paddies on the way to the park. Arrive at Albufera and drive along the narrow strip of pines and sand dunes that separates the lagoon from the Mediterranean. Catch a glimpse of the hundreds of species of birds, including storks and northern shovellers. See the maquis scrubland and Mediterranean plants such as myrtle, rosemary and thyme, which grow wild in vast quantities.
The name Albufera has its origins in the Arabic for ‘the small sea’, al-buhayra. The freshwater lagoon itself is Spain’s largest lake despite only being about one-third of its size two centuries ago. There are more than 30 islets jutting of from the water adding a scenic touch to any photos you take during your cruise, which will be about half-an-hour long.
The villages around the lagoon are renowned for their paellas (the dish has its origins here) and make an ideal stop for lunch (not included).
> Meeting/pick-up point: Any of the six stops on the route.
Duration: Two hours.
Start/opening time: Depends on the stop but the first bus leaves Aqua shopping centre at 9.45am.
End/closing time: Last bus departs Aqua shopping centre at 6.15pm.
Languages: Audioguide available in Japanese, English, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Catalan and Mandarin.