The Enchanted Oasis of the Albufera
An alternative destination for nature and rural landscapes lovers is the natural reserve of Albufera. Not far from the city, in a southerly direction, it’s possible to arrive here in a very short time, even with public transportation. Moving away from the urban routine and seeing the lagoon shortly afterwards, it’s impossible not to be overcome by a feeling of absolute serenity. You can decide to stop at El Palmer, the small village of fishermen located in a strip of land on the lake.
Stroll through the rice fields or the colorful houses overlooking the canals; to observe the serenity on the faces of its few inhabitants, to visit the typical white shacks of the place, to peek with curiosity among the numerous Embarcaderos, the collection of eels – a typical dish of the Albufera – will make your trip unique in its kind. For a few euros – no more than 5 euros per person – fishermen, improvised as tour guides, will take you on a boat ride through the reeds. It’s not uncommon to see herons flying or resting on the banks. And with the wind in your hair, in the bow of the small motor boat, the feeling of being free and alive will take you more than ever.
Taste the Paella Valenciana in Its Birthplace
The “tete à tete” appointment with the Paella a la Valenciana – a dish with humble origins that was born in the rural areas of the Albufera and is still a true sacredness for the Valencians – is inevitable. The farmers used to prepare an easy dish with the ingredients they had available. Its name derives from the “special pan” in which it is cooked, circular with two small handles at the edges, simply called “paella”. Cooking paella is a tradition of which the Valencian will never be tired. The day they meet around the fire and in the family is Sunday for lunch, the most festive day of the week. Today, it’s possible to enjoy the paella in one of the many characteristic little restaurants of the town, served in an array of good variations. A delicacy for the eyes and the palate.
Stopping then until sunset, and enjoying the sun that lays down on the lake, truly is a magical moment. It’ll almost seem like you can hear the sun sizzle between the waters and the reeds. The colors will spread like tongues of fire. The perfect place to end your day dreaming.