Aug 122012
 

Just 35 minutes drive from Refugio Monduver lies the Natural Park of Albufera de Valencia.  The freshwater lake of some 40 square kms is surrounded by rice fields, which are the origin of Spain´s most famous dish Paella.

Looking out onto the lake of Albufera de Valencia

The Valencia area produces over 100,000 tonnes of rice each year and the village of El Palmar, located on the southern shore of the lake is where the Valencians go to enjoy this most traditional of dishes.

A traditional Valencian fishing boat “Vella Latina” on the Albufera Lake.

The lake and surrounding rice fields and reed beds provide crucial habitat to a wide range of bird species.  There are over 4,000 pairs of Herons and Egrets and over 500 Glossy Ibis.  In spring, species such as Collared Pratincole, Purple Heron, Night Heron and Great Reed Warbler make their annual migration from Africa and arrive in Albufera to breed.  The park also provides wintering grounds for over 100,000 ducks.

Flamingoes in flight at Albufera de Valencia

Perhaps the best way to explore the Natural Park is by bicycle or boat.  Further information is available at Refugio Monduver.

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