Near Valencia just an hour with the bus away there is a little National Park called Albufera.

Now I have to admit that this post comes a little late. I visited Albufera together with Johanna back when she was visiting me the first time here in Valencia. Still though: writing this blog encourages me to also include the older things, do the editing and so on, so here we go 🙃

Albuferas Website is quite like the place itself. Old, insecure and not available en ingles. Through some other websites we found out the best way to get there: a bus that leaves right from the Ciudad de las artes y scientias. We even where lucky in catching said bus, so we thought "What could possibly go wrong ?"

Then we arrived in El Palmar. There are several little pueblos along Albufera, El Palmar is the last of them and is more like a little island surrounded by channels of the Albufera lake.

Map of El Palmar

You can do a lot of things in El Palmar:

  • Go on a boat tour
  • Eat something
  • Go on a boat tour
  • See the sunset on a boat tour
  • Go on a boat tour
  • Call a ferry man to go on a boat tour
  • Go on a boat tour
  • Meet people to go on a boat tour with
  • Go on a boat tour
  • ...

Considering the vast amount of options we decided to eat something first. Our actual plan was to explore the national park in the afternoon and come back right in time for the boat trip (Paseo en Barco en español).

Boat docking place

After failing of getting any map or information from the people that ran the restaurant we decided to just start our adventure. But after following the road for 1,5 hours we got slightly bored. All along the lake there are private little plant houses and locked down gardens. It is literally impossible to get closer to the water. Somewhere on the other side of the lake there was a big fire burning. we could see and smell the smoke during our entire walk.

The Fire

Johanna watching the fire

After some time we decided to search for more information. Since I already mentioned that the website of Albufera is not too useful we tried to find the tourism office, which we did. We arrived there at 16:00, just to find out that it closes at 14:00.

The tourism center

So after that little disappointment we decided to go back to one of the countless boat guys and have at least a nice boat trip during sunset. But the way back was much longer than expected, we also met a little spider and had to take some more pictures on the way....

Our new spider friend

As the sun began it's descent we arrived at the first signs promising a boat tour. But nobody was there. I called one of the numbers, but it was just a guy that told me that it is not possible to have a boat ride today. That scheme continued until we were almost back in El Palmar.

Us against the descending sun...

We arrived back at the center of El Palmar, right at the place where we talked to one of the boat guys when we first arrived. But nothing. Empty streets in the entire pueblo. To make the best out of the situation we made our way around some fences and at least found a nice place on a bridge to watch the rest of the sunset. After the a little stressed return this was a very pleasant way of finishing the day.

The passing from the channel to the lake, all inside fences...

Watching the horizon

The bridge

After the sun was gone we went to the bus station. A strange feeling came to our minds. When does the last bus leave ? When we arrived at the station we found out that we had to wait for one more hour for the last bus. But luckily we found a little china shop to save our mood. Equipped with some snacks we spend the rest of the time watching TED talks at the bus station.

moon in the twilight

After all we really enjoyed the trip. At first I was really happy how the spontaneous planing went very well. But in the end I was a bit disappointed by the lack of pathways, information and just basic access to the lakeside. It is a bit sad that there are mainly the boat people and not much other infrastructure or information about the nature reserve itself.

Leaving El Palmar