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Hideaways in Valencia’s Wildlife

by Leah Dearborn

Aug 20, 2014

La Tomatina Festival © Mmeeds-Dreamstime

Trends / Unique Itineraries & Tours

La Tomatina takes place every year on the last Wednesday in August, drawing thousands of visitors to Valencia, Spain, for the famous tomato throwing festival. If the heat and the crowds begin to feel overwhelming, Valencia has a few wildlife areas for travelers to enjoy instead.

Albufera Natural Park and freshwater lagoon is only 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) south of town. Buses leave Valencia from the Plaza de Canovas and the Oceanografic. Visit Natura’s ecotourism packages also offer boating on the lagoon, guided trips through Devesa Forest and birdwatching. The wetlands are designated a location of international importance and a Special Protection Area for the conservation of wild birds.

The park contains the former Moorish fishing village, El Palmar. Used as a setting in the work of Spanish novelist Vincente Blasco Ibanez, the village and surrounding areas cultivate rice for the region’s world-famous paellas. Today, El Palmar’s restaurants are rumored to serve some of Spain’s best paella.

El Saler is one of the most popular beaches in Valencia, and can also be found in Albufera Natural Park. With its white sand dunes and clear blue water, El Saler might be the perfect place for washing off the tomato.

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