Valencia has it all, from the tantalising cuisine and lively nightlife to the high octane themeparks and waterparks. There really is something for everyone but those with a love of hiking and nature will be especially in their element. As well as a beautiful coastline, the Valencia province is packed full of stunning natural parks, just crying out to be explored. If you’re hoping for an active holiday the city is surrounding by beautiful places to pique your interest. Have a look at these must visit beauty spots for a memorable holiday discovering the Valencian countryside:
L’Albufera Natural Park
One of the most stunning natural parks you’ll ever have the pleasure to hike, L’Albufera is a nature lovers dream. Featuring the biggest lake in the whole of Spain, it’s an amazing place to spend a day or more!
Catch the bus from central Valencia to El Palmar, a pretty, traditional Spanish village, near to the natural park. This is a great little place to visit in itself, and can be likened to a mini Venice with its canals and waterways. This is also where paella is said to have been invented, and you’ll see why when you see all the rice paddies that seem to go on for miles surrounding the village. You can’t visit the birthplace of paella without tucking into a hearty bowl full, so why not indulge in a traditional lunch to give you energy for exploring the nearby park?
You can get bus tours around the natural park which include a boat trip on the lake, which are a great idea if you want to get your bearings of the park before choosing one of the many hiking trials to tackle on another day during your trip. One thing you really have to do in L’Albufera is catch one of the amazing sunsets. These are undeniably gorgeous at any time of the year, but are particularly stunning in Spain in winter and early spring, so make sure you stick around long enough to watch the sun go down over the lake.
Sierra Calderona Natural Park
This is a huge natural park, situated between the Valencia and Castellon provinces. It’s a bit of a way to travel from Valencia city itself, but well worth the trip if you do decide to make the effort. The park offers a wide variety of terrain to hike and features pretty historic villages, huge mountain ranges and rocky gorges. It is also home to protected flora and fauna, so keep your eyes open for unusual plant varieties and breathtaking blooms.
This natural park is also a great spot to visit if you’re a fan of birds of prey. There are so many species here that you’re guaranteed to need a camera at the ready to capture the eagles, kestrels, buzzards and owls that call this park their home. There are several micro reserves throughout the park, one of which, called Caballo Pelut, is worth a visit for its name alone – the hairy horse!
There are, of course, other natural parks to explore in the area, Turia River being one of them. This is home to some fascinating archaeological formations and a magnificent castle, and would make a good addition to longer holiday itineraries.
Whichever natural parks you choose to add to your must see list, you will need a great base from which to explore. Our Valencia hotel is just that. Situated just outside the city, close to the airport and the main roads that lead out to the natural parks, you couldn’t wish for a better starting point – or a more comfortable bed at the end of a tiring day! So grab your hiking boots, jump on the plane and head off to Valencia for an active holiday in nature that you won’t forget.