Panoramic Drive, Albufera Park & Boat Ride
Duration: 4 1/2 hours
Tour Code: VLC-015
Experience the diversity of the Valencian region during this tour that showcases two wonderful, yet completely different worlds: an ultra-modern cultural complex in the heart of the city, and a vast, pristine wetlands south of town.
Starting off from the pier, you'll first enjoy a panoramic drive through downtown Valencia that highlights its most iconic attractions. Founded by the Romans in 137 B.C., Valencia has transitioned into one of Europe's most sophisticated modern cities. There's no better place to behold that side of Valencia than at the City of Arts and Sciences, a cluster of futuristic-looking buildings devoted to art and culture. After a stop there for photos, you'll continue your driving tour of Valencia, before finally leaving the city behind and heading south to nearby Albufera Natural Park.
In complete contrast to urbane Valencia, Albufera is one of the most important wetland areas on the Iberian Peninsula. A slim strip of coastline protects it from the sea, and you'll find sand dunes which have formed, along with a curious Mediterranean pine forest and rich shrubbery growing in the sandy soil. Three canals (two natural and a third man-made) connect a lagoon and surrounding wetlands with the sea, and each has its own characteristic flora and fauna. In addition to the diversity of trees and plants found here, Albufera is also home to an especially large variety of birds. While there's no telling what species you'll see, you might possibly catch sight of black-winged stilts, crested coots, little-ringed plovers and countless migratory birds such as bee-eaters.
During your time here, you'll also have an exterior visit at a traditional "barraca" house within the park. The home offers a candid look at how the local residents live in harmony with nature while supporting themselves through fishing and agriculture. Afterwards, you'll gain yet another perspective of the park, by boarding a small boat and cruising the lake which is at the heart of Albufera. The largest lake in Spain, it provides an excellent habitat for both the permanent bird population and those that migrate here during the year. Following your leisurely lake cruise, you'll rejoin your coach and transfer directly back to the pier in Valencia.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 90-minutes of moderate walking that includes some natural and uneven surfaces. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and not recommended for those with mobility issues. Guests must be able to enter and exit the tour boat with limited assistance. Weather appropriate, casual clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed.