Boating on Lake Albufera, Valencia, Spain

We've just spent a week in Valencia, Spain; at conference and then taking some holiday. We couldn't resist visiting Lake Albufera which lies just south of Valencia and is on a tourist bus route.
The round trip by bus included a boat trip on the lake which is extensive and shallow. It is around the lake that most of the rice that goes into paella is grown. Although the lake has shrunk over the centuries its 21,120 hectares makes it an impressive sight.

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It was originally saltwater but now is fresh and was formed originally by a sand bar. The lake is only around 2.5 m deep (maximum) and is fringed by reeds. Alongside the lake there are traditional houses roofed in thatch. It is a local source of freshwater fish and irrigation.

Leaving the landing stage

We were taken on a trip in a 40ft shallow-draughted barca. The skipper started the tour by punting away from the stage and then demonstrating how shallow it was using the pole. However, once away from the stage he used the motor.

Traditional house, Lake Albufera

Reeds growing in Lake Albufera

The lake is now a nature reserve, and although I couldn't photograph them, we saw egret and herons and numerous small birds.

Local barca used for tourist trips

Power for the barca - a raw-water cooled 4-cylinder Nissan

I took some video clips on the trip and then put them together into a short movie. The movie below should give a flavour of this fascinating lake. If you visit Valencia it is worth a visit. There are even sunset bus trips since you can watch the sun set over the lake.