Last Saturday, we had the pleasure of providing a half-day activity in the Albufera de Valencia Natural Park for an international group who were visiting the University of Valencia.
The morning was designed so that the group could learn of and enjoy the historical, cultural and natural aspects of the park.
To do this, we decided to start the visit in one of the park´s visitor centres, where we provided an audio visual presentation, focussing on how the area was originally formed, its traditions, culture, habitats, bird life and complex eco-systems.
After the presentations and further debate, we divide the group into two to begin the next activity – an introduction to birdwatching. Equipped with telescopes, we visited the observation hides that look onto the reserve´s brackish lagoons.
We quietly began to explain the different characteristics of the species before us, as well as speaking about the wonder of bird migration. We enjoyed great views of Glossy Ibis, Flamingo, Black Winged Stilt, Shelduck, Shoveler and Teal.
The group was extremely interested, so we stayed a little longer, discussing bird behaviour and feeding techniques. We then walked back through the reserve to the main Albufera lake where we´d arranged to finish the morning with a trip on a traditional Albufera boat.
We passed beside extensive reed beds and through natural canals through the marshes, along the way enjoying great views of Marsh Harrier and yet more Glossy Ibis. We eventually arrived at the old rice farming village of El Palmar, where the group disembarked to enjoy a lunch of traditional Valencian paella.
It has been a real pleasure for us to see the interest and enthusiasm shown by this group, and to share with them what for us is a very special place indeed.
Written by Dave & Yanina.
Eco-Tourism Guides at Visit Natura.
Specialists in Eco-Tourism for groups at Albufera de Valencia.