Countryside to delight your senses in the Region of Valencia
Albufera Nature Reserve in Valencia
Delight all your senses in the Region of Valencia, eastern Spain. Sight to contemplate its landscapes. Smell to take in the aroma of its flora. Hearing to delight in the song of its birds. Touch to feel its warm sea and taste to enjoy its delicious gastronomy. Respecting the surroundings as they deserve and feeling part of nature. Sound good?
Are you looking for a destination where you can rest and relax surrounded by nature? Then you can be sure of the Region of Valencia, most famous for its wonderful beaches and fiestas, but which also offers stunning natural landscapes. The Region has more than 20 nature reserves, various internationally important wetland areas, more than 280 official walking trails covering some 4,000 kilometres, and a wealth of endemic flora that brings some seven million visitors to its mountains every year. This is the less well known side of the Region of Valencia.
Discover it on foot
One of the best ways to discover the area is walking on any of the easy routes to be found in the region. The Region of Valencia has six long-distance (GR) walking routes, that you can enjoy as you stroll amidst aromatic plants such as rosemary, thyme and lavender. You will also love the sound of birdsong - this region is chosen by a huge variety of migratory birds in search of warmer climes.
A good option is to do the GR7, a route that will show you some of the most beautiful nature areas in the Region of Valencia and the rich cultural heritage to be found there. The trail runs for more than 500 kilometres. It is especially long because it covers the Region's three provinces (Castellón, Valencia and Alicante) completely, from north to south.
The first vital stop on the route is Morella, protected by its old defensive walls and its castle. Close by, still in the province of Castellón, you will love the prehistoric paintings to be found in Cova Remigia Cave (Ares del Maestre). Not much further on you will also find the Cova dels Cavalls de Valltorta site (Tirig). They both have the UNESCO World Heritage designation.
Connection with the Mediterranean Sea
The sea is omnipresent in the landscape of the Region of Valencia. The GR7 offers surprising views of the Mediterranean from the shrine of Sant Cristòfol (Benasal). However, the most peaceful, quiet places to enjoy this unique landscape can be found in the Montlleó River canyon, with access from Culla.
Heading down to the province of Valencia on the GR7 you come to Penyagolosa, a mountain with extensive areas of woodland, the scene for traditional regional processions and pilgrimages. It is in these mountains that the GR33 starts. It runs directly to the Mediterranean, arriving in the town of Castellón de la Plana, one of the best places to enjoy Valencia gastronomy, with views out to sea.
Do you fancy more delights for your senses? Round off your visit to the Region of Valencia with a route in the L'Albufera Nature Reserve, an internationally important wetland area just 10 kilometres from the city of Valencia. You can find out how they produce the region's most traditional product: rice. You can also take a boat trip around the lakes to see some rare birds.
These are just a few suggestions. We would recommend you get much more information from the Region of Valencia's tourist offices. The Montgó Nature Reserve, the El Fondó Nature Reserve, the ColumbretesIslands… they will all show you that the Region of Valencia is much more than just beaches.