Albufera Natural Park & Paella Cooking
Duration: 6 hours
Tour Code: vlc-ch2
After an enlightening tour of Valencia, you'll venture into the countryside to enjoy the serene setting of Albufera Natural Park, where you'll sit in on a paella cooking demonstration.
Depart from the pier for a scenic drive through Valencia to its City of Arts and Sciences, a complex of ultra-modern buildings. The contrast between this futuristic cultural center and ancient Valencia, which the Romans founded more than 2,000 years ago, is eye opening. After stopping briefly for photos, you'll continue your panoramic drive around Valencia, passing such landmarks as the elegant, 14th-century Serrano Towers and the Roman Coliseum-style bullring.
Despite its wealth of historical architecture, Valencia is perhaps better known as the birthplace of paella, a dish that farm laborers created in the 19th century. Although paella originally contained humble meats such as rabbit and snails and whatever vegetables were available, the main ingredient was rice, which grew profusely.
A short drive to Albufera Natural Park takes you to one of Spain's primary centers of rice production. It's also a prime nesting area for migrating aquatic birds, which you'll most likely see while crossing the park's freshwater lagoon in a small boat.
Your destination is a traditional "barraca" house, where you'll be treated to a demonstration of how to prepare authentic paella by a local chef. It's the ultimate way to observe how the dish is made from scratch. You'll have a bird's-eye view of every step and learn which are the best ingredients to use when making your own paella. While the chef completes his preparation, you'll enjoy sampling local appetizers and wine before being served the fresh-cooked paella for lunch. Afterwards, you'll make your way back to the pier in Valencia.
Please note: This tour includes approximately 1-hour of moderate walking/standing and guests must be able to negotiate steps to enter and exit the tour boat with limited assistance. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests and those with mobility concerns are cautioned to carefully evaluate their personal level of stamina and ability. Weather appropriate clothing; sun cap; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are recommended. The tour sequence may vary. There are restroom facilities available at the barraca house.