I recently had the absolute pleasure of working with Eliane and Silvian from the Netherlands.
They were staying in the city of Valencia and had contacted me whilst arranging their trip, with the aim of combining their time in this enchanting city with a couple of days of mountain biking. One of our specialities is to help clients to design their mountain biking and city breaks in Valencia. On our first day of biking I collected them from their hotel and we made the short journey south to the region of La Safor. After a coffee stop and the usual safety briefings we began the route with a gentle descent into the valley, biking through woodland and emerging by the side of the very pretty river Serpis. Our route took us through a gorge, crossing from the province of Valencia to the province of Alicante where the gorge opens out into a lush valley of olive and almond groves.
We enjoyed lunch in a traditional farming village before making our way back through the valley and into the gorge for our return leg. The valley is stunning in Spring, with trout in the river, Swallows passing through on their journey north, and usually eagles and the occasional vulture can be seen circling above.
The day ended with a short climb back up to the van. Eliane and Silvian returned to the city by local train, enjoying a journey through the rice fields of Valencia.
Our second day of biking was scheduled to take place three days later and the original plan was to head a little further inland to the mountains of Xativa. However, a Spring storm front had moved in and the forecast for the mountains wasn´t good…not a common problem here in Valencia! I was unhappy at the thought of taking anyone into the hills just to get wet so we discussed the various options. Eliane and Silvian are not only exceptionally experienced cyclists but keen nature lovers, so I proposed a coastal ride that would take in the Albufera Natural Park.
I designed a trip that also included a cultural element, explaining the history and ecology of Albufera and a visit to the heart of the rice growing community. As we biked through the park, we also enjoyed the diverse bird life, seeing Herons, Egrets, Terns, Gulls, Stilts and to our great surprise a small group of Black Storks.
Eliane and Silvian returned to Valencia where they enjoyed the preparations for the famous Fallas fiestas.
Their experience of this wonderful city, and its proximity to some superb natural environments had been a positive one, and they hope to return again soon.
Written by David Warrington.
Mountain Bike Guide & Instructor at Mountain Biking Valencia