Photos by Nadja
Photos by Ondrej
The Albufera, or L'Albufera de València (Valencian pronunciation: [albuˈfeɾa], meaning "lagoon" in Valencian, from Arabic البحيرة al-buhayra, "small sea"), is a freshwater lagoon and estuary on the Gulf of Valencia coast of the Valencian Community in eastern Spain. It is the main portion of the Parc Natural de l'Albufera de València ("Valencian Albufera Natural Park"), with a surface area of 21,120 hectares (52,200 acres). The natural biodiversity of the nature reserve allows a great variety of flora and fauna to thrive and be observed year-round. Though once a saltwater lagoon, dilution due to irrigation and canals draining into the estuary and the sand bars increasing in size had converted it to freshwater by the seventeenth century.