Mar 302012
 

The Valencia region and the La Safor area, in particular make a perfect base for holidays and excursions with an emphasis on nature, open air and unspoilt countryside. The magnificent scenery, abundant bird-life and natural surroundings all combine to lure the visitor to explore the region that lies behind the usual Costa Blanca beachfront destinations.

Using Villa Florencia as a starting point, you can make use of the services of an expert guide for trips either on hill walking expeditions, mountain biking or bird watching. Groups are of a very limited size, so a truly individual service is guaranteed and of course personal preferences and wishes are catered for as much as possible.


Guided Active Tourism from Villa Florencia
Mountain Biking | Hill Walking | Bird Watching

General Prices 2012
Mountain Biking
Mountain Bike Rental :
1 day – €15
3 days – €40
1 week – €80
Guided Mountain Biking from La Drova :
€50 per day for up to 2 people plus €20 per additional person
(inclusive of bike rental but excludes transport)

Guided Mountain Bike Trips
A Tour of the Natural Park of Albufera de Valencia
Suitable for complete beginners, this trip explores the southern end of the Albufera Natural Park, famous for its rice growing, traditional fishing boats and huge variety of bird life.
The 34km route follows surfaced lanes and is completely flat. We explore the rice fields, canals, Albufera Lake, and the authentic Valencian village of El Palmar.
Price : €70 lump sum for up to 2 people plus €25 per addition person.
Price is inclusive of complimentary transport from Villa Florencia, bike hire and the services of the Guide throughout the day.
Maximum group size – 6 people.

Guided Mountain Bike Trips
The Spectacular Serpis River Valley

This trip takes in the stunningly beautiful Serpis Valley with its towering limestone cliffs and spectacular mountain scenery. We also pass through traditional olive groves and visit Beniarres Reservoir.
Suitable for those with limited experience of off-road riding, the 38km route largely follows a disused railway line – now a gravel track.
Price : €65 lump sum for up to 2 people plus €25 per addition person.
Price is inclusive of complimentary transport from Villa Florencia, bike hire
and the services of the Guide throughout the day.
Maximum group size – 6 people.

Guided Mountain Bike Trips
The Valleys of Albaida & Barxeta and the Historic Town of Xativa

This extremely varied trip starts in the citrus growing Valley of Barxeta, visits the beautiful old town of Xativa and returns via the narrow Albaida River Valley. We then climb up and through a high pass before making our return through remote wooded mountains. This route is 50km and includes a number of ascents and is therefore suited to those with some off-road experience and a good level of fitness.
Price : €65 lump sum for up to 2 people plus €25 per addition person.
Price is inclusive of complimentary transport from Villa Florencia, bike hire and the services of the Guide throughout the day.
Maximum group size – 6 people.

Guided Mountain Bike Trips
The Mountains of La Drova

Very close to Villa Florencia lies the Sierra de Marxuquera. This area offers a number of quality mountain bike routes that take the rider up into some of the more remote areas of our region. The routes vary in distance from 30-40km and all involve some steep climbs and descents. Therefore, only suited to those with experience in off-road riding and a good level of fitness.
Price : €55 lump sum for up to 2 people plus €25 per addition person.
Price is inclusive of complimentary transport from Villa Florencia, bike hire and the services of the Guide throughout the day.
Maximum group size – 6 people.

Guided Mountain Walking
The Rocky Peak of Benicadell

Only 20 minutes drive from Villa Florencia is the towering peak of Benicadell. At 1,100 metres above sea level its summit provides truly spectacular views of the surrounding peaks and coastline.
Although only 8km in length, the route involves some quite steep paths and a narrow summit ridge. For those who prefer a longer route, it can be extended.
Price : €55 lump sum for up to 2 people plus €25 per addition person.
Price is inclusive of complimentary transport from Villa Florencia, and the services of the Guide throughout the day.
Maximum group size – 4 people (limited to ensure safe Guide : Client ratio).

Guided Mountain Walking
Local Coastal Mountains

This 10km route explores the mountains above Villa Florencia. Starting from one of the highest villages in the area, Les Foies, we begin by a gentle walk along clear tracks from which we enjoy stunning views of the mountain peaks and the Mediterranean Sea. We then descend via a rocky track down into a spectacular and largely unknown limestone gorge before another section on flat trails overlooking the sea. A fairly steep track then takes us back up into the mountains, but is followed by a relaxed walk along a wide rocky trail that takes us back to the starting point. Suited to those with a generally good level of fitness this
is a extremely varied route and explores some of the lesser known areas of our local mountains. Like all of our guided walks, it is taken at a leisurely pace. There are plenty of places along the way for rest stops where we can sit and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Price : €55 lump sum for up to 2 people plus €25 per addition person. Price is inclusive of complimentary
transport from Villa Florencia, and the services of the Guide throughout the day.
Maximum group size – 8 people.

Guided Bird Watching Trips
The Coastal Wetlands of Valencia

The coastal wetlands of Valencia are critically important as both wintering and breeding grounds for a hugely diverse range of bird species. The exact location that we visit depends upon the season, but no matter what time of year, theres always something special to see. Favourites include Flamingo,, Spoonbill, Glossy Ibis, Booted Eagle and Marsh Harrier. European rarities can include Purple Gallinule, White Headed Duck and Crested Coot. Our guided bird watching trips are suited to both experienced birder and beginner alike.,including accompanied children. Fact sheets and binoculars are available where required.
Why not come along and see the rich wildlife that this very special area of Spain has to offer?
Price : €90 lump sum for up to 2 people plus €25 per addition person.
Price is inclusive of complimentary transport from Villa Florencia, and the services of the Guide throughout the day.
Maximum group size – 8 people

Guided Bird Watching Trips
Steppe & Upland Lagoons

This trip takes us up into the highlands of the interior of Eastern Spain where we visit the seemingly endless open steppe of Castilla de la Mancha. This unique environment of wide open spaces dotted with freshwater lagoons provide habitat for some of Europes most unusual birds.
The Worlds heaviest flying bird, the Great Bustard roams the plains together with Black Bellied and Pin Tailed Sandgrouse.. Other upland birds include Calandra Lark and Rock Sparrow whilst the lagoons hold a wide variety of species including Black Tern, Red Crested Pochard, Gadwall, Black Necked Grebe and Avocet, . Birds of prey can include Hen Harrier, Marsh Harrier, Merlin and Golden Eagle.
Our guided bird watching trips are suited to both experienced birder and beginner alike., including accompanied children.
Fact sheets and binoculars are available where required.
Price : €90 lump sum for up to 2 people plus €25 per addition person.
Price is inclusive of complimentary transport from Villa Florencia, and the services of the Guide throughout the day.
Maximum group size – 8 people

About Your Guide
David Warrington, the owner of Nature Trail Spain has been a keen outdoor enthusiast since childhood and has many years experience of mountaineering, climbing, hill walking, mountain biking and bird watching.
A member of the Valencian Federation of Mountain Sports & Climbing, he is a professional outdoor Guide and a qualified Mountain Bike Instructor. He holds a Certificate in Wilderness First Aid. He has lived in Spain since 2007 with his Spanish wife Carolina, also a keen mountain sports enthusiast and qualified Pilates instructor.
Trips can be arranged through Mark or Nigel at Villa Florencia or
by contacting David directly by telephone on 0034 633 117 310 or e-mail NatuteTrailSpain@gmail.com
You can also visit our websites :
www.NatureTrailSpain.com www.ValenciaBirding.com www.MountainBikingValencia.com

Mar 262012
 

The middle of March always seems to mark the beginning of the new season and the onset of Spring, with the fiesta of Fallas and early guests in search of some warm sunshine on the Costa Blanca.  This year was no exception, and we were pleased to welcome guests from England as well as from Spain.

Mike and Maggie decided to see for themselves what the fiesta of Fallas in Gandía was all about, having been recommended by a friend that it was an event not to be missed.  They also wanted to find some early warmth and sunshine, and they were not disappointed.  The weather was almost consistently bright and clear, and was perfect for the combination of sightseeing, walking and relaxing that they had in mind.  They spent six days with us, and always found plenty to see and do, even if a trip to Valencia city was not on their itinerary – they had already visited there in the past, and wanted to get to know the surrounding area this time instead.  They found Gandía to be a delightful town, and the fiesta of Fallas was taking place there at the time of their visit too, so gave them a taste of what it is all about, without the crowds of Valencia city itself.

Other guests included a family who normally lived right in the centre of Valencia, and who had decided to spend some time away from the noise and bustle of the city at fiesta time.  Again, Gandía seemed a good compromise for them, and they wanted to make use of the self-catering apartment that we have available, with a view possibly to returning here at some stage over the summer period as well. The facilities suited them perfectly, as the son of the family is already an adult so the space provided in the apartment with its two en-suite bedrooms was the ideal solution.  The rural and tranquil environment of Villa Florencia – with its traditional Casa Rural feel – was just what they were seeking for their long weekend away from the city, and when they left, it was with assurances that they would return later in the season to see us once more.

We also played host to a group of three friends from Madrid, who had chosen to come to the area precisely in search of the Fallas fiesta, rather than to get away from it!  Steven was, in fact, originally from the United States but had lived and worked in Spain for several years and currently lives in Madrid.  The others were Spanish, and wanted to come to see what the Valencian fiesta was all about, as well as getting a taste of some Costa Blanca sunshine on the beautiful, award winning beaches that Gandía has to offer.  Steven chose to remain in the Gandía area while his friends visited Valencia city for the day – they wanted to sample the whole Fallas experience – whereas Steven had done so in the past and felt a day in the sun would be more beneficial!  They all had a great visit though, and spent their time out and about during the day, and dining in Gandía or Play de Gandía by night.

Many different reasons brought our guests to stay with us at the start of the season – some in search of some Costa Blanca sunshine, some looking for a fiesta that is found only in this region, and some even wanting to escape the city noise and bustle associated with that very same fiesta – but all agreed that Gandía and its surroundings provided just the Spring tonic they were all looking for.