The Albufera de Valencia (Valencian: L'Albufera de València) is the biggest fresh water lagoon in Spain, separated just 10 Km south of the city of Valencia. The lagoon and the wet surroundings form a natural park of enormous ecological value, very appreciated by visitors for its explendid sunsets.
The lagoon is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by a thin coastal sand cord. In fact the water of the Albufera was salted until the 17th century. The wind, the consecutive torrential floods and the human-made silting reduced the flow of the sea and gave preponderance to the fresh water springs within the area.
La Albufera has been traditionally exploted for hunting, fishing and the growing of rice. The rice fields purify the water and serve as shelter for many plants and animals that are disappeared from the lagoon itself.
The main urban area is El Palmar, but El Saler is also an option, and it has the only beach in the Albufera Natural Park area.
The west side is largely forgotten by the visitors, as it's not located in Valencia, but in the neighboring towns of Silla and Catarroja. Both can be reached by local trains  or buses  from Valencia. The Port de Silla (Pier of Silla) is located just 2 Km east of the town, but the Port of Catarroja may require a car (4 Km from the town center).
By bus (from Valencia)
Regular buses of the company Herca  run from Valencia to the Albufera, like the line El Perelló - Saler - Valencia or El Palmar - Valencia. The stop to start the the route is called Embarcadero Albufera. The buses depart from Avenida Germnaías 34, just 5 minutes from the Estación del Norte train station, but they also stop in Plaza de Cánovas and the Oceanogràfic on their way.
Another option is the Valencia tourist bus Albufera. The duration of the tour is around 2 hours and includes a boat trip in the price. Costs 13 €.
The ride from Valencia to the Albufera by bike is a pleasant trip. Going out of Valencia direction El Saler it's possible to continue throught the bike path to the embarcadero (pier) of the Albufera. It's about 10 Km long.
Along the lake there are six routes marked, each with a different theme, covering a total of 8.4 Km.
Undoubtly the main sight is the sunset over the Natural Park. Other sights are included in the walking routes.
One of the most common activities is to take a boat ride. Basically you can find boat tours at every pier along the lake like Embarcadero de El Palmar, prices around 4 € per adult ( 2 € per kid ) for 40 minutes, the sunset tour ( Puesta del Sol ) is for 6 € each. The Valencia Touristic bus Albufera already includes the price for a boat ride.
Keep in mind that the boats will only depart when there is a "sufficient" number of customers. Boat operators do not speak English and all explanations during the trip will be in Spanish. During the trip there will be a short ride at slightly slower speeds through an area with reeds on both sides. This area is the best location to see the local ducks up close.
The village of El Palmar, as well as Silla and Catarroja are available to buy groceries. The main product in the area is rice. Rice of the Albufera has a certificate of origin for quality.
El Palmar, El Saler, as well as the area surrounding the piers of Silla and Catarroja, host a number of restaurants. Main dishes, apart from those with rice like paella, include eels, very common in the lagoon. Some examples are the all-i-pebre de anguilas (eel with a garlic and paprika sause) or esperdenyà (a mixture of eel with meat or other fishes).
For nightlife, Valencia has all what one can expect from a big city. Still, El Saler beach has a few pubs and a disco.
As said, being surrounded by the city of Valencia, most visitors stay there at night. The Albufera is a National Park, but still offers a few options.
It's difficult to encounter any problem around the lagoon.
In some spots wasps and mosquitos can be annoying, don't wear clothes that could attract them.