Valencia Huerta

Tours around La Huerta

La Huerta de Valencia is one of the 6 market gardens that It still exists in Europe. During centuries, the mixture of water, the land and the wisdom of the farmers have formed a spectacular landscape that changes in each season. The institution that regulate the irrigation, the Tribunal de las Aguas, has been declared intangible heritage of Humanity. It is the oldest judicial institution in Europe.

In the schedule tour on mondays it includes the entrance to the Huerta Museum and a guided tour within the most beatiful area of la huerta.

In the case of groups this tour offers so many variants, a visit to organic garden, to taste vegetables in season or thematic tours like a tour about irrigation…

In any option, we will enjoy an agricultural area full of architectural richness; Barracas, farmhouses, alquerias… surrounded by crops; potatoes, onions, artichokes, tomatoes, chufa and many more. Furthermore a beautiful landscape that will make us forget that the city is just a one step.


Tours around La Huerta

Invented by the region's Moorish rulers 1,200 years ago, Valencia's irrigation system is now a model for sustainable farming.

Eight main irrigation channels, or acequías, funnel water from the River Turia, which is then carried – by gravity – along a series of smaller branches, which distribute the water to thousands of tiny plots across the fields. The amount of water each plot receives isn't measured in terms of volume but rather on how well the river is flowing. The unit, known as a fila (from the Arabic word meaning "thread"), represents an individual's right to a proportion of the water over a period of time; the irrigation cycle usually lasts a week, but when the river's level is low, the cycle is extended.

It's an incredibly efficient system. Each plot receives the same access to water for the same amount of time, no matter where they are in the mosaic, and there are no water shortages, even in periods of drought. And the result is an incredibly diverse crop yield. Centuries-old local rice varieties grow in the fields around Lake Albufera, south of the city, while unique species like chufa, or tiger nuts (which are used to make the ice-cold milky Valencian drink of horchata), are sown in the north.

Read More (Spain´s indigenious wter maze. BBC Travel. )



"The system of water management adopted here [means that] aubergines, oranges, artichokes and olive trees can all co-exist together," said Clelia Maria Puzzo of the United Nations' Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), which added La Huerta to their list of Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) in November 2019. "A variety of crops were imported from Asia and America hundreds of years ago, but they adapted perfectly because of this irrigation system."

The whole process is held together by a unique social organisation that has been governing La Huerta for more than 1,000 years. The Tribunal de las Aguas de la Vega de la València, or Water Court of the Plains of Valencia, was established around 960 CE and as such is officially the world's oldest judicial body. The tribunal is made up of eight farmers, elected representatives of the communities that work off each of the main irrigation channels, who meet to settle disputes outside the doorway of Valencia Cathedral every Thursday at noon."

Production in La Huerta is basically intended for self-consumption and the local market, Thanks to its unique structure, it has managed to survive over the centuries with the efforts of generation upon generation of farmers that have preserved this land despite the pressure of urbanisation."