El Ullal de l’Estany (Gandía wetlands)


Camí de l’Alquería del Duc (signposted). Gandia


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This is a small but extremely beautiful natural place of great ecological value that can be used as an example to demonstrate the dynamics of the ‘marjales’ or wetlands. The ‘ullals’ are resurgences where underground water comes to the surface, forming circular basins of freshwater that in other areas are known as ‘eyes’. The source of this water can be sought in the limestone hills inland from Gandía, where the rainwater percolates into these extensive aquifers. These risings flood large areas in several places along the east coast of Spain, forming shallow wetlands which are often enlarged by the addition of water from rivers and irrigation channels. These are called ‘marjales’. The Gandía Marjal forms part of the Marjal de La Safor, which is small and disperse in comparison with such others as La Albufera at Valencia and the Marjal of Pego and Oliva.

The site of Ullal de l’Estany was restored in 2006 and a footpath was adapted to enjoy this beauty spot of ecological importance that is linked to other wetlands, like Ullal de la Perla.

  • Access by car: it can be reached by a tarmac road. Go towards the Grao de Gandía (beach area) and turn on to the Camí de l’Alquería del Duc (signposted), which takes us to the site.
  • Access for people with limited mobility: the natural site has infrastructures adapted for visitors with limited mobility (firm surface, protection and information elements).
  • Legal protection: it forms part of the Special Protection Area for Birds called Montdúver-Marjal de la Safor and is in the Community of Valencia catalogue of wetlands. 
  • Seasonality: the rising can be visited during the whole year.
  • Recommendations, what to see and do: it is interesting to visit the Duke’s Farmstead (a 14th-century fortified building) and Marjal de Gandía Natural Interpretation Centre.

Rev.: PAB 10.05.23