It is well known that Andalusia has a unique and unique beauty, from impressive monuments such as the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba or the Alhambra of Granada, to national parks of international fame such as the Doñana Park or Natural Parks such as Cabo de Gata in Almería. Unparalleled landscapes that leave any visitor engaught and that fill the population that inhabits them with pride. Today we present 10 of the most important and recognized Natural Monuments of Andalusia, Do you want to know what they are? Well, read on to find out all the information about them.
Starting from the southeast of the Autonomous Community we are located in the province of Jaen, specifically in the municipality of Quesada, with this natural cave that merges with a waterfall, which fills the Tiscar River, and is located in the so-called Grotto of Wonders. It is one of the first known natural caves in the country and is made up of limestone stones.
Its full name is that of the Cave of the Virgin of Tiscar, since according to legend, in 1319 the image of the virgin herself appeared in it. The place has a particularity, and is that, we find a descent of about 150 steps in which, when we get down, the sanctuary of our Lady of Tiscar is located, so, in addition to being a natural place, it is in turn a sacred place.
It should be noted that access to the monument is not easy, because you have to cross a series of paths formed by tunnels and stairs, often slippery by moisture and water that falls on them. In addition, it is advisable to make the visit in spring, as it is the time of year where the flow of the waterfall is most abundant.
Since 1993, the City Council has organized some concerts in the cave taking advantage of its magnificent acoustics and the magic that is created by bringing the musical show together with the grandeur of the monument. These events have been held on the second Saturday of August of recent years.
The access to the cave is free and to get there you have to take the A-315 motorway (it is about 13 kilometers from Quesada and 25 kilometers from Cazorla)
Now we move to the beautiful city of Cordoba, where in the heart of the Historic Center we find this Natural Monument integrated in the Guadalquivir River. As can be seen, it is preserved next to the construction center of the city, because this is because for a long time there was no urban intervention that prevented the proliferation of plant elements and the birth of fauna in the area.
The protection as a Natural Monument of Los Sotos de la Albolafia extends from the Roman Bridge to the Bridge of San Rafael. At first glance it may not seem like a terrain that stands out from the others, but the reality is that it forms a milestone of great importance, because in the little stretch it occupies, more than 120 species of fauna live together with a good variety of flora, all integrated in the middle of a city of more than 300,000 inhabitants.
The visit is totally free, as you only have to go to the Roman Bridge to be able to observe the landscape. If you want a guided tour to learn more about the history of the Sotos de la Albolafia, there are many Cordoba agencies that currently integrate it into their tours. Don’t miss it!
In the Natural Park of Sierra Norte, 83 kilometers from Seville and about 10 from the municipality of Constantina, we discovered this Natural Monument that once formed as a Roman iron mine. In the 19th century a British-national company bought the holding, but noting that it was not profitable to other companies until its mining function ceased forever in 1985.
Despite being closed, remains of what one day were still found in the place, such as: the place where the gunpowder used to extract the minerals was manufactured, the blocks where the animals that pulled the vehicles where the materials were loaded or the homes where the director of the mine was housed rested , several workers and their respective families.
Its name as Cerro del Hierro originates from the abundance of karstic rocks that make up the landscape and that have been eroded by climatic effects for centuries, giving rise to very interesting iron formations. It is currently considered a perfect natural place for contact activities with nature such as hiking and climbing. There is also a great biodiversity of flora and fauna, among which the species of the black stork stands out.
The Archaeological Ensemble of the Antequera Dolmens is an example of the unique and extraordinary artistic heritage of the European continent. A clear sign of this is its mention as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016, as it is one of the most important architectural ensembles of the prehistoric era. This Natural Monument consists of three architectural elements: the melmen of Menga and Viera and the so-called Tholos del Romeral, the most spectacular being the first of them (approximately 6000 years old). The whole is completed with the proximity of other Natural Monuments such as the Torcal de Antequera and the Peña of the Lovers, which together with the Dolmens form a set called Site of the Dolmens.
The visit is totally free and highly recommended for a getaway with the family, especially with young children, because it is in a very pleasant natural environment.
Located in the municipality of San Fernando, in Cadiz, we discovered this unique islet constituted as a line of virgin dunes born on the waters of the Atlantic Sea. The area, recognized for its coastal elements, is the result of one of the most recent geological events that occurred in recent times, when sedimentation was filling the delta. Subsequently, the erosion of the waves of the sea on these sediments formed milestones such as that of the Boquerón, being the action of the climate that finished completing the spectacular natural element that today conforms.
You can get to know this Natural Monument by walking along the Punta del Boqueron Trail and from one of its stops stop to admire the views of the Castle of Sancti-Petri. You will find this trail at the end of Camposoto beach having near it a parking lot to park your vehicle without any problem.
Punta del Boquerón is also an enclave of the Bahia de Cadiz Natural Park appreciated by cane fishermen given the tranquility of the landscape and the beautiful sunsets behind the castle.
We continue our tour of Andalusia making this time a stop in Malaga, where we find, in the north of the province, the so-called Caves of San Marcos, where we locate the Falla de la Sierra del Camorro. This outstanding mountain landmark was declared a Natural Monument in 1999. Its highest point consists of a height of 900 meters (precisely in the Pico de Cuevas Altas)
It is a significant geological formation caused by the movement of several tectonic plates of the Earth’s crust, the formation of which was carried out due to the elevation of one block and the sinking of the other. Because of this, we can observe the existence of cracks and slits in its relief. In the area are born species of trees such as holm oaks (some centuries old) and inhabits fauna such as rabbits, hares, owls or vultures. However, what stands out is for the interesting colony of bats that take refuge under the cavities of the rock. Among these cavities we highlight the Cave of Belda, a gallery of about 200 meters in length, which has inside with high domes and large columns.
We are located in the town of Almuñécar, Granada, to know this group of rock formations declared a Natural Monument in 2002 due, in part, to its important geographical location. In addition, it has a curious peculiarity, and is that each of the rocks has been baptized with a name, observing from the nearest area to the mainland to the bottom we find: “El Peñón del Santo”, “El Peñón de Enmedio” and the “El Peñón de Fuera”. The “Peñón del Santo” separates the beaches of Puerta del Mar and San Cristobal. This place highlights the incredible sunsets that adorn the landscape at the end of the day.
In addition to the aforementioned geographical importance, it is important to highlight the diversity of marine fauna that inhabits both inside and around the waters. From species of waterfowl such as gulls, to colonies of fish, molluscs and crustaceans.
Despite being a formation located in a coastal area, it is located in a very central area of the municipality and very close to notable tourist attractions such as the Botanical and Sculptural Park, the Castle of San Miguel or the Roman Aqueduct of Sexi.
Among the Almeenian towns of Roquetas de Mar and Aguadulce (specifically on Playa de las Palmerillas) is one of the few posidonia reefs that are still dormant on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is an exclusive jewel of this coastline, which remains a redoubt of the ancient reefs that once abounded on these shores. It is one of the largest natural relics on the coast, and is considered a sample of the previous reefs that were once located on the Costa de Almería. This species requires very specific care to maintain its life (clean and well oxygenated waters, control of sudden changes in temperature and salt level, etc.). Posidonia is a plant with long green branches that contributes to the sedimentation of the remains from the coast, which helps to prevent the massive loss of the coastal area. Today there are many diving professionals who come to this place to enjoy this unique jewel in Andalusia.
Currently there is an organization that carries out a project called “Project Life Posidonia”, which is responsible for the control and maintenance of the Monument and carry out various studies on it.
And if you want to enjoy a diving session through these spectacular waters, there are numerous companies that offer the service.
We return to the province of Malaga to be located 158 meters above sea level in the north of the municipality of Nerja. This important landmark consists of a total of two caves 4 kilometers long and 58 meters wide, its main component being limestone.
The Caves of Nerja were discovered in the mid-20th century by a group of people who were hunting in the area. Actually this discovery was coincidental, as they stepped on the hole of La Mina that gives access to the chambers of the caves. After a group of experts will determine the value of the discovery, this area was made known to the whole world. However, the Caves of Nerja also has several galleries (discoveredin1960 and 1969 respectively) and are not yet open to the public. It was declared a Spanish Historical Heritage and Good of Cultural Interest in 1985.
If you are interested in visiting the caves it is recommended to book in advance through the website of the Nerja Foundation. A pass is made every half hour and must be reached about ten minutes before the visit begins.
There are different types of passes, so you can choose between making a visit with audio guide (at a price of 12´75 euros for adults and children 6 and 12 years old of 10’75 euros). You can also choose to visit the cave with a specialized guide for 1o more than the general price for both age groups. In addition, you can also visit the museum at a cost of 3 euros for adults and 2€ for children between 6 and 12 years old (although these prices vary depending on the time of year)
Es posible visitarlas durante todo el año, excepto los días 1 de enero y 15 de mayo. Las horas de visita son las siguientes:
-Del 9 de septiembre al 22 de junio: de 9:30 de la mañana a 16:30 de la tarde.
–Jueves Santo, Viernes Santo, Sábado Santo, Domingo de Resurrección y del 23 de junio al 8 de septiembre: de 9:30 de la mañana a 19:00 de la tarde.
They can be visited all year round, except on January 1st and May 15th. Visiting hours are as follows:
–From September 9th to June 22nd: from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
–Holy Thursday, Holy Friday, Holy Saturday, Resurrection Sunday and from June 23 to September 8: from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
In the municipality of Tarifa right on the beach of Bolonia, we are located to present the Dune of Bolonia, a sandy mound 30 meters high and 200 meters wide. It is located within the Natural Park of the Strait, a place with an important natural and landscape value. The origin of this dune comes from a accumulation of sand from the east winds, which has also occurred in a strategically casual place since it is one of the areas less manipulated by the human being and its advance is made inland, precisely because of this location.
Being one of the busiest areas of Cadiz, it is recommended not to visit the Natural Monument during the summer months. Despite this, Bologna Beach is a wonderful place to wing or escape for a weekend, so if you decide to do so, you must prepare for it to be overflowing but you will enjoy one of the most splendid areas of Andalusia.
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