Tag Archives: Nature

Sierra Helada

Sierra Helada

Sierra Helada

 

Sierra Helada is a national park located in Albir Spain, Sierra Helada means Ice mountain in Spanish .
The park is situated in the region of  ValenciaIt is a natural protect area for Benidorm and Alfaz Albir.

Therefore both cities and councils have joined their forces to protect but also to promote the Sierra Helada park.

The councils of several cities will be introducing it at first  to visitors and locals, through a series of guided tours.

Spain Watchtowers

Throughout the whole coast of Spain there are  coastal watchtowers.
During centuries these watchtowers have been used along the coast of Spain, here more specific the coast of Valencia. The watchtowers on the top of the coastline where the light points where the locals stands looking for invaders and pirates.
As high on the coast the light or smoke signals were passed between these watchtowers at the first sign of danger .

Guided Tours through the Sierra Helada

The guide explains guides you throughout  the parc and will show you the different kinds of vegetation. Beside this you will also get a historic introduction about the region.
The Guides are made possible by the culture department of both councils  in order to put “The Ruta de los Atajadores” more in the picture.

The guides inform the visitor as well of the history of the Sierra Helada, they also give attention to the flora, the plants and the fossilized dunes which are unique to the Sierra Helada .

In fact, geological the Sierra Helada is a part of the so-called Bendidorm syncline. This is a limestone of million years old .
For example, in this area it is no wonder that you find old fossils on the slopes of the Sierra Helada

In fact the walk is very nice and is a must for the nature lover.
The Natural park of Sierra Helada is very unspoiled and there are roads which are semi asphalted so the road is accessible for all kind of hikers.

The lighthouse of Faro.

On the top the Albir lighthouse or Faro is a nice point of view. You can reach it by going into the direction of Albir and then take the path to the lighthouse.
During the walk the views are really are exceptional and some say that with a little luck you can spot dolphins.
Off the coast of Albir, there are lots of fish farms which attract dolphins. These Fish farms help repopulate the fish in the Mediterranean sea by allowing the fisherman to only catch fish from the farms.

Nature park near and under the sea.

The Sierra Helada is a protected nature park with a wide range of fauna and flora.
The coastline is one of the most beautiful in the Valencian region.
This natures park is protect dry land and sea areas .
The Sierra Helada is a high area with a total surface of 5 564 hectares of which 4920 hectares are a marine reserve. A real natural park.
The underwater areas are some of the most interesting of the Spanish coast with an exceptional biological diversity. Therefore for lovers of snorkeling and diving a must

At Punta Bombarda, on the top of the rock,  at the Albir lighthouse in Alfaz del Pi there is a new telescope in operation.
The best is that the telescope allow the people to spot dolphins in the Sierra Helada Natural park .
And the telescope is free to use and will help the  public not only to see the dolphins but also to identify what kind of dolphins they are. The telescope was paid with public donations.

Sierra Helada dolplfins

Sierra Helada dolplfins

People see dolphins often nearby the Punta Bombarda, especially in the area of the fish farms.
Also check out our guide to the Top 5 Cities to visit in Spain.

 

In short the Sierra Helada is Albir Nature Park and is a wonderful park. To combine Mediterranean Sea and the splendid mountains has never been so easier.

Sierra Helada means frozen mountains. The name comes from the way the cliffs look from the sea on a moon lighted nights. Fisherman on the Mediterranean Sea  found that the rocks looked like an iceberg.

When you walk the paths on the mountain it is better to wear sunscreen and often you wish there was a little bit of ice around in a bar or cafe to cool your body or to drink a cool refreshment.
Indeed, there are various organised routes. For instance  to the summit or to the secrets lovely coves. As a result that flora and fauna is everywhere around you.

Sierra Helada

Sierra Helada

The summit of the Sierra Helada is 439 meters above the Mediterranean Sea and more than 5600 hectares of nature.
Once you get there , the point of view is really breath-taking . On the top  you  can see Moraira and to the south Benidorm.

One walking path leads to the top, another path is less steep but have also very beautiful views
On the summit there is a lighthouse or ” El Faro”.
On the path to the summit there are several picnic areas some with shaded tables.
This is really the best place to relax or to take your picnic and enjoy the very impressing views below.
The view of the bay of Calpe and the “Roch of Ifach” are impressing. And with a little bit of luck, you can spot the dolphins. What do you want more on an unforgettable holiday day !  Calpe see our page on our website

Most important the average walker can make  the journey without danger. More specificcaly, railing prevent the walker to the deep of the below Mediterranean Sea .
So a nice day in the Sierra is accessible for everyone.

 

Sierra Helada cycle path.

By practicing healthy activities as cycling and walking , you will enjoy incredible beautiful views.
First of all from the sea below when you are on the top. But also when you are in the middle of the splendid nature that surrounds the Sierra Helada.

Naturally, thanks to the warm weather of the Alicante  region, you can enjoy these activities almost any time of year, during all seasons.

Albir, Alfaz del Pi and Benidorm councils are coordinating together a project to design a cycling path along the Sierra Helada . This cycling path would connect Benidorm with Albir.

Why now ? Due to the increase in more active residents and tourist who are demanding more cycling routes.
The planned routes will go along the nearly already hard-surfaced public roads.
On the cycling path there will of course be  a few gradients . As a result that they will be suitable for all cyclist. In the first place for trained cyclist but also for amateur cyclist.
The new cycling path will include several point of interest . One of this stays the before mentioned  the lighthouse. several picnic area’s and different overlooking low down to Benidorm.

Till now , the only available route  for cyclist and cars  is the busy CV 753 road.
The cycling routes  are marked according to their degree of difficulty.  Besides the difficulty also the length and the steepness.

Visit the Sierra Helada, you will be awarded with some impressive views.

How to get there ?

First, by taxi from Albir .
Then, by bus from Benidorm a 15 minutes drive.
at last, by car follow the N 332 direction Sierra Helada.

Tip :
First: wear proper shoes.
Second: take something to drink.
At last:  use sunscreen.

 

Torrevieja La Mata Natural park

Torrevieja La Mata.

First of all, “La Mata Salt lake” and “Torrevieja Salt lake” are easy to find on the N 332 at 5 km from Torrevieja.
Indeed, Torrevieja is situated in the southern part of  the sunny Costa Blanca.
In fact, Torrevieja is one of the many  little fishing village who grown into a touristic center.

La Mata Salt lake  Natural Park

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Entering Torrevieja you will pass between two salt lakes. The salt lake of La Mata and the salt lake of Torrevieja. One is green nearly blue color the other one is of an sort pink rose color.
Both are the homeland for all kinds of flowers and birds. In the history of the city both salt lakes are very important, and are the mean reason why it is  developed from a little local fishing village to a city.
The history of the lakes goes back to the 13th century when the first licenses were given by the king for the harvest of salt.

In contrast, the Torrevieja salt lake  is pink, the La Mata  is green-blue.
The local people love their salt lakes because they are ideal for a picnic and a nice walk.
The main attraction for the tourists and many photographers are the more than 2000 famous flamingos who can seen mostly during the breeding season. When the flamingos are in the salt lake they gave a grey color. Many of the grey flamingos turn into beautiful pink flamingos eating the shrimps during their stay in Torrevieja . Like the many tourists who become their nice tan during their stay in the Costa Blanca.
Their are not only flamingos but also all kind of aquatic, wading and marine birds in this natural park.

With a little luck you can discover weasels, hedgehogs,lizards, foxes and snakes.
In Spring the flowers  provide a rainbow of  color.
The pink color of the Torrevieja lake is caused by the color of a bacteria which lives in very salty water. The same bacteria is also found in other famous salt lakes  like Dead Sea. The other reason of the pink color is an alga at certain times of the year.  The shrimp which lives in the lake, becomes also red because the bacteria and the alga is his food. And the flamingos eat the shrimps and turn pink.

The two salt lakes of Torrevieja and Torrevieja La Mata are a protected natural park.

Now, they are still the biggest and oldest salt lakes in Europe. They are producing the salt for the cold winters on the roads of Northern Europe.
The production starts the heat up in the warm months of June till the end of October.
The process as salt winning  begins when the sea is carrying seawater to the Mata salt lake.
Once the seawater reaches the salt lake, the water starts to evaporate under the warm sun. As a result, the salt level rises.
Then the salt water is carries to the Torrevieja salt lake, where the salt level is even higher.
This melting of the waters is  a very important moment in the process of crystallization.
The salt starts to solidify at the bottom of the salt lake and now is the moment to collect the salt.

The Torrevieja salt lake is the largest, Torrevieja La Mata lake is more an important historical lake.

The salt lakes are connected with the sea by two channels allowing the depth of the lakes to be altered for the salt production.
There is very little vegetation in the salt lake ,too high level of salinity. But they are  at least 2000 different species of birds, like the lovely pink flamingo’s.

Torrevieja La Mata Natural Park

 

 

It is possible to make a walk in La Mata natural park. The parkt offers you an hour stroll through one of the most beautiful spots of the natural Park.
The sandy paths allow all year round walking. There are different routes which can be taken.
In La Mata Village there are grape fields. Traditionally the make a very fine sweet white desert wine. You can taste the wine in the cellars of La Mata bodegas.

The salt lake of La Malta has declared an important area for bird life and other wild life.
The park is easy to find sign posted with the signs, and the visitor center is visible from
the N 332.

Inside the Natural Park information office or “Casa Forestal de La Mata” . In the center  there are interesting exhibitions of the flora and fauna, by the Salt lake.
Inside the information center, you can find interactive information boards and leaflets in different languages.
The brochures shows the walking paths and the passages for bicycles.
Some paths have no or little shade.So be aware for the sunburn and wear a sun head and a good sun protector.
The walking roads are sandy, so it is advisable to wear good shoes.

Picnic areas.

In the park there are no restaurants, no cafe and no little bars. It is better to take your provision of refreshments with you. But there are beautiful picnic areas, mostly under pine trees, where you have a great view of the salt lake.
The natural park of La Mata Torrevieja is one of the natural parks of the Valencia region will benefit from a 400 000 Euro handout from the social fund of a bank in 2014.
The bank has been working with the regional government on environmental scenes schemes since  the last 8 years.

In the future, La Mata Torrevieja park will improved their many activities such as cycling pads, walking area and horse riding .
Indeed, it is a benefit for the town of Torrevieja and the Orihuela region .
In the Mata Park you may spend at least several hours enjoining the unspoiled park, the flamingo’s, the great view on the lake an the mountains inland.

Access to the park via the Coast N332 between Alicante and Cartagena.
First, distance to Alicante  =50 km.
Then, distance to Benidorm = 80 km.
Next, distance to Cathagena = 60 km.
And distance to Orihuela = 30 km.

Torrevieja La Mata Opening Times.

October to May.

Tuesday to Friday.
9:30 to 14:00.
Tuesday and Thursday.
9:30 to 14:00.
16:00 to 17:30.

June to September.

Everyday 9:30 to 14:30.
Weekends and bank Holidays.
9:30 to 13:30.