Natural Parks Of Alicante
The vast natural parks of Alicante with their pine clad valleys and cool mountain streams are not only a refuge for the wonderful variety of wildlife found in the region, but also for many visitors who escape the heat and summertime crowds in the city and head out to explore the wilderness nature trails and mountain climbing routes of Alicante's interior. For some, the close proximity of the airport and efficient local transport allows them to enjoy a sun filled beach holiday where they can spend lazy days and lively evenings in the city without the need of hiring a vehicle, but for others the lure of the beautiful countryside beckons.
Natural Parks Of Alicante
The mountainous interior and protected natural parks of Alicante are not just an attraction for serious nature enthusiasts, hikers or rock climbers, but also offer numerous activities for visitors who just want to get out of the city for a day. There are charming inland villages that seem to have been forgotten in time, such as Montforte del Cid where visitors can explore a variety of local attractions. Among its historical buildings and monuments is the hilltop church and cave of Cueva de San Pascal and the small Archaeological Museum Ibero MARQ. Further afield are the villages of Elda, Sax and Castalla which surround the closest of the natural parks.
Serra del Maigmó
About a 30 minute drive inland is the beautiful natural park of Serra del Maigmó which is the largest in the Valencia region covering an area of 15,840 hectares. Central to the park are a series of mountains soaring to over 1000 metres, with the highest peak being Maigmó. This stunning mountain range forms a natural adventure playground with over 20 climbing areas of varying difficulty, the popular ‘via ferrata' on the slopes of El Cid, numerous hiking trails, challenging mountain bike routes and various areas suitable for paragliding.
The flora & fauna to be found in the natural parks of Alicante are a lure for foragers and nature enthusiasts, and a highlight of Serra del Maigmó is the abundance of wild herbs that add a delightful scent to the air. Hiking the many nature trails visitors may be lucky enough to spot wildcats, mountain goats, wild boar and a variety of birds of prey such as golden eagles, owls and peregrine falcons.
Serra del Mariola
Heading further inland, the natural park of Serra del Mariola offers further adventure pursuits where the abundance of mountain streams and rivers aid the growth of an even larger variety of wild herbs such as lavender, pebrella, camomile, rosemary and sage. Hiking the network of nature trails, visitors will come across some fine examples of historical buildings, castles, churches and ancient natural shelters that have been used for centuries to house animals from the sometimes bitter winds and blinding snowstorms that the winter can bring to the area.