Cap de Creus National Park

Cap de Creus National Park
 

Overview
The Creus Cape Peninsula is one of the largest natural protected reserves in Catalonia covering nearly 14,000ha and is the first marine and mainland park in the country. The National Park is located in the easternmost part of the Iberian Peninsula and, at the same time, at the Mediterranean extreme of the Axial Pyrenees. There are three natural sites of national interest: Cap Gros-Cap de Creus to the North, Punta Falconera-Cap Norfeu to the South, and Serra de Rodes to the West.

Walking
There are Information Centres in the nearby towns, including Cadaqués and Port de la Selva. There are many hiking trails in the park. Ones of particular interest are along the south coast, from Roses to Jóncols bay through Montjoi bay and Norfeu, or the north coast trail, which goes from El Port de La Selva to Puig Gros. The walk to the lighthouse is certainly worth pursuing as well as it offers a close look at the winding and complex geology of the area, as well as important places like Portlligat and its island.

 

Sightseeing
The Sant Pere de Rodes monastery is one of the main attractions of Cap de Creus Natural Park. The monastery dates date to between the 10th and 12th Centuries and has been completely restored. It is a fantastic example of Catalan Romanesque Art.

The park is also home to numerous archaeological remains. There are a considerable number of outstanding dolmens, such as the one in Creu d'en Cobertella.

The number of castles and chapels is also very high, both in the Park and in the surrounding area. The most noteworthy are Carmençó castle, Bufalaranya castle, and Puig-rom castle. The chapel of Sant Onofre, the pre-Romanesque chapel of Sant Martí de Vallmala and the chapels of Sant Sebastiá.

Also worth visiting which is located outside of the Park is the town Ciutadella de Roses which is rich in interesting architecture.

Geology
Cap de Creus consists of a rocky stretch of coastline, the mountainous inland area, nearby islands and isles and a strip of sea.

Animals/Birds
As the easternmost point of the Iberian Peninsula, it is notorious for its flow of migratory birds. The most outstanding species of fauna are those of the group of sea birds and reptiles. Among the reptiles and amphibians, the common toad, oscellated lizard and Mediterranean tortoise are worthy of note. The most representative birds of prey include Bonelli's eagle, the peregrine falcon, and the eagle owl. Of the sea birds, seagulls and terns, Balearic shearwaters and shags deserve a mention. Lastly, and no less important, is the vast wealth of species in the sea.

Plants
The vegetation on Cap de Creus is conditioned by the strong marine influence, the rugged orography and the abundance of rocky outcrops. Trees found here include small amounts of aleppo pines and cork oaks, and some holm oaks. The bottoms of the valley’s are home to ash trees, alders, hazel trees and willows. Mediterranean Scrub is the predominant vegetation away from the outcrops and valleys’.

 

 
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