Cádiz province

Cádiz province

This vast park covers 167,767ha from Tarifa in the south to the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park in the north. It is named after its handsome and beautifully kept cork tree grove, the largest in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the most important ones in the world.

Designated a Unesco Biosphere reserve in 1977, the Sierra de Grazalema was declared the first natural park in Andalucia in 1984 and is one of Spain's most ecologically outstanding areas. The 51,695 ha park is famous for its spectacularly rugged limestone landscape of cliffs, gullies, caves and gorges.

The Parque Nacional de Doñana is one of Europe's most important wetland reserves and a major site for migrating birds. It is an immense area; the parque itself and surrounding parque natural or Entorno de Doñana (a protected buffer zone) amount to over 1,300 sq km in the provinces of Huelva, Sevilla and Cádiz.

Part of the Bahía de Cádiz Natural Park, this 170ha protected area of saltmarsh is interesting for its rich birdlife. Sancti Petri was a fishing village but is now largely abandoned, overtaken in importance in its new incarnation, the modern tourist complex of Nuevo Sancti Petri. This area around the saltmarsh is somewhat built up, with golf courses and hotels to the south.

Andalucia is filled with fascinating cultural events throughout the year. Whilst many of these festivals take place on the date indicated each year, others move slightly in relation to the day of the week or the religious calendar or occasionally weather.

These are small walls in the intertidal zone close to the beach at Rota, which cover 110ha and are exposed at low tide. They have been used for collecting shellfish and fish since Roman times and continued to be in use until the 1950s.

The Duna de Bolonia, covering around 131m², is protected for its geological interest. It is located at the village of Bolonia, on the headland of Punta Camarinal, exposed to the ferocious easterly levante winds. At its highest point, the dune measures around 30m.

Situated within the Bahía de Cadiz Natural Park near San Fernando is this sandy punta (headland) of 74.5ha, created by the sea, wind and sedimentation processes at work in the Guadalete river estuary. On and around the spit are a similar flora and fauna to that found elsewhere in the park. Historically, the headland was of military-strategic importance and there are still remains of the Sancti-Petri castle.

The Tómbola de Trafalgar is a site of geological interest, with a small island joined to the mainland by a sandy tombolo, or bank of sand. The island is called the Cabo de Trafalgar, and its name became a household word after the famous 1805 Battle of Trafalgar.

This 210ha reserve has two lakes, the Laguna de Las Canteras and the Laguna El Tejón, both of which are prone to drying up in summer. Take the A381 from Jerez de la Frontera. The reserve is situated some 18km from Jerez on the right-hand side of this road.