According to legend, Sevilla was founded by Hercules and its origins are linked with the Tartessian civilisation. Called Hispalis under the Romans and Isbiliya by the Moors, the high point in its history was following the discovery of America in 1492, when wealth flooded in from the "New World". For all its important monuments and fascinating history, Sevilla is universally famous for being a joyous town.
The Tajos de Mogarejo Natural Monument consists of steep cliffs up to 30m high, which used to be a quarry. The materials from this were used in the construction of Seville cathedral. The Tajos are near the village of Montellano, on the A376 near the Cadiz provincial border.
The Chaparro de la Vega is a magnificent 13m-high holm oak, measuring 30m in diameter in its entirety and having an estimated age of 700 years. The tree provides shade during the pilgrimage of Coripe villagers for the fiesta of Coripe's patron saint, the Virgen de Fátima.
Situated in the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park near the village of San Nicolás del Puerto is the Cerro del Hierro (Iron Hill). As well as being a former Roman mining site, the Cerro del Hierro is noteworthy for its limestone features, among the most outstanding in Andalucia, which include chasms and gullies. Its unique microclimate means that there are some interesting plants.
Within the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Natural Park are these impressive waterfalls (cascadas), which are 7m tall at their highest point. The waterfalls are situated close to the source (nacimiento) of the Huesna river, the biggest watercourse in the Sierra Norte park. The banks of the Huesna river are densely populated with elms, willows, poplars and alders, inhabited by many birds, while otters live in the river.
The seasonal saltwater Laguna del Gosque provides an important back-up for birds in the nearby Laguna de Fuente de la Piedra Natural Reserve. Thousands of flamingos breed in the Fuente de Piedra, so they are also a common sight at this reserve.
Utrera Natural Reserve contains three saltwater lakes. Laguna de Zarracatín is around ten times the size of the other two, Laguna Arjona and Laguna Alcaparrosa. The lakes and their protected environs cover 1,161ha. Like the Lebrija-Las Cabezas Natural Reserve, it provides an alternative habitat for birds in the nearby Guadalquivir delta. Birds from the Embalse Torre del Aguila, which is about 3km east, also use the reserve.