Natural areas

When you have a treasure, there’s nothing better than sharing it. That’s exactly what we want to do with the Costa Brava and the Girona Pyrenees. Eight wonderful natural parks, four amazing botanical gardens and miles and miles of coastal footpaths just waiting for you to come and visit at any time of year.

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This area of great landscape and geological interest covers the whole of the so-called lacustrine coast of Banyoles, which separates the Empordà plain from the Transversal mountain range, in the Garrotxa region.

Banyoles Lake, with a surface area of 107 hectares and a characteristic shape in the form of an eight, is one of the largest ones on the Iberian peninsula. The most relevant feature of the lacustrine system is its origin and that of the waters that feed it: filtration of rainwater from certain areas of the Alta Garrotxa and underground water flow that comes to land at this point.

Banyoles Lake and the series of small ponds that surround it throughout the year show a chemical and thermal stratification process. In addition to these characteristics, the lake and surrounding area are home to a variety of lacustrine flora and native wildlife.

[nom] => Banyoles Lake [IDclub] => )
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The Cadiretes massif is a natural open area that occupies almost all the municipal area of Tossa de Mar, and part of Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Santa Cristina d'Aro, Llagostera, Vidreres, Caldes de Malavella and Lloret de Mar. It is a mountainous, granitic land, which separates the sea from the Selva plain and which is highest at the Puig de Cadiretes (519 m).

The depressions of the massif have been grooved by streams of a typically Mediterranean nature. Despite this, the nature of the land means that there is water all year round, which, together with the high humidity and rainfall provoked by the screen effect of the mountains against the east winds, means that the massif has botanical and wildlife elements of a clear Atlantic style. The coast, with more than 6 km protected, is particularly steep, which has facilitated the establishing of several relevant species, that find it to be an ideal refuge.

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A massif with typically Mediterranean characteristics. Set between the Gironès and the Baix Empordà regions, it makes up the northernmost tip of the Catalan pre-littoral mountain range. The landscape of this area is mainly forest. The character of the large area of Mediterranean forest is what gives the massif its importance, as it is mainly made up of holm oak and cork oak forests. The wildlife is typical of Mediterranean and forest environments. With regard to its historic heritage, it dates back to the Megalithic period, with a plentiful presence of funeral monuments; in addition, there are also mediaeval defensive constructions and religious buildings in pre-Romanesque and Romanesque style.

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The Estany de Sils is a protected natural open space included in the Plan of Open Areas of Natural Interest (PEIN) in Catalonia and has been included in the European network of natural open spaces, Natura 2000. Until the mid 19th century, the land included in this space corresponded to a lagoon that was dried out to make way for new cropland and to fight against malaria. Thanks to the special dampness and flooding conditions, diverse species of flora and fauna that are characteristic of wetlands are still preserved. In recent centuries, naturally flooded areas have been in recession and today there are not many of them in Catalonia. In addition, in a predominantly Mediterranean context, the preservation of spaces such as L'Estany de Sils has become a matter of maximum interest.

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This space is a compendium and an excellent example of the level of ecological diversity found in the eastern part of the axial Pyrenees.

From the lower limits up to 1,600 m, there is the mountain level, made up of deciduous forests.

From 1,600 m to 2,300 m, there are also sub-Alpine conifer forests, with a predominance of Swiss mountain pine, thicket, alpenrose heath, laburnum and juniper berry.

The wildlife is typical of Pyrenean high mountains. Among the vertebrates, the birds are of special interest. The izard, as a mammal, is without a doubt, the most plentiful and characteristic animal.

[nom] => Headwaters of the River Ter-Setcases and Freser-Núria [IDclub] => )

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