What is the importance of El Estrecho natural park in Cadiz?
Do you want to get to know the best hikes in El Estrecho natural park in Cadiz? If you are interested in getting to know which areas to visit and what types of habitats and plants you will find, contact me to do a guided hiking tour in Cadiz. I do hikes in La Breña, El Estrecho and in Los Alcornocales natural parks.
Cadiz province has more than a third of its surface protected, the highest percentage of the provinces in Andalusia. Los Alcornocales is one of the largest natural parks in Spain and La Breña natural park the smallest in Andalusia. However, the importance of El Estrecho is related to the horizontal migration of fish and marine mammals, and the vertical migration of birds. It has been recognized as a natural park since 2003 and it is part of the Mediterranean intercontinental biosphere reserve, which goes from Malaga to Morocco.
El Estrecho natural park is in the Strait of Gibraltar, between Spain and Morocco. El Estrecho natural park is an incredibly diverse park and is super important for the migration of different species. It has the Atlantic ocean and the Mediterranean sea, and you can find it between two continents. It is at the most southern part of mainland Spain, some areas only 14km from Africa.
Below are just a few of the views that you will see during the coastal hikes in El Estrecho natural park.
El Estrecho natural park in Cadiz
This natural park has 18.931ha, of which 9.684ha are land-based and 9.326ha are marine-based. The park’s maritime area is exceptional for its biodiversity, with over 1,900 species of marine flora and fauna recorded. This coastline is famous for its strong winds, the levante (from the Mediterranean) and poniente (from the Atlantic), making it a world famous windsurfing site. These winds also help to grow the only subtropical forest in mainland Europe in Los Alcornocales natural park in Andalucia.
The park has an impressive diversity of habitats; a total of 18 different habitats include mobile sand dunes, cork oak woodland and offshore submerged sand banks. If you are a birder you must come and explore this paradise, as part of the major migration routes for birds from Africa to Europe crosses through this natural park. Moreover, another incredibly important migration route is the horizontal route from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Through this route migrate 7 different species of cetaceans that, depending on their migratory routes, abundance of food and reproduction periods, live permanently or spend a certain amount of time in this privileged marine area. Here you can find whales, dolphins and orcas following the famous bluefin tuna migration.
You also find lots of historic remains, such as Baelo Claudia near Bolonia, silla del papa, necropolis of Los Algarbes, and more. There are around 30 caves in the park, many with rock paintings, and also several defensive watchtowers along the coast.
Please read about some of the best hikes in Andalusia for a hiking holiday in El Estrecho. If you want to join one of my guided hiking tours in Andalucia, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Circular Silla del papa hike
This hike is an open hike with beautiful views from Tarifa to Vejer de la Frontera. Here is where a pre-Roman settlement was founded and was used until the Roman population founded Baelo Claudia.
Duration: 3-4 hours
Linear Bolonia dune hike
Climb one of the largest shifting dunes in Europe and enjoy walking along Mediterranean forest as well as walking along my two favourite beaches in Cadiz.
Duration: 2-3 hours
Linear Tarifa coastal hike
This is a coastal hike that goes from Tarifa to Algeciras, although I would recommend to go to El Pelayo. Here you will take in incredible views of the Strait of Gibraltar and lots of flysch geological formation.
Circular San Barolomé hike
This is one of my favourite hikes in El Estrecho natura park. It is short but you have outstanding 360º views in a short hike. The hike takes place near Bolonia in Cadiz, and you are surrounded by pine forest. This hike is the hike with the most shade so can be better than other routes when it’s hot.
Tours in El Estrecho natural park and Cadiz province
If you enjoyed this blog with the hikes in Grazalema natural park in Cadiz, and are looking for hiking holiday in Andalucia surrounded by nature, then keep reading. I offer tours in the natural park of “Los Alcornocales”, “La Breña” and “El Estrecho”. I also focus on agrotourism and cultural tours including: Visits to the almadraba in a private boat; private sherry and Andalusian wine tastings; olive mill tours; Iberian ham tours; and white town tours in Cadiz province.
Guided hiking tours in Cadiz, Andalucia
Cadiz province is one of the most biodiverse provinces in mainland Spain. Habitats range from dense forest reminiscent of cloud forest to Mediterranean forest, dune systems, and more. Moreover, enjoy the incredible views of magical landscapes in Cadiz and the Strait of Gibraltar. Cadiz has over a third of its surface protected, while its climate and sunlight hours are similar to Canary Islands.
If you want to do any of the above hikes in El Estrecho natural park in Cadiz please click here to read the coastal hikes that I offer or contact me.
Join my hiking tour in Los Alcornocales natural park, where we will head to the heart of the natural park, to places where you cannot access without the permit of landowners. These places are very pristine areas with beautiful landscapes and with possibility to see roe deer, wildcats, common genet, Griffon vultures, Egyptian vultures and more. On the other hand in our guided nature tours you will discover the coastal hikes in Andalucia.
I lead the hikes in Andalucia above. Furthermore, I will also explain the habitats that we find and some the landmarks of the hikes. I will help you identify Mediterranean plants and explain the traditional, culinary or medicinal use that it had in the region.