Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas and Peña del Águila Regional Park - Cartagena cypress (Tetraclinis articulata)

Calblanque Monte de las Cenizas and Peña del Águila Regional Park

  • Region: Murcia (Campo de Cartagena)
  • Declared a Regional Park: 1992
  • Park surface area: 2453 hectares
  • Towns and villages: Cartagena and La Unión

Points of interest

The Calblanque Monte de las Cenizas and Peña del Águila Regional Park (Parque Regional Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas y Peña del Águila) is located near the Mar Menor and Cabo de Palos and almost the entire area belongs to the municipality of Cartagena.

The protected area presents a great ecological and environmental diversity with systems of dunes, sandy areas, salt marshes, salt ponds, coves. The Humedal de las Salinas de Rasall is located in the southern part of the lagoon.

Its declaration as a Biosphere Reserve was proposed by Unesco in 2007 but this was sadly denied due to the interests and industrial activities of the municipality of Cartagena and La Unión. The planned construction of the Gorguel container port, the expansion of industrial activities in Cartagena, the restructuring project of Portman Bay and the transformation of the stormwater spillway in Cala Reona into an underwater sewage outfall were totally incompatible with the declaration of Calblanque as a Biosphere Reserve.

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Flora

This regional park contains a great diversity of botanical species in its different ecosystems. The endemisms and Ibero-Africanisms are particularly important, among which the botanical jewel of the park stands out, the Cartagena cypress (Tetraclinis articulata), an evergreen coniferous trees in the cypress family. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetraclinis. Also worthy of a mention is the Jara de Cartagena (Cistus heterophyllus subsp.carthaginensis).

Dwarf fan palm is well adapted to the harsh demands. Wild olive trees, lentisc and kermes oaks are common vegetation in the scrub zones.Some of the highly specialized plants are; Verbascum charidemi, Teucrium charidemi, Androcymbium europaeum, Helianthemum alypoides, Linaria nigricans, Sideritis osteoxylla and Ulex canescens. Saltwort, common reeds and glasswort grow in sandy, saline areas.

Fauna

Grey and purple heron, cranes, storks, black-winged stilts, oystercatchers and avocets can all be observed as well as flamingos. Sea birds include yellow-legged gulls, razorbills, shags, terns, cory’s and balearic shearwaters.

Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas and Peña del Águila Regional Park - Salinas are excellent places for bird watching
Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas and Peña del Águila Regional Park – Salinas are excellent places for bird watching

Reptiles include include ocellated lizards (Timon lepidus ibericus), grass snakes (Natrix natrix) and Lataste’s viper (Vipera latasti).

The main mammals represented are fox, badger, stone martin and rabbit

Top places to visit in the Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas and Peña del Águila Regional Park

For those interested in photography, botany, birdwatching and general nature landscapes these are the places that should be visited in the area.

  • Cala de los Déntoles (also locally known as Cala Dorada)
  • Peña del águila (hill)
  • Cala Arturo
  • Cala del Barco
  • Cabezo de la Fuente
  • Cabezo del Horno
  • Cala Magre
  • Negrete Beach
  • Las Cañas Beach
  • Parreño Beach
  • Punta Negra
  • Punta Espada

Information/Visitors Centers

Centro de Visitantes “Las Cobaticas”

The Visitor Center “Las Cobaticas” can be found close to the village of Las Cobaticas (Paraje las Cobaticas, s/n — 30385 Cobaticas. Los Belones, Cartagena).

This information centre has a good selection of guides and maps and knowledgable staff that can help you get the best out of a visit to the area. The center also has an Interpretation room where you can learn about natural and cultural values, especially fauna and flora through panels, models, interactive elements and photographs. There are also temporary exhibitions related to the regional park and other protected areas of Murcia province.


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