Category Archives: Global geoparks in Spain

Maestrazgo global geopark

  • Region. Aragón (Zaragoza and Teruel)
  • Declared a global geopark: 2012 and renewed in 2020
  • Protected area: 270,000 hectares
  • Towns and villages: Zaragoza and TeruelAguaviva, Alcorisa, Aliaga, Allepuz, Berge, Bordon, Camarillas, Cantavieja, Cañada de Benatanduz, Cañada de Verich, Cañada Vellida, Cañizar del Olivar, Castel de Cabra, Castellote, Crivillen, La Cuba, Cuevas de Almuden, Ejulve, Estercuel, Fortanete, Fuentes Calientes, Galve, Gargallo, La Ginebrosa, Hinojosa de Jarque, La Iglesuela del Cid, Jarque de la Val, Mas de las Matas, Mata de los Olmos, Mezquita de Jarque, Mirambel, Miravete de la Sierra, Molinos, Mosqueruela, Los Olmos, Las Parras de Castellote, Pitarque, Puertomingalvo, Seno, Tronchón, Villarluengo, Villarroya de los Pinares, La Zoma

Points of interest

The Maestrazgo global geopark lies between Zaragoza and Teruel in a very mountainous region at the eastern end of the Iberian System. The main range is the Sierra de Gúdar located roughly in the center. Other important ranges are the Sierra de la Lastra, the Sierra de Garrocha, the Sierra de Caballos, the Sierra de la Cañada, the Sierra Carrascosa and the Sierra del Rayo. The peaks of the highest mountains are Peñarroya at 2019 metres, Alto del Pobo at 1,770 metres and Tarayuela at 1,738 metres. they are frequently covered with snow during the winter months.

The Maestrazgo Geopark Viewpoint Network

The Maestrazgo Geopark Viewpoint Network was created with the aim of renovating, improving and installing information and interpretation points of geological heritage in conjunction with other cultural and heritage elements and the project has been running since 2010. The information panels at these places are bi-lingual in Spanish and English.

The most important viewpoints in the Maestrazgo global geopark are;
  • Aliaga (viewpoints of the Aliaga Valley, the Aldehuela Strait and the geological park).
  • Alcorisa (progressive angular unconformity).
  • Aguaviva (fluvial dynamics of the Bergantes river).
  • Berge, Bordón (Bordón anticline).
  • Cañizar del Olivar (viewpoint of the Estercuel River).
  • Crivillén, Cuevas de Cañart (viewpoint of the Salto de San Juan).
  • Gargallo, Galve, La Cañada de Verich, La Mata de los Olmos, Mas de las Matas (Santa Flora viewpoint).
  • Galve (The paleontology museum and guided tours looking for dinosaur footprints)
  • Miravete de la Sierra (site with dinosaur tracks).
  • Molinos (geological environment of Molinos).

Find a hotel in the area of Maestrazgo global geopark

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Museo Paleontológico de Galve

Among the numerous paleontological finds in this area, one of the most important was the discovery of the first dinosaur fossil in Spain (Aragosaurus ischiaticus). The paleontology museum in Galve is the place to head for if you have an interest in fossils and dinosaurs (Address: Calle Mayor Baja, 10 in the town of Galve). Some of the species discovered in this area are;

  • Dinosaurs Aragosaurus ischiaticus, Galveosaurus herreroi, Delapparentia turolensis, G ideonmantellia amosanjuanae, Iguanodon galvensis and Camarillasaurus cirugedae.
  • Dinosaur eggsGuegoolithus (Macroolithus) turolensis.
  • MammalsLavocatia alfambrensis, Eobaatar hispanicus, Parendotherium herreroi, Spalacotherium henkeli, Pocamus pepelui, Galveodon nannothus, Columbomys cuencae and Crusafontia amoae.
  • AmphibiansGalveperton ibericum.
  • FishLonchidion microselachos.
  • InvertebratesConfussiscala mirambelensis, Olorizia olorizi and Eliptio galvensis.
  • FloraProtaxodioxylon, Protosecueoxylon turolensis.

Also the areas of Galve

Baranco Luca

The site contains more than 60 sauropod tracks that are distributed in two outcrops. Associations of pairs corresponding to the footprints and handprints of these dinosaurs are sometimes observed.

El Cantalar

In this site of the Jurassic-Cretaceous transit there are tracks which contain tridactyl ichnites attributed to a theropod dinosaur and another, with a total of eleven tracks, has been attributed to a quadruped archosaur about 12 meters long (a crocodile or a sauropod).

Las Cerradicas

Located on a sandstone layer of the Villar del Arzobispo formation (Upper Jurassic-Lower Cretaceous transit) that presents abundant current marks formed before the footprints. More than 150 ichnites have been documented here.

Several traces include typically tridactyl footprints produced by small dinosaurs, initially identified as theropods, but later interpretations support that they must have been produced by ornithopods (oval footprints of small hands associated with tridactyl feet can be observed). Several traces attributed to small sauropods have also been found. Parallel fossilized tracks at this site seem to indicate gregarious behavior in basal ornithopods and titanosauriform sauropods.

Pelejón Corrales

There are 40 tracks at this site, 36 of them grouped into seven tracks. In general, ichnites have been assigned to small and medium-sized theropod dinosaurs. In addition, there are also phytophagous dinosaurs of the ornithopod type. This deposit has traditionally been located in the Lower Cretaceous, within the El Castellar formation, although the latest research places it in the Villar del Arzobispo formation, which is located below and is older (Jurassic – Cretaceous transit).

A visit to Dinópolis

Made up of a large central park in the town of Teruel and seven more smaller centers in the villages of Galve, Castellote, Albarracín, Riodeva, Peñarroya de Tastavins, Rubielos de Mora and Ariña. With life size models and exhibitions, Dinópolis combines science and fun so that you can experience the fascinating world of dinosaurs up close.

Dinópolis combines science and fun so that you can experience the fascinating world of dinosaurs up close - Maestrazgo global geopark
Dinópolis combines science and fun so that you can experience the fascinating world of dinosaurs up close – Maestrazgo global geopark

Visiting Teruel first and then the 7 other centres pretty much covers the main parts of the Maestrazgo global geopark. Find out more at the website of Dinopolis: https://www.dinopolis.com

Interpretation centres in the Maestrazgo global geopark

There are quite a few interpretacion centres (Centro de interpretación) in the area.

  • Centro de interpretación de los castillos in Puertomingalvo (Address: Calle Mayor, 11 Puertomingalvo). Information and history of the defensive castles and fortifications in the Maestrazgo.
  • Centro de interpretación medioambiental in Villarluengo (Address: Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 2 (Town hall), Villarluengo). General wildlife and geological information.
  • Centro de interpretación del patrimonio arquitectónico del Maestrazgo in Miranbel (Address: Plaza de la Iglesia, 1, Mirambel). Arquitecture and buildings of the Maestrazgo)
  • Centro de interpretación del fuego in Estercuel (Address: Umbría 2, Estercuel) Dedicated the the villages “fiesta of fire” held each autumn
  • Centro de interpretación del patrimonio cultural de las Cuevas de Cañart (Address: Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 1, Las Cuevas de Cañar) History and culture museum with guided tours of the village.
  • Centro de interpretación de los templarios in Castellote (Address: Plaza de España, Castellote) History of the knights templar in Spain
  • Centro de interpretación del esparto in La Cuba (Address: Calle en medio 16, La Cuba) Museum dedicated to the art of Esparto grass weaving and its uses.

The route of El Cid also passes through the Maestrazgo global geopark

The Way of El Cid is a cultural and tourist route that crosses Spain from the northwest to the southeast, from Castilla to the Mediterranean coast. It follows the history and the story of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar, El Cid Campeador, a famous medieval knight of the 11th century and, together with Don Quixote and Don Juan, one of Spain’s greatest characters. Unlike the latter two, El Cid is not only a literary character, but also a historical figure.

The Way of El Cid - Maestrazgo global geopark
The Way of El Cid – Maestrazgo global geopark

The main travel guide on the route is the Poem of El Cid, the great Hispanic medieval epic poem written at the end of the 12th century or beginning of the 13th. It tells of the adventures of El Cid Campeador as from his exile, fighting to survive against Moors and Christians. The places, landscapes and castles of the Song of El Cid make up the backbone of this Way. It also crosses through places that do not appear in the poem but are related to the historical figure of El Cid. The official website is here: https://en.caminodelcid.org/

official websites for the Maestrazgo global geopark

https://www.geoparquemaestrazgo.com/
http://www.maestrazgo.org/pcm.htm
https://www.turismomaestrazgo.com/


The Grazalema Guide

The best way to see all our web projects in one place is over at the Grazalema Guide.

The Grazalema Guide – Tourist Information Portal for the Sierra de Grazalema, Wildside Holidays, The town of Ronda and the Caminito del Rey.

https://grazalemaguide.com/

Granada global geopark

  • Region: Andalucia (Granada)
  • Declared a global geopark: 2020
  • protected area: 472, 200 hectares
  • Towns and villages: 47 municipalities of Guadix, Baza and Huéscar. (Alamedilla, Albuñán, Aldeire, Alicún de Ortega, Alquife, Bácor-Olivar, Beas de Guadix, Benalúa, Benamaurel, Caniles, Castilléjar, Castril, Cogollos de Guadix, Cortes de Baza, Cortes y Graena, Cuevas del Campo, Cúllar, Darro, Dehesas de Guadix, Diezma, Dólar, Ferreira, Fonelas, Freila, Galera, Gobernador, Gor, Gorafe, Huélago, Huéneja, Jérez del Marquesado, La Calahorra, Lanteira, Lugros, Marchal, Morelábor, Orce, Pedro Martínez, La Peza, Polícar, Puebla de Don Fadrique, Purullena, Valle del Zalabí, Villanueva de las Torres, Zújar

Points of interest

The Granada global geopark extends over the depressions called the Hoya de Guadix and the Hoya de Baza and is surrounded by some of the highest mountains of the Iberian Peninsula such as the Sierra de la Sagra (2381 m), the Sierra Mágina (2187 m), the Sierra de Arana-Huétor (1940 m), the Sierra Nevada (3484 m), the Sierra de Baza-Filabres (2271 m), the Sierra de las Estancias-Cúllar (1471 m) and the Sierra de Orce-María (1612 m).

The area is characterized by its geological, geomorphological and paleontological Quaternary wealth and the subsequent erosion of the Quaternary sediments has created the particular landscapes of the geopark characterized by valleys, depressions or “hoyas“, as they are known locally. The area is also known for cave dwellings inhabited since the Middle Ages as well as for an abundance of archaeological sites that showcase its rich historical, artistic and cultural heritage, including 72 Places of Geological Interest (LIGS)

See also the Sierra de Baza natural park: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/sierra-de-baza/

Find a hotel in the Granada global geopark

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Geological points of interest

Places to visit in the Granada global geopark vary from river valleys, ancient lava flows and viewpoints. All of these places are on the maps and guides available from many tourist offices

  • Cerro Jabalcón knows as “The great viewpoint of the Granada Geopark” (El gran mirador del Geoparque de Granada)
  • The Guardal river valley (Valle del río Guardal)
  • The Baza ravine known as Barranco Gallego
  • Sismites in Galera and Castilléjar (Sismitas de Galera y Castilléjar)
  • The Peña de Castril
  • Fuente Nueva paleontological site -3 (Yacimiento paleontológico Fuente Nueva-3)
  • Badlands of Castilléjar and Galera (Baldíos de Castilléjar y Galera)
  • Miocene series at Cerro Molicies (Serie miocena del cerro Molicies)
  • The Marine-continental transition close to the Negratín reservoir in Cuevas del Campo (Transición marino-continental Negratín)
  • The Gullies of the Rambla del Moral in Cuevas del Campo (Cárcavas de la Rambla del Moral)
  • The Gor river valley rotational landslides in Gorafe (Valle del río Gor deslizamientos rotacionales)
  • The pillow lavas in Alamedilla ( Lavas almohadilladas de Alamedilla)
  • Unconformity of Gorafe (Discordancia angular de Gorafe)
  • Travertines of the Baths of Alicún in Alicún de las Torres and Villanueva de las Torres (Travertinos de los Baños de Alicún)
  • P-1 paleontological site in Fonelas (Yacimiento paleontológico Fonelas P-1 (EPVRF)
  • Badlands of Gorafe (Baldíos de Gorafe)
The depression known as la Hoya de Baza and the Sierra de Las Estancias
The depression known as la Hoya de Baza and the Sierra de Las Estancias

Information / visitor centres

Apart from the main information centres in the towns of Guadix, Baza and Huéscar, there is also network of museums and interpretations centres spread across the region that are well worth visiting.

  • Castril Castle (Yacimiento del Castillo de Castril).
  • The Caves Interpretation Center in Guadix (Centro de interpretación de las Cuevas).
  • Tútugi Necropolis Site in Galera (Yacimiento Necrópolis de Tútugi).
  • Visitor Reception Center and Ecomuseum in Castilléjar (Centro de recepción de visitantes y Ecomuseo de Castilléjar).
  • Archaeological-Ethnographic Museum in Puebla de Don Fadrique (Museo Arqueológico-Etnográfico de Puebla de Don Fadrique).
  • Archaeological Museum in Galera (Museo Arqueológico de Galera)
  • Almagruz Troglodyte caves and houses in Purullena (Hábitat Troglodita Almagruz)
  • Castellón Alto archaeological site in Galera (Yacimiento del Castellón Alto)
  • Municipal Archaeological Museum in Baza (Museo Arqueológico Municipal de Baza)
  • Interpretation Center of Archaeological Sites in Ciya (Centro de Interpretación de los Yacimientos Arqueológicos)
  • Megalithic Park and Interpretive Center “Megalithism of Gorafe” (Parque Megalítico y Centro de interpretación del Megalitismo de Gorafe)
  • Interpretation Center First Settlers of Europe “Josep Gibert” in Orce (Centro de Interpretación Primeros Pobladores de Europa “Josep Gibert”)
  • Valle del Río Fardes paleontological station in Fonelas (Estación paleontológica Valle del Río Fardes)

The official website for the Granada global geopark: https://www.geoparquedegranada.com/en/

Global Geoparks in Spain

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What is a global geopark? (from the Unesco website)

UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas where sites and landscapes of international geological significance are managed with a holistic concept of protection, education and sustainable development.

A UNESCO Global Geopark uses its geological heritage, in connection with all other aspects of the area’s natural and cultural heritage, to enhance awareness and understanding of key issues facing society, such as using our earth’s resources sustainably, mitigating the effects of climate change and reducing natural disasters-related risks. By raising awareness of the importance of the area’s geological heritage in history and society today,

UNESCO Global Geoparks give local people a sense of pride in their region and strengthen their identification with the area. The creation of innovative local enterprises, new jobs and high quality training courses is stimulated as new sources of revenue are generated through geotourism, while the geological resources of the area are protected.

While a UNESCO Global Geopark must demonstrate geological heritage of international significance, the purpose of a UNESCO Global Geopark is to explore, develop and celebrate the links between that geological heritage and all other aspects of the area’s natural, cultural and intangible heritages. It is about reconnecting human society at all levels to the planet we all call home and to celebrate how our planet and its 4,600 million year long history has shaped every aspect of our lives and our societies. (Read more here https://en.unesco.org/global-geoparks)

Global geoparks in Spain

Andalucia
Cabo de Gata-Níjar natural park (Almeria)

Cabo de Gata is located in the southeast of the province of Almería. Its coastline is marked by cliffs, coves and beaches. This space was also declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1997 and includes the Cabo Gata-Níjar Natural Park and surrounding areas. Read more: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/cabo-de-gata-nijar

Sierras Subbéticas natural park (Cordoba)

The Sierras Subbéticas Global Geopark is noted for its stunning karstic landscape with Massive limestone and dolostone outcrop in the higher terrains. The karst landscape holds a great variety of elements such as poljes, great dolines and a dense subteranean network of around 900 recorded caves and abysses. The area is also famous for the abundance of ammonite fossils. Read More: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/sierra-subbetica/

Sierra Norte de Sevilla natural park (Seville)

The Sierra Norte de Sevilla Global Geopark is located at the north of the province of Seville in the Sierra Morena and. The geopark includes ten towns and villages within its limits: Alanís, Almadén de la Plata, Cazalla de la Sierra, Constantina, Guadalcanal, Las Navas de la Concepción, El Pedroso, La Puebla de los Infantes, El Real de la Jara and San Nicolás del Puerto. Read More: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/sierra-norte-de-sevilla/

Granada global geopark (Granada)

The Granada global geopark extends over the depressions called the Hoya de Guadix and the Hoya de Baza and is surrounded by some of the highest mountains of the Iberian Peninsula such as the Sierra de la Sagra (2381 m), the Sierra Mágina (2187 m), the Sierra de Arana-Huétor (1940 m), the Sierra Nevada (3484 m), the Sierra de Baza-Filabres (2271 m), the Sierra de las Estancias-Cúllar (1471 m) and the Sierra de Orce-María (1612 m). Read more: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/granada-global-geopark/

Aragón.
Maestrazgo global geopark

The Maestrazgo global geopark lies between Zaragoza and Teruel in a very mountainous region at the eastern end of the Iberian System. Famous for dinosaur footprints and fossils. Read more: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/maestrazgo-global-geopark

Sobrarbe global geopark

Castilla y León

Las Loras global geopark

(Global Geosite, in the valley of the Luna River) https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/los-valles-de-omana-y-luna-biosphere-reserve/

Castilla la Mancha

Molina-Alto Tajo global geopark

Cataluña

Origens global geopark
Cataluña Central global geopark

Extremadura

Villuercas-Ibores-Jara global geopark en Extremadura.

Galicia

Montañas do Caurel global geopark

Islas Canarias.

El Hierro global geopark
Lanzarote y Archipiélago Chinijo global geopark

País Vasco

Costa Vasca global geopark

Iberia Nature Forum

Discover the Iberia Nature Forum – Environment, geography, nature, landscape, climate, culture, history, rural tourism and travel.

Iberia Nature Forum: https://iberianatureforum.com/