There is only one In the region but I am sure that more nature reserves in Murcia (reserva natural) will be created over the coming years. I will add them to this information page when they are announced or if anyone lets me know about one.
Sotos y Bosques de Ribera de Cañaverosa
The Sotos y Bosques de Ribera de Cañaverosa on the river Segura close to the towns of Moratella and Calasparra covers an area of around 12 km in length and around 100 metres width of each river bank. (225 hectares approx). It is a site of community importance and part of the European Natura 2000 network.
The river here makes several meanders and has created some impressive cliffs of up to 80 metres in height. The forest alongside the riverbanks acts as an important corridor habitat and wildlife here is quite abundant. look out for otter and polecat, liitle bittern, grey heron and kingfisher. Among reptiles and amphibians there are good numbers of viperine snakes, mediterranean pond terrapin, Iberian spiny toad and the natterjack toad.
This is also an important refuge for the white clawed cray fish that has suffered greatly over the last few decades due to the introduction of other invasive species.
Head for Las Lomas de la Virgen lookout point (with your binoculars) where there are great views of the rice fields of Calasparra.
Sanctuary of Ntra. Srs de la Esperanza
The sanctuary of Ntra. Sra de la Esperanza is an important enclave for religious worship concentrating on the adoration of the Virgin Mary. It is situated in a cave carved into the rock 6 km from the town of Calasparra.
Two statues of Our Lady of Hope known as La Pequeñica (the Tiny One) and La Grande (the Big One) are kept in this sanctuary. According to legend, the small statue was found by a shepherd who sheltered his cattle in this cave next to the river Segura. People from the village tried to move the statue to the town of Calasparra but, it was too heavy and so they interpreted this as the will of the divine virgin who prefered to be left and worshipped in the cave. Information about the discovery of the bigger statue of La Virgen de la Esperanza remains unknown but In the year 1786, they were already both venerated.
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Iberia Nature Forum
Struggling with identifying those bugs and beasties? Why not check out the Iberia nature Forum!
Discover the Iberia Nature Forum – Environment, geography, nature, landscape, climate, culture, history, rural tourism and travel.