the Tinença de Benifassá Natural Park is located in the extreme north of the province of Castellón, bordering the Catalan regions of the Ports of Tortosa and the Aragonese of La Matarraña.

Tinença de Benifassá Natural Park

  • Region: Valencian Community
  • Province: Castellón
  • Declared a Natural Park: 2006
  • Park surface area: 25,814 hectares
  • Towns and villages: Pobla de Benifassá, Ballestar, Boixar, Coratxá, Fredes, Castell de Cabres, Rossell, Bel and Vallibona.

Points of interest

Located at the foot of the Massif de los Puertos de Tortosa-Beceite the wild and mountainous environment of the Tinença de Benifassá Natural Park is located in the extreme north of the province of Castellón, bordering the Catalan regions of the Ports of Tortosa and the Aragonese of La Matarraña.

The bio diversity and variety of natural habitats in this area such as freshwater, heathlands, temperate scrub, sclerophyllous scrub, herbaceous formations, peat bogs, rocky habitats and forest are a haven for wildlife.

The Bearded Vulture – Gypaetus barbatusQuebrantahuesos is present in the Tinença de Benifassá Natural Park. Read more about them here: https://wildsideholidays.co.uk/bearded-vulture-gypaetus-barbatus-quebrantahuesos/

Two heritage elements in the protected area are also well worth a mention. The first are the Cave Paintings from the Rossegadors Cave in La Pobla de Benifassà which are accessed by the CV105 road next to the Ulldecona reservoir dam. The paintings are located in a rock shelter of 10 meters long by 5 meters high and the images represent hunters in action, archers, goats, two deer and four big wild boars.

The second is the Royal Convent of Santa María de Benifasar which is one of the first founded in the Valencian Community.

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Flora

There are abundant forests of Aleppo pine, black pine and wild pine, evergreen oaks, Valencian oaks and riverside woodlands and these areas are specially protected as “floral micro-reserves” which give an extra layer of protection to threatened and endemic species such as the butterwort (Pinguicula dertosensis) or the sandwort (Arenaria conimbricensis).

Fauna

Given such a diversity of habitats, it is no surprise that the fauna of the park is abundant and quite rich in species. There are birds of prey nesting in the area such as golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicu), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) and large colonies of griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus).

The Vulture Conservation Foundation are coordinating the reintroduction of the bearded vulture in this area.

Mammal species include Spanish Ibex (Capra pyrenaica). common genet (Genetta genetta), European wildcat (Felis silvestris), beech marten (Martes foina), wild boar (Sus scrofa) and European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus).

Places of special interest for birdwatching and wildlife observation

  • Scavenger bird observatory – Mas de Boix rubbish tip! (yes, rubbish tip)
  • Ballestar-Ulldecona Reservoir (head for the dam)
  • Pallerols Sanctuary
  • Fredes-Mas de Pixón-Solà d’en Brull-La Tenalla Forest House (La Tenalla)
  • El Boixar Country House – La Roureda Country House

Information/Visitors Centers

P.N. de la Tinença de Benifassà (Centro de Interpretación) – C\ Trascasa, 2 El Ballestar – 12599 Castelló

In the Interpretation Center located in the town of El Ballestar you can obtain information on the natural and cultural values of the park, as well as guides and maps for walking routes and other activities such as bird watching, cycling etc

The official website for the Tinença de Benifassá Natural Park is here: http://parquesnaturales.gva.es/es/web/pn-tinenca-de-benifassa

The Castellón tourism website has a good amount of information in English here: https://turismodecastellon.com/en/que-hacer/naturaleza/parqueNatural/show/2


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