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The Sierra and Cape of Santa Pola

 

 Circling the town to the east and north-east rise the slopes of the mountain (Sierra) and cape (Cabo) of Santa Pola, the latter forming the northern end of the bay of Santa Pola. The steep cape was originally the sea bed which appeared when the sea level fell in the geological past. The Sierra, which was formed similarly, is cut through by a large number of gullies which carry rainwater flow to discharge
at the coast.

This natural environment is noteworthy not only for providing a spectacular landscape, recently chosen as a logo to represent the locality, but also for its plant and animal life.

The vegetation, adapted to the climatic and soil conditions, consists of trees in the form of pine groves (Pinas halepensis) which are found in the lower, sunnier areas. In the higher scrubland, protected in the gullies are to be found the dwarf fan palm (Chamaerops humilis), blackthorn (Rhamnus lycioides), the mastic tree (Pistacia lentiscus), wild olive (Withania frutescens), bay
(Osyris lanceolata) and the sea grape (Ephedra fragilis).

Close to the sea, on the slopes, we find the ‘hinojo marino’ (Rock Samphire – Chrithmum maritimum), ‘colecha’ (Sea Lavender – Limonium spp.), ‘siempreviva marina’ (Everlasting Plant – Helichrsyum decumbens), ‘salado negro’ (literally salty black – Frankenia webii), ‘ull de bou’ (Asteriscus maritimus), ‘cambron’ (Matrimony Vine – Lycium intricatum), ‘clavel silvestre’ (Wood Carnation – Dianthus malacitanas), etc.

On the higher ground the wild thymes predominate, among which we can cite the ‘tomillo vulgar’ (Common thyme – Thymus vulgaris aestivus), the ‘rabo de gato’ (Cat’s Tail – Sideritis leficantha), ‘albaida fina’ (Anthyliis terniflora), ‘canamillo’ (Anthyllis cytisoides) and the ‘heliantemo de hoja de lavandula’ (Helianthemus or Rock Rose – Helianthemum lavendulaefolium).

As for the fauna, the bird life is very diverse and abundant; the mammals are best represented by the hares (Lepus europaeus), rabbits (Orycytolagus cuniculus), hedgehogs (Erniaceous algirus) and foxes (Vulpes vulpes).

This region, together with the ‘Salinas’, forms an area of natural beauty for the enjoyment and recreation of the community as well as an important instrument for environmental conservation.