This stage is located in the Vega Baja del Segura district, during which we will have the opportunity to cross and discover two natural areas included in the Natura 2000 Network, the dunes of Guardamar and La Mata-Torrevieja Natural Park. We will cross the dunes of Guardamar del Segura, enjoying sea views, and we will walk around the La Mata lagoon, a stretch of special ornithological interest where we can delight in contemplating the beauty and elegance of the flamingos forming a pink hue on the lagoon, a unique landscape that nature offers us.
If in the previous stage you did not visit the mouth of the river Segura, this would be a good start for today's stage.
The mouth of the river is an area of ornithological interest, especially just at the point where the river flows into the sea, because here we can observe many birds such as moorhens, grebes and night herons. Due to the fishing industry, these birds are used to our presence so they let us watch them while they carry out their daily chores.
Today's route is along the beaches of Guardamar, heading South from the beach of Los Viveros to the beach of Ortigas y Campo, a walk by the sea which allows us to experience unique sensations.
We will walk along the dunes of Guardamar through their lush vegetation, a stretch that will put our stamina to the test by having to walk on sand. Not only is it an ecosystem of great environmental interest but it is also full of history, because these dunes were turned into
desert in the 18th century
for boatbuilding, turning them into mobile dunes that threatened the town and the crops. It was the engineer
Francisco Mira i Botella
who, at the end of the 19th century, devoted his life to repopulating
this area in order to re-establish the
We will continue our journey southwards, until we reach La Mata-Torrevieja Natural Park, declared a special protection area for birds, Site of Community Importance, Site of Nature Conservation Interest. It is made up of the Torrevieja lagoon and La Mata lagoon, the latter being the one that skirts around our route. We go through a landscape of unique beauty where we can discern areas of salt marsh, populated with vegetation adapted to saline soil, notable among which are the largest population of wild orchids in the Valencian Community, areas of reedbeds, saline scrublands and forest, as well as vineyards that are part of the landscape of the park.
Along the route we will encounter several viewing platforms where we can birdwatch, highlighting the numerous flamingos that rest here during their migration.
A locality situated in the
Baja del Segura, whose history goes back to an
ancient Muslim farmhouse. The origin of the place name of
Benijófar comes from the Arabic Beni Ya'far, a tribe name that means 'children of Ya'far', children of the pearl.
It is currently an area of great agricultural interest. Its rich lands form part of the protected area of the municipality and where citrus fruits are grown (orange, mandarin orange and lemon trees) and vegetables (artichokes, broccoli, potatoes, etc.). It has a peculiar irrigation system, because water extraction is carried out by a
Moorish waterwheel built with masonry walls in the 13th century and listed as Heritage of Cultural Interest due to its historical, artistic, architectural and hydrological features.
Apostle is the most significant building in the town. It suffered extensive damage in the 1829 earthquake. Despite being recently constructed, it retains 16th century altars and others in the
During our stay in Benijófar we can enjoy various outdoor activities among which we propose a stroll along the local trail SL - CV 135 Pasear por Benijófar. It runs along the river and we can get to know the traditional fertile region of Benijófar. On this journey we can access the 17th-century Moorish waterwheel located next to a meander in the River Segura and the El Secano Recreational Area, equipped with barbecues, leisure facilities, tables and benches, where you can get your strength back or enjoy a pleasant day in the shade of the trees or sunbathe.
A visit to Torrevieja lagoon, which is part of La Mata-Torrevieja Natural Park, is a must. Starting in the small town of Los Montesinos is the local trail SL-CV 115, Los Montesinos Salt Route. You can do it by bike or on foot. A route of great ecological and scenic value, where we will discover an unexpected aspect, the pink colour of the lagoon.
We can spend a day watching and recognizing birds in the Lagoons of La Mata-Torrevieja Natural Park, getting to know this spot in greater depth by stopping by at the visitor centre and taking the tours that the park offers: Yellow route (on foot), red route (by bike) or the Wine Route, where you can get to know the only vineyard in the Vega Baja district where the Muscat and Marseguera grape varieties are grown, from which La Mata wine is made.
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