The Kingdom of Spain is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Spain has two large archipelagos which are the Canary Islands off the North African region of the Atlantic coast and the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. There are 15 National Parks in Spain ten of which are situated in the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic and the Canary Islands.
Spain's Best National Parks
Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici
The Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici is a national park in Spain and the only one situated in Catalonia. The park has a vast mountains ranges located in the Pyrenees whose peaks risebyo has a height of 3,017 meters and has about 200 lakes most of which are of glacial origin. The park covers an area of 55 square miles. Flora and fauna include a large variety of Alpine vegetation like marmot, roe deer, Pyrenean chamois among other numerous species of birds and mammals. The Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National park was created in 1966 after the first national park in the Pyrenees in 1918. The Park's principal activities include trekking, tourism, and mountain biking.
The Sierra Nevada National Park is situated in the Almería and Granada Provinces of Southeastern Spain. The Sierra Nevada is the largest national park in Spain with an area of 332 square miles and was declared a national park on January 14th, 1999. The Sierra Nevada Park has a total of 20 peaks that are above 3000 meters with Mulhacén reaching 3,479 meters. The Fardes, tributaries of the Guadalfeo and the Genil are the most important rivers in the park as they are responsible for feeding the Guadalquivir. There are also almost 50 high mountain lakes that serve as the sources of a number rivers and streams. Flora and fauna of the Park are unique due to the park being an isolated location which includes 2,100 plant species with 116 being classified as threatened and more than 60 which are unique to the environment. The park is also a habitat for the Spanish ibex, native bird species, badgers, wildcats, wild boars, and Martens. The Botanic Garden of Cortijuela lies on the edge of Sierra Nevada Park where its endemic species are preserved and studied. Activities common in the park include skiing, hiking, Paragliding, and Bird-watching.
Picos de Europa
The Picos de Europa is a National Park located in the mountain range of Picos de Europa in northern Spain. The Picos de Europa was the first of the National Parks of Spain. The park was created in 1918, and it centered on the lakes of Covadonga. UNESCO approved Picos de Europa as a Biosphere Reserve status On July 9th, 2003. Flora and fauna of the park include some different types of tree species including Cantabrian beech and Holm Oaks. The park also has a human population of 1300 and many protected animal species including the Iberian Wolf, Cantabrian brown bear among others. The park covers an area of 259 square miles.
The Cabañeros National Park is located in Montes de Toledo Spain and is situated in the two Provinces of Toledo and Cuidad Real. Cabañeros was designated as a national park in 1995 and covers an area of 158 miles. The Cabañeros is the largest surviving Mediterranean forest in the Iberian with various plant species. The park is most notable for its 276 vertebrates and a high percentage of endangered species including the otter. Cabañeros has a special protection area for the most notable bird species.
Other National Parks In Spain
Spain is a famous tourist destination country due to its numerous national parks and reserves. In 2009 an average of 10 million people visited Spain's national parks with the Teide National Park being the most visited National Park receiving a total of 30% of all tourists since it is the most famous natural icon and a World Heritage Site. It was followed by the Picos de Europa with 18% and the Timanfaya national park with 13%. In 2013 the Tiede National Park was the most visited National park in Europe and the sixth most visited in the world.