THE CAP DE CREUS NATURAL PARK
Located in Alt Empordà, it is formed by 8 municipalities: Llançà, Vilajuïga, Pau, Palau Saverdera, Roses, Cadaqués, Port de la Selva and Selva de Mar.
It was created in 1998 and it is the first marine and terrestrial nature reserve in Catalonia, with a total of 13,886 hectares, divided into 3,090 of coast and 10,386 of land.
There are more than 800 plants catalogued. The park is notable for its endemic species: sea thrift (Armeria Ruscinonencis), sea lavender (Limonium tremolsii) and above all saxifrage (Seseli Farrenyi). Rosemary and Saint John’s wort also grow near the coast.
The most common trees are Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis), cork oak (Quercus suber), holm oak (Quercus ilex), shrubby oak (Quercus humilis) although mastic and scrub occupy most of the surface and the most common are mastic (Pistacia lentiscus), spiny broom (Calicotome Spinosa), prickly juniper (Juniperus oxicedrus), which is believed to be the origin of the name Cadaqués or Cadaquers, and a long etcetera.
In the park we also find a wide range of land and sea animals such as the eagle (Hieraetus fasciatus), the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), several species of seagulls, the common shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis) the snail (Mastigophalus rangianus) which is an endemic species of the park, the common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus), the Catalan small kestrel, apart from the coleopteran and reptiles. As sea animals, the most notable are as follows: the red scorpion fish (Scorpaena scrofa), the grouper (Epinephelus guaza) and the saddled sea bream (Oblada melanura). Some aquatic floral species are: red coral (Corallium rubrum), gorgonians (Paramuricea sp.).
The spectacular geological outcrops are one of most significant features of the Natural Park, which were formed millions of years ago by pressure and high temperatures.
The sea and the wind have carved the rocks revealing complicated and surprising forms, mineral veins and folds.
The most notable minerals are as follows: pegmatite, schist, gneiss, quartzite and slate.
Apart from the rich natural heritage, the cultural heritage, which is scattered all over the area, is also remarkable as it ennobles the landscape.