By John Ensor •
Published: 04 Dec 2023 • 10:19
Los Alcornocales Natural Park.
NOT many people are aware that there is one last remaining subtropical rainforest in Europe, and it’s in Spain.
Andalucia is home to the Los Alcornocales Natural Park, nestled between the provinces of Cadiz and Malaga, and presents a unique subtropical jungle, boasting an exceptional biodiversity that is unparalleled in Europe, write 20 Minutos.
Dating back to prehistoric times, the park spans nearly 170,000 hectares and is renowned as the continent’s largest cork oak forest. Named after these cork-producing trees, the park features a variety of plant species contributing to its lush environment.
These include gall oak forests, ferns, mosses, laurels, and rhododendrons. The park’s unique climate, influenced by its proximity to the sea and the local topography, encourages the formation of moist, low clouds, locally known as ‘Levante beards.’
The park’s fauna is as diverse as its flora. Inhabitants range from deer, roe deer, fallow deer, mountain goats, and wild boars to smaller creatures like mongooses, otters, and foxes. Birdlife is equally varied, with species such as the imperial eagle, vultures, and Egyptian vultures.
Moreover, the park serves as a crucial transit point for migratory birds crossing the Strait of Gibraltar. Archaeological discoveries within the park reveal human settlements dating from prehistoric to Roman times, highlighting its historical and cultural significance.
Remarkably, some plant species in the park are living fossils, like the ojaranzo or rhododendron, the holly, and the tree fern, having survived millions of years with minimal evolutionary changes.
Declared a Special Conservation Area and part of the Natura 2000 Network, the park offers various hiking trails for nature enthusiasts. Surrounding towns also provide a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.
This Spanish subtropical jungle is not just a testament to nature’s resilience but also a treasure trove of ecological, historical, and cultural wonders.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you don't already have one. Review our
Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
Liked this article very much as I often go down to Cadiz & up north to Galicia & Asturias. I live in Madrid & have done so for 60 years!
Comments are closed.
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.