Route 1: COASTAL MOUNTAINS RANGE

PATHS ALONG THE MEDITERRANEAN COASTLINE, WILD COVES, PINE FORESTS, ENDEMIC AND IBERIAN-AFRICAN BOTANICAL SPECIES, BIRDS OF PREY.

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ITINERARY AND LOCATION:

Coastal mountain range. Municipality of  Cartagena (Murcia).

20 min. away from Cartagena; 1h. away from Murcia; 45 min. from the Mar Menor; 30 min. from Mazarrón

Difficulty: low.  Duration: half a day (5 h.); full day (8h.)

Seasonality: Throughout the year (in summer only half a day).

FLORA:

Pine, Rosemary, Thyme, Albaida, Lavender, Jara, Jarilla, Juniper, Kermes oak, Genista, Aliaga, Bolaga, Siempreviva, Espino negro, Palmito, Arto, Baladre o Adelfa, Lentisco, Retama, Cornical, Orquídeas, Chumberillo de lobo (caralluma).

FAUNA:

Mouflon, Wild Boar, Red Fox, Common Genet, Badger, Wildcat, are the most notable mammalian. Group of birds include  Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Eagle Owl, Crag Martin, Blach Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Sardinian Warbler, Hoopoe, Green Woodpecker, Rock Bunting and Bee-eater.

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DESCRIPTION OF THE ROUTE:

The Coastal Mountain Range (“Cordillera Litoral”) is one of the most important and emblematic natural areas of the Southeast of the Iberian Peninsula. It is one of the most eastern branches of the “Cordilleras Béticas”, a complex system of  mountain ranges in the South of  Spain. The highest peak of the “Cordillera Litoral” reaches 546 m above see level. This mountain complex with steep slopes that run parallel to the coastline and have some of the most breathtaking and captivating views of the whole Region of Murcia.

Authentic green reservoir of the region of Cartagena, the steep landscape of the cliffs along the coastline, dotted with small wild coves, is very different from the gentle slopes of the northern side of the mountains, carpeted with dense pine forests. The participant will be amazed at the hidden ravines, dry river beds and beautiful landscapes of  those mountains. It will not be difficult to observe Bonelli´s eagles, golden eagles or peregrines and, if we are a bit lucky, we may cross paths with “muflones” at some stage.

Botany lovers will enjoy with the dense shrub masses that appear beside the pine forests in the shady slopes, covered in rosemary, cistus, juniper, lavender, albaidas, European fan palms (Palmito) … we may even find some caralluma; the only European cactus, only present in Sicily and in the Southeast of Spain.

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