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Clot de Galvany - an oasis on the Costa Blanca

On the coast between Alicante and Santa Pola lies a beautiful nature reserve with a sandy beach and wetland.

The wetland is only a few hundred meters from the sandy beach and appears as a lush oasis in an area that is otherwise densely populated.

Already in the 1960s, the area was exposed to destruction due to the development of housing. There were plans to drain the wetland and create an artificial lake surrounded by housing.

Fortunately, after pressure from the local population and environmental protection organisations, the authorities in Elche were able to stop the project. In 2005, the area was protected.

Close to the car park there is a large recreation area with benches and sun protection.

The nature conservation area is interesting both geologically and biologically. The ground was originally a mixture of coral reefs and sand dunes.

The moisture from the wetland gives life to a great diversity of both plants and animals.

The forest and wetlands are dense and impenetrable, but gravel roads and viewpoints have been constructed that make it easy to move around the area, even for the disabled.

Two routes have been created that you can follow.Route 1 takes approx.30 - 45 minutes to walk, while route 2 which goes around the entire nature park takes approx.1 1/2 hours.

In the first part, which is common to both routes, you move through dense forest with tall trees. Large flocks of birds can hide here, which take off when the reed hawk attacks.

After you have come through the forest area, the landscape becomes more open with more scattered vegetation.

The area is only 3,660 acres, and you are never far from built-up areas, but you still get the feeling of being out in the open.

If you want to see the birdlife up close, you can visit one of the four photo hides set up at the water's edge of the swamp areas.

Here you get so close to the birds that you don't need binoculars or photography equipment to see them well (even if they look minute in the picture below).

With a camera with a telephoto lens, you can take close-up pictures.

From the photo shelter by the small open lake, you don't get as close. In return, you can see large flocks when they visit during bird migration.

Small towers have also been set up along the route that give a better overview of the area.

Bunkers from the Spanish Civil War have been preserved in two places.

Just below the wetland area is the 5 kilometer long sandy beach, playa de Carabassí.

The road there goes through sand dunes on raised wooden bridges. Here there is a rich birdlife with many species, especially of seabirds.

Parts of the beach area are also protected to take care of animals, birds and flora.

After a walk in the wetland area, it's nice to be able to cool off with a bath in the Mediterranean.

More excursions:

Excursion of the week: Clot de Galvany nature reserve on the Costa Blanca.

Suitable for: Everyone, including prams and wheelchairs.

Duration/length: Route 1 takes between 30 and 45 minutes when walking at a normal pace. Route 2 takes between 60 and 90 minutes.

Get there: The nature park is located on the Playa de Carabassí beach between Santa Pola in the south and Alicante in the north. Search for Clot de Galvany in Google Maps. There is a separate car park at the nature park, but there are also plenty of car parks along the road and by the beach.

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