The Montsià Mountains
The Montsià Mountains, part of the Plan for Areas of Natural
Interest in Catalonia, are a magnificent lookout point over the Ebro Delta and the interior plains of the county. There are many attractive hiking routes to take.
The Montsià Mountains rise up parallel to the coast near the Ebro Delta and make a magnificent lookout point over the Mediterranean and the inland plains. Their highest point is the peak of La Torreta, although one of the most charismatic spots is La Roca Foradada (the Perforated Rock) that, at more than 500 metres above sea level, opens up like a window onto Sant Carles de la Ràpita and Els Alfacs Bay. The most frequently used route to reach it is the Mata-rodona track that begins next to the Sant Carles de la Ràpita football field and takes you through bushes and low holm-oaks over a limestone terrain of great beauty carpeted with brush —kermes oak, palmetto, rosemary and broom— that outlines the sinuous forms of the mountain. Thanks to its ecological interest, the Montsià Mountains have been included in the Catalan Plan for Areas of Natural Interest. In recent years various trails have been laid out and signposted for hiking and mountain biking.
Els Ports Natural ParkThe other important nature area of the Terres de l’Ebre is Els Ports Natural Park, a wild, mountainous zone. The highest peak is Mont Caro (1447 metres) and the whole massif is full of giant rocks and ridges cut through by steep gullies, torrents and canyons. Els Ports Natural Park is fascinating for its wildness and wealth of flora and fauna. The Hispanic mountain goat is the star attraction, without forgetting other species such as wild boar, eagles and vultures. In terms of flora, the Els Ports Partial Natural Beech Wood Reserve has the southernmost beech tree woods in Europe.The slopes of this ecosystem are covered by large extensions of olive groves and vineyards. The privileged location of these fields and the exclusive soil conditions have led to the treasures they produce, both wine and olive oil, being awarded designations of origin: the Terra Alta Wine Designation of Origin and the Baix Ebre-Montsià Olive Oil Designation of Origin.Alfacs BayThe biggest natural port in EuropeThe wide Alfacs Bay, sheltered in a natural way by Punta de la Banya, is an area with a nice quiet sea, perfect to do water sports. Sailing championships take place there frequently. Windsurfing and waterskiing are also common. The Partial Nature Reserve Punta de la Banya takes a big number of water and sea birds in. Is for this reason that nowadays Trabucador, although is a quite transformed area, is a really good point for bird watching. There you can observe the birds of the open Mediterranean Sea and the birds of the Alfacs Bay waters. The most interesting medium is the saltworks, which is still running today, and where you can see many sea birds, wading birds and flamingos on the saltpans, during almost all the year. You can also enjoy the calmness of the virgin beaches.
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