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Cap de Creus Natural Park
Somewhere between the earth and the sea, the Cap de Creus Natural Park offers a landscape of incomparable diversity and beauty. Dolmens and castles, sea-cliffs and vines dominate the valleys and the hills, while in the sea, curiously-shaped islets and reefs conceal spectacular coralline depths and a wealth of marine species. Let yourself be carried by the wind and water to this earthly paradise with its host of treasures.
The Cap de Creus Natural Park, with a total area of 13.843 hectares, is Spain's first maritime-terrestrial park. It is located in the Alt Empordà region and includes the municipalities of El Port de la Selva, La Selva de Mar, Cadaqués Llançà, Vilajuïga, Pau, Palau-Saverdera and Roses. It vas created in 1998 to protect the Cap de Creus peninsula and its marine surroundings.
The Park is divided into two parts: land, with a surface area of 10,780 hectares, and the marine area, of 3,064 hectares. The land area encompasses three Natural Sites of National Interest (NSNI): to the North, the NSNI of Cap Gros-Cap de Creus; to the South, the NSNI of Punta Falconera-Cap Norfeu; and to the West, the NSNI of the Rodes mountain range. The first two, moreover, include two Strict Nature Reserves (SNR): the Cap de Creus SNR, with the islands of s'Encalladora and Massa d'Or, and the Cap Norfeu INR. As for the marine area the Natural Park encompasses the area around the Cap de Creus peninsula, from the end of the Bol Nou point tho the cove of Tamariua (El Port de la Selva), to Falconera point (Roses), excluding the bay of Cadaqués. The width of the protected area varies between 0.2 and 1.3 miles. Within this protected marine area there are three Partial Nature Reserves (PNR): Els Farallons (between Brescó and the Tres Frares point), Cap de Creus (between the island of Culleró and the Jugadora cove) and Cap Norfeu. Finally, there is also an Integral marine reserve, s'Encalladora (to the north of the island).
Cap de Creus is renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, with the exceptional beauty of the coastal areas providing a contrast with the interior areas, where often human action has had a lasting influence on the harmony and shaping of the landscape we can see today. It is important to mention the rich architectural heritage of the area, represented to perfection in the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes, and the interest of the land and marine archaeological sites, and Dalí's haven at Portlligat.
The waters surrounding the Cap de Creus peninsula are very clean, with extremely low levels of pollution. The morphology of the coast, with its sea-cliffs, rocks, islets, reefs, coves and bays, and the nature of its rocky bottom (which can reach great depths) and sediments also offer enormous diversity of habitats for marine creatures, a diversity that leads to extremely rich submarine life, to which the algae and the coral pools bear the best witness. The centuries-old fishing activity and the more recent tourist activity have left their mark, especially on the fish community, but despite everything, the richness of the zone, including its fish species, is evident.
The municipality of El Port de la Selva is part of the territorial scope of the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Cap de Creus (ECST) and is actively involved in the project.
The ECST is an European recognition that accredits that a territory around a protected natural space has a tourism strategy and program of actions developed in a participatory way with the agents of the territory and that aims to make compatible the conservation of the territory with local socioeconomic development and tourist activity.
For further information visit the website of the Cap de Creus Natural Park: http://parcsnaturals.gencat.cat/es/xarxa-de-parcs/cap-creus/viure-hi/la-cets/