24 May is European National Parks Day. Spain has no less than 16, we would like to highlight 2 that we find very special. Both can be found in the autonomous region of Andalusia.

Sierra Nevada National Park

The Sierra Nevada became a member of the group ofNational Parks in 1999. The park extends from Alpujarra to the Marquesado and the valley of Lecrin in the provinces of Granada and Almería in Andalusia. Some mountains are higher than 3,000 meters, the highest mountain in mainland Spain, the Mulhacén, is also located in the Sierra Nevada National Park. It is therefore not surprising that skiing is possible in this park in winter.

There are over sixty species of plants unique to this region. At the edge of the park is a botanical garden called La Cortijuela. Endangered plant species from the national park are protected and researched here.

This is also a nice home for fauna, among others Spanish ibex, badgers and wild cats live here.

Doñana National Park

Parque Nacional de Doñana has been a national park since 1969. You will find the park in Andalusia, on the Atlantic Ocean, at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River. In the past, the area belonged to the dukes of Medina Sidonia, so only they were allowed to hunt there. The name Doñana is believed to come from “Doña Ana”, named after the wife of the seventh Duke of Medina Sidonia.

The park forms a kind of natural barrier between the provinces of Huelva and Seville. Human construction and habitation is prohibited with a few exceptions. The area of Doñana is no less than 50,720 hectares, and it is fed by the rivers Cano de Guadiamar and Arroyo de la Rocina.

The swamps in the river delta are ideal for migratory birds seeking a resting place on their journey from south to north. This is therefore the main purpose of the national park. In addition, it is one of the few nature reserves where Iberian Lynxes and some Iberian Wolves can still be seen. A visit to Doñana National Park feels like spending a day in a fairytale forest; we think this is one of the most beautiful of all National Parks in Spain.

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