Five very strange landscapes of Spain and a common thread


We review some of the most amazing natural wonders of our country, according to the criteria of the experts of the College of Geologists.

The impressive tunnel of Montefurado.
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Every year, the Illustrious Official College of Geologists (ICOG) proposes a trip through Spain, a route with a common thread: fascinating places from the geological point of view that our orography offers. We are talking about geoparks, old mines, river beds, salt flats, capes or peninsular volcanoes. These are some of those selected this summer.

Cerro Gordo Volcano (Ciudad Real)

Here is an opportunity to visit a volcano from the inside and discover the Earth’s geological secrets. Located in the Calatrava fieldThis is the first visitable volcano in the Iberian Peninsula.

Access to Cerro Gordo.
Access to Cerro Gordo.SHUTTERSTOCK

In Cerro Gordo you can see the internal structure of a volcano and its dynamics throughout its life. “It is the reflection on the surface of a volcanism inside the plate of upper Miocene age (8.5 to 6.5 million years) that lasted until the middle Pleistocene”, explain the geologists. The genesis responds to the presence of a hot spot in the crust due to a magmatic flow. But there is everything with explanatory panels for all ages and easy to understand.

Montefurado Tunnel (Lugo)

The Montefurado tunnel is one of the wonders of Lugo’s history. It was excavated by romans around the year 100 of our era to dry up a meander of the river Sil and be able to more easily extract the gold deposited in its sediments. The tunnel has a section of 20 by 20 meters and a length of 52 after part of it collapsed in 1934, since it measured 120 meters in length.

The geology of the area is marked by metamorphic rocks over 250 million years old whose origin is in an ancient sea inside the Variscan mountain range, which was formed about 300 million years ago by the collision of two ancient continents.

Salt pans of Torrevieja (Alicante)

These natural sea salt pans are the most important in Europe. The special process of exploitation to which they are subjected is also of great interest. The salt flats are formed by two natural lagoons: Torrevieja (14 km2 of wet surface) and La Mata (7 km2). Currently, the bottom of the two lagoons is flat, which has made it possible to mechanize the exploitation.

Las Loras Geopark (Palencia, Burgos)

Las Loras have served as a refuge for many peoples and cultures. They make up a territory where the spectacular nature of the geological landscape is accompanied by a great cultural wealth, such as Romanesque churches, cave hermitages or well-preserved popular architecture.

The Lores.
The Lores.

Its high geological interest is justified by the wide variety of geological structures that comprise, from skarts to limestone moors, passing through river canyons, large alpine folding structures, oil fields, faults or diapirs.

Jerte Valley (Cceres)

Located to the northeast of the province of Cceres and carved out of a granite substratum, this valley owes its name to the river that runs through it. Its morphology is the result of the activity of the Messejana-Plasencia fault (tectonic accident on a continental scale), subsequent block tectonics and numerous climatic oscillations that occurred during the Quaternary. Along the valley there is a dike of diabase rocks, with a magnitude on the scale of the Iberian Peninsula.

Some points that offer areas of great beauty are the gorges and their beautiful waterfalls, and its natural pools with extensive vegetation, among which the Garganta de los Infiernos (Nature Reserve), the Garganta de las Nogaledas and its waterfalls, the Garganta de Bonal with its Caozo waterfall and the Garganta de Marta stand out.

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