The Albera Natural Site

The Albera Natural Site

The Albera Mountain Range is the name given to the eastern section of the Pyrenees, from Le Perthus mountain pass down to the sea. It separates the Empordà plain from the Roussillon plain and, since 1659, by virtue ofthe Treaty of the Pyrenees, its crestline makes up the border between France and Spain. It consists of two very different sectors: the western side, Requesens-Baussitges, and the eastern side, Sant Quirze de Colera-Balmeta. The former has damper, higher areas and is almost 100% covered by forests with an extraordinary varied plant life, with cork oak, holm oak, chestnut, oak and beech forests and pastures at the top. The Requesens area covers the headwaters of the River Anyet, with splendid riverbank plant life, with willows, ashes and alders. The Baussitges area includes the top valley of the River Orlina, where the easternmost beech forests on the Peninsula can be found. The Sant Quirze de Colera sector is organised around the important monastery of the same name, a gem of Catalan Romanesque art, and it is an area with totally Mediterranean characteristics.

REMARKABLE PLACES

Sant Quirze de Colera Monastery

Rabós municipal area

Requesens Castle

La Jonquera municipal area

Puig Neulós

La Jonquera/Sorède municipal area

The Albera Tortoise Breeding Centre

Garriguella municipal area

The plant life is dominated by sporadic cork oak forests, scrubland and thickets. The last natural populations of Hermann’s tortoise found on the Iberian Peninsula can be found here. The populated areas are found at the foot of the Albera Mountain Range, in an area known as Els Aspres. The landscape is made up of a mosaic of small cork oak forests, scrubland, rocky outcrops and, above all, dry land crops, vines and olive trees, whose produce, wine and olive oil, have traditionally been the way of life of the attractive villages in the area.

INTERESTING INFORMATION

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Surface area

3,428 hectares (including 1,275 hectares of nature reserves)

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Best time of year

All year round, but the best periods are spring and autumn; the Tortoise Breeding Centreis only open in spring and summer

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Towns

Espolla, La Jonquera and Rabós

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Information centre

Rectoria Vella
Carrer d’Amadeu Sudrià, 3 · 17753 Espolla

Can Laporta
Carrer Major, 2 · 17700 La Jonquera

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Comarcas

Alt Empordà

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Contact

(+34) 972 54 50 79

 Faig
 Grèvol
 Vern
 Auró negre
 Alzina surera

 Tortuga mediterrània
 Àguila daurada
 Ratpenat de bigotis petit
 Xoriguer petit
 Escarabat del faig
 Abellerol

MAIN TOURIST ACTIVITIES

1. Hiking, GR-11 footpath, several itineraries promoted by the natural site and other entities
2. More than fifty megalithic monuments
3. Several Romanesque hermitages
4. Visits to wineries and oil mills