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Madrid, July 28, 2023 - The Illustrious Official College of Geologists (ICOG) proposes 21 secret destinations in Spain, recommended by its territorial delegations, to discover the natural wonders with which our orography has gifted us.
1. Cancho del Fresno Beach, Cañamero (Cáceres) This beach is located in the Villuercas-Ibores-Jara Geopark. This Geopark, declared a World Geopark by UNESCO in 2011, is located in the southeast of the province of Cáceres, showing the history of the Earth and creating an unforgettable experience of geological tourism.
Extremadura, with ten flags, leads the ranking of autonomous communities with the largest number of inland beaches with a blue flag. Its high geological interest is justified by the spectacular nature and wide variety of geological structures that range from skarts, limestone moors, structural reliefs, canyons rivers, large alpine folding structures, oil fields, faults or diapir among others.
2. Costa Dulce Beach, Orellana la Vieja (Badajoz) It is located on the shore of the Orellana reservoir, inaugurated in 1961 to retain the waters of the Guadiana River, produce hydroelectric power and supply irrigation to Las Vegas Altas of said hydrographic basin.
3. Xallas Waterfall in Ézaro (Coruña) It was formed at the beginning of the Cenozoic, 64 million years ago by the collision between the Eurasian Plate and the Iberian Plate. But there was another event that gave the Xallas waterfall its current appearance. It was a violent seismic movement that took place in 1217. The landslides caused by the earthquake occurred in the place where the waterfall is today.
4. Gerês Xurés Cross-border Biosphere Reserve (Ourense) The Sierra del Xurés, to the south of the province of Ourense and bordering Portugal, is an area with abundant natural heritage. Geologically granitic rocks dominate. As it is an area with shallow soils, the watercourses are seasonal and generate the spectacular "corgas", steep ravines.
5. Molinos Crystal Caves (Teruel) The Molinos Crystal Caves are a geological wonder located in the province of Teruel, Spain. These caves were formed over millions of years by a geological process known as speleothem, where mineral-rich groundwater slowly dissolves the surrounding limestone.
6. Anayet Volcanic Python (Huesca) The Anayet Volcanic Python is an impressive geological structure located in the Pyrenees, Spain. It was formed millions of years ago due to volcanic activity that led to the accumulation of lava and pyroclastic materials in the region.
This majestic python towers over the surrounding landscape, displaying layers of volcanic rock that reveal the geological history of the area. Its characteristic shape is the result of differential solidification and erosion of the different volcanic layers.
7. Galacho de Juslibol (Zaragoza) The Galacho de Juslibol is a nature reserve in Zaragoza, Spain, formed by abandoned meanders of the Ebro River. It stands out for its diversity of native fauna and flora, especially migratory birds such as herons and ducks. It offers routes and trails to enjoy its natural beauty and is an ideal place for bird watching and recreation near the city.
8. Foz de Arbaiun This is a canyon excavated by the Salazar River in the limestone of the Sierra de Leyre, in the northeast of Navarra, with vertical walls over 300 meters high and almost 6 km long. The views from the Mirador de Iso are unbeatable, where you can see the gorge carved by the river as well as the flight of large birds of prey.
9. Mallos de CodésAlthough limestone rock outcrops of marine origin from the Upper Cretaceous can be observed, clays, sandstones and more modern conglomerates, Oligocene-Miocene, predominate. Calcareous conglomerates that border the Sierra de Cantabria, in which these impressive mallos have been carved, in the form of towers. 15 km away is the Genevilla-La Celagua spring where you can see an important outcrop of limestone travertines associated with the spring.
10. Arribes del Duero (Zamora and Salamanca) The Arribes del Duero region is located on the western limit of the Zamora and Salamanca provinces, where the Duero River borders Portugal, forming the largest and deepest canyons on the Iberian Peninsula.
11. Juzbado Fault Museum (Salamanca) The Juzbado Fault Museum is an interpretation center on geology and landscape in the west of the province of Salamanca. It is a geological fault discovered at the end of the 1960s and that can be seen up close by visiting the contents distributed between the two floors of the Museum and thanks to an outcrop located nearby.
12. Sanabria Lake (Zamora) Sanabria Lake is the largest natural lake in the Iberian Peninsula and one of the largest in all of Europe (being the largest of glacial origin).
13. Las Torcas de Palancares (Cuenca) This is a geological itinerary with very special characteristics in which you can observe the effects of karstification processes on the surface, all of this in an itinerary with explanatory panels on a comfortable route for all ages surrounded by from nature.
14. Almadén Mining Park (Ciudad Real) Located in Almadén, the mine is cinnabar mineralizations that constitute disseminations in determined horizons of the "Cuarcita de Criadero" formation: not all the quartzite is mineralized, but there are a series of 6 layers or sections of quartzites that are mineralized.
BASQUE COUNTRY15. Polje de Olatz (Guipuzkoa) The waters of Olatz flow into the underground system, benefiting the sinkholes and the impressive Kobalde sinkhole.
16. Spathic calcite from the Valnera fault (Bizkaia) The limestones of the Jorrios Massif form part of the eastern end of the great Ramales Carbonate Platform, whose margin was located between Soba (Cantabria), Karrantza-Turtzioz (Bizkaia) and Castro -Urdiales/Santoña (Cantabria).
17. Salburua Wetlands (Araba) Salburua is a peri-urban area on the eastern edge of Vitoria, which covers more than 200 hectares and is made up of two wetlands (Betoño and Zurbano ponds), humid forests, meadows, poplars and other associated environments .
18. Gulpiyuri karstic depression and beach, Llanes. It is an inland beach, surrounded by cliffs and rocks, which is formed thanks to the filtration of seawater through caves and underground cracks. What makes it extraordinary is that it is located on the mainland, about 100 meters from the Cantabrian Sea coastline.
19. Puddings and associated structures on Playa del Silencio. What makes it special are the puddings and associated structures present on its cliffs. Puddings are geological formations of sedimentary rock that have eroded differentially, creating interesting natural pillars and columns in the cliff.
20. Sinkhole in Serradero El Serradero (1,495 m) is a peak located in the Sierra de Moncalvillo, northwest of the Sierra de Cameros, in the Iberian System of La Rioja. This system of rounded peaks, peeled in the past to obtain pasture during transhumance. It is located next to the Neveras peak to the east and to the south next to Monte de Roñas, although it is very difficult to mark the exact limit between one and the other.
21. Brieva Syncline The Najerilla syncline or Brieva syncline is the most characteristic and important Variscan structure of the Demanda Massif. This is a relatively simple structure with an E-W direction and very vertical dips.