Aiguamolls de l’Empordà
Camping las Dunas is surrounded by nature, and part thereof has been protected since 1983 as the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà nature park. Aiguamolls means wetlands. The entire plain of the Empordà region, fed by the rivers Muga and Fluvià, was once a huge wetland area of which this nature park forms the last remains. It is one of the best known nature parks in Catalonia and consists of over 5000 hectares (12,000 acres) with brackish water lagoons, sweet water lakes, flooded fields, rice plantations, dunes and riparian forest. Many water birds, especially migratory species, use the park a place to rest and shelter. More than 300 species have been observed of which 80 nest here. Thanks to the many wooden observatories the Aiguamolls de l’Empordà is one of the best places to observe wildlife in Catalonia. At approximately 10 km from Camping Las Dunas you will find the El Cortalet visitor’s centre, a good place to learn about the park and starting point for many itineraries through the park. In 1995 the otter was reintroduced, which has contributed to the rehabilitation of the species in an area where it had practically disappeared.
Cap de Creus
The Cap de Creus (cape of crosses) is a rocky peninsula that rises 672 m above sea level with an extraordinary landscape value. The cape is located north of the Bay of Rosas and is part of the eastern foothills of the Pyrenees. Although many Neolithic structures like dolmen are proof that the area has been inhabited by people for millennia, nowadays the Cap de Creus is the largest uninhabited area of the Spanish Mediterranean.
Since 1998 10.000 hectares (25,000 acres) of land and 3.000 hectares (7,000 acres) of seabed are protected as the Cap de Creus Nature Park, being the first park in Catalonia with a protected terrestrial-marine ecosystem of breathtaking beauty. The peninsula is mainly composed of slate with a coastal line specked with coves, relatively unpolluted with a rich flora and fauna that include some rare species like red coral and gorgonians. The park is considered a submarine paradise by scuba divers.
The Cap de Creus has inspired many artists, of which Salvador Dalí is the most famous. Interpreting his works will not be the same after you have seen this special peninsula. At the easternmost point of the cape stands a light house that formed the décor for the 1971 movie “The Light at the Edge of the World”. In 2010 a holiday park with 400 apartments was demolished to restore the landscape to its original state. The visitor’s centre of the Cap de Creus Nature Park is located inside the monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes at 35 km from Camping Las Dunas.
Montgrí and Medes Islands
At less than 8 km south of Camping las Dunas, between the coastal towns of l’Escala and l’Estartit lies the nature park Montgrí, Illes Medes i Baix Ter (gray mountain, Medes Islands and mouth of the river Ter). The park is a great area for mountain biking at only half an hour cycling from the campsite.
The Montgrí, Illes Medes i Baix Ter Nature Park consists of three very different areas, geographically connected. The Montgrí is a small coastal massif with steep headlands up to 100 meters high, small coves and many caves. It was formed in the same era as the Pyrenees. At the top of the mountain stands the Castle of Montgrí from where you have some stunning views of the region. Count Jaume II of Barcelona ordered the construction of this castle in 1294 to intimidate his enemy the count of Empúries. However, it was never finished nor put to use.
The Medes Islands are 7 small islands and islets just off the coast and form the prolongation of the Montgrí Massif under water. Protection of the island’s unique habitat started in 1983. In 2010 the area got the status of nature reserve and ZEPIM, including the Montgrí Massif and the nearby mouth of the river “Ter”. The rich marine flora and fauna make the area one of the most important marine reserves in the entire Mediterranean and the largest in Catalonia. The Medes Islands are an underwater paradise of breathtaking beauty for scuba divers. From Camping Las Dunas we offer boat excursions to the islands through our official partner.