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Flora & Fauna

Flora

In this area, the vegetation is made up of pinewood of halepensis pine trees (Pinus halepensis) and thickets of kermes gall (Quercus coccifera), lentiscus (Pistacia lentiscus), juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus), black hawthorn (rhamnus lycioides), esparto grass (Stipa tenacissima), and palmetto (chamaerops humilis), which is the open European palm tree.

In addition, there are also a large number of aromatic plants, such as thyme (thymus hyemalis), rosemary (Rosmarinus oficcinalis), phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis), teucrium (Teucrium capitatum), sideritis (Sideritis leucantha) and lavender (Lavandula stoechas). The chives (Globularia alypum) show their blue flower in Winter, but the majority of the other flowering species, the Spring is the best time to appreciate their beauty.

In Spring the countryside is covered with a myriad of colours: white-leafed rockrose (Cistus albidus), rockrose (Cistus monspeliensis) and an array of helianthemum (Helianthemum spp) and French lavender (Thymus longiflorus). During this period can also be witnessed the flowering of the everlasting flower or immortelle (Helicrysum stoechas) and Leguminosae such as the anthyllis (Anthyllis cistoides), the genista (Retama sphaerocarpa) and an abundance of coronilla (Coronilla juncea).

In the sandy beds of the watercourses, it is possible to observe the star-shaped daisies (Pallenis spinosa), thistles (Cirsium pyrenaicum). Oleander (Nerium oleander), Moorish tobacco (Nicotiana glauca), thorn apple (Datura stramonium) and fennel (foeniculum vulgare). And when the land is wet, can be found rushes (Scirphus holoschoenus, Juncus maritimus) and reeds (Arundo donax).

For a large part of the year, much of the land is covered with daisies (Asteriscus maritimus). The rocks are covered with sedum (Sedum sediforme) and umbilicus (Umbilicus horizontalis). In the woods, can be found ruta (Ruta angustiflora), runner thicket (Eryngium campestris), spurge laurel (Daphne laureola) and centaurium (Centaurium quadrifolium), which produces bunches of small pink flowers.

Due to the number of flower, there is an abundance of butterflies in the area, especially around the flowers of coris (Coris monspeliensis), white southernwood (Doricnium pentaphyllum), ditrichia (Ditrichia) and teasel (Scabiosa altropurperea). The following butterflies are renowned for their outstanding colours: papilio machaon (Papilio machaon), Vanessa (Vanesa Atlanta) and gonepteryx (Gonepteryx rhamni).

The area is also well known for two types of creepers: the sarsaparilla (Smilax aspera) and wild madder (Rubia peregrina). These creepers can be seen trailing amongst the kermes gall, lentiscus or black hawthorn.



Fauna

Amidst the fauna of the area are many harmless reptiles that contribute greatly by consuming many of the insects. Amongst these are the Iberian lizard (Podarcis hispanica), ash-coloured lizard (Psammodromus hispanicus), red-tailed lizard (Acanthodactylus erythrurus) and ocellated lizard (Lacerta lepida). The most difficult reptiles to spot are the common tarente (Tarentola mauritanica), bastard snake (Malpolon monspessulanus) and spiral snake (Elaphe scalaris). The most common mammal is the rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). In addition, there are also the following species: the hare (Lepus granatensis), foxes Vulpes vulpes), common hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus), small weasels Mustela nivalis) and several types of mice, such as the field mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) and the Mediterranean mouse (Mus spreatus). At night the bats (Rhinolophus spp) devour all sorts of insects.

The species found in the greatest numbers are the birds, including the linnet (Carduelis chloris), goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis), chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs), cuckoo (Cuculus canorus),green woodpecker (Picus viridis), blue titmouse (Parus ater), greater titmouse (Parus caeruleus), phyllocopus (phyllocopus) and whitethroat (Sylvia curruca).

In addition, we can see and listen to the songs of the millclapper (Saxicola torquata), common lark (Clandrella brachydactyle), crested lark (Galerida cristata) and the unmistakable and sonorous birdcall of the hoopoe (Upapa epops). On the banks of the dry watercourses, where there are fewer people, colourful breeding colonies of bee-eaters (Merops apiaster) have been established, together with small rooks (Corvus monedula), swifts (Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and sapper (Riparia riparia).

Amongst the birds of prey, one of the highlights is the sparrow hawk (falco tinnunculus). Nocturnal birds include the barn owl (Tyto alba), the little owl (Atene noctua) whose call resounds at dusk during spring and summer nights. Sometimes buzzards (Buteo buteo) can also be seen flying high above.

The easiest birds to spot all year round, due to their size and behaviour, are the common partridges (Alectoris rufa), the wood pigeons (Columba palumbus) and the turtledoves (Streptopelia decaocto).

Torrevieja town centre can be reached in 15 minutes by car and there you will find numerous designer boutiques specialising in fashion for all ages.

For a real shopping experience, go to either Alicante or Murcia. Both have fantastic shops including El Corte Ingles, Mango, Zara, Adolfo Dominguez and a whole range of designer outlets.

If you want to combine shopping with some time on the beach, go to Alicante, as the beach is within minutes of the town centre and is very pleasant, with some excellent restaurants along the promenade.

For a more cultural day out, try Murcia where you can wander along historic lanes, contemplate wonderful baroque architecture and have a traditional lunch in a beautiful square or in front of the truly awe-inspiring cathedral.

In both cases, we recommend that you park in the El Corte Ingles car parks, as they are easy to find - - just follow the green El Corte Ingles signs when you arrive in each city!

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