Spain has a bewildering array of types of protected areas and Andalucia has more than its fair share of them. Here we take you to those areas of outstanding natural beauty or places of special interest.
National Parks (Parque Nacional) An area is declared a National Park by State Law. There are 3 National Parks in Andalucia.
Natural Parks (Parque Natural) An area is declared a Natural Park by Decree passed by the Governing Council of the Junta de Andalucía. There are around 30 Natural Parks in Andalucia.
Nature Sites (Paraje Natural) An area is declared a Nature Site by Andalusian Parliament Law. There are about 30 Nature Sites in Andalucia.
Nature Reserves (Reserva Natural) An area is declared a Nature Reserve Park by Andalusian Parliament Law. There are around 30 Nature Reserves in Andalucia.
Monumento Natural (Natural Monument) A fairly recent classification that highlights one feature of the landscape. It may be the 230 million year old dinosaur footprints in Jaén province, or an island off the coast of Almeria, important for its breeding colony of European storm petrel. There are over 30 natural monuments in the region and more added each year.
UNESCO Global Geoparks Spain ranks second in the world for the number of biosphere reserves with 15 in total. Andalucia has 4. Geoparks are natural spaces with landscapes of extraordinary beauty. In addition, their mountains, formations and soil reveal the history of the planet. Since 2015, UNESCO has recognised their value and given them the status of Global Geopark. To date, the four Global Geoparks in Andalucia are the Granada Global Geopark, the Cabo de Gata Níjar Parque Natural UNESCO Global Geopark, the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Parque Natural UNESCO Global Geopark, and the Sierras Subbéticas UNESCO Global Geopark