Albacete Natural Spaces
The province of Albacete
has a large number of enclaves of landscape beauty and natural
interest, some of which have environmental protection. Because
of their singularity, el Calar de Río Mundo, Ruidera Lagoons
and Cabriel Valley should be highlighted.
Natural Park of the Ruidera Lagoons
The Natural Park of the Ruidera Lagoons is an exceptional string of fifteen lagoons with a name of their own, that are terraced along several kilometres, and that contrast with the dry landscape of La Mancha that surrounds them. All these lagoons are communicated, on the surface as well as in the underground, one another with the waters of the aquifers "Campo de Montiel". It is the outcrop of these volumes of water which feeds the lagoons. In the rainy seasons, autumn and spring, the lagoons show all its beauty, creating a large number of waterfalls. For this reason, it is specially advisable to go through the natural park in these year seasons. The natural reservoirs play a very important role in the shaping of the landscape. They retain the water of the lagoons and create spectacular small waterfalls in the days in which the volume of water is bigger.
The valley that houses this lacustrine complex is surrounded by woods of holm-oaks, dotted with Juniperis Hispanica (a protected species) of hard aromatic wood, highly-regarded. Both species are very resistant and have adaptated to the hard weather conditions of Campo de Montiel. We can also find scrub areas. Vegetation in the banks covered with puddles of the lagoons, in which lies a big part of its ecological value, is very different. Here we can find, mainly in the lower lagoons, dense masses of common reeds, bulrush, reeds and sedges, that shelter a large number of aquatic birds.
The valleys of the Júcar and Cabriel rivers
In our province the valleys of the Júcar and Cabriel rivers form deep canyons of steep walls, that interrupt the monotony of the plain of La Mancha and leave interesting bank woods, formed by ashes, willows, balck poplars and tamarisks. In the Cabriel River the water, of an intense bluish green, has a very good quality and there is a varied fauna, terrestrial as well as aquatic.
The source of the Mundo River
Due to its spectacularity, the source of the Río Mundo is one of the most visited places in the province of Albacete. It is located in the well-known spot of Los Chorros, declared "Natural Park of Calar of río Mundo and of Sima". In a fit valley, whose slopes are planted with dense pine woods, and dotted with holm-oaks and gall oaks, appears a dizzy crag in which the access to the cave where the river rises is set. This cave is part of the collection of underground galleries longer than ten kilometers, that have not been completely explored yet. Sometimes, due to heavy rain or the thaw of snow accumulated in the Calar del Río Mundo, a natural park in the future, occurs a phenomenon known as "the big burst" ("el reventón"), that is a sudden spectacular increase of the volume of water of the waterfall that gives rise to the river.