R2. Lower Vinalopó and Segura
River Segura ditches to the sea
Rambla Salada of Albatera
“El Cuchillo” (The Knife). It is a sharp vertical limestone stratum, which looms over the erosion of the environment.
They appear on the edge of the rambla, coming from a geological formation very rich in salts
(mainly gypsum and rock salt).
Reservoir of La Pedrera
Output of the channel to the reservoir of La Pedrera.
Reservoir of La Pedrera
Wide panoramic view of the reservoir.
Acueduct of Albatera
Irrigation for the area was supplied by this infrastructure for several years.
Azudes (ditches) of Orihuela
River Segura in Orihuela.
Azud of Los Huertos
Gravity dam with a layout of circular ring, whose purpose was to divert water from the river to the irrigation ditch of Los Huertos.
Natural Park of Las Lagunas de La Mata y Torrevieja
Lagoon of La Mata.
Natural Park of Salinas de Santa Pola
Natural Park of 2,470 ha, in the municipalities of Santa Pola and Elche.
Natural Park El Hondo
Path in the Lagunas del Saladar and El Rincón.
Lagoon of El Rincón
In the artificial islets of this lagoon you can discover easily a multitude of species.
Sierra de Callosa
Ruta 2: Lower Vinalopó and Segura
The ancient struggle of man to dominate and take advantage of rivers and wetlands.
A long route, of about 120 km, which crosses Albatera, Orihuela, Los Montesinos, Torrevieja, Guardamar del Segura, Santa Pola, Elche and Crevillente, linking interesting enclaves near the mouth of the rivers Segura and Vinalopó.
Travelling through landscapes of crops, we will find ourselves in the polychromy originated by the geological variety of the Rambla Salada; we will show the traditional irrigation infrastructure in the surroundings of the restored sotos of the river Segura; we will pass by the reservoir of La Pedrera and by the cord of dunes that surrounds the mouth of the River Segura; ending our tour in the Natural Parks of La Mata and Torrevieja, the Salinas de Santa Pola and El Hondo de Elche y Crevillente, of enormous biological wealth.
In the continuous struggle to obtain and to store water, there have been notable works of hydraulic infrastructure, that have shaped the landscape. Along the route are river channels and wetlands, weirs, channels, gutters, retaining walls, pools…, which testify the permanent interest of man in the water resource.
The water in this routeRiver Vinalopó crosses from North to South the province of Alicante, and with its 92 kilometers is one of Alicante most important rivers. It is born in the Sierra de Mariola, between Bocairent and Banyeres de Mariola and has its natural mouth in the salines of Santa Pola. It has small and seasonal flows, with a maximum of about 850 l/s, in the rainy season, at the Colonia de Santa Eulalia.River Segura, is born in the Sierra del Segura and, after crossing in its 325 kilometers of course, part of the provinces of Jaén, Albacete and Murcia, ends in the one of Alicante, in the municipality of Guardamar del Segura. In addition to the important reservoirs of Fuensanta and Cenajo in its upper part, the Segura river receives numerous tributaries both in the form of river, in its middle and high part, and of river-rambla from the middle part. Of the former, the river Mundo stands out with almost as much flow as the Segura, and of the second type the river Mula or Guadalentín.
1. Rambla Salada de Albatera
A valley of red colors, with saline springs coming from a geological formation rich in salts (mainly gypsum and rock salt) that create a mat of crystallizations over the soil.
The traveller will discover the Segura Green Path, the most important in the province, with its perfectly restored groves and a complete hydraulic infrastructure for irrigation, which have been the basis of the prosperity of this region for generations.
3. La Pedrera
With a maximum flooding surface area of 1,405 ha, and a stored water volume of 246 hm3, it is the largest reservoir in the province, distributing water from the Tajo-Segura transfer, both for irrigation and supply.
4. Lagunas de La Mata y Torrevieja
Natural Park covering an area of 3,700 hectares, occupying part of the municipalities of Guardamar del Segura, Torrevieja, Los Montesinos and Rojales.
5. Segura river mouth
In this area, the river becomes almost an elongated wetland where canes and waterfowl proliferate, generating wetlands of high ecological value.
6. Santa Pola Salt Mines
Natural Park of 2,470 ha with the large salt crystallization ponds of the surrounding salt companies, which serve as habitat for abundant bird life and typical saltwater vegetation.
E1. Rambla Salada de Albatera
The road runs through a valley of reddish colours, sculpted by the work of water for thousands of years, with a sharp, vertical limestone stratum “el Cuchillo”, which overlooks the erosion of the environment, crosses a large number of aqueducts and crystallizations of salt, until reaching the Black Baron, a dolomitic outcrop that breaks into the red colors of the clays. Different saltwater pools, gutters and aqueducts can be observed during this itinerary.
E2. River Segura: Beeches, waterwheels, canals and dams
This excursion, due to its length, is highly recommended to be carried out by bicycle. It will show the traveller the fauna and vegetation areas that accompany the river, as well as the anthropic works, including the enormous pipes of the Tajos-Segura Transfer and the Pedrera Reservoir.
E3. Lagunas de la Mata y Torrevieja Natural Park
This walk is accompanied by squawking, noise and the flight of various kind of birds. This excursion through the southern end of the Laguna de la Mata starts at the Park’s information center, where you can obtain abundant information about its fauna, flora, salt and agricultural production… In addition, it has a wheelchair-accessible route to the viewpoint of La Torreta.
E4. El Hondo Natural Park
Accompanied by squawking, noise and flight of varied birds over his head, in this walk through the Saladar and El Rincón Lagoons, the traveler enjoys a world reserve of bird life, and just minutes away from several important localities. Because of its length it is advisable to carry out this excursion on foot, as it is somewhat short for cycling, and it is also possible to carry out an alternative route conditioned for wheelchair.