The Palms Desert Natural Park is located in the province of Castellón, in eastern Spain. This park, also known as the Desert de les Palmes in Valencian, covers an area of 3,244 hectares and is characterized by its rugged landscapes, deep valleys, and stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a popular destination for nature lovers, hikers, and history enthusiasts, as it is home to a number of ancient ruins and historical sites.
One of the most fascinating features of the Palms Desert Natural Park is the collection of ruins that can be found throughout the park. These ruins are a testament to the long and complex history of this region, which has been inhabited for thousands of years. Some of the most notable ruins include the spiritual retreats known as "Holy Deserts" or "Santos Desiertos," which were used by hermits and monks as places of solitude and contemplation.
Another important site in the park is the ruins of the Montornés Castle, which dates back to the 11th century. This castle was built by the Moors and later conquered by the Christians during the Reconquista. Today, visitors can explore the remains of the castle, including the walls, towers, and moat.
The Miravet Castle is another impressive ruin in the park. This castle dates back to the 13th century and was also built by the Moors. The castle played an important role in the region's history, as it was a key strategic point during the Reconquista. Visitors can explore the remains of the castle, including the tower, walls, and gatehouse.
The Hermitage of Les Santes is another fascinating historical site in the park. This hermitage was built in the 17th century and was used by monks as a place of worship and contemplation. The hermitage is known for its stunning location, as it is perched on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Outside of the park limits, visitors can also explore the Castell Vell and the Hermitage of La Magdalena. Castell Vell is a medieval castle that dates back to the 11th century. It was built by the Moors and later conquered by the Christians. Today, visitors can explore the ruins of the castle, including the walls, towers, and gatehouse.
The Hermitage of La Magdalena is a small chapel that dates back to the 14th century. This chapel was built by monks as a place of worship and pilgrimage. Today, visitors can explore the chapel and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
In addition to the historical sites, the Palms Desert Natural Park offers a wide range of outdoor activities for visitors. Hiking is a popular activity, as there are numerous trails that wind through the park's rugged landscapes. Mountain biking is also popular, as there are several trails that are suitable for all levels of experience.
For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, there are several picnic areas in the park where visitors can enjoy a meal or a snack while taking in the stunning views. Bird watching is also a popular activity, as the park is home to a variety of bird species, including eagles, vultures, and falcons.
In conclusion, the Palms Desert Natural Park is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves history, nature, and outdoor activities. The collection of ancient ruins and historical sites within the park is truly impressive, and visitors can easily spend several days exploring them all. Whether you're hiking through the rugged landscapes, exploring the ancient ruins, or simply enjoying a picnic with a view, the Palms Desert Natural Park is a truly unforgettable experience.