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Spain’s Geological Hotspot

By Linda Tancs

Some of Europe’s most original geological features are located in Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park in Spain’s Almería region. Nearly 94,000 acres strong, the reserve is Andalucía’s largest coastal protected area and a mecca for geologists. Formed during the Tertiary Period, it’s an extensive volcanic region dominated by lava domes. Other points of interest are the ancient volcanic chimneys at the iconic Mermaids Reef, fossilized tongues of lava at Mónsul Beach (the reserve’s most famous beach) and mountains formed entirely by volcanic material like El Cerro Negro in the village of Las Negras. To learn more about the volcanic origin of this area you can visit the exhibitions in the House of the Volcanoes in Rodalquilar or the Las Amoladeras Interpretation Center.

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