A wetland surrounded by mountains which is located between the provinces of Valencia and Alicante and between the towns of Pego and Oliva. Within its 1,250 ha area we find an extensive zone of reed beds, rice fields and lagoons crossed by a network of rivers, irrigation canals and channels, which form a natural area of great wealth and productivity. Through these channels and irrigation canals, the Bullent and Racons rivers, which border the wetland to the north and the south, respectively, feed the entire wetland area. This circumstance facilitates rice cultivation (the “Bomba” variation is grown in the area) and maintains the Special Protection Zone, which covers the wetland, permanently flooded.
In these areas, which are partially or permanently flooded throughout the year, we can observe a great diversity of birds (whiskered tern, swan, ducks, herons, squacco, rails, coots, etc.), fish (with valuable endemic and protected species) and plants, such as cattails and yellow lilies. The excellent quality of the water in the Pego-Oliva Natural Park allows for the existence of the best-conserved underwater vegetation in all the Spanish wetlands. The area has extensive underwater meadows that play host and provide a habitat to a rich variety of fauna, including several protected, endangered or endemic species, such as the whiskered tern, the Valencia toothcarp, river prawn, the marbled teal, squacco heron, the horned owl, the European pond turtle and the blenny, among others.
Pego – Oliva Wetland Natural Park Office
Llavador, 5. Pego.
The Natural Park is accessed via the N-332. The Olive-Pego road skirts the northern border of the Park, whilst the El Vergel-Pego (province of Alicante) road constitutes the southern limit. There is also a bicycle lane and various rest areas. There is a road that runs through the Natural Park.
Finally, there are various routes that run through the landscape and which are detailed below:
A7 Bridge – Font Salada or Ullal del Burro. We begin the route at the A-7 motorway bridge, from where we can observe the wetlands surrounded by a horseshoe-shaped chain of mountains: the Segaria, Migdia and Mustalla ranges, and the town of Pego. As for fauna, it is easy to observe herons and ducks in the area. Continuing through the “Vall Bovar”, we cross the River Bullet, or the “El Vedat” irrigation canal, until we reach “La Font Salada”, or “Ullal del Burro”. The latter is a spring from which water with very high salt content and medicinal properties emerges.
A7 Bridge – Barranquet. From the above-mentioned bridge, we head off in the direction of the area known as “El Barranquet”, where we will see the “Vall Bovar” channel. In past times, boats circulated along the channel during the rice cultivation period. “El Barranquet” is another channel, this time for drainage. However, in the event of an easterly storm, the waters do not drain towards the sea, but rather they ascend towards the wetland. – “Verda” Mountain – “Font Salada”. Mount Verda is the name given to a rise of around 35 meters in height which is located in the northwest corner of the Park. It is host to a wide representation of Mediterranean mountain vegetation. From there, the traveller can follow the course of one of the tributaries of the River Bullet, called “El Salinar”. Its clean, clear waters will allow us to see both the vegetation and the marine habitat. We then follow the Bullent to a narrow bridge which constitutes “La parada de Sant Pere”. From there, we turn right and follow the trail to the medicinal waters of Font Salada (Ullal del Burro).