12 Jul, 2010 @ 14:25
1 min read

Top 10 green escapes in Spain

President of Greenpeace Spain, Juan Lopez de Uralde

President of Greenpeace Spain, Juan Lopez de Uralde tells the Olive Press about his favourite natural escapes

HAVING spent 23 years travelling the length and breadth of Spain to campaign for its environment, Greenpeace president Juan Lopez de Uralde knows better than most about its prime nature spots.

Uralde – who spent three weeks in jail last Christmas after protesting at the high-profile Copenhagen Summit – includes three Andalucian treasures among his favourite green escapes.

Despite fears over ongoing development plans, the lobby group leader explains that Spain is still home to some stunning environmental gems.

President of Greenpeace Spain, Juan Lopez de Uralde

“There is so much to choose from and it’s been pretty difficult to make this selection,” he explains.

“Ultimately it is such a shame that so many of these beautiful areas are still threatened. In particular, the beaches in Cadiz and the Donana national park with the proposed oil pipeline”

The vocal campaigner has also been a long time critic of Ronda’s notorious Los Merinos golf development, where the
Olive Press interviewed him two years ago.

“It’s great that the Olive Press and Green Guide is highlighting not only the positives, but also Andalucia’s environmental challenges.

“Organic living should be the aim for everyone in Andalucia and we wish you all the best.”


1. Parque Nacional de Ordesa y Monte Pérdido (Huesca) – The valley is so beautiful and, above all, I love the waterfalls and Mount Perdido

Monte Pérdido (Huesca)

2. Valle de Somiedo (Asturias) – For the sheer richness of nature on offer. In particular, its leafy forests and the population of brown bears

3. Parque Nacional de Doñana (Andalucía) – Simply, the area with the most biodiviersity in the whole of Spain

Parque Nacional de Doñana (Andalucia)

4. Caldera de Taburiente (La Palma) – This is a wonderful pine forest in a spectacular valley

5. Beaches and dunes of the Costas de Cádiz (Bolonia, El Palmar…) – Almost the last virgin beaches in the whole of Spain, but tragically very endangered

6. Mount Teide (Tenerife) – An impressive volcano – the highest mountain in Spain – which has some fabulous wildlife and nature

7. Pinares del Valle de Valsaín (Segovia) – Beautiful forests which are home to rich and raw wildlife

Pinares del Valle de Valsaín (Segovia)

8. Parque Natural de Cazorla y Segura (Jaen) – Hidden among the olive groves of Jaen, a wildlife paradise can be discovered

9. Islas Cíes (Galicia) – Crystal-clear Atlantic waters and definitely Spain’s best beach

10. Hayedo de Irati (Navarra) – A rare and rich humid forest in a very dry region

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

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