The Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas, and Peña del Aguila Park is located in the Murcia region, in the eastern sector of the Sierra de Cartagena-La Union. Most of the park belongs to the municipality of Cartagena and is very close to the Mar Menor.
Declared a Regional Park in 1992 by the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, it is one of the coastal areas of the Mediterranean shore that is located on the strip that runs from Reona cove and the Atalayon hills, in the vicinity of Cabo de Palos, up to the bay of Portman.
It integrates the Monte de las Cenizas, which has a height of approximately 307 meters above sea level. In the Monte de las Cenizas, in 1923, some batteries were built on an 18th-century building as part of the defence and protection plan of the Cartagena naval base.
Currently, these batteries are out of service and are part of the tourist attraction of Monte de las Cenizas, which has trails and pine areas that travel to the top.
The declaration as a Regional Park was in response to the need for its preservation as natural wealth that has not yet been significantly altered by human action, and which is integrated into an important environment for the province of Murcia.
In addition, it is considered a safeguard area by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and has also been declared a Site of Community Importance (SCI).
The area constitutes one of the ramifications of the Betic Cordilleras, as it is part of the eastern sector of the Sierra de Cartagena. It is made up of two tectonic units: one, very old, belonging to the Nevado-Filabride complex formed during the Paleozoic, and another, formed during the Triassic, which belongs to the Alpujarride complex.
Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas, and Peña del Aguila present great ecological and environmental diversity: beaches, coves, wetlands, salt flats, dune systems, sandbanks, and cliffs, highlighting the Salinas del Rasall Wetland that belongs to this park. In turn, a diversity of botanical species, flora, fauna, birds, and fish is present.
A wide variety of flora can be seen in the Calblanque Regional Park. In this botanical space, species from the south of the Peninsula and Africa stand out.
On its beaches, we can find different species of flowers, such as Frankenia corimbosa, Christmum maritimum, Limonium latibracteatum, Crucianella maritima, and Elymus Farctus.
Among the shrub-like plants, the Cistus heterophyllus subspecies carthaginensis stands out, with beautiful flowers. The plant is in danger of extinction, while the Tetraclinis articulata, also a flowering shrub, is the pride of the area.
The Calblanque, Monte de las Cenizas, and Peña del Aguila Regional Park is home to rabbits, foxes (a mammal in danger of extinction), European badgers, beech martens, common genets, and wildcats, as well as wild boars and weasels.
Birds such as the peregrine falcon, the eagle owl, and the Bonelli's eagle live in the coastal area. In the Salinas del Rasall area, one can find flamingos, gulls, black-winged stilts, pied avocets, and Charadrius, among many other species of birds.
Reptiles include the Spanish psammodromus, the spiny-footed lizard, the jewelled lizard, the Bedriaga's skink, the gecko, and the common chameleon. Among the fish, the Spanish toothcarp stands out, as it is in danger of extinction.
All natural elements have survived the pressure of mining and urban activity. However, even with the protection of these areas, fires have occurred in the past that have affected and endangered their flora and fauna.