El Hondo Natural Park, a wetland of international importance

We enjoyed a nice walk, suitable for wheelchairs and baby strollers

Inclusive route in El Fondo National Park
Footbridge and elevated observatory in El Hondo

Today we are going to get to know one of the wetlands in the province of Alicante that have the figure of protection of Natural Park . We will do it through a very simple route, just 1 kilometer long and totally flat, suitable for people with functional diversity , baby stroller and, of course, with children.

An activity that we can (and should) complement with a visit to the Information Center and museum of the Natural Park of El Fondo, in order to understand the great environmental value of these natural spaces, authentic refuges for an enormous variety of birds, which reside in these wetlands or use them as a resting point during their long migrations between Europe and Africa.

Will you join us on this beautiful walk through El Hondo? Let’s start!

Index of contents

The Environmental Value of El Hondo

The Natural Park of El Hondo (El Fondo in Valencian) is located between the municipalities of Elche and Crevillent, bordering in its southwestern area with the municipalities of Dolores and Catral.

El Hondo is part of the old Albufera de Elche Albufera de Elche, which has almost completely dried up since the 18th century. This unique wetland is an authentic oasis for flora and fauna, surrounded by the semi-arid landscape characteristic of this area. El Hondo was declared a Natural Park by the Generalitat Valenciana in 1988, with an area of 2,387 hectares.

The large number and variety of birds that we can find in this wetland constitutes its main environmental value (although not the only one).

White-headed Duck in El Hondo
The White-headed Duck, an endangered species, has one of the largest populations in the world in El Hondo.

On the official website of El Fondo Natural Park , we can read the following:

“The abundance and diversity of birds in El Hondo has allowed it to be classified as a wetland of international importance . Specifically, it is included in the RAMSAR agreement for the protection of wetlands and in the ZEPAs directive (area of special protection for birds) of the European Union.

Among the many species present in the park, the marbled teal (Marmaronetta angustirrostris) and the white- headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala) stand out. The first of these has its main breeding point in the entire peninsula in El Fondo, not being found anywhere else on the continent. The duck also has one of the main population centers in the world in the park.”

Thus, the environmental value of this wetland is beyond doubt. Keep this in mind when you visit it, and try to transmit this value to your children, in case they accompany you. El Hondo is a natural space especially appreciated by bird lovers, who often visit us from the European continent to practice, with great enjoyment for them, Birdwatching or Birding (bird watching).

Documentary about El Hondo

If you want to know more about the avifauna of El Hondo, I encourage you to watch the excellent documentary that I show you below:

Inclusive route in the Hondo

As with the rest of the natural parks in the Valencian Community, El Fondo Natural Park has a series of official routes . We, on this occasion, are going to take the yellow route , a simple itinerary along a wooden walkway around the park’s Information Center.

Inclusive route in El Hondo
Route suitable for children, baby stroller and wheelchair in El Hondo

It is a circular route of just 1 kilometer , suitable for wheelchairs and baby strollers. It is, therefore, an inclusive route , which can be an excellent contact with this natural park located in the Vega Baja del Segura region.

The walk begins in the car park ―it has places for people with functional diversity― located at the entrance to the natural area, very close to the Visitor Center. From there, we follow an adapted path at all times (either on a wooden walkway or on a cement platform). At first we pass by the information center, which is worth visiting, housing an observatory and a museum inside.

Interior of the El Hondo Natural Park Visitor Center

After visiting the information center, we return outside to continue the tour. Attached to the building we find a picnic area with several tables, as well as a birdlife observatory , equipped with an interpretation panel to recognize the different species.

We continue the walk and, after visiting the botanical garden, the wooden walkway crosses the small lagoon that surrounds the information center. In the middle of the wetland, we find the elevated observatory , which has a couple of benches and a shaded roof. It only remains for us to continue along the footbridge to finish this simple circular excursion, an excellent contact with El Hondo.

Inclusive route in the El Hondo Natural Park
Wooden walkway in the El Hondo Natural Park

Track for GPS

Although it is not necessary, since it is a route that has no loss, we leave you here the track for gps via wikiloc.

How to get

Other Routes in El Hondo

All the official routes of the natural park begin at the Information Center and reception of visitors. They are the following:

➡️ Green Route: El Rincón and Saladar Lagoons
Circular route of 3.75 km. It can be considered an extension of the yellow route described in this article.

➡️ Blue Route: Azarbes de Dalt and Convention
Linear route of 16 kilometers, recommended to do by bicycle.

➡️ Red Route: Ornithological Route
Linear route of 5 kilometers that runs along the main channel of the park, starting at the North Gate.
To take this tour, it is essential to make an appointment in advance, by calling the Natural Park Information Center on the telephone number 96 667 85 15.

More information about these routes on the official website of El Fondo Natural Park .

Related Routes in LinkAlicante
Good practices
Respect other people and private property.
Respect flora, fauna and environment. Enjoy in Silence.
Always follow the trails. Tackling damages the environment.
Respect the Cultural Heritage (ruins, stone margins, etc).
Do not leave a trace of your passage, nor organic remains.
Find out, Plan and Equip yourself well to enjoy to the fullest.
Thanks!

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