Designated in 2003, the Estrecho Natural Park encompasses approximately 19,000 hectares, just over half of which protect a diverse range of terrestrial habitats including sand dunes, grasslands and oak woodlands. The remainder – over 9,000 hectares – protect marine habitats of global importance in both Mediterranean and Atlantic waters.
The Straits are just 14 kilometres across at their shortest point, and act as a natural bottleneck for numerous migratory species. The park is host to Western Europe’s largest bird migrations. Over 350 species of birds have been recorded here, with raptors, swifts, and passerines passing overhead in the hundreds of thousands.
Also of note are the important whale migrations which can be witnessed first hand in the summer months by taking a boat from Tarifa or Gibraltar.
A final mention should be given to the important archeological sites within the park: there are over 30 caves here, offering archeologists some of the best evidence for the study of Neanderthal and Paleolithic man. Other sites of note include the Roman settlement of Baelo Claudia.