Sierra Helada – Alicante
The Sierra Helada (in Valencian Serra Gelada) is a Spanish protected natural area located in the province of Alicante, in the Valencian Community. It is part of the network of natural parks of the Valencian Community since July 29, 2005. It is formed by an impressive relief, which rises steeply from the plain of Benidorm and Alfaz del Pi. The mountain range gives rise on its coastal front to cliffs over 300 m high and is home to pockets of vegetation of exceptional value, such as the interesting hanging fossil dune and the peculiar vegetation that colonizes it. In addition, the mountain range shares several botanical endemisms with the neighboring Peñón de Ifach.
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The numerous species of fish, crustaceans and other invertebrates that find in these bottoms the right conditions to thrive, make that, together with its natural value, there is an undeniable economic interest due to its character as a fishing resource.
The greatest uniqueness of the area is probably due to the fact that these exceptional natural conditions are found in a very popular tourist environment. Hence the figure of natural park is ideal to achieve the objectives of the declaration of this space, based on the need to balance socioeconomic development with the conservation of resources and values of natural areas. In 2006, some 131,000 people visited it, which is far more than all the parks in the Valencian Community, including several national parks.