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Villuercas Ibores Jara Geopark

The Villuercas Geopark features an isolated mountain range in the southeast of the province of Cáceres, in the Spanish Extremadura region. The area is named after its highest peak, La Villuerca (1,601m). It affords a magnificent vista that includes the famous Monastery of Guadalupe. This unique landform is characterized by structurally controlled morphological features, and an intensely folded and fractured landscape. The Geopark covers a broad period of geological time and features the oldest rocks in Europe, from the Ediacaran, Cambrian, Ordovician, and Silurian periods between 650 and 400 million years ago. The Geopark is also rich in natural heritage including protected birds, biodiversity corridors and monumental trees. These elements are complimented by vestiges of a mining culture and decorated menhir stones, or monoliths, dating back to the Bronze and Iron ages. 

The Global Network of National Geoparks was launched in 2004 with UNESCO’s support to encourage cooperation between geological heritage experts and practitioners. To be selected as Geoparks, sites must contain geological heritage of exceptional scientific and educational importance, rarity or beauty. They must also possess an effective management structure, clearly defined boundaries and a sufficiently large area to permit significant sustainable economic development, primarily through tourism.