Due to its great physiographic and faunal diversity, the natural heritage of Villena is of great importance in the province of Alicante. Its landscapes, dominated by a rocky and limestone ecosystem, have a rich environmental value that is apparent in an ecosystem with Meseta and Mediterranean characteristics.

The Sierra de Salinas stands out because of its altitude and extension, populated by holm- oak groves, pine forests and fauna among which the common genet, the wild cat or the wild boar stand out. There is also a large population of birds of prey such as the eagle owl, the tawny owl and the golden eagle. In addition, it has a micro-reserve of flora in the Lagrimal Cave, with protected species such as the star thistle and the perennial pepper weed.

Other outstanding mountain ranges are the Morrón, to the north, the Peña Rubia, to the south, and the Sierra de la Villa or San Cristobal, on which part of the urban centre lies. Here we can find Aleppo pine, rosemary, juniper, thyme or gorse.

The vast area of ​​Los Cabezos extends towards Yecla and Caudete, a relief with rounded hills shaped by wind weathering that houses an interesting Iberian gypsiferous vegetation and scrubland. Plants capable of withstanding the stressful gypsiferous habitat and the climatic contrast of the high summer temperatures and the severe winter frosts; such as the common soapwort, limonium supinum, the felty germander, the smooth rupturewort and immortelle (everlasting). In addition, there is a fragment of steppe-type vegetation with plants such as mugwort or the Maltese Fungus. Species that can be seen in the flora micro-reserve located next to Cabezo Redondo and in which the toothcarp, an endemic fish species in danger of extinction, has been reintroduced.

The abundant waters that flowed throughout the area, along with the characteristics of the basin, led to the existence in the past of an extensive sheet of water, known as the Villena Lagoon, which was drained at the beginning of the 19th century. These inland salt flats are fed by springs whose waters have a salinity much higher than that of seawater, so a large evaporation surface is not necessary. As in the coastal salt flats, there is a circuit of salt basins, or Saleros, which are intentionally connected by small gates and as the water travels through it evaporates and the saline deposits gradually become concentrated until the sodium chloride reaches crystallization point. The three salt basins are: Salero Viejo or Salero de la Redonda, Salero de Penalva and those of Salero Nuevo, also known as Salero de Requena or Salero de la Fortuna. The origin of the first two is lost in time, but the last one however is more recent.

Treat nature well:

  • Leave the place clean. Dispose of your rubbish and if possible, any that you come across, in the nearest town.
  • Follow the track. Do not take shortcuts. The ecosystem will welcome this gesture.
  • Fire is the mountainside’s worst enemy. Do not light fires and if you do not smoke, even better. Breathe pure air.
  • Respect the plants. Do not pick flowers or plants: take notes, take photos.
  • Observe animals without disturbing them. If you take your dog along, take responsibility for it.
  • Respect private property. Cross farmland using the trails.
  • Use recreational facilities correctly. Do not damage them, follow the basic rules of behaviour.
  • Forget about motor vehicles. Noise is a form of pollution. Enjoy the silence.