Ortegal Cape Geopark Project

Cariño county borough is located in a place model of spanish and european geology: Ortegal Cape Complex. This complex is formed principally by allochthonous materials , situated in a different place from its origins. To visit this zone is to make a travel inside the Earth. There are not so many places with the privilege to show rocks this way.

It's genesis starts 490 millions of years ago, in the Superior Cambric, with the formation of the Rheic Ocean, dividing Laurusia from Gondwana, whom collide later due to  Variscan Orogeny, becoming a great mountain range with more than 3000 kilometres long and mountains high of 8000 metres. As a result of this collision it was originated Pangaea, an unique continent.

So actually we have facing us the traces of a colossal mountain range, who even swept along materials forming part of the ancient ocean, Oceanic Crust and Earth's Crust, present over 70 km depth.

Then, this lithologic singularity is represented by salient outcrops of Eclogites and Pyroxenites, considered the biggest in the world. It exists a good presence of Ultramafic rocks too, and different kind of Granulites.

This lithologic ensemble, very unusual in Earth surface, makes this area a referent in scientific and informative level.

It exists several Places with Geological Interest (LIG) in our municipality, for example Herbeira Range, Limo Range, Os Aguillós Point, Fornos Beach, A Miranda Mountain or the Ría of Cariño-Ortigueira (estuary).

A Geopark is a legal concept recognized by the UNESCO who place value on the singular geological patrimony of an area. Furthermore significant geological resources, geoparks are places with a great ethnographic, ecological and cultural where it is possible to develop educational projects and touristic promotion of its natural resources. Thus, creation and operation of a Geopark must take into account as basic fundamentals the geological heritage, the geoconservation and local development.

Possibilities as Ortegal Cape as Geopark

  1. Ortegal Cape Complex is a reference in spanish and european geology.
  2. Great amount of scientific publications about the area reveal its high interest in geology, geomorphology, soil science , biology or archeology, but an historic, cultural, sportive or gastronomic areas as well.
  3. The territory of the Ortegal Cape Geopark Project covers seven municipalities:  Cariño, Cedeira, Cerdido, Moeche, San Sadurniño, Ortigueira and Valdoviño, thus its indexing process as a Geopark will serve as socioeconomic engine for the area, rising the knowledge and touristic potential of Galicia.
  4. UNESCO values specially scientific tourism development, geotourism, natural environment conservation and the collaboration between the rest of the members of the European and Global Geopark network.
  5. One of the firsts didactic-touristic initiatives, linked with the scientific tourism, are the georoutes or geological routes inside of the territory of the park, establishing a total of 19 geological routes running through the most valuables geological sites.

 * (text taken from the brochure“Proyecto Geoparque del Cabo Ortegal”)