This forest space bordering the Mediterranean coast has 800 hectares (almost 2,000 acres). Originally, it was a set of moving sand dunes that were fixed planting different species such as pine, palm, cypresses and eucalyptus trees.
At the end of the 19th century, the dunes were advancing into the town at a rate of between 2 and 8 meters per year. To fix this, a reforestation project was lead by the forest engineer Francisco Mira Botella. The reforestation, which began in 1900 and ended in the 1930s, has given rise to the current consolidated coastal forest mass, known as ‘la pineda’ or ‘pinewoods’. In it a nursery and several forest buildings – from the early 20th century – are preserved.
More than 600,000 trees were planted over four decades creating a landscape environment of extraordinary ecological, tourist and cultural appeal. A museum in the city centre celebrates the work of Mira.
MIRA HOUSE MUSEUM
Known as ‘The Forest House’, it is dedicated to the memory of Mr. Francisco Mira Botella, the renowned engineer, his work and the history of the Guardamar Reforestation Plan. On show there is a wide photographic collection, furniture and fixtures related to the reforestation of the dunes carried out under his management and supervision.