Sierra Mariola was declared a natural park on January 8, 2002. With an extension of 16,000 hectares, located between the regions of the Vall d'Albaida, the Alcoià and the Comtat, it is included in the municipalities of Agres, Alcoy, Alfafara, Banyeres, Bocairent, Cocentaina and Muro.
It stands out because of the abundant fountains, the numerous country houses and a great network of paths, which show the intense activity of the use of the natural resources carried out by its old inhabitants: nevateros, shepherds, woodcutters, etc.
One of the most important signs of identity of the park are the cavas, which were exploited between the 16th and 20th centuries: constructions for the storage of snow.
Other outstanding construction elements are the various farmhouses, castles and hermitages that we will find.
In its vegetable landscape, with more than 1,400 varieties of plants, it is a magnificent exponent of biodiversity of species with aromatic and medicinal properties: sage, camomile, thyme, cat's tail, St. John's wort, rock tea ... Many of these herbs are used in the production of drinks (herbal ...), as a culinary condiment, as a remedy for many different conditions, in the production of perfumes ... Most of the mountain range is covered with pine trees and bushes with heather, gorse, rockrose, holm oaks, yews ...
The fauna is made up of amphibians, reptiles, birds (finches, partridges, greens ... diurnal birds of prey such as the golden eagle, the peregrine falcon or the goshawk, and nocturnal birds such as the owl, tawny owl, owl ...) and mammals (wild boar, rabbit, wild cat, marten, weasel, genet, badger, fox ...).
We must also mention the Vinalopó river, which originates in Bocairent, and the Montcabrer peak, which is the highest in the park at 1,390 metres.