John and Gerry's    Orchids of Britain and Europe
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               Notable species :-

                             Anacamptis fragrans
                        Anacamptis papilionacea
                        Cephalanthera longifolia
                        Himantoglossum robertianum
                        Himantoglossum hircinum         
                        Neotinea intacta

                        Ophrys apifera                
                        Ophrys dyris
                        Ophrys fragrans
                        Ophrys forestieri
                        Ophrys fusca                       
                        Ophrys lucentina
                        Ophrys lutea
                        Ophrys picta
Ophrys scolopax
                        Ophrys tenthredenifera
                        Orchis anthropophora
                        Orchis simia
                        Orchis olbiensis
                        Orchis italica
                        Serapias lingua  

                          Orchis olbiensis
                                     Alicante Province
                               Ophrys lucentina
                                 Ophrys forestieri                           Ophrys tenthredenifera

Areas of interest

The Province of Alicante has become synonymous with tourism and the development associated with this has taken an enormous toll on the flora and fauna of the region. This damage is not restricted purely to the coastline but has been equally destructive further inland where up untill the banking chrisis, retiring northern Europeans snapped up appartments and villas as fast as they could be thrown together. Finding sizable areas of terrain that support significant orchid populations is not easy and outside of National Parks, orchid hunting largely relies on finding small enclaves of natural vegetation amongst the ghastly tourist infrastructure.

The most obvious way to locate natural habitat is to head for the mountains around Alcoleja and Confrides where both the CV-70 and C-770 roads traverse the hills and offer both attractive scenery and wild flowers. Orchids are not abundant but a good number of species are represented. Another smaller area of mountain terrain is to be found above the town of Jalon, from where the C-739 heads south, up into the hills. After some 3kms you will find the Maserof Inn, Winery and Museum which offers refreshment and parking. Immediately opposite the Inn is an abandoned meadow with occasional fruit trees and here you will find a good selection of the regions orchid species including Ophrys speculum, Ophrys lucentina, Ophrys bilunulata, Ophrys lutea, Ophrys scolopax, Ophrys tenthredenifera and Ophrys forestieri.

From the Inn the road meanders through high level scrub and old cultivation, offering many opportunities for further orchid exploration. Another productive site is the area of abandoned terraces opposite the Real de Bernia Restaurant where in addition to the species already mentioned, Orchis italica and Ophrys fusca can  be found. Other areas of development free countryside can be found to the north of the Province at La Granadella and in the Parc Natural del Montgo where orchids are present though not abundant.

As already mentioned, apart from in the more mountainous districts, orchids need to be sought in the few remaining untouched patches of natural vegetation and particularly abandoned fields or terraces that survive amidst the concrete. The C-748 from Liber to Pedreguer presents such possibilities and is a useful road to try.