BASQUE COAST GEOPARK (Spain)
The Basque Coast Geopark is located on the western coast of Gipuzkoa Province, within the Basque Country, in northern Spain and very close to France. The municipalities of Zumaia, Deba and Mutriku make up the geopark territory.
Conservation, Education & Tourism
The coastal outcrops of the Basque Coast Geopark reveal, layer by layer, a practically continuous record of some 60 million years of the history of our planet, including several ancient global crises and catastrophes. One of these layers marks the last of the five mass extinctions to have taken place over the course of the Earth’s history. This event (also known as the K-T or K-Pg extinction event), which was probably caused by a large asteroid striking the Earth some 65.5 million years ago in Chicxulub (Mexico), also led to the demise of the dinosaurs.
The geological and natural values of this stretch of coastline led to it being declared a Protected Biotope by the Basque Government. Since 2002, geotourism has developed successfully in the area, which now offers an expanding programme of scheduled activities on land, sea, or a combination of the two. The educational value of this environment is also very important, as shown by the success currently being enjoyed by initiatives such as the Algorri Interpretation Centre in Zumaia and the Nautilus Fossil Museum in Mutriku. Thus, this area allows comparisons to be drawn between past crises, extinctions and other events, with those we face today, thereby raising the awareness of the general public.
The Global Geoparks Network is supported by UNESCO at the request of Member States