Baix Vinalopó

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Baix Vinalopó
Comarca
Mapa del Baix Vinalopó.png
Coordinates: 38°15′42″N 00°42′11″W / 38.26167°N 0.70306°W / 38.26167; -0.70306Coordinates: 38°15′42″N 00°42′11″W / 38.26167°N 0.70306°W / 38.26167; -0.70306
Country  Spain
Autonomous community  Valencian Community
Province Alicante
Capital Elx/Elche
Municipalities
Area
 • Total 488.78 km2 (188.72 sq mi)
Population (2009)
 • Total 267,954
 • Density 550/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Largest municipality Elx/Elche

The Baix Vinalopó (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈbajʒ vinaloˈpo], locally: [ˈbaʒ vinaloˈpo]; Spanish: Bajo Vinalopó) is a comarca in the province of Alicante (Valencian Community, Spain). It is bordered by the comarques of Vinalopó Mitjà and Alacantí on the north and Vega Baja del Segura on the south. Its capital is the city of Elx/Elche, with a population of some 230,000 people live. The other major towns in the comarca are Crevillent and Santa Pola.

Vinalopó river flows through this comarca giving its name to it (Baix Vinalopó is Valencian for "Lower Vinalopó"), even though nowadays is just a tiny stream more than a proper river. The territory is mostly flat except for some of the last ranges belonging to the Baetic System which appear here near the border with the neighbouring comarcas Vinalopó Mitjà, following a general southwest-northeast trend. The highest peaks are found in the Serra de Crevillent, a mountain range close to Crevillent, being its highest the Sant Gaietà with its 816 metres, a local hiking attraction.

Its climate is dry, with scarce rainfalls—below the Mediterranean climate threshold—which happen mostly in Autumn and Spring amounting an average of 250–300 mm per year and showing relatively warm mean temperatures. Among the herbaceous species, esparto and shrub deserve to be mentioned due to their industrial value in the past. Some important natural places are the swamps in the lower part of the comarca known as El Fondo Natural Park and the Salines de Santa Pola Natural Park, both Ramsar sites.

The comarca is highly industrial, especially in its capital, Elx/Elche, and also in the town of Crevillent. Agriculture is also an important activity in the area. In the coastline around Santa Pola the main activity is tourism, fisheries and sea salt.

Torre de Tamarit in Salines de Santa Pola Natural Park