There are sixteen areas designated national parks in Spain. Ten are in the Iberian Peninsula, four are in the Canary Islands and one is in the Balearic Islands. National parks are different to natural parks in that the area they cover is predominantly wilderness with less human impact in their history and evolution. Natural parks on the other hand are areas of outstanding natural beauty and biodiversity that have also been shaped in someway by human occupation, agriculture etc. It goes without saying that they are obvious destinations for wildlife enthusiasts like myself but untill one visits one or all of these parks it is hard to imagine the incredibly biodiversity of these areas located on the iberian peninsular and Spanish islands.
I’ve known Lisa Stuart for quite a few years now, when, before facebook overtook the world she was an active member of a forum created by nature lovers in Spain called iberianature. I even had the immense privelege of staying in the guesthouse she runs along with husband Mike in the Picos de Europa of Northern Spain. There really are few “true” local guides as knowedgable as Lisa and her team living and working in Spain.
So, if you are thinking of visiting this stunning area of Spain then there really is no excuse for not starting your research on the website created by Lisa for the Picos de Europa. It’s packed with nature and wildlife information and, of course, is the starting point for finding a guided wildlife holiday, a skiing holiday, self catering accomodation or self guided holidays in the area.
I absolutely love the style and ethics of this company that have been running guided walking along the Camino de Santiago since 1996….
To be going so long they certainly must be doing something right! Along with guided walking you have language courses, cooking courses, yoga and retreats. All set in their stunning hotel in rural Asturias. Highly knowledgable LOCAL guides who know the history, wildlife and culture of the area is the ONLY way to get the best out of a trip to this stunning part of northern Spain….
This is a golden month, as most annual flowers have finished their colourful phase, produced their seed heads and dried completely to a straw colour. Although if you look in the right places there are still flowers to be found; watercourses, irrigated areas, animal watering troughs, damp meadows and high mountains will offer the best selection. However, this is also a good month to see insects such as dragonflies, mantis and bushcrickets! Continue reading August flowers in the Sierra de Grazalema→
There will be a marked difference between the first and second parts of this month as plants succumb to the heat and set their seeds. Areas that have held high moisture levels during the winter and spring will now come into their own with ribbons of bright pink Oleanders mapping the watercourses with Penny Royal and Apple Mint accompanying them. Climbing higher, aromatic herbs tucked into rock crevices in the mountains will be attracting bees and butterflies with their nectar rich blooms. Continue reading July flowers in the Sierra de Grazalema→
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