The area of Monfragüe National Park is noted for its importance as a breeding area for a selection of rare and protected birds,

Monfragüe National Park

  • Region: Extremadura
  • Province: Cáceres
  • Declared a Natural Park: 1979
  • Upgraded to National Park: 2006
  • Park surface area: 18.852 hectares
  • Z.E.P.A (1988) Special Bird Protection Zone
  • Biosphere Reserve 2003

Points of interest

The area of Monfragüe National Park is noted for its importance as a breeding area for a selection of rare and protected birds, Black vulture, Black stork, Imperial eagle and Bonelli’s eagle.

Add to that the worlds most endangered wild cat, the Lynx which also resides here and one can see why it was upgraded from a natural to a national park.

The park altitudes range between 450 – 750m, covering an area 30km long and 7km wide. The habitat types are oak woods, scrub land, rocky out crops, river and reservoir plus dehesa.

The two rivers, Tajo and Tiétar, cut in from the east with their confluence inside the park. Rugged cliffs offer an ideal breeding ground for large birds of prey with extensive nearby plains for them to feed.

The impressive list of vertebrates for the park holds some 280 species.

Flora

Dehesas of evergreen Holm oak (Quercus rotundifolia) and Cork oak (Quercus suber) are an example of how man and nature can work together. These open fields with dispersed mixed oaks are where local and endemic wildlife thrive.

Scrublands hold Rockroses (Cistus ladanifer, C. salvifolius), Heathers (Erica sp), Spanish lavender (Lavandula stoechas) and Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo).

Rocky areas hold Prickly juniper (Juniperus oxycedrus), Turpentine tree (Pistacia terebinthus) and Wild olive (Olea sylvestris).

River banks have Alder (Alnus glutinosa) and Southern nettle tree (Celtis australis).

Other shrubs and small trees are Phillyrea latifolia, Phillyrea angustifolia, Acer monspessulanum and European serviceberry (Amelanchier ovalis).


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Fauna

Impressive raptors in the Monfragüe National Park can be seen overhead in any part of the park and surroundingss, including the endangered, Black vulture (Aegypius monachus), Imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti) and Bonelli’s eagle (Hieraaetus fasciatus). Griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus) are numerous with fewer numbers of Egyptian vulture, Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Short-toed eagle (Circaetus gallicus), Booted eagle (Aquila pennata), Eagle owl (Bubo bubo), Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) and Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus).

Two more on the endangered list are Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) and Red-necked nightjar (Caprimulgus ruficollis).

Other birds to look out for ( depending on the time of year) are White stork (Ciconia ciconia), Black-winged kite (Elanus caeruleus), Black kite (Milvus migrans), Bee-eater (Merops apiaster), Red-rumped swallow (Hirundo daurica rufula), Blue rock-thrush (Monticola solitarius), Black-eared wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica), Sardinian warbler (Sylvia melanocephala), Dartford warbler (Sylvia undata), Azure-winged magpie (Cyanopica cyana), Golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus), Woodchat shrike (Lanius senator), Hoopoe (Upupa epops), Rock bunting (Emberiza cia), Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis), Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia), Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus), Purple heron (Ardea purpurea) and Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax ).

Monfragüe National Park is one of a handful of locations in Europe where White-rumped Swift (Apus caffer) breeds.

Mammals

Some mammals of the park are Red, Roe and Fallow deer, Mouflon, Wild Boar, Fox, Badger, Wildcat, Genet, Polecat, Beech marten and Iberian hare also the very shy Otter (Lutra lutra) and Egyptian mongoose (Herpestes ichneumon) plus the rare and elusive Iberian Lynx (Lynx pardinus).

Also in the area

  • Outside the village are ruins of the 12th century Castle of Monfragüe and Chapel of Our Lady overlooking the river Tagus.
  • Puente del Cardenal is built from granite rock beginning around 1450. The bridge has two semicircular arches and circular cutwaters.
  • Murciélagos Caves contain prehistoric remains including a series of schematic cave paintings.
  • Dont miss the road that passes by the “Salto de Gitano”

Information/Visitors Centers

Villarreal de San Carlos
Address: Villarreal de San Carlos, 16, 10695 Serradilla, Cáceres

An excellent interpretation centre for the Monfragüe National Park well worth a visit.

Torrejón el Rubio

The village of Torrejón el Rubio has a good tourist office with staff that know the area well.


Wildside Holidays – Spain

The top wildlife, activity and walking holiday companies in Spain. Small family companies living and working in Spain. Local guides are the best!

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