Looking for Wildlife & Walking Holidays in Spain? Wildside Holidays publishes information pages about theNatural and National parks in Spain. Information about wildlife in Spain and where to find it. Just look in the right hand column for the Spanish regions or the top menu for the wildlife pages.
Sustainable rural and wildlife tourism in Spain is a major key to wildlife and habitat protection. There are many studies showing how wildlife tourism can impact local economies, habitats and the wildlife it contains in a very positive way.
In the left column you will find links to some of the top INDEPENDENT activity holiday companies in Spain.
If you are travelling without a walking or wildlife guiding company in Spain then we highly reccommend booking.com for your hotel and accommodation needs.
You can also reserve trains and buses using the booking box of OMIO located in the right hand column of all pages.
A huge thank you to everyone that uses the links on these pages to reserve a hotel or transport in Spain. The small commission we receive helps a lot. Thankyou!
Looking for Wildlife & Walking Holidays in Spain? Wildside Holidays is the answer!
Spain has to rate as one of the best countries in in Europe for bird and wildlife watching. A destination with over 15 million hectares of protected areas and natural parks plus Spain is a strategic location on the avian migratory routes between Europe to Africa
Spain hosts huge forests and rocky mountain peaks where large birds of prey soar freely. There are wetlands where waterfowl find their home. Hundreds of nature parks and nature reserves teeming with birds and other wildlife.
If you need a bucket list for Spain then here is my top 10 for bird and wildlife watching in Spain. I have visited them all and would gladly return many times to all of them!
Just click the name of the park to find out much more information.
Cabañeros is considered a Special Protection Area for Birds and is protected within the framework of the Natura 2000 Network. Famous for black vulture, griffon vulture, Iberian imperial eagle, Bonnelli’s eagle and black stork. With summer residents this park teems with birdlife.
Monfragüe is, without a doubt, one of the best places in Spain for bird watching and especially for birds of prey. Every year this area also hosts the International Ornithological Tourism Fair, which attracts bird lovers from all over the world. Top of the list here is black stork, griffon vulture, imperial eagle, eagle owl, Egyptian vulture and short-toed eagle.
A Special Protection Area for birds. And, although there are many species, this national park can boast of being home to the largest colonies of shag and yellow-legged gull in the entire country. The park has strategically located hides.
The Doñana National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and there are more than 300 species listed. Some are sedentary and others migratory so the time of year greatly influences what species you will see. In spring there are organized visits and every year the International Bird Fair of Doñana is held. The ecosystems are varied between dunes and marshes and it is home to black storks, flamingos, purple herons, coots, bee-eaters and a seemingly endless number of different birds.
The Gallocanta Lagoon is around 1,000 meters above sea level and is one of the most important saline lakes in Western Europe. This lake is on the migratory route for the common crane. October / November and February / March are the best times to visit this area. Guided tours of the nature reserve are also organized from the Gallocanta Lagoon Interpretation Center.
An absolute biological jewel and the most important wetland in Catalonia. Famous for its large and permanent colony of flamingos plus an excellent number of aquatic birds totaling more than 325 species
This Cantabrian natural park is considered one of the places with a huge biological diversity containing around 120 different species including grebes, cormorants, herons, loons, terns, ospreys, coots and white storks.
The best time to visit the Villafáfila Lagoons is in winter or spring. This is an area of special protection for birds that make their home in the wetlands amongst the arable farmland. There are several viewpoints and hides. Grebe, white stork an cranes can be seen but the area is famous for the geese that use the area as a rest stop during their winter migration.
L’Albufera holds a great variety of aquatic birds. Its shores are protected for nesting and shelter for birds and the best months to find them are May, June, July, November, December and January. Look out for European rail, Purple galinule, common tern and black-footed tern.
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!
If you are looking at this website on a laptop or desktop then in the left hand column you will see the links to some of the finest walking, wildlife and activity companies in Spain. (If you are on a mobile or tablet then just scroll down untill you come to the list of businesses.)
Pretty much all of them have a blog and also a newsletter system to keep you up to date with whats going on in their area.
Of course a website, blog or facebook page that is updated on a regular basis is a very positive sign of a professional and trustworthy company. Online presence is very important nowadays.
Follow the links and find the right company for you for your next wildlife, walking and activity holiday in Spain.
Here are a few examples. 🙂
The shortest hiking season ever! say Hike Pyrenees but they still managed to get a few hikes with some guests.
I really like this blog, it’s packed with usefull information and some brilliant photos.
How about Spring Cycling in Catalonia with Creative Catalonia?
The skies are blue, the wildflowers are all shades of reds, yellows and purples, and all of these colours are offset by the amazing green of the pine trees. Who wouldn’t want to hop on a bike and go for a pedal?
The Sierra de Andujar natural park lays in the central part of the Sierra Morena and is a semi-mountainous area with peaks ranging between 500 to 1290m, the highest peak being Burcio del Pino.
The densely wooded areas maintain their natural Mediterranean vegetation. The northern edge borders with Ciudad Real, a province of Castilla la Mancha. To the west is the Cardeña y Montoro natural park, the two parks only being separated by the river Yeguas. There are two reservoirs in the eastern side of the park, Embalse del Jándula and Embalse El Encinarejo.
There are also two game hunting reserves that connect with the parks borders.
The park holds four threatened species, Pardel lynx, Wolf, Imperial eagle and Black vulture.
Holm (Quercus ilex) Gall (Q. faginea) and Cork oaks (Q. suber) with a natural thicket of Strawberry trees (Arbutus unedo), Lentisc (Pistacia lentiscus), Myrtle (Myrtus communis), Wild olives (Olea europaea subsp. oleaster), Kermes oak (Quercus coccifera), Thyme, Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Calamint (Calamintha nepeta) form the native undisturbed Mediterranean tapestry. The Sierra Quintana has an excellent area of Atlantic oak woodland (Quercus atlantica).
Willows, Poplars, Oleanders and Alder trees are part of the selection seen on the rivers banks. Stone pines (Pinus pinea) also form important woodlands here and edible pine kernels are still harvested in this area.
There are several unusual plants in the park to note, such as Frangula alnus subsp. baetica, Digitalis purpurea subsp. heywoodii, Coincya longirostra and Jasione crispa subsp. Mariana.
Finda a place to stay in the Sierra de Andujar
This is one of the few remaining habitats where the endangered Pardel lynx and Wolf can roam.
If you are really interested in seeing Iberian lynx then get in touch with Mick Richardson for Granada Wildlife.
Important species for game hunting in the area are the Wild boar, Mouflon, Red, Fallow and Roe deer. Mongoose, Remember that hunting is strictly controlled in this area and is a part of the conservation strategy for thenatural park
Wild cat and Fox are amongst the nocturnal mammals with elusive Otters on the river banks.
At the high rocky crags to the north of the park are Griffon and Egyptian vultures, Golden and Imperial eagle plus Red-billed chough. There are Azure-winged magpies and near to the water are Golden orioles, Nightingale, Purple and Grey herons.
Also in the area
The town of Andújar, south of the park, has a Roman bridge of 15 arches spanning the Guadalquivir river.
There are wonderful views from the 13thC sanctuary built on a towering crag, La Virgen de la Cabeza. There is a pilgrimage which makes its way to the sanctuary from Andújar on the last Sunday of April each year. “La Romería de la Virgen de la Cabeza” is the largest festival of Andújar with around half a million participants.
The Viñas de Peñallana visitor centre is at the entrance to the Nature Park is on the J5010 Andújar-Santuario Virgen de la Cabeza road.
It offers visitors an introduction to the different types of landscape to be found in the area and to the numerous animal species they support.
The Iberian lynx is perhaps the Park’s most emblematic species. Visitors can follow its tracks to discover its habitat and learn about its behaviour and about the problems which have made it the most threatened species of feline on Earth.
The centre also provides information about the lifestyles and history of the Park’s human inhabitants, explaining how their respectful exploitation of the area’s natural resources has contributed towards the conservation of important environments in places like the Sierras de Andújar.
The Sierra Nevada mountain range in Andalusia is a section of the Betic Cordillera and runs parallel to the Mediterranean sea for around 100km.
The temperature range is dramatic with the summits under snow for many months, followed by a hot Mediterranean style summer. This creates special microclimates across the exposed rocky summits, glacial lakes, sheer sided gorges, mixed oak woods, pine woods and fast rivers with wooded banks.
Declared a National Park in 1998 and encompassing an area of 86,208 hectares it is a popular destination throughout the year. It holds an exceptional variety of animal and plant life due to the combination of altitude and its proximity to the Mediterranean sea.
Find a hotel in the area
These mountains were formed during the Tertiary Period (65 to 1.8 million years ago), at the same point as the Atlas Mountains in Morocco and the European Alps. This mountain building event is called the Alpine Orogeny. The uplift happened as the African plate moved northwards colliding with the Eurasian plate. The Sierra Nevada mountains consist of mainly metamorphic rocks such as Gneiss and Mica schist. Many of the rocks are juxtaposed and mixed up due to intense faulting and folding during the compression of the two tectonic plates.
A semi-mountainous area, set between two other natural parks, which together form an extended protected range. To the east is Sierra de Aracena y Picos de Aroche in Huelva province. To the west is Sierra de Hornachuelos in Cordoba province.
The Sierra Norte de Sevilla shares with its neiighbouring parks endangered creatures such as the Lynx, Black stork and Imperial eagle. Evergreen oak trees dominate the terrain, interspersed with meadows or dehesas.
This sparsely populated area has two lakes and rolling hills with winding country lanes.
The Huesna river, which holds both common and rainbow trout, has a waterfall that’s been declared a National Heritage site. It is near the source of the river (nacimiento del Río Huesna) close to the village of San Nicolás del Puerto.
Find a hotel in the Sierra Norte de Sevilla
A second National Heritage site is El Cerro del Hierro, a mine in the Roman era and further exploited until the beginning of the twentieth century. It is a combination of open mining, water filled pits and natural Karst landscape with rich mineral content.