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Northern Spain Birding Tour - 8 Days

Northern Spain Birding Tour

Birdwatching Trip to the Northern Part of Spain

This 7-day Northern Spain Birding Tour is a moderately paced trip available as a set departure. On the trip you can expect to see over 75 bird species and other magnificent wildlife, including Wild Boar, Roe Deer and Red Squirrels.  During this Northern Spain birding holiday you will be based at our boutique hotel, which has open views down the valley. Our extensive grounds and the surrounding area support many different bird species and during your stay you will have plenty of time to explore.

One of the highlights of this northern Spain birding tour is a visit to a hide to observe the magnificent Bearded Vulture. The hide is located on a mountainside, in arguably the best place in the world to see this bird. From this location we have a chance to photograph the Bearded Vulture in its natural environment. There's also be plenty of action with Griffon Vultures, and if we are lucky the resident pair of Golden Eagles may drop in!

"I had a terrific experience with Aragon Active on a group 'Birds of Northern Spain' excursion. Observing massive flocks of Griffon Vultures from the mountain conceals was an incredible pleasure... We were treated to skies filled with Cranes flying over us, calling to each other, and we even saw Great Bustards when we moved base to a lake in the southern part of Aragon... Simon and Lucy are full of knowledge about the local area, which they clearly care deeply for. They are lovely hosts and eager to make sure everyone has a good time. If you like mountains, good food and big birds then this is the place for you." - Ellen

From watching a wingspan of nearly 3m, we downsize to 30cm as we look for Wallcreepers, a further highlight of our northern Spain birding tour in the mountains. Before leaving the Pyrenees we will visit the Ordesa National Park, home of the Black Woodpecker, Firecrest, Crested Tit and many more songbirds.

Gallocanta Lagoon

Our second base on this northern Spain birding tour is by the Gallocanta lagoon. There we stay two nights at a traditional guest house owned by our local guide and specialist. The timings of our stays are designed to coincide with a true spectacle of nature, as twice a year between 20,000 – 60,000 Common Cranes gather at the lake on their migration. We will be up at dawn to see skeins of Cranes take to the skies. The sound and spectacle of the birds leaves a lasting impression on all who are lucky enough to see it.

The shores of the lake also support many other birds, including Great Bustards, Marsh Harriers, Hen Harriers, Little and Short-eared Owls, Dupont’s Larks and Black-bellied Sandgrouse. Whether you are a birder or simply love nature this trip is for you!

Northern Spain Birding Tour highlights include:

  • A unique opportunity to see the Bearded Vulture
  • A two-centre holiday staying in the beautiful Spanish Pyrenees and at Gallocanta lagoon, one of the most important wetland ecosystems in the Iberian Peninsula
  • The spectacle of the migration of the Common Crane

Like the sound of this northern Spain birding tour but want to do something a little more energetic? Why not have a look at our 7-day Northern Spain Wildlife Walking Holiday?

Alternative Tour Name: Birding Tour in Aragon
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival

Collection from Zaragoza and a transfer to our bases, either in the Pyrenees or at Gallocanta lagoon (this is to get the timing right for the migration of the Common Crane).

Day 2
Day 2 - Bearded Vulture & Wallcreeper

The mountain hides accommodate 4 people so we split into two groups. Group A visit the mountain hides to see raptors. Group B join our local guide to visit the grounds of the Wallcreeper.

Day 3
Day 3 - Bearded Vulture & Wallcreeper

The groups swap. Group A join our local guide to see the Wallcreeper. Group B visit the hides.

Day 4
Day 4 - Ordesa

We come together as a group and with our local guide, we visit the breathtaking valley of Ordesa in the National Park of Ordesa. This is the habitat of the Black Woodpecker as well as many different songbirds.

Day 5
Day 5 - Transfer to Gallocanta

We will break the journey south with two stops. One at a small reservoir where we hope to see Bearded Reedlings, and the second at an ornothological reserve in a classic steppe habitat. Our aim is to arrive at Gallocanta as dusk falls.

Day 6
Day 6 - Gallocanta

At dawn, we are at the lakeside where a cacaphony of chatter from the gathered Cranes heralds their readiness to leave. We will stay as skeins of Cranes fly over us, some continuing their migration others leaving the lagoon to feed.

We return for breakfast after which we continue to explore the lagoon shore. Both Marsh and Hen Harriers patrol the shore, Great Bustards are often in the fields in social units termed ‘droves,’ searching for food.

After lunch, we venture further afield to a different habitat where we hope to see a variety of larks as well as Black-bellied and Pin-tailed Sandgrouse. As the sun sets more Cranes to arrive at the lagoon.

Day 7
Day 7 - Departure

An option to go out before breakfast for anyone wishing to take in the spectacle of the Cranes once more. After breakfast, there is time for everyone to explore on their own. Corn Buntings are abundant and many other songbirds, as well as Short-eared and Little Owls.

We will meet up for a light lunch before setting off for Zaragoza and onward connections.

Wildlife Species expected to see:

Bearded Vulture (Lammergeier), Griffon Vulture, Golden Eagle, Red Kite, Black Kite, Common Buzzard, Bonelli’s Eagle, Short-eared Owl, Little Owl, Tawny Owl, Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Montagu’s Harrier, Kestrel, Alpine Chough, Red-billed Chough, Raven, Green Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Hawfinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Black Redstart, Firecrest, Goldcrest, Wren, Long-tailed Tit, Crested Tit, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Wallcreeper, Rock Sparrow, Serin, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Bearded Reedling, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Calandra Lark, Dupont’s Lark, Dipper, Fieldfare, Crag Martin, Common Crane, Great Bustard, White Stork, Pintail Duck, Pochard.

What is included?

  • All accommodation or lodgings based on private room with en-suite
  • No additional single occupancy costs
  • Professional English-speaking guides and support staff
  • Local transfers and all ground transport throughout the tour
  • Entrance fees to all National Parks and use of Hides
  • All meals
  • Snacks throughout the tour
  • Water throughout the tour
  • Selection of drinks including local beer, house wine, teas, coffees etc
  • All activities as specified within the tour itinerary
  • A professional telescope (to share)
  • All Applicable Taxes

What is not included?

  • All flights
  • Visa Fees (if applicable)
  • Travel & medical insurance (incl. personal equipment and repatriation)
  • Airport departure taxes or visa fees
  • Items of personal nature (incl. binoculars)
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Anything that is not mentioned in "What is included"
Wildlife Reviews
5 stars
- based on 2  reviews
  1. Fantastic experience
    Ellen10 Feb 2020







    I had a terrific experience with Aragon Active on a group 'Birds of Northern Spain' excursion. The views are breathtaking. Observing massive flocks of griffon vultures from the mountain conceals was an incredible pleasure. They were incredible, and I'll never forget them. We also saw some lovely lammergeiers. We were treated to skies filled with cranes flying over us, calling to each other, and we even saw great bustards when we moved base to a lake in the southern part of Aragon. The home-cooked food was excellent in both locations. As a vegetarian, I'm used to improvising when on vacation, but the food here was something I looked forward to every day! Simon and Lucy are full of knowledge about the local area, which they clearly care deeply for. They are lovely hosts and eager to make sure everyone has a good time. If you like mountains, good food and big birds then this is the place for you.
  2. Excellent holidays
    Edward10 Feb 2020







    After two wonderful vacations with Simon and Lucy in the last two years in May and June with my wife, I decided to take my dear buddy Keith on a birding trip in February. Simon greeted us at Zaragoza Airport and drove us north with four other passengers. The panorama as you reach the Pyrenees' foothills is breathtaking, but there isn't much snow this time, just beautiful skies. For the time of year, this is unusual. The first highlight of this short break was driving into the mountains and spending time in a hide watching magnificent Lammergeiers and numerous Griffon Vultures. This was a fantastic experience, and despite being a novice photographer, I was able to get some excellent images. There was free time to walk in Albella's peaceful and beautiful surroundings, with bonus sightings of Roe Deer and rare birds like Hawfinch and Woodlark. We spent a day searching for the rare Wallcreeper with the help of a guide. No joy, but it was discovered the next day. A journey south of Zaragoza to a lake where 30,000 cranes were spending the winter was the second main portion of the tour. The sight and sound of these birds was very breathtaking. There were many additional bird species to view, with the Short-Eared Owls and Great Bustards being my favorites. I admire Simon and Lucy's approach to developing their vacation rental property, with excellent food and hospitality along with their delightful daughters Penny and Sofi. If you enjoy nature, then i highly recommend this and indeed any other holiday Aragon Active have to offer.

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Why should I book with Aragon Active?

We offer a unique personal service and attention to detail that is second to none.

What is the type of accommodation?

Our main base is our own boutique hotel which offers an extremely high standard of accommodation. Large rooms, de-luxe ensuite bathrooms, relaxing communal rooms and wifi throughout. Outdoor terrace and extensive grounds. We have over 150 five star reviews on Tripadvisor. In the south of Aragon, we stay at a very comfortable guest house with private rooms all ensuite.

What is the food like?

All meals are included. We grow a lot of the produce ourselves in our organic vegetable patch. Cooking is our passion.

Special dietary requirements

We are very used to catering for all types of dietary requirements.

What forms of travel are involved in this tour?

All transfers and tours are in our air-conditioned 4x4 VW minibus.

Do you arrange airport pick up/drop off?

We collect and drop off in Zaragoza.

What are your group sizes?

Our maximum group size is 8 and 4 minimum.


See our website for terms & conditions including cancellation. https://aragonactive.com/activity-holiday-terms-and-conditions/

Booking & Payment

Booking & payment is very simple using our secure online booking system.

Peace of mind

We are Aragon Active travel agency CAA 304, licenced by the Government of Aragon. Our office is at Casa Allué, Calle San Urbez, 22371, Albella, Huesca, Spain.

What items do I need to bring?

We will send you a kit list once a booking has been made.

Should we bring credit cards and/or cash?

This tour is inclusive of all meals, drinks and refreshments. You should only need cash or credit cards to buy gifts or to leave a tip for the guide.

Join Our Fixed Tour Starting Date

Tour Dates Tour Availability From Price Spaces Left
26/10/2022 - 01/11/2022 available EUR 1,495
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8 Days

Price & Availability

EUR1,495 / per person
This tour is operated by: Aragon Active
4.98 based on 7 reviews

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Operator Review Summary

4.98 Based on 7 reviews

Tour Facts

  • Aragon Pyrennes , Steppes and Wetlands, Spain
  • Set Departure
  • Set Departure Tour
  • Birds
  • 4 to 8 pax
  • 7 Days
  • February & October
  • 18 years old
  • Moderate
  • English & Spanish
  • Aeropuerto de Zaragoza
  • Aeropuerto de Zaragoza