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Home > Tours> Pyrenees Butterflies, Raptors & Wildlife Tour, Spain

Pyrenees Butterflies, Raptors & Wildlife Tour, Spain - 8 Days

Pyrenees Butterflies, Raptors & Wildlife Tour, Spain
1495

Wildlife Tour in Search of Butterflies & Raptors in the Pyrenees

Join us on this unique 8-day Pyrenees Butterflies, Raptors & Wildlife Tour which is leisurely paced and available either as a set departure or on request trip to the heart of the Spanish Pyrenees. You will be exploring an area that is surely one of the best-kept secrets in Europe. It is ideal for any naturalist with an interest in all aspects of the natural world.

On our Pyrenees butterflies, birds and other wildlife adventure you will have a unique opportunity to see one of the most impressive raptors in the world at very close quarters - the Bearded Vulture of Lammergeier. That may be enough of an experience for some people but, unforgettable though it may be, it is just one of the exciting raptors we will see. Others include the Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Golden Eagle and Short-toed Eagle.

From these giants the Pyrenees birding switches focus to the tiny Firecrest and the iconic Wallcreeper. And, as the name of the tour implies, it isn’t just iconic birds that will be our targets. We will also be aiming to see amazing butterflies and insects, guided by a local lepidopterist. Species will include the Apollo butterfly (Parnassius apollo), one of the most threatened butterflies in Europe. It will also seek out the holy grail for all moth enthusiasts, the Spanish Moon Moth (Graellsia isabellae).

In this Pyrenees butterflies wildlife tour your base will be our boutique hotel, surrounded by nature and within the UNESCO Geopark of Sobrabre, a site of international geological importance. You will be pampered by spacious rooms, ensuite bathrooms, superb food - sourced locally or from our own organic vegetable patch - and quality wines from the nearby Somontano region. Once you are here everything is included, even meals out and refreshments! We also charge no single supplement.

Add to all of this the wide-open mountain views from our room's balconies and our proximity to the stunning National Park of Ordesa and the Natural Park of Sierra de Guara, and you will not be surprised to hear that our guests return time and time again.

It isn’t just the quality of our accommodation; we are painstaking in our attention to detail when planning our tours. We want our tours to stand out from the crowd. That’s why we have over 150 Five Star reviews on TripAdvisor!

Pyrenees Butterflies, Raptors & Wildlife Tour highlights include:

  • Close views of Bearded Vultures
  • Dozens of amazing butterflies, including Parnassius apollo
  • The highly desirable Spanish Moon Moth (Graellsia isabellae)

If you’d like to try an alternative tour, look at what this Northern Spain Birding Tour has to offer.

Alternative Tour Name: Tour Title Raptors, butterflies and wildlife of the Spanish Pyrenees
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival

Arrival at Casa Allué. Introduction and meet your hosts, Simon and Lucy.

Relax over a drink and nibbles before dinner.

Day 2
Day 2 - Mountain | Birding

Breakfast

An early start as we head into the mountains, leaving at 7.30 am.

This is the first of two trips to the hides to see the majestic, bearded vulture. The hides can only accommodate 4 people at a time, so we will split the group.

Group A: will spend 4-5 hours in the hides. The position of the hides, on a mountainside facing the Pyrenees, is a favorite with professional wildlife photographers. A fantastic opportunity to photograph different raptors or just marvel at the spectacle! As well as the impressive Bearded vultures (a huge raptor with a wingspan of nearly 3metres), we will also see Griffon vultures, Red and Black kites, Egyptian vultures, and quite probably Golden eagle.

Group B: we will stay for a coffee at a nearby restaurant and watch the birds circle above before they then descend to the feeding area in front of the hides. This is an amazing sight in itself, as normally over 100 birds fill the sky above our heads.

As the feeding frenzy starts and the birds are on the ground we will make our way higher up the mountain. We will visit a neolithic dolmen and walk a circular route around three chapels. This is an area where we can see the Apollo butterfly, Stonechat, Firecrest, Goldcrest, and of course raptors.

The two groups’ rendezvous at the restaurant where we will stay for lunch.

After lunch, we visit a medieval town and the region's headquarters for the Bearded vulture foundation (an NGO we support). We finish off the day with a tour of their bird sanctuary attached to the NGO.

Dinner in Albella.

Day 3
Day 3 - Natural Park of Sierra de Guara | Returning to our Base in Albella

Breakfast

A leisurely start as we head south to the Natural Park of Sierra de Guara. This is a very different climate and ecosystem, much dryer and more Mediterranean than our base in Albella. Here we will meet our lepidopterist and local expert. An authority on bugs. Be prepared to be amazed as we follow him along our chosen track with his net in hand, darting and running after different specimens along the verge sides.

The morning over, we will stop at a nearby bar for our picnic and enjoy a drink in this delightful hamlet.

After lunch, we visit some nearby meadows which attract an array of different butterflies.

If time permits, we will visit the third habitat for butterflies, before returning to our base in Albella.

Dinner on the terrace.

Day 4
Day 4 - Open Farmland | Small Birds Watching

Breakfast

An 8 am departure as we head west to meet our guide and ornithologist. We start the day in open farmland. The focus is on small birds. This is a circular walk taking us initially across farmland, and then above a river before finally arriving at a viewing point overlooking a large reservoir. This is the territory for Woodchat shrike and Wryneck, as well as European bee-eaters and Spanish sparrows.

After a full morning bird spotting, we will move further west, where we will have our picnic in a shaded area before finding a bar for refreshments.

After lunch, our tour continues as we look for Egyptian vultures, summer visitors from Africa. Egyptian vultures tend to be associated with livestock and barns.

The afternoon over we will make our way back to Albella. If time allows, we will stop for a swim on the way home!

Dinner on the terrace.

Day 5
Day 5 - Raptors Birding

An early start as we head into the mountains – leaving at 7.30 am.

This is the second of our two trips to the hides to see the majestic, bearded vulture.

On day 2, the group will split into A and B and reverse the activity.

The only difference today is that after our rendezvous at the restaurant we will travel the small distance to a remote village to have our picnic lunch.

After lunch, we will do an out and back walk along a gorge that takes in three viewing balconies. This is a unique opportunity to see raptors flying below us, or even at eye level. The views here are quite stunning.

Back at the van, we will make our way back to Albella.

Dinner on the terrace.

Day 6
Day 6 - Highest Point in the Mountains | Monte Perdido

An early start – leaving at 7.30 am.

Today we go to our highest point in the mountains. We will be using a 4x4 track which is the highest in the Spanish Pyrenees, and which will give us breath-taking views across to Monte Perdido (at 3355m, it is the highest limestone massif in Europe).

Parking our 4-wheel drive minibus we will continue on foot to the top of the ridge. Here in summer, we can see the Wallcreeper. This is also Chamois and Marmot territory, and where there are Marmots there are Golden eagles, so we need to keep one eye on the sky. If possible, let the other eye scan for the Apollo butterfly as this is the ideal habitat!

Picnic lunch on the mountain.

Day 7
Day 7 - Butterflies and Insects

Breakfast

A leisurely start as we allow the day to warm up for butterflies.

Our butterfly and insect expert is back with us today.

In the morning we will take a number of the local trails to see what butterflies and insects are about, broken up with coffee and refreshments.

A late lunch will be a traditional paella cooked on the terrace.

We have created a butterfly-friendly planting scheme around the hotel so the afternoon will be spent relaxing and enjoying the plethora of butterflies and insects that abound.

As darkness falls we will set a moth trap and then go to the edge of the woods to see if we can encounter the beautiful Spanish moon moth.

There will be a light buffet-style supper.

Day 8
Day 8 - Last Day

Breakfast

After breakfast and with our expertise we will examine and release the moths caught in the moth trap the night before.

At mid-day, we prepare for departure and onward journeys home.

Wildlife species expected to see:

Butterflies & Moths

Southern scarce swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthamelii ),Red underwing skipper (Spialia Sertorius), Safflower skipper (Pyrgus carthami), Small skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Southern marbled skipper (Carcharodus baeticus), Large sipper (Ochlodes Sylvanus), Safflower skipper (Pyrgus carthami), Wooded white (Leptidea sinapis), Bath white (Pontia daplidice), Common brimstone yellow (Gonepteryx rhamni), Berger’s clouded yellow (Colias alfacariensis), Clouded yellow (Colias crocea), Moroccan orange tip (Anthocharis euphenoides), Provence orange tip (Anthocharis euphenoides), Western dappled white (Euchloe crameri), Large white or cabbage white (Pieris brassicae), Small cabbage white (Pieris rapae), Black-veined white (Aporia crataegi), Duke of Burgundy fritillary (Hamearis Lucina), Green hairstreak (Callophrys rubi), Small Blue (Cupido minimus), Osiris Blue (Cupido osiris) , Chequered Blue (Scolitantides orion), Black eyed Blue (Glaucopsyche melanops) – females are darker, Spanish purple hairstreak (Laeosopis roboris demissa), Sloe hairstreak (Satyrium acaciae fumosus) , Holly blue (Celastrina argiolus) , Mazarine Blue (Cyaniris semiargus), Amanda’s Blue (Polyommatus amandus), Silver-studded blue (Plebejus argus) , Common blue (Polyommatus Icarus), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Speckled wood (Pararge aegeria), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Cardinal (Argynnis pandora) , Dark green fritillary (Argynnis aglaja) , Twin-spot fritillary (Brenthis Hecate), Marbled fritillary (Brenthis daphne), Knapweed fritillary (Melitaea phoebe occitanica)  , Meadow fritillary (Melitaea parthenoides), Marsh fritillary (beckeri -Euphydryas aurinia ssp), Lesser spotted fritillary (Melitaea trivia) , Pearl-bordered fritillary (Boloria (Clossiana) Euphrosyne), Southern White admiral (Limenitis reducta), White admiral (Limenitis Camilla), Pearly heath (Coenonympha arcania) , Spanish heath (Coenonympha glycerion iphioides), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina hispulla), Marbled White (Melanargia galathea), Peacock (Aglais io), Common swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), Apollo (Parnassius apollo), Red admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Diurnal moths

Hummingbird hawk-moth (Macroglossum stellatarum), Odezia clathrata (reticulate design black and white) , Purple tiger moth  (Rhyparia purpurata), Silver Y (Autographa gamma), Heterogynis canalensis (caterpillars yellow on Genista scorpius), White-spotted sable moth (Eurrhypis pollinalis), Cream spot tiger moth (Arctia villica britanica), Zygaena rhadamanthus, Six-spot burnet (Zygaena filipendulae), Burnet companion moth (Euclydia glyphica), Eurrhypis pollinalis (little one, black with big white spots)Adscita sp, Colibri hawk moth (Macroglossum stellatarum ) solely diurnal, Broad-bordered bee hawk-moth (Hemaris fuciformis), Spurge Hawk Moth (Hyles euphorbiae), Pink hawk moth (Deilephila porcellus), Lobster Moth (Stauropus fagi) – looks like lychens on tree, Odezia clathrata (reticulate design black and white), Vestal Moth (Rhodometra sacraria) – little yellow moth, common on prairies), Arctia villica (tiger moth), Eilema sororcula (looks like a yellow stick), Eilema lurideola (looks like a grey stick), Agrotis ypsilon (grey, pest of gardens and food plants), Ochropleura plecta (bown redish with white line), Small Magpie Moth (Eurrhypara hortulata)

Nocturnal moths – using moth trap & light

Spanish Moon Moth (Actias isabelae), Giant Peacock Moth (Satrurnia piry), Hyles euphorbiae , Hybocampa milhauseri (looks like a piece of wood), Peribatodes abspersarius (looks like lychens on rocks), Fly Moth (Pachytelia villosella) – also showed big larval case covered in small bits of debris, Bagworm Moth Psyche casta (showed a small larval case)

What is included?

  • All accommodation or lodgings based on a 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 the itinerary "What is included"

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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 sort of accommodation and vehicles do you supply?

Our boutique hotel is of a superior standard. The individual rooms are large with ensuite bathrooms and deluxe showers. There is a communal lounge ad dining room with tea/coffee making facilities. Our large outdoor terrace with open views means we eat out from May through to October. You can disconnect or take advantage of our Wifi within the hotel. We have 150+ 5 star reviews on TripAdvisor, just search ‘Casa Allué.’ For all our excursions we use our fully air-conditioned 4x4 VW 8 seater minibus.

What are your group sizes?

Our maximum group size is 8 and our minimum is 4. We also offer private, tailor-made tours with a minimum of 6 people.

Do you arrange airport pick up/drop off?

You can travel to us by plane or by train. We offer a collection service from Zaragoza airport and Railway station. There is a high-speed train link to Zaragoza from both Barcelona and Madrid, travel time approx. 1 ½ hour. See our website ‘Getting Here’ for more details.

Do you ever change the tour itinerary?

The itinerary’s we publish are a guide. We may change the order of the excursions during the week, depending on the weather, and in consultation with our local guides. Any changes are made to ensure you have the best possible stay with us.

Do you offer a single supplement option?

We very much welcome solo travellers and make no extra charges for single occupancy of a room. The ratio of solo travellers to couples is on average 50/50.

What is included?

Once you are at the hotel everything is included. Even meals out and refreshments. The only money you will need is for gifts to take home and tips for our guides, should you wish to give a tip.

When is the best time to travel and why?

We carefully plan our trips to coincide with the best time of year for each activity.

Do you need a minimum fitness level to join this tour?

Each trip gives an idea of the walking we will be doing and therefore the required fitness level. In general terms, you do need a moderate level of fitness.

Do I need specific clothing for this tour?

We send a kit list for each trip as part of the booking process.

Would this tour be appropriate for someone with limited mobility?

Our tours are not suitable for someone with limited mobility.

How do I pay, and what are the terms?

When you want to book, contact us through Blue Sky Wildlife and we will tell you the next step. Our terms and conditions can be found on our website: aragonactive.com

Join Our Fixed Tour Starting Date

Tour Dates Tour Availability From Price Spaces Left
22/06/2023 - 29/06/2023 available EUR 1,495
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8 Days

Price & Availability

From
EUR1,495 / per person
Based on twin/double room
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
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Tour Facts

  • Central Spanish Pyrenees, Aragon, Spain
  • Set Departure
  • Set Departure Tour
  • Birds
  • 4 to 8 pax
  • 8 Days
  • June & July
  • 18+ Years
  • Leisurely
  • No
  • English
  • Zaragoza Airport
  • Zaragoza Airport