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Southern Spain Wilderness Tour, Andalucía - 12 Days

Southern Spain Wilderness Tour, Andalucía
2390

Wilderness Tour in Andalucía, Spain

This 12-day Southern Spain Wilderness Tour is a leisurely paced experience that offers wildlife watching in some of the best natural and unspoilt spaces in Europe. Andalucía is at the top of the list for natural wonders in Spain and this available-on-request tour takes you through three Natural Parks: Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas, Sierra Mágina and  Sierra de Andújar. Twelve days is a good length of time to explore this biodiverse region of southern Spain and its unspoilt wilderness.

The province of Jaén is the greenest in Spain. With a third of its territory designated as protected natural space, you can find some of the best nature in Andalucía here. By extension, you can be sure that this will expose you to some of the best nature in Europe. Jaén's southern Spain wildernesses are a wonderful sanctuary for wildlife. Its exceptional wealth of flora and fauna led to the creation of four Natural Parks, three Natural Areas and two Nature Reserves.

Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas is the largest Natural Park in Spain and the second largest in Europe. It is located in the east of the province and was identified by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve in 1983. In 1986, the Spanish government declared it a Natural Park and then the EU recognised it as an Area of Special Protection for Migratory Birds in 1988.

The geology of these southern Spain wilderness sierras is formed of limestone, with dramatic landscapes of sheer cliffs, gorges, waterfalls and streams of crystal-clear water. The most typical woodland is pine forests, the largest expanse of this type of forest in the whole Iberian Peninsula. In the Park there is a total of 2,170 separate species of plant, 35 of which are endemic. The park is also known for being the birthplace of the River Guadalquivir that divides Spain from Portugal.

Sierra Mágina is a rugged Natural Park that covers 19,900ha of steep and rocky limestone terrain, with precipitous cliffs and high summits that are often snow capped in winter. This southern Spain wilderness are is home to the greatest density of Golden Eagles in Europe. It is also known for its extraordinary variety and number of wild plants, some of which are exclusive to the Sierra, abundant wildflowers and aromatic plants that add a richness of colour and scent. Due to wide variations in climate and terrain within the Park there is a wealth of wildlife, including many orchids and wild mushrooms, and birds such as Bonelli’s Eagle, Goshawk, Peregrine, Eagle-owl, Blue-rock Thrush, Red-billed Chough, Crag Martin, Alpine swift, Ring Ouzel, Golden Oriole, Black Wheatear, Cirl Bunting and, with luck, a Wallcreeper fleeing from the cold of northern Europe.

On top of all this, the southern Spain wilderness hosts Wild Boar, Spanish Ibex, Ocellated Lizard, Montpellier Snake, and a Snub-nose Viper and invertebrates such as the grasshopper Eumigas monticola, which is native to Andalucía.

The Sierra de Andújar Natural Park forms part of the Sierra Morena mountain range. This beautiful natural space in the northwest of the province lies between the Rivers Yeguas and Jandula. The gently rolling Park is densely wooded and boasts one of Andalucía’s best-preserved expanses of Mediterranean forest and scrubland. The dominant vegetation is Cork and Holm Oak woodland, and the geology is granite, quartz and slate.

This part of the southern Spain wilderness is home to a large number of hoofed mammals such as Red and Fallow Deer along with Wild Boar and Mouflon. Small carnivores such as Otters, Genet and Wildcat, and is home to many endangered species. There are birds such as the magnificent Spanish Imperial Eagle, the Black Vulture and the shy Black Stork.

The icing on the cake is that this Natural Park currently holds the best and most important population of Iberian Lynx in the world. In terms of the conservation of the species, there are around 250 lynx here, around 70% of the world population.

Southern Spain Wilderness Tour highlights include:

  • The unique plant life and spectacular scenery of Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas Natural Park
  • The Golden Eagles of Sierra Mágina Natural Park
  • Rare Iberian Lynx in the Sierra de Andújar Natural Park

Want to explore birding on a more specialist tour? Why not try the Lammergeier Birding Tour, Cazorla, Spain.

Alternative Tour Name: Andalucía Birdwatching and Wildlife Tour
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival

You’ll be met in the town of Jaen.

Transfer to our hotel, lying on the western edge of the sierra near the town of Cazorla and situating us perfectly for routes into the heart of Cazorla, Segura & Las Villas the largest Natural Park in Spain.

Day 2
Days 2 to 4 - Adventure in National Park

We'll spend three days enjoying the wilderness in this wonderful Natural Park.

The Natural Park offers some of the wildest landscapes in the Iberian Peninsula. Reaching an impressive altitude of over 6,800 feet, it’s home to a landscape of rocky peaks, sheer cliffs and gorges, magnificent waterfalls, and one of the largest reservoirs in Andalucía, El Tranco. In such dramatic and varied wilderness you might expect an abundance of nature, and such is the case in one of the most biodiversified regions in all of Europe and birthplace of the legendary River Guadalquivir.

Day 5
Day 5 - Transfer to sierra Magina

Transfer to Sierra Magina, a gem in the heart of Olive Oil Country and domain of the Golden Eagle. birding on route.

Day 6
Days 6 & 7 - Sierra

We’ll spend two days touring throughout this colossus of a sierra – at 7,100 feet, the highest in the region. This is an area known for its outstanding nature, including an exceptional array of botany. There is a total of 1,290 separate species of plants in the park. Worthy of mention the great variety and number of orchids, as well as numerous insects, butterflies, reptiles and birds. This natural space is home to many species of raptors, including a good population of Bonelli’s Eagle and the greatest density of Golden Eagles in Europe.

The rugged Sierra Magina combines landscapes of dramatic mountain peaks, where we can find the most emblematic mammal in the park, the Spanish ibex, and open highland meadows, plenty of wild plants and flowers in Springtime.

Day 8
Day 8 to 11 - Sierras De Andújar

Transfer to Sierras de Andújar Natural Park.

After our breakfast, we'll leave for Sierras de Andújar Natural Park, birding on route.

Arrival late afternoon at our hotel. Once we have settled in, we might make our first visit (depending on our arrival time) to one of the several viewing areas in the hope of finding an Iberian Lynx. Who knows, we might get lucky on our first attempt!, so we'll go in search of our target in some of the best areas in the park, where some other mammals are also often recorded such as Otter, Wild boar, Fallow deer and Red deer.

These areas are also a great place to enjoy along with the local territorial Spanish Imperial eagles and other raptors like Griffon vulture and Black vulture.

Day 12
Day 12 - End of the tour

Last chance to see "the cat".

After an early breakfast, (depending on time availability for you) we'll drive back to the site along River Jandula, with our focus always on getting Iberian Lynx. This final day will provide us the last chance to find the lynx again, although hopefully by then we will have had good views of the Iberian Lynx during the previous days. Then bags packed and back to the town of Jaen, where the tour ends.

Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip are:

wild boar, mouflon, otters, genet, wildcat, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black Vulture, the shy Black stork, Iberian Lynx

What is included?

  • 11 nights of accommodation with private facilities in a charming rural hotel
  • 4x4 transport during the tour
  • Use of quality optical equipment
  • Exclusive access to private estates
  • Guiding and interpretation in English
  • All meals, being a picnic for lunch

What is not included?

  • Extra food/drink to normal meal times
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Transfer to/from airport
  • Travel & contents insurance
  • Item of personal nature
  • Tips/gratuities
  • Anything that is not inlcuded in the itinerary and "what is included"

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Why book with Iberian Lynx Land?

Iberian lynx Land is an Ecotourism Registered Company. Along with RESPONSIBLE NATURE TOURISM, Iberian Lynx Land’s pivotal values include EDUCATION and CONSERVATION of Nature and Natural Resources. We are also an Environmental Consultant Company.

Observations

The tour descriptions and itineraries are meant only as a guide. We will select the list of sites to visit and will organise the schedule according to the season, the time of day, the weather conditions and other variations in the environment and fauna. We, therefore, reserve the right to amend the itineraries according to circumstances but will strive to maintain the advertised standard of the tour.

What to bring?

Whatever the time of the year, it is recommended the use of comfortable clothing. Bring a jacket and/or a fleece, as it could be cold early in the morning and evening. Walking shoes or hiking boots, rain jacket, hat and sunscreen.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.


12 Days

Price & Availability

From
EUR2,390 / per person
Based on twin/double room
This tour is operated by: Iberian Lynx Land
4.68 based on 10 reviews

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4.68 Based on 10 reviews
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Tour Facts

  • Andalucía
  • On Request
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • 4 to 8 pax
  • 12 Days
  • Leisurely
  • English & Spanish
  • Madrid Airport
  • Madrid Airport