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Southern Spain Wilderness Tour, Andalucía - 12 Days

Southern Spain Wilderness Tour, Andalucía
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Wilderness Tour in Southern Spain

This 12-day Spain Wilderness Tour offers some of the best natural and unspoilt spaces in Europe. Andalucía is at the top of the list in Spain regarding nature.

The province of Jaen is the greenest province in Spain. With a third of its territory designated as protected natural space, you can find some of the best nature in Andalucía, and by virtue of that, some of the best nature in Europe itself.

In this sense, Jaen is a wonderful nature sanctuary for wildlife. It has an exceptional wealth of flora and fauna that have led to four Natural Parks, three Natural Areas and two Nature Reserves being established.

This Spain Wilderness Tour takes you throughout three Natural Parks: 1) Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas 2) Sierra Magina and 3) Sierras de Andujar.

Enjoy an amazing 12-day Spain Wilderness Tour in one of the most bio-diversified region in Europe.

Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas is the largest Natural Park in Spain and second in Europe. It is located at the East of the province.

Moving the clock forward to the 80’s, it was identified by UNESCO as a biosphere reserve. The EU then recognised it as an area of Special Protection for Birds. In 1986, the Spanish government declared it a Natural Park.

The geology of these sierras is formed by limestone, with dramatic landscapes of sheer cliffs, gorges, waterfalls and streams of crystal-clear water. The most typical woodland is Pine forests, and the park boasts yet one more superlative as home to the largest expanse of forest in the whole Iberian Peninsula. In the park, there is a total of 2,170 separate species of plant of which 35 are endemism.

The park is also known for being the birthplace of the River Guadalquivir.

Kind of paradoxically, way back in the 18th century, the Sierras was declared a maritime province, serving as it did both military and civil construction. The timbers were used in the construction of naval vessels, and the old tobacco factory in Seville is a present-day example which pays testimony to those times.

Sierra Magina is a rugged Natural Park that covers 19,900ha of rocky, steep limestone terrain, with precipitous cliffs and high summits that are often snow-capped in winter. A separate mountain range 40 km to Cazorla, and home to the greatest density of Golden eagles in Europe. It is also home to an extraordinary variety and number of wild plants; hardy plants growing on the upper slopes are unique to the park, its abundant wildflowers and aromatic plants add a richness of colour and scent to the Sierra. Due to wide variations in climate and terrain within the park, there is a wealth of wildlife, including many orchids and wild mushrooms, as well as native plant species, some of which are exclusive to the Sierra.

Some species of birds which are easy to see are 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 if we are very lucky, maybe a Wallcreeper fleeing from the cold of Northern Europe. On top, there is further wildlife: Wild boar, Spanish ibex, Ocellated lizard, Montpellier snake, and a Snub-nose viper. Furthermore, invertebrates like the grasshopper Eumigas monticola, which is native to Andalucía, and butterflies like the threatened Purple shot copper Lycaena alciphron, Two-tailed pasha Charaxes jasius, and the rare Mazarine blue Cyaniris semiargus.

The Sierras de Andújar forms part of the Sierra Morena mountain range. This beautiful natural space in the northwest of the province and lies between the Rivers Yeguas and Jandula. The gently rolling Natural Park is densely wooded and boasts one of Andalucía’s best-preserved expanses of Mediterranean forest and scrubland. The dominant vegetation is Mediterranean, with Cork and Holm Oak woodland, and the geology is granite, quartz and slate. It hosts a large numbers of hoofed mammals like red and fallow deer along with wild boar and mouflon. Small carnivorous like otters, genet and wildcat, and is home to many endangered species: birds such as the magnificent Spanish Imperial Eagle and Black Vulture, the shy Black stork, as well as the most endangered cat in the world: the Iberian Lynx. This Natural Park currently holds the best and most important population in terms of conservation of the specie, with about 250 lynx, which is around 70% of the world population.

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

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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

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