Here are the top ten places in Andalucia for spotting animals
A good holiday always includes you getting in touch with nature. It is as important to visit monuments and the city as to see the fauna and flora in your selected destination. This is the perfect plan for you to ensure you don’t go to the south of Spain without enjoying its native animals in a sustainable way. Take note of these the top ten places in Andalucia for watching birds, whales and other species:
1. Tarifa (Cadiz)
The seabed in the Strait of Gibraltar holds a wealth of fauna, but its huge cetaceans are a sight to be seen by residents and visitors. If you are travelling through this area, make sure you do some of the tours offered on the sea in a boat where you can spot these animals. A guide usually accompanies tourists on the strait and gives information on each species you see. Besides the common dolphin, which can reach two metres in length, you can enjoy the company of striped and bottlenose dolphins, and the pilot whale.
2. Marbella (Málaga)
On the Costa del Sol, you can also experience seeing, and often touching, the dolphins, the residents of the Mediterranean Sea. This is a splendid activity to do with your children where contact with these species reinforces awareness and understanding of caring for the environment. These intelligent animals love to play next to the boat and this will get you some fantastic holiday photos.
3. Marisma del Piedras, El Rompido (Huelva)
The mouth of the Rio Piedras hosts the Marismas de Piedras y Flecha Nature Reserve in El Rompido. We recommend coming to this jewel of the Andalucian countryside where you can share space with a wide range of species. This is a great area for bird watching. The White Stork, Montagu’s harrier, stone curlew, the little grebe, the hoopoe, the spoonbill, the stilt, marsh harrier, the canastera, common tern, northern pintail, teals, the oystercatcher, the sandwich tern, the sandpiper, the plover, and the laughing gull are some birds found there. Other animals found here are the chameleon and marine animals such as fish (bream, sea bass, eels…), crustaceans and molluscs such as the clam and the grooved carpet shell.
4. Laguna de Fuente de Piedra (Málaga)
The Laguna de Fuente de Piedra Natural Reserve, Málaga, is the largest lagoon in Andalucia. It is an important place for nesting, wintering, and is a migratory stopover for many waterfowl which you can spot from observatories. It houses the largest colony of flamingos in the Iberian Peninsula and the second largest in Europe, which can be admired during the nesting period along with many other species, such as the tern, the laughing and slender-billed gulls, the Kentish plover, the avocet or the stilt. A perfect place to go with your children to enjoy this natural area.
5. Grazalema (Cádiz)
In the Sierra de Grazalema Natural Park, you can observe a great diversity of birds (over 200 species), including the majestic Griffon vulture, the booted eagle guard, the small and lively blue tits, wagtails and owls. This is a place of great natural beauty where you can fill your lungs with pure oxygen in the company of a varied and peculiar fauna, accompanied by large plant species such as the Spanish fir, a Mediterranean spruce which is unique in the world.
6. Doñana (Huelva and Cádiz)
Doñana is a protected natural area and its large expanse of marshes during winter hosts numerous species of waterfowl, typically up to 200,000 each year. Take the camera if you come here and prepare your five senses for the enjoyment of nature. If you love animals, you can find a wide range of both aquatic species and mammals. Look closely at the world’s most endangered feline on the planet, the Iberian lynx cat, and sharpen your eye to see the beauty of the flamingos, the short-eared owl, the heron, the snowy plover, the black kite, the shoveler or the great imperial eagle, among others.
7. Conil de la Frontera (Cádiz)
The chameleon likes to live in the coastal dunes and other dry places near the sea, always climbing brooms, pines, junipers, eucalyptus and other trees in general. If you decide to travel to Conil de la Frontera, you will enjoy seeing this cute animal around the many coves. Of course, if you want to see them, you have to be very alert because they change colour to camouflage themselves in the landscape.
8. Mijas Costa (Málaga)
If you want to enter the exciting world of marine turtles, come to the Costa del Sol, especially in the area of La Laja del Almirante in Mijas. The vast majority of these animals are in decline and in great danger of extinction in Andalucia. Among the species that can be found are the loggerhead turtle, green turtle, hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley turtle and leatherback turtle. In the Cala de Mijas, you can go diving to enjoy these and other animals.
9. La Axarquía (Málaga)
What is already known as “bird watching tourism”, i.e. tourism dedicated to bird watching, is developing dramatically in the region of Axarquia in Málaga. Predatory birds such as hawks and eagles as well as migratory and insectivorous birds, such as the thrush and the blackbird, can be found in these southern lands. You can also enjoy the songbird, the goldfinch, greenfinch or the linnet which will delight you with their singing in the middle of these natural surroundings. We recommend you make a route through the whitewashed villages that make up the region and the natural areas around about to enjoy these animals.
10. El Torcal de Antequera (Málaga)
Among the limestone rocks of El Torcal in Antequera, you can create the perfect plan for your family. This area gives you the chance to do several hiking trails, and on its karst slopes which arose from the sea, you can spot the famous mountain goat that grabs the stone and climbs majestically. In addition to observing these animals, when night falls, the stars take centre-stage and provide some unforgettable pictures.
So now you know: when on your holiday, make sure you do some kind of activity related to the Andalucian fauna because here you can see many exciting species at your fingertips.
If you want to see these animals first-hand, we recommend you stay at Fuerte Hoteles. The chain has stores in all these dream places and can ease your journey through the Andalucian fauna.
Hotels and apartments with excellent service and quality according to Tripadvisor, and supported by over 60 years of experience, they are the best choice for unwinding and living this historical and cultural experience. Marbella, Conil, Grazalema, El Rompido, Estepona or Torrox are some areas where you can find great accommodation.