Arrival at Loporzano
Dinner at base, and a presentation about our excursion.
We get up early, and after a great breakfast, we head to the mountains to begin our first activity there. Our naturalist, an expert on the mountains and its fauna, will guide us, helping us to interpret and identify Guara’s nature, along with its birds, amphibians, and trails left by its mammals.
Breakfast and excursion in the mountains.
This excursion will take us to a feeding house for scavenger birds in Santa Cilia. Food is given to these birds offering the chance to see griffon vultures and bearded vultures and other common scavengers. Any photographers in the group will probably take the crowning photo of their trip here.
Picnic in the countryside.
We return to Loporzano. During the afternoon we will track the otter in one of the many rivers that flow through the reserve, and we will attempt to catch sight of one as well as the birds typically found in the riparian forest.
Dinner and coffee in the common room.
Trip to el Salto del Roldán, one of the most emblematic and breath-taking sceneries in the mountains, from where we can observe raptors flying across the rock faces in their legendary dominion.
Lunch and departure.
On our return we will visit an interesting deposit of fossil remnants, with traces of animals which have been extinct for 25 million years
GUARA TOUR - Guara - 3 days / 2 nights
Tours start on a regular basis from several cities.
You can go on your own to the meeting point of every tour.
Declared a game reserve and an SPA (Special protection Area), Guara has one of the largest raptor communities of the whole Iberian Peninsula. With an area of 8,000 hectares, it reaches its highest altitude of 2,077m at the summit of el Torzal de Guara.
In Guara we find forests of scots pine at the lower mountain altitudes and mountain pine on the upper mountain, along with aleppo pine, which also grows less frequently in the sunnier and drier areas. One can also find the odd fir tree. There are some small beech trees, oakwoods, and little Portuguese oak trees, the surviving witnesses of a huge expanse. However, it is the holly oak associated with junipers which represents the forest best. Along the river banks the most common trees are aspen and cottonwood.
Famous for its stacks, canyons and ravines carved out by water, these mountains are home to masses of raptors, particularly those that nest in the rocks walls. Their numbers are greatest here than in the whole of the Western Palearctic. The density of scavengers present in these wild mountains is considered the best in Europe.
There are 170 species of bird registered in the reserve.
In winter it is possible to see wallcreepers, a species dear to ornithologists. The wallcreepers are forced to descend from their high altitudes at this time of year due to the harsh climate further up the mountain. These small birds survey the damp walls in search of insects and spiders and take the rocks as their new home.
The bearded vultures patrol the valleys, while other vultures, eagles, and hawks are lifted by the thermal currents and beds of hot air that rise through the framework of the imposing stone architecture of the mountain Mammals feature strongly in these mountains with roe deer, fallow deer, wild boars, mountain goats and wild goats, otters, martens, wildcats, foxes, weasels...
Raptors, water, and magical spaces are the stars on this excursion.
*Tour 4 pax Madrid/Barcelona
*Single Extra Fee 80€
*30% discount for children (sharing room)
*Tour 8 pax Madrid/Barcelona
*Single Extra Fee 80€
*30% discount for children (sharing room)
*Price per pax with naturalist guide.
Departure from Barcelona.
• Two night’s accommodation
• Full board beginning with dinner on the first night through to lunch on the last day
• Expert local guide
• Transport for the excursions
• Telescopes – one per vehicle
• Basic insurance
NOT INCLUDED :
• Personal expenses Drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) or food not mentioned in the program
• Transport to and from the camp needed on arrival and departure day
• Personal insurance policies for cancellations, repatriation etc.
- Rain coat
- Mountain shoes
The tour begins in the Vadiello reservoir, where we can see some of the most spectacular scenery in the entire mountain range with the conglomerate of peaks in Ligüerri, a colossal citadel of rock with its stacks (stone towers) and beautiful walls. This landscape is alive. Here we find one of the largest vulture communities in the park and one of the pairs of bearded eagle (Gypaetus barbatus) governs its territory in the valley.
We will be looking for raptors riding the thermal currents, and wallcreepers (Trychodroma muraria) in the damp walls, where the painted bunting bird operates. We will take a walk through the oakwood trees which will take us to San Cosme, an interesting hermitage embedded into the formidable cliff face of the mountain. In the depths of the springs in San Cosme, we will look for the endemic Pyrenean newt, active during the day in the colder months.
This amphibian is known locally as the ‘guardian of the springs’, and according to legend, its extinction would lead them to dry up. Picnic in the countryside.
Our route leads us to el Bosque del Plano, also known as the ‘Enchanted Forest’. The holm oak trees conserve the unchanged Iberian wilderness and allows us to enter into a magical atmosphere, full of legends.
Eventually we come to el Huevo de San Cosme, the climax of our journey, the impregnable rocky monolith that is home to vultures and golden eagles. Return to Loporzano. During the afternoon we will visit one of the last active pottery workshops in Bandaliés. Hanging in the doorways, one can find the talons of the golden eagle, used traditionally as an amulet to ward off any malevolent spirits.
Dinner and coffee in the cosy sitting room of the country residence, where we can share our experiences and tick off our checklist of species seen.
Day 4 (optional)
There is the possibility of a fourth day, which would include an excursion to one of the most unique ecosystems of the Iberian Peninsula: the steppe.
We will cover the region of Los Monegros, discovering the unique desert-like scenery that glows with an enchanting light. The steppes of the Ebro valley are populated with several endemic floral species which originally came from the Eastern Eurasian and African steppes. Spring in the Monegro desert is a portrait of flowers, set to the soundtrack of birdsong which provides all visitors with an encounter with nature not easily forgotten. If there is one characteristic which makes these steppes stand out, it is incredible richness of bird life. Species found here include the pin-tailed sandgrouse, the black-bellied sandgrouse, the great bustard, the little bustard, larks, including Dupont’s lark, the Eurasian stone-curlew, and a rich community of raptors, with peregrine falcons, harriers, Egyptian vultures and golden eagles, that nest in the imposing aleppo pines found in the region.