MONFRAGÜE TOUR - Monfragüe - 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
Monfragüe is a natural space which magnificently represents the most unique feature of the ecosystem along the Iberian Peninsula: the meadow. The woodlands in the area, which have been modified by man, but made entirely sustainable, are able to conserve both their original fauna and that which has been added, which are animals better suited to open spaces.
The indigenous breeds of cattle coupled with the additional species make up a biodiversity difficult to equal. The richness and variety found here stems from the rare combination of the oak and cork trees that find themselves situated amongst both rocky terrains and the rivers Tajo and Tietar. This region is protected as a national park and in it we have the best area in the world for the gigantic black vulture (Aegypius monachus) and one of the largest populations of Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti). Amongst these species which reign over the Extremaduran skies, one finds a wide variety of raptors with griffon vultures, Egyptian vultures, black-winged kites, short-toed eagles, Bonelli’s eagles, golden eagles and booted eagles.
The rock walls are a great place to watch the Eurasian eagle owl and the timid black stork which finds shelter here. One of the ornithological rarities most sought after by enthusiasts is the white-rumped swift, an African bird that has recently expanded its territory to parts of Southern Spain. The northern goshawkand the Eurasian sparrow hawk also live in these woodlands.
Among the mammals, the deer, otter, bobcat and mongoose stand out since Monfragüe is one of the most recent places to see the disappearance of the Iberian Lynx in Extremadura.
Continuing in the spirit of Wildlife Spain, we have made agreements with estates situated within the national park, restricted from the general public, but where we will be able to enjoy the experience of being immersed in the flavours of the rural life of Extremadura, where man has lived in harmony with nature for centuries.
*Single Extra Fee : 40€
There is also the possibility of doing other activities to observe the fauna in Extremadura using our accommodation in Monfragüe as a base. There are seasonal observatories available, some of which are highly specialized to observe and photograph cranes, black-winged kites or the mating rituals of the deer.
It is also possible to prolong the tour another day, in which we would take a route through Gredos or Las Batuecas, to view one of the most emblematic and spectacular Iberian mammals – the Spanish ibex (Capra pyrenaica vitoriae), the common subspecies found in the mountains of the central peninsula.
• 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
Once we arrive at Monfragüe we will settle in to our accommodation in our country house called La Parilla. We will dine in the old farmhouse which has been restored and renovated. This property is run and maintained according to several traditional customs. Typical of the Mediterranean forest is the uncorking of oak, goat herding and cultivation of native livestock, with the Iberian pig breed standing out the most.
We set off early and visit the best observation points of the national park from where we will look for its fauna. Depending on the time of year and recommendations from our local guide and accompanying naturalist, we will choose the best option for watching the wildlife. We will watch the Imperial eagle breed, and raise its young in the canopy of the cork oak tree. We will look out for its aerial duels with the cinereous vulture, its quarrels with the black kite over the fish along the river banks and we will also observe the evasive black stork nesting in the rocks or fishing in their groups. We will try to find the mimetic Eurasian eagle-owl in its castle of rock. There are some magnificent viewing points from where we can see griffon vultures, cinereous vultures and Egyptian vultures flying in our line of sight. We will look for the rare white-rumped swift, admire the zeal of the deer during mating season, and observe the otters in the river.
We then return to our accommodation for a typical lunch from the region of Extremadura.
Following the after-meal chit-chat, we begin another route through another privately owned country estate, Los Majadales. It is a pasture for livestock, serving as another example of the enormous biodiversity of the ecosystem. We will see its richness via the sylvan birds of prey. There is an area for breeding used by the booted eagle. We will track and try to observe small and medium-sized mammals. Foxes, small-spotted genets, polecats and mongooses, patrol the forest clearings in search of voles and garden dormice, living under the old stumps and logs. In these hideouts we can also surprise the amphibians native to the Iberian peninsula, such as the rare Iberian ribbed newt, which is our largest newt, and the beautiful southern marbled newt.
Other reptiles and amphibians complete the range of possible sightings of animals in Monfragüe. Upon our return, as the day darkens, it will be a good opportunity to observe the little owl, the small bird of prey which begins its day as ours ends.
We return and have dinner.
In the morning we will make our way towards the centre of the national park, along the mountain of La Parilla. We will track the otter along the border of the river Tajo and we will observe the deer in its most authentic habitat, the Mediterranean forest. Following the trail, we will spend the morning observing the birds from inside the observatory of Las Pozas, built specifically for wildlife-watching in a remote part of the grounds of the estate. In comfort and out of the animal’s view, we will be able to watch and photograph the birds as they approach the observatory to drink from the pond nearby. We will see over fifteen bird species, such as, the common kingfisher, the Eurasian jay, the hawfinch, the cirl bunting, the red-legged partridge, and the Eurasian sparrowhawk, amongst others.
There will also be amphibians like Perez’s frog and the common toad, reptiles like the viperine snake and others, such as the Spanish pond turtle.
We return to the country house at midday, have lunch and say goodbye.