DOÑANA, TIDAL MARSHES, NATURE, CULTURES

Natural Reserves in Huelva and the Algarve

 7 days/6 nights

It has been a long time since we last travelled, and enjoying some holidays outdoors becomes more wanted than ever. Sailing the waves, walking the mountains and endless beaches always in contact with nature sounds like a plan now. Our adventure focuses on small groups, highly qualified guides and a healthy and sustainable activity.

 

A place where continents, seas and landscapes merge… Encounters that teaches us about the natural biodiversity of one of the most important breeding and winter ground and migratory stopovers for millions of birds. A very particular approach to bird watching that includes a visit to the popular Protected Areas of Doñana and Marismas del Odiel in Huelva, and Ria Formosa Natural Park in the Algarve coast. An authentic paradise for ornithologists from all over the world that also includes the Natural Reserve of Isla Cristina Marshes and Ayamonte, at the mouth of the Guadiana River, where the natural environment and human activity are in harmony with the rhythm of the moon tides and the bird sounds.

 

Extensive wetlands, marshes, a wide variety of landscapes and a unique strategic location make the provinces of Huelva and the Algarve two privileged places for bird watching. Good weather all year around, surprising traditions and cultures, wild protected natural areas and a rich gastronomy make of this nature trip once in a lifetime experience. Join us to discover this little corner in the South of Spain and Portugal, a magic place for bird watching with Faro del Sur!

 

 

– CANCELLATION FREE OF CHARGE IN CASE CUSTOMERS ARE NOT ABLE TO TRAVEL DUE TO NEW COVID RESTRICTIONS AND FULL REFUND OF THE TOTAL COST OF THE TRIP

– SMALL GROUPS

– DOUBLE OR SINGLE ROOM ACCOMMODATION

– UP-TO-DATE COVID PROTOCOLS

DEPARTURES 2022

CHECK AVAILABILITY. Availability All year around Groups of min/max 4/8 pax

INCLUDED

Transfer from/to Faro (Portugal) or Seville (Spain) airports.

Specialist Faro del Sur naturalist guides.

Accommodation in double or single room in our apartments in front of a Natural Reserve.

1 night rural accommodation in El Rocío village (Doñana).

Tours and activities included in the program.

Binoculars and telescope

All transfers in private vehicles for the group

Insurance

NOT INCLUDED

Any other not specified services. Travel to Seville/Faro.

PRICE

650€ (VAT included)

Supl. individual room : 150 €

THE TRIP

This is a trip for those who enjoy nature, walking, watching our country fauna, with a special interest for birds. The ideal trip for birdwatchers as well as for whoever desire discover the authentic Andalusia. The Andalusia coast is a paradise for bird watching: main migrating path, birds concentrate on Huelva and Algarve, 2 areas which have an important part of their territories classified as natural protected areas. Birds like rest along their migrations, over the winter, or even spend the year or the summer to nest within one of our huge wetland, cliffs and mountain ranges and forests. It is a very complete route that includes several activities all developed in an exceptional location: Huelva and Algarve area. Great beaches, enormous dunes and coastline pine forests, oak forests at the mountains or white villages with Arabian heritage. Pure south west Iberic peninsula with an active style and far from crowded areas as classic tourism. Perfect for resting after a stressed week at home town. Everything is developed by us, with own guides, and carefully designed routes. All the material is from Faro del Sur: van, observation material… in that way we achieve our goal of a perfect relation quality/price. Accommodation is in our apartments in Isla Cristina, in front of marshes, they are new and fully equipped. We also have the help of Faro del Sur’s offices located in Isla Cristina marina. We are convinced that this is a perfect option for nature and adventure travelling in Spain.

All the activities are subject to changes due to weather conditions or any other forces beyond our control.

Birding in Andalusía

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Day 1

TRANSFER TO ISLA CRISTINA. Pick up point and timing will be in Faro (Portugal) or Seville (Spain) airports at 6pm local time. Then we set course to Isla Cristina, our base camp for the week. After a short briefing in Faro del Sur main office we will accommodate in to our apartments, which are located in front of Isla Cristina Natural Reserve.
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Day 2

RIA FORMOSA NATURAL PARK (Algarve).  A journey through pine forests, salt pans, old tidal mills, marshes and lagoons to discover hidden birds that inhabit within this typical vegetation of the wetlands: Eurasian coot, Northern shoveler, gadwall, Northern pintail or the colourful Western swamphen. In the afternoon, we will take a boat to visit the park’s unspoiled islands: clear crystal waters, endless beaches and white sand dunes together with some authentic fishing villages. Observation of seabirds here may include the lesser black-backed gull and the black-headed gull, common terns, gannets or oyster catchers.
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Day 3

MARISMAS DEL ODIEL NATURAL RESERVE (Biosphere Reserve).  Today we drive to the Odiel Marshes: a huge extension of marshlands and one of the peninsula’s most important wetland areas. It is, indeed, a hotspot where many bird species take a rest during their migration journeys or have their breeding areas, such as spoonbills (this breeding colony accounts for the 30% of the spoonbills population in Europe), the Western marsh harrier and Montagu’s harrier, cormorants, grey heron, great egrets and coots amongst others. We will also visit other major spotting areas, like el Portil lagoon or the Piedras River.
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Day 4

GUADIANA NATURAL MARSHES. We suggest you spend some time walking around the marshes in Isla Cristina as there is a wide diversity of waders such as Eurasian curlews, pied avocets, godwits, black-winged stilts, dunlins and the king of the marshes here: the pink flamingo. The landscape is completed with old tidal watermills, the fishing harbour, fishing net craftsmen and the fish market. All this offers a mix of smells and colours we had thought lost
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Day 5

DOÑANA PROTECTED NATURAL AREA (World Heritage). One of the most awaited days for bird lovers! First thing in the morning, we will be leaving with our naturalist guide to know this spectacular protected natural area. Doñana is one of the most important hotspots of biodiversity in the world and one of the remaining wildlife in the Iberian Peninsula. Bird watching activity along the different ecosystems of the Natural Park: marshes, forests, sand dunes, etc. Over the winter and spring months, marshes are full of water and the landscape becomes a big lake appeals to thousands of birds. Grey heron courtship behaviour or the spoonbill shape against the sunset are some of the possibilities! Over 360 different species of birds can be seen at different times of year. Overnight at El Rocío in a Rural Hotel.
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Day 6

DOÑANA PROTECTED NATURAL AREA. Today we will start our birding in the well-known village of El Rocío, which is right by the lively marshes. This area of ​​the marsh gets flooded with the first rains in autumn that cover the clay soils preparing this privileged place for the visit of hundreds of birds like the gorgeous flamingos. Not only birds but also wild horses and cattle inhabit this ecosystem in a semi-freedom style. This is also a perfect spot to observe prey birds like red and black kites, Western marsh harrier or even the spectacular endangered Spanish imperial eagle. After this intense morning, we will visit the “Acebrón Palace”, a magical place surrounded by forests and temporary lagoons especially interesting from a botanical point of view and where we can listen to the bird sounds. Our fantastic day will end with a walk over the fossil dunes towards an endless beach in the National Park where we can relax looking at the sunset before returning to Isla Cristina.

 

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Day 7

FREE MORNING & TRANSFER. Today there may be some free time in the morning before our transfer van takes us to the airport. A good end of the trip is to visit the traditional salt harvesting family business where you can take a relaxing bath in a magnesium lagoon or you can learn about the process of obtaining salt in the traditional way. The area is frequently visited by flamingos and you can buy natural products if you would like to take some souvenirs with you. We will depart at 15h to Seville/Faro. End of program.

To book your place, please contact us to check availability:

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