Spain

The wildlife in Spain houses the famous Iberian lynx, the strong Spanish Ibex, Great Bustard.

On Europe’s Iberian peninsula sits Spain occupying about 85% of the peninsula beside the neighboring country, Portugal. Spain is a storied country of large monuments, snow-covered mountains, castles of stones, and ultramodern cities, all of which have made it a cynosure of travel destinations in Europe. It is almost totally bordered by seas and oceans and it has diverse landscape features; from the deep woods to arid deserts and beautiful places where one can imagine life on another planet. 

 

Spain’s geography is quite varied and it covers a vast landmass of about 500000 kilometers of which 12000 square kilometers are studded by Islands of 2 major archipelagos. It is second on the list of countries with the most forests in Europe. It has two major mountain areas (ranges of the Sistema Central and the Montes De Toledo ) dividing the central plateau. Other mountain ranges include the Galaico massif, Cantabrica range, Sistema Ibérico, and Sierra Morena.

 

The biosphere of Spain is an epitome of splendorous diversity seated within the lurch landscape. Spain is unique as a world heritage site for its 52 spaces that have been assigned as biosphere reserves, 4 national parks, and 15 geoparks. The opportunistic location of the country between two continents, its topography, numerous coastlines, and archipelagos explain its biodiversity.

 

Spain is decorated with interestingly pretty towns, cities, and villages inhabited by people of rich historical heritage. The calendar of events runs throughout the year ranging from festivals to musical shows and art exhibitions. It is a great place with a promise of fun and education. It is my pleasure to share my wildlife photography trip experience with you and tell you about the pros and cons of traveling to the country to see the animals in the comfort of their homes.

Table of Contents

Why visit Spain for wildlife photography

Spain has a diverse assembly of native animals that lurk within its luscious ecosystem and it has those with a regal reputation for wildlife photography for their beauty’s sake. In Sierra de Andujar, which is part of the Sierra Morena, a heavily wooded area bearing the expanses of Mediterranean forest, we had our first contact with the wild kingdom of Spain. Sierra De Andujar national park hosts,  in its remote areas, an incredible array of endangered species of the planet such as the Iberian lynx, wolf, Imperial eagle, and black vulture. 

 

We set out on our first mission to track the Iberian lynx in this region. The Iberian lynx belongs to the feline evolutionary family of tigers, cats, and lions. Its appearance on sight tells much of its genealogy and I can say it is ennobling to walk on the trail of this beautiful animal. It has numerous black dots on a background of grey complexion, its frontal eyeballs announce its acute hunting sight. For its serious facial expression, it has a tuft of hair on the ears and beards on the chin which are great features for the camera to behold.

 

Iberian lynx is effortlessly the face of Spanish wildlife articles and magazines. However, as such beauty is usually rare, it is the most endangered species of the cat family in the world and this has warranted several conservation projects aimed at preserving them.  The first project was the “Actuation for the conservation of Iberian lynx” of 1994. Through the surveillance of the lynx living areas to identify the threats and risks to life that they are facing, the Community of Madrid Environment agency and Biological station of Donana among other agencies have been able to improve the lynx’s welfare. 

 

From 2006 till date, conservation projects such as the ” Conservation and reintroduction of the Iberian lynx in Andalucia” have been of significant influence in increasing the population of the Iberian lynx by identifying and reducing their non-natural mortality causes such as death by poaching and shots. Support from private owners of farms and societies of hunters have also aided in keeping our planet safe for the Iberian lynx.

 

On the second day of our trip, we headed to El Torca de Antequera, a nature reserve in the Sierra del Torcal mountain ranges. Birding in Torchal means hiking because of the stony paths. Here, we had the opportunity to watch different kinds of birds such as rock birds, Melodious Warblers, Stonechats, Thekla Larks, and Griffon vultures. The wildlife photography trip to Sierra De Andujar natural park and Torcal De Antequera birding are highlights of my wildlife photography trip in recent years.

Wildlife species to photograph in Spain

Spain being one of the reputable tourist attractions in the world is not by the mere fact of serving as a dwelling place to animals but also due to the rarity of such species. It is also a place known for its effective animal conservation policies and this has helped in preserving several animals which are good specimens for wildlife photography.

 

The wildlife in Spain houses the famous Iberian lynx, the strong Spanish Ibex, Great Bustard, which are endemic to Southern and central Europe, where they are the largest bird species, the Eurasian beaver. The predator population includes wolves, wolverine, lynx, and red foxes. If you are interested in a wildlife photography trip to Spain, I can assure you that you are signing up for a good treat.

The best time of the year to visit Spain

Spain enjoys a relatively mild climate that stays mostly dry throughout the year. The best time to visit Spain is in late spring (April to May) or early autumn (September to October), due to its skin-friendly temperatures and lesser crowds. However, the country’s varied event offerings mean you can find something to enjoy at every time of the year. The reason for your trip is a prime factor in choosing what time of the year to plan your visit.

 

Spring remains the best season for birding tours when all Andalucian birds are wildly alive and singing. The spring in Andalucia is brief, with usually cool to very nice temperatures. The winter is also good around where waders and cranes in hundreds come together to enjoy the cold months.

Where to stay in Spain for trips

modern and sophisticated architecture

Spain is well known for its modern and sophisticated architecture and this does not exclude affordable accommodation for Inlanders and tourists alike. There are various accommodation types in Spain, ranging from comfortable family-run pensions to luxury hotels.

small hotel

In comparison to other European countries, accommodation in Spain is of good value. In various towns, you’ll be able to get a small hotel for around €50. Depending on your destination and season, accommodation prices may vary.

Villas and private apartments

Villas and private apartments, like hotels, are available for tourists heading to rural tourist attractions.

Paradores

There are groups of hotels called “Paradores”, they are good places to stay as they are situated in the most beautiful parts of the country. 

How to get around in Spain

Most of Spain is covered by public transport systems actively operating throughout the country. The train is an excellent transport link connecting main towns and cities. There is a high-speed train network proliferating from Madrid, the capital city of Spain. Examples of local commuter trains in Spain include Avant, Alaris, Regional and Targo service, and Intercity.

 

Intercity bus services are also available at cheaper transport fare rates compared to trains and it offers closer reach to the remote towns or villages that are some kilometers far from where trains terminate. 

Going on tours with private cars, from rental companies, is also a good choice as it offers the opportunity to get to different places on your bucket list at your own pace. It also helps to avoid the scarcity of buses that is common to the weekends. 

 

Worthy of mention are the ferries that connect the Spanish mainland to the Balearic Islands. There is also an extensive internal Spanish flight network in Spain.

Is it safe to travel to Spain?

Most of Spain is covered by public transport systems actively operating throughout the country. The train is an excellent transport link connecting main towns and cities. There is a high-speed train network proliferating from Madrid, the capital city of Spain. Examples of local commuter trains in Spain include Avant, Alaris, Regional and Targo service, and Intercity.

 

Intercity bus services are also available at cheaper transport fare rates compared to trains and it offers closer reach to the remote towns or villages that are some kilometers far from where trains terminate. 

Going on tours with private cars, from rental companies, is also a good choice as it offers the opportunity to get to different places on your bucket list at your own pace. It also helps to avoid the scarcity of buses that is common to the weekends. 

 

Worthy of mention are the ferries that connect the Spanish mainland to the Balearic Islands. There is also an extensive internal Spanish flight network in Spain.

What to pack for a wildlife photography trip to Spain

 

The list of things to be packed on a wildlife photography trip to Spain may vary depending on the season. However, the place of a good camera on the list is not negotiable, others are accessories. The following are the accessory articles ;

  • A backpack: This is of utmost importance to other accessory items because it helps in holding different items together. It is good to be selective in terms of the type of backpack one chooses for the trip. The handles must not be metallic as this can strain the shoulders and cause pain.
  • Outer Shell Jacket: The weather in Spain is relatively stable and predictable but occasionally there can be shifts to the extremes. Therefore, it is wise to have an outer shell jacket to shield against the cold.
  • Breathable shirts: They are indispensable and should be taken along while packing for the trip.
  • Wilding shoes: This is to ensure we leave light ecological footprints in nature to mitigate the effect of walking through the forest as compared to hiking shoes.
  • Water Bottle 
  • Universal adapter: One can resort to this to recharge your gadgets. 
  •  



Passport and Visa Information

Spain is known as the second most-visited country in the world and people go there for different reasons. There are different types of visas depending on your reason for the trip.

For tourists from Schengen countries, movement is free without going through passport controls. Citizens who are not from visa-exempt countries need to obtain a Schengen Visa, which allows stays of up to 90 days for tourism and business purposes. Applications can be made at Spanish embassies and consulates.

Other places to visit in Spain

Spain is known for its noble place in historical archeology, architecture, art and culture, and wildlife parlance. Some places qualify as the completion of the sacrament of the visit to Spain. The Fuente De Pedra lagoon ranks high among the ones on my bucket list. We were welcomed to the largest lagoon in Andalusia by the shy colony of the white flamingo colony which is the most populated in Spain. We were also fortunate to view the wondrous theatrics of other bird species such as Lesser Kestrel, Avocet, Gull-billed Tern, Great Reed Warbler, Bluethroat, Stone Curlew.

 

The national parks in Spain are also a bunch of must-sees for wildlife photographers thrilled by adventure and keeping the memories of photogenic animals in the large eye of the lens. Renowned ones are Sierra Nevada national park and Timanfaya national park among other beautiful ones.

My Suggested Itinerary for a Wildlife Photography Holiday in Sri Lanka

Columbo City

1-2 Days

Sri Lanka is a montage of breathtaking sights and historic places and there’s just so much to take in. 

But it’s real beauty can not be seen from the city. Yes, Columbo is beautiful and it’s temples are well worth a visit but more  than a day or two and you’re just wasting value time with nature.

However, you can’t be in Columbo without visiting Viharamahadevi Park (formally Victoria park) and witnessing the Grey-headed flying fox bats which take up residency in the park in their hundreds.

Staying at the XYZ, you can grab a tuk-tuk for a around £1, to the parks entrance. Walk to the furthest point of the park and you’ll soon see these beautiful flying mammals up in the treetops. Dusk is the perfect time.

Wasgamuwa National Park

5 Days

Sri Lanka is a montage of breathtaking sights and historic places and there’s just so much to take in. 

But it’s real beauty can not be seen from the city. Yes, Columbo is beautiful and it’s temples are well worth a visit but more  than a day or two and you’re just wasting value time with nature.

However, you can’t be in Columbo without visiting Viharamahadevi Park (formally Victoria park) and witnessing the Grey-headed flying fox bats which take up residency in the park in their hundreds.

Staying at the XYZ, you can grab a tuk-tuk for a around £1, to the parks entrance. Walk to the furthest point of the park and you’ll soon see these beautiful flying mammals up in the treetops. Dusk is the perfect time.

Kandy Beach Resort

2-3 Days

Sri Lanka is a montage of breathtaking sights and historic places and there’s just so much to take in. 

But it’s real beauty can not be seen from the city. Yes, Columbo is beautiful and it’s temples are well worth a visit but more  than a day or two and you’re just wasting value time with nature.

However, you can’t be in Columbo without visiting Viharamahadevi Park (formally Victoria park) and witnessing the Grey-headed flying fox bats which take up residency in the park in their hundreds.

Staying at the XYZ, you can grab a tuk-tuk for a around £1, to the parks entrance. Walk to the furthest point of the park and you’ll soon see these beautiful flying mammals up in the treetops. Dusk is the perfect time.

Yala National Park

5 Days

Sri Lanka is a montage of breathtaking sights and historic places and there’s just so much to take in. 

But it’s real beauty can not be seen from the city. Yes, Columbo is beautiful and it’s temples are well worth a visit but more  than a day or two and you’re just wasting value time with nature.

However, you can’t be in Columbo without visiting Viharamahadevi Park (formally Victoria park) and witnessing the Grey-headed flying fox bats which take up residency in the park in their hundreds.

Staying at the XYZ, you can grab a tuk-tuk for a around £1, to the parks entrance. Walk to the furthest point of the park and you’ll soon see these beautiful flying mammals up in the treetops. Dusk is the perfect time.

Helpful Resources

Now that we have all the information we need, it’s time to plan your wildlife photography holiday to Spain!

Here are some helpful resources to help you get your trip started:

Flights: Skyscanner and Expedia are the best places to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.

Accommodation: Skyscanner and Expedia are the best places to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.

Home Stays: Skyscanner and Expedia are the best places to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.

Travel: Skyscanner and Expedia are the best places to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.

Travel Insurance: Skyscanner and Expedia are the best places to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.

Day Trips & Tours: Skyscanner and Expedia are the best places to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.
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