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SPANISH PYRENEES

SPANISH PYRENEES
Europe

The tiny Wallcreeper is always a challenge to find!

The Spanish Pyrenees is a paradise for the all-round naturalist with exciting birds, vast numbers of plant species and a host of butterflies.

Europe

Stretching for more than 400 kilometres from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, the Pyrenees separates Spain from the rest of Europe. It is a paradise for the all-round naturalist with vast numbers of plant species and a host of butterflies. Jagged, snow-capped spires and alpine meadows carpeted with gentians, daffodils and orchids provide a magical backdrop to this weeklong tour. The highest slopes are home for Alpine Marmots, Golden Eagles, Alpine Choughs and Water Pipits flushed in their springtime plumage. Squadrons of colossal Griffon Vultures sail around vertically-cliffed gorges, haunt of the ever-elusive Wallcreeper and at any moment, the mighty bone-breaking Lammergeier can drift through. Add to this Hoopoe, Golden Orioles, Bee-eaters, Black Woodpeckers and Scops Owls and you have the recipe for an idyllic week.


Contact The Ultimate Travel Company 0207 386 4682 to make a reservation.



2019
12 - 19 May
8 days (7 nights)
£TBC
£TBC
Places
N/A
N/A

Economy class flights, accommodation with private facilities, full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner), transport by private minibuses, tips and services of Wild Insights leaders.

Travel insurance and items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry and phone calls.

Our journey starts and finishes in Barcelona. We spend six nights based at Jaca from which we radiate out in different directions and then finish with the final night at Barcelona which gives us time to enjoy the wetlands right on our doorstep.

Day 1.  Depart Manchester/Heathrow a.m. Arrive Barcelona lunchtime. We then make the pleasant 4-hour journey to our hotel at Jaca where we will be for the next 6 nights and which is perfectly situated for our explorations of the surrounding area. Time permitting, a stroll around the local park and the citadel should give us first sightings of Rock Sparrow, Firecrest, Black Redstart and Short-toed Treecreeper. At dusk the “sonar blip” of Scops Owls starts up.


Day 2. We travel east today along the beautiful river Aragon, a favourite spot for Bee-eaters, Golden Orioles and Hoopoes, before heading up into the hills above Biniés for a wide variety of raptors. On the way down, the cornfields near Berdun are good for Red-backed Shrike, Montagu’s Harrier, Tawny Pipit, Ortolan Bunting and Quail.


Day 3. After another local stroll down to the river our destination today is up to high ground - the delightful Hecho Valley, where Red-billed Choughs and Griffon Vultures sail out from vertical precipices, home to Chamois and Alpine Marmot. We will search the rock faces for the elusive Wallcreeper, keeping an eye open for the unmistakeable shape of a Lammergeier overhead, patrolling skies shared by a range of other raptors including Golden Eagle. Higher up still we will look out for Citril Finch in alpine meadows covered with every imaginable shape and shade of flower

Day 4. We head high into the hills again today, up to the Tena Valley and the Portalet pass. Right on the snow-line we will explore the area for Wheatears, Water Pipits, Rock Thrushes and Alpine Choughs whilst checking overhead for Golden and Short-toed Eagles plus, of course, Lammergeier. On a good day the clear alpine air provides breathtaking views over jagged mountains.


Day 5. For contrast we head south today to the wonderful local mountains overlooking Jaca. The route takes us through unintensive farmland alive with jingling Corn Buntings and we will spend the whole day exploring the fabulous outcrops of Peña de Oroel and Monastery of San Juan de la Peña.  These are both sites for Black Woodpecker as well as Citril Finch, Crossbill, and Black Redstart. One of the finest vistas in the region provides more opportunities for raptor watching.


Day 6. Today we head south to the stunning sandstone outcrops at Riglos and Aguero where both Black and Black-eared Wheatear can be seen. This is also an excellent area for warblers including Dartford, Subalpine, Sardinian and Orphean. En route we will check a nearby embalse for Great Reed Warbler, Marsh Harrier, Woodchat Shrike and Bee-eater.


Day 7. We will have time to enjoy the first part of the day re-visiting a local site before a relaxed journey back to Bareclona where we will stay near the airport in readiness for our flight home. Time permitting we will visit the Delta de Llobregat which is on our doorstep. This wetland reserve hosts a wide range of water birds including rails, crakes, herons and egrets. Overnight near Barcelona airport.


Day 8. This morning we will enjoy a relaxed start, getting to the airport in easy time for our flights to Manchester and Heathrow.

For many years we have used the delightful Hotel Conde Aznar which is situated in the town of Jaca. Although we are within the town boundary we are right by a park which is rich in birdlife and the Aragon river flows just down the hill, within easy walking distance. The family-owned Hotel Conde Aznar provides very comfortable standard of accommodation with excellent food and very warm hospitality.

www.condeaznar.com

Wild Insights overseas tours are part of a wider programme of Ultimate Travel Company holidays worldwide, and their terms and conditions apply. The Ultimate Travel Company  is fully licensed and bonded with ABTA and IATA and all their overseas tours are fully protected by their Civil Aviation Authority  ATOL Licence, number 5111.

Louisa Thompson 0207 3864682
www.theultimatetravelcompany.co.uk