Experience Wildlife

SOUTH ALICANTE NATURE & WILDLIFE

Sunday 19th to Sunday 26th

8 days/7 nights

Min 4 – Max 8

Embark on an immersive 8-day journey through the captivating landscapes of South Alicante, where each day unveils a new adventure in a different ecosystem. Our expert-guided tours will lead you through Sierra Mariola’s rugged terrain, where ancient forests and limestone cliffs host diverse flora and fauna.

Delve into the tranquil wetlands of El Hondo, a haven for migratory birds and a showcase of conservation efforts. Then, explore the unique ecosystem of Rambla Salada, where desert flora thrives in the arid landscape.

Venture into the vast steppes and wetlands of the interior, where open plains and marshes teem with life, including rare bird species and endemic plants. Finally, discover the coastal wonders of Santa Pola and Tabarca, where marine reserves boast vibrant underwater ecosystems and pristine beaches.

Throughout the journey, a local expert will share his knowledge of the region’s ecology and wildlife conservation efforts, ensuring a deeper understanding of South Alicante’s natural heritage. Plus, a portion of your trip’s cost will directly support local wildlife protection programs, contributing to the preservation of these precious ecosystems for generations to come.

South Alicante offers a unique blend of natural beauty and biodiversity, making it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts. Our itinerary focuses on exploring several Protected Natural Spaces that are part of the European Union’s Natura 2000 Network.

We begin with the Natural Parks: Sierra Mariola, El Hondo, and Santa Pola. Sierra Mariola is renowned for its lush landscapes and diverse flora. El Hondo, a vital wetland, is a haven for birdwatchers, home to numerous rare bird species. Santa Pola, with its salt marshes, offers stunning views and rich biodiversity.

Next, we visit Special Protection Areas for Birds (ZEPA): Rambla Salada and the Eastern Steppe Area of Albacete. Rambla Salada, known as the “little Jordan,” captivates visitors with its striking reddish terrain, sculpted by clays and gypsum. The Eastern Steppe Area of Albacete is a critical habitat for various bird species, making it a prime spot for ornithologists.

Our journey culminates at Tabarca Island, a Marine Reserve and ZEPA. This island’s pristine waters and abundant marine life, coupled with its importance as a bird sanctuary, provide a perfect end to our exploration.

Each of these locations is distinguished by its unique environmental features, including botanical endemism and an extensive variety of bird species, many of which are extremely rare continent-wide. This itinerary offers a comprehensive glimpse into the natural wonders of South Alicante.

The tour price includes transport from to and from your accommodation in Alicante, as well as during all the excursions described in the itinerary. Besides the excellent connections at Alicante’s airport, the city is well-connected to other international airports, such as Valencia and Madrid.

Arrive in Alicante and settle into your accommodation. Take the opportunity to explore the charming city at your leisure. Wander through the historic streets of the Old Town, where colorful buildings line narrow cobblestone streets. Visit iconic landmarks such as the Santa Bárbara Castle for panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. Dive into Alicante’s rich culture by sampling local cuisine at one of the many tapas bars or restaurants.

Vista de Alicante Espana scaled - Spain Natural Travel

Transfer from Alicante to our exploration base in Biar. Begin your adventure with a journey through the rugged terrain of Sierra Mariola. Marvel at ancient cave paintings, witness wildlife on its habitat, and learn about the region’s rich heritage. Visit well-preserved snow wells and mystical Yew tree forests, culminating in panoramic views atop Mont Cabrer. Indulge in mountain cuisine at a local restaurant before a last visit to an olive oil press. Experience the essence of Mariola’s tales, blending ancient past, environmental richness, and culinary delights in a single day.

Sierra Mariola - Spain Natural Travel mariola 3 - Spain Natural Travel
cava gran sierra mariola - Spain Natural Travel

Highlights 

  • Protected area included in EU’s Natura 2000 network.
  • Remains of snow wells (17th century) for ice production.
  • Wildlife: Barbary goat, Bonelli’s eagle, Golden eagle, Bonelli’s eagle, Red-billed chough, Sardinian wabler.
  • Flora: Orchids (spring), Endemic rock plants, Yews, a huge variety of aromatic plants such as Mariola’s sage. Cabras - Spain Natural Travel

Explore the protected wetlands of El Hondo on a new guided tour, immersing yourself in the tranquility of this vital ecosystem. Traverse wooden boardwalks that meander through reed beds and marshes, offering excellent birdwatching opportunities. Learn about the importance of wetlands for migratory birds and conservation efforts to preserve this fragile habitat. Capture stunning photographs of flamingos, herons, and other waterfowl against the backdrop of scenic wetlands.

El Hondo - Spain Natural Travel

Highlights

  • Protected area included in EU’s Natura 2000 network.
  • One of the most important (and unknown) areas for birding in Spain.
  • Extraordinary variety of birdlife with two of the most threatened species of ducks in Europe: Marbled teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris) and White-headed duck (Oxyura leucocephala)
  • Arab period orchard irrigation system (9th entury)

Anade - Spain Natural Travel

Start your day with a journey to Rambla Salada, where you’ll discover the unique flora and fauna thriving in the arid landscape. Accompanied by our expert naturalist, explore the rugged terrain dotted with desert plants such as thyme, lavender, and rosemary. Marvel at the resilience of wildlife adapted to survive in this harsh environment, including reptiles, insects, and small mammals. Enjoy a picnic lunch amidst the stunning natural scenery before returning to your accommodation.

Rambla Salada 6 - Spain Natural Travel

Highlights

  • Protected area included in EU’s Natura 2000 network.
  • One of the driest areas in Europe.
  • Presence of Anabasis articulata, a botanical specie with limited European distribution.
  • Remains of 18th century aqueducts used for irrigation

Rambla Salada 3 - Spain Natural Travel

Enjoy a day of relaxation and exploration around our accommodation, taking in the natural beauty of the surroundings. Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque town center of Biar, characterized by medieval architecture and charming cobblestone streets or go visit a nearby winery. Alternatively, opt for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, or horseback riding in the surrounding countryside.

Biar - Spain Natural Travel

Venture into the steppes and wetlands of Pétrola-Corral Rubio, where open plains and marshes offer a glimpse into diverse wildlife habitats. Accompanied by our experienced guide, traverse the expansive landscape teeming with birdlife, including raptors, waterfowl, and passerines. Learn about the unique flora adapted to thrive in semi-arid conditions and the conservation efforts to protect this ecologically significant area. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside before returning to your accommodation for a relaxing evening.

laguna interior la mancha - Spain Natural Travel

Highlights

  • Protected area included in EU’s Natura 2000 network.
  • Territory of the Great bustard (Otis tarda), one of the biggest birds in Europe.
  • Incredible landscape of cereal fields, small wetlands and salt flats.
  • Occasional presence of Spanish Imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti).

avutarda estepa manchega - Spain Natural Travel

Transfer back to Alicante with an exploration journey along the way. Embark on a boat excursion to Tabarca Island, a marine reserve renowned for its crystal-clear waters and underwater biodiversity, and continue exploring the pristine beaches and salt marshes of Santa Pola, observing a variety of bird species and marine life. Return to Alicante in the evening celebrating the conclusion of your nature exploration journey in South Alicante.

Tabarca - Spain Natural Travel

Highlights

  • Protected area included in EU’s Natura 2000 network.
  • Fortified island from the 18th century due to pirate attacks.
  • 1st marine reserve in Spain with marine sea grass Posidonia oceanica.
  • Possibility of spot Bottlenose dolphins (along the year) and Fin whales (migratory passage).
  • Salt flats with presence of Flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) and protected Slender billed gull (Chroicocephalus genei).

Humedalesjpg - Spain Natural Travel

Bid farewell to Alicante as you board your flight back home, filled with unforgettable memories of your nature exploration journey in South Alicante. Reflect on the incredible landscapes, diverse wildlife, and conservation efforts that have left a lasting impression on your heart and mind. Depart with a renewed appreciation for the natural world and a commitment to protecting and preserving our planet’s precious ecosystems for future generations to enjoy.

The hotel waiting for you at your arrival and before departure in central Alicante is a 4-star hotel offering air-conditioned rooms with flat-screen TVs, safes, minibars, and free WiFi. It features a buffet breakfast, 24-hour front desk, express check-in/out, and is close to the old town, Teatro Principal, and Santa Barbara Castle. The C6 airport bus and tram stop are nearby.

Our main base during the trip is nestled in the mountains near Font Roja Natural Park. It boasts spacious rooms with beautiful valley views, central heating, and some with balconies. Guests can enjoy an outdoor pool, a garden, a traditional restaurant, various lounge areas, and a library.

A more detailed description of the selected accommodations for this trip can be found in our complete brochure. Please don’t hesitate to download it and request us any further info you might need.

fran perfil - Spain Natural Travel

Joining you on this unforgettable adventure through Alicante’s natural wonders is a seasoned explorer with a contagious enthusiasm for the region’s beauty.

Feel free to download our trip brochure to find more about Fran and its work as our tour leader.

Additionally, our trip will support the conservation efforts of the CV Victoria Laporta Carbonell Foundation, a small non-profit organization established in 2003 to honor Mrs. Victoria Laporta Carbonell’s love for Finca Buixcarró in Sierra de Mariola, Alicante. The Foundation aims to restore the environmental health, conserving its habitats, species, and traditional uses. Comprising professionals experienced in the study, conservation, and active management of Mediterranean ecosystems, the Foundation designs and implements various projects to fulfill its mission and preserve Doña Victoria’s legacy.

The Foundation’s objectives center on understanding, preserving, and enhancing ecosystems, as well as promoting the cultural and ethnographic heritage of of this area. They also focus on training environmental professionals and fostering environmental education. Since 2004, the Foundation has managed Buixcarró, a 658-hectare forest estate in the Serra de Mariola Natural Park. Additionally, they offer guided activities for schoolchildren, environmental education, nature interpretation, and opportunities for nature photographers and videographers to engage with the area’s unique flora and fauna.

From
1500€ / person

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