North west SPAIN ( NON BUSINESS TOUR )

BROWN BEAR, IBERIAN WOLF & WALLCREEPER

Dates

Sept. 5th to 12th 2018

Tour Cost

€ 1.100.-

Single room supplement

120€ .-

Group size

12 plus leader

Tour leader

Josele J Saiz plus local guide

Airport

UK- Asturias-UK

What´s included

All ground transport, all meals, services of guides and reserve entrance fees. We will stay in very good quality and warm rural hotels which serve excellent local food. All rooms have private facilities. We have found similar accommodation in the Northwest Spain as we offer in the Pyrenees at Boletas.

1 alpine birds excursions, 2,5 full day wolf and wildcat excursions, 2,5 full day bear excursion

What´s not included

Transport to/ from UK and any overnight stay that may be involved, travel insurance, drinks and any items of a purely personal nature. Possible pelagic trip depending on weather conditions.

Tour code

Fairly relaxed with several short walks. There will be plenty of time to relax and enjoy the beauty of the area during and outside birding time. Asturias airport has conections with Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted.

Selected species list


More information

Field Check List

Introduction

This tour is focused on the observation of the two great carnivores of the Cantabrian mountains, the Iberian Wolf and the Brown Bear, and the always interesting wildcat. We will visit some of the best preserved habitats in Spain. Cantabrian range is an unexplored part of Spain, yet is a wild natural landscape with a rich mixture of rugged terrain and extensive forests.

At the end of the summer, when carry out the tour, we can enjoy of perfect weather in the mountains, with pleasant temperatures throughout typically sunny days with good light conditions for observation and photography, both in the early hours of the morning and during the afternoon.

The Riaño mountain range, in the south slope of Picos de Europa, is one of the best places in the word for observing family groups of Iberian Wolves which, at the end of the summer strive to feed their young in the vicinity of the den. Wolf watching in the Iberian Peninsula is a very exciting and intense experience, requiring patience, but providing fabulous rewards, as these iconic creatures astonish us with their sharp eyes fixed on the lenses of our telescopes.

Riaño is now famous because during the summer months, from late July to mid October is possible guaranteed wolves observation, because of the high density of animals at this area, and the habitat that take up the breeding groups.

Whilst we wait and scan for our target species, we will also have the opportunity to watch other interesting mammals, abundant in certain areas of the mountain, such as the Cantabrian Chamois, Iberian Ibex, Wild Board,Red Deer and Roe Deer.

The wildcat will be the perfect complement to our observations in Riaño, 3 or 4 wildcats are possible to watch per day in some of the local fields hunting rodents during the morning and evening. This is an specially beautiful animal and enjoy of them during the hunting is something very special.

At the end of the summer when we make this tour, we can enjoy perfect weather in the mountains, with pleasant temperatures throughout typically sunny days with good light conditions for observation and photography, both in the early hours of the morning and during the afternoon.

This is the time of year when the Cantabrian Brown Bear comes out from the dense heart of the forest to feed in the forest fringe, eating cranberries, blackberries and hazelnuts, available in abundance in the sub-alpine meadows and scrub at this time of year. This gives us a great chance of viewing one of the most elusive mammals in Spain, particularly during the first and last hours of the day.

With this in mind, we will position ourselves at strategic points, moving around the mountain range’s best spots, always drawing on our local knowledge and experience. Of course our aim is to view these sensitive animals from vantage points where they do not feel disturbed or threatened. Therefore views of bears are usually made from medium or long distances, but are close enough to get outstanding quality views through telescopes and binoculars

Itinerary

Day 1: Oviedo airport, the transport will be done in 17 seats minibus or for small groups, in 9 seats vans. NOTE: Some agencies arrange the transport to the locations driving themselves from airports. Arrival at El Rebeco Hotel in Fuente De, Cantabria. Meeting with the guide, short talk about the tours and dinner.

Day 2: After breakfast, picnic lunch collection, and transfer to Fuente De cable rail cabin for reaching the 2.200mosl of the top cabin. From there full day excursions for Wallcreeper, Snowfinch, Alpine Chough and Alpine Accentor excursion. At mid afternoon return to cabin and transfer to Riaño.

Day 3/4 Iberian Wolf observation in different parts of the range. Morning excursions and evening excursion, around 5 hours each ( 6:00am -11:00am, and 17:00pm to 22:00pm). The wolf observation service includes 4x4 transport car, professional guide service and optic equipment. Any wolf excursion can be changed by wildcat, birding or other mammals excursion. On day 3 an excursion to Fuente De ( picos de europa central masiff is recommended for Wallcreeper, Alpine accentor, Alpine Chough and Snowfinch).

Day 5 Morning wolf/wildcat excursion and later transfer to Western Cantabrian Mountains. Arrival at midday to Villablino / Pola de Somiedo ( these two villages are separated by 40km, and depending on the year could be interesting to overnight in one or other). Lunch in the Hotel and evening Brown Bear observation excursion, enjoying of them in some of the most lonely and beautiful corners of the Cantabrian Mountains

Day 6/7 Brown bear observation in different parts of the range. Morning excursions and evening excursion, around 5 hours each ( 7:00am -12:00am, and 18:00pm to 22:00pm). The bear observation service include, professional guide service and optic equipment.

Day 8 Transfer to airport.

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