Wolf watching in the Sierra de la Culebra
Ask any resident of the Sierra de la Culebra about the chance of spotting a wolf, and the answer probably includes the phrase ”Muy dificil” (very difficult) uttered with a wry smile and shake of the head. But with experience and local knowledge you can enhance your chances. Time spent with the primary aim of spotting wolves uncovers a host of wild animal and bird life to be enjoyed amidst breathtaking scenery which has its own beauty whatever the season. The walking involved is of a fairly easy grade.
The Sierra de la Culebra hosts the highest density of wild wolves in Spain, but any sighting has to be regarded as a bonus when spending time in this area of wolf country. We do have a high success rate of sightings of these iconic predators, but at least be assured, if you haven’t seen them… they have seen you!
Our Watching for Wolves tour operates throughout the year and is based in our home area of the Sierra de la Culebra in the far north west of Spain. The Sierra de la Culebra has recently been declared a Biosphere Reserve, which also includes the Duero Gorge.
This tranquil area is one of the most remote in Spain, where ancient villages still retain their rural way of life reminiscent of bygone days, in the midst of the iconic Iberian grey wolf and its prey, red deer, roe deer and wild boar.
The area also offers red fox, Eurasian otter, pine marten, beech marten, red squirrel, Iberian hare, badger and genet. As well as an impressive list of mammals, the region hosts an abundance of bird life including 18 species of raptor, rare breeding birds such as black stork and summer migrants for example bee-eaters, golden orioles, nightingales and nightjars. Reptiles include the oscillated lizard, one of Europe’s largest.
Accommodation & Prices
Guests are lodged in a local, family-run, hotel which is in the heart of wolf-watching country and is also the hub of the village, where experiences of the day can be aired and exchanged over a home-cooked, freshly prepared dinner and a bottle of highly acceptable vino de casa. All rooms are en-suite.
The relaxed lodgings complement the general informality of our tours.
The cost is £995 for a standard 5 day/4 night tour (+£195 single room supplement). This includes daily morning and evening wolf watches, daily local excursions, all transport on the tour, knowledgeable guide, breakfast and 3 course evening meal with drinks and a light lunch.
Our extended Watching for Wolves tour offers up to three extra day visits plus of course the enhanced opportunity to see wolf by adding morning and evening wolf watches for each additional day. The visits offered are:-
- See two sites in one day visit, one in Spain and one in Portugal, at the spectacular Douro Gorge, the natural barrier between Spain and Portugal to observe raptors against a magnificent backdrop.
- Spend the day at the Ramsar site of Villafafila which hosts the largest resident population of great bustard outside Russia amongst its many other avian attractions. To witness the “ foam-bath” lekking of the male great bustard, reputedly one of the world’s heaviest flying birds, is a memorable spectacle. We also spend time at the Rio Esla looking for Eurasian otter and other wildlife.
- Enjoy a day visit to the scenic area of Sanabria with walks around Spain’s largest glacial lake and with fantastic views afforded while visiting the imposing castle in medieval Puebla de Sanabria.
You can opt for all or any combination of these visits as you arrange your bespoke, extended Watching for Wolves tour.
Pickup and drop off is at Madrid or Asturias (Oviedo) airport.
But basically, tell us your requirements and we will do our utmost to put together a package to suit you.