When in Spain many people may wonder about scorpions, spiders and venomous snakes and will not be aware that they are much more likely to endanger themselves and their pets by getting too close to an innocent looking line of caterpillars that can be found crossing a pavement, road or footpath during the first months of each year.
January -WINTER WALKING - Nesting Griffon vultures, Broad-leaved iris, Spanish Ibex, resident and wintering birds.
January 18th-25th - ONLY 4 PLACES LEFT - BOOK NOW!
January is a great month for watching Griffon Vultures repairing last year´s nests high on limestone ledges, performing beautifully synchronized flights that are a part of their courtship routines, breeding and incubating their single egg. The parents take turns at sitting on the nest and perform an almost acrobatic change-over at the nest. The cliffs where Griffons nest, or “buitreras” in Spanish, are full of activity and interest at this time of the year.
Spanish Ibex normally roam at lower altitudes in the winter months and the alpha males are more visible as they are establishing and keeping a close eye on their harems, while the pregnant females ruminate in the winter sun.
There are plenty of exciting resident and wintering birds to see, such as the Iberian Grey Shrike, Bonelli´s Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Rock and Cirl Bunting, Blue Rock Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Black Wheatear, Ring Ouzel and Alpine Accentor.
With luck, a resident member of the largely migratory Hoopoe population can be spotted.
The spectacular bright blue and yellow Broad-leaved Iris clusters brighten up the limestone meadows along with Paperwhite Narcissus and delicate pink almond blossom begins budding and blooming at various locations of the Grazalema Park.
The following Sample Itinerary shows a selection of the walks we offer. We are very flexible and can change the routes according to the time of year, level of fitness of our customers and weather conditions.
Telescope and binoculars are available for watching wildlife.
16:00 Airport Transfer
Arrive at Malaga Airport where we will meet you and transport you to the village. After settling in your accommodation we will arrange a short orientation tour of Grazalema.
20:00 Dinner at local restaurant
Day 2: Puerto de Boyar - Puerto de las Presillas - Llanos de Endrinal - Grazalema (Circular)
This is an excellent walk for a chance of spotting the Spanish Ibex - the wild mountain goats which roam the high peaks of the Sierra de Grazalema.
Time: 5-6 hours including wildlife stops and a picnic lunch.
Surface: A well-defined, rocky path and a comfortable forest path.
Day 3: Benaocaz Village - Salto de Cabrero - Grazalema Village (linear, village-to-village) This village-to-village walk is a wonderful ramble through changing landscapes - forest paths, rocky outcrops, meadows and a gorge overlooked by the famous Salto de Cabrero crag - the Goatherd's Leap - named after the anonymous legendary goatherd who could jump from one side of the gorge to the other.
Time: 5 hours 30 minutes including wildlife stops and a picnic lunch break.
Surface: A rocky path for the first short section and then easy paths and a comfortable forest track.
Getting there: 20 minute drive to Benaocaz.
Day 4: Pinsapar - The Spanish Fir Forest (linear, return)
This is one of the most memorable walks of the Sierra de Grazalema, offering mountain views, abundant birdlife and a chance to see the ancient endemic Spanish Fir Trees - a protected species that exists only around Grazalema and Sierra de las Nieves (near Ronda).
Time : 5 hours 30 minutes including 1 hour for picnic and wildlife stops.
Getting there: 15 minute drive to the start of the walk.
Day 5: Rest Day
Day 6: The summit of Simancon (1560 metres).
The spectacular views are worth the steady climb which starts at about 950 metres. The climb is very gradual and the surface does not pose much of a challenge until the last 20 minutes of the walk when we must pick our way through the rocks to reach the very peak of Simancon. Your reward is 360o views.
Time: 6 hours, including a stop for a picnic lunch.
Day 7: Montejaque to Venta de los Alamillos (linear, one way)
This is a remote ramble through lost and lonely stunning landscapes. The walk starts at the Montejaque village square with its story-book feel and ends in a cork oak and Portuguese oak forest where the magnificent oak trees encourage nesting of woodpeckers, various owls and Hoopoes.
Time: 6 hours including a stop for a picnic lunch
Getting there: 30 minute drive to Montejaque main square
Return: 10-minute drive from Venta los Alamillos to Grazalema
Day 8: 8am return to Malaga airport
Our Guided walking and nature holidays run every month of the year. Click the month below that fits in with your preferences.
Autumn flowering bulbs are a favourite at this time of year, but you generally have to have keen eyes to find them as they can be very small and well hidden. On the contrary the Autumn Buttercup can turn a rugged hillside yellow with its shiny, rich yellow, blooms. Autumn doesn’t necessarily mean colourful leaves about to fall, as many trees here are evergreen. The Narrow-leaved Ash seems to be the first to turn yellow with tall Poplars following shortly. The deciduous oaks may retain their leaves until the buds shoot again in the new year, unless strong winds shake them free.
During the month of September the night time temperatures are lower, allowing plant life a reprieve and the chance of at least a few drops of moisture in the form of dew, if not a rain shower or perhaps a storm. Heavy rain tends to run off the baked ground too quickly whereas steady showers can be absorbed into the parched soil. Either way the wildlife appreciates this sign of the approaching cooler weather and autumn bulbs “spring” into life.
This is a golden month, as most annual flowers have finished their colourful phase, produced their seed heads and dried completely to a straw colour. Although if you look in the right places there are still flowers to be found; watercourses, irrigated areas, animal watering troughs, damp meadows and high mountains will offer the best selection. However, this is also a good month to see insects such as dragonflies, mantis and bushcrickets!
One of Spain's most stunning natural parks. A fabulous location to spend time be it resting, walking, bird watching or photography.
Grazalema is to be found in the north east part of Cadiz province (at a height of 800m) in the mountain range bearing the same name Sierra de Grazalema. In 1977 this area was declared a “Biosphere Reserve” by UNESCO due to the exceptional variety and wealth of its fauna and flora. In 1984 it was made the first Nature Park of Andalucia by the Junta de Andalucia.
Our nature walking holidays run from Saturday to Saturday. You arrive on a Saturday at Malaga airport with transport pickup at 4pm to Grazalema and leave at 8am for Malaga airport on the following Saturday. We run small groups with normally 8 guests at a time although sometimes we invite other people visiting or passing through the park area with our "join a group" service. Meeting like minded people and making new friendships through our shared love of the surrounding nature is an important part of Wildside Holidays - Grazalema.
There will be a marked difference between the first and second parts of this month as plants succumb to the heat and set their seeds. Areas that have held high moisture levels during the winter and spring will now come into their own with ribbons of bright pink Oleanders mapping the watercourses with Penny Royal and Apple Mint accompanying them. Climbing higher, aromatic herbs tucked into rock crevices in the mountains will be attracting bees and butterflies with their nectar rich blooms.
Summer time is when many insects reach the adult phase of their life. They may have spent months, even years as a larva, drab in colour and unable to move far, possibly living underwater or underground. Now, in this last stage of their lifecycle, they might be brightly coloured, able to fly or to emit sounds and so they become more obvious to us. Insects are a very important part of the food chain on which we depend.
We also rely heavily on insects for their ability to pollinate much of our food crops, and so they deserve at least a moment of our time. Here is a tiny selection of those that might gain your attention within the natural park area.
During late May and into June temperatures start to rise as springtime turns quickly to summer. Road side verges are full of flowering plants in all colours and cereal fields turn bright red with poppies and yellow with false fennel. As the weeks progress, spring blooms will be turning to seed and the golden browns of summer will begin to dominate the lower landscapes. However the later flowering of the higher altitude mountainous plants means that there is still plenty to discover in what is known as the ‘hedgehog zone’ describing plants with a dwarf and prickly form.