Wildside Holidays - Grazalema is very happy to announce our collaboration with Walk Andalucia. All bookings for Guided Walking and Self Guided Walking in the Sierra de Grazalema are now handled by Paul and Vicky at Walk Andalucia.
More information about dates, prices and booking can be found at the Walk Andalucia website.
The next scheduled guided walking holiday here in Grazalema is February 5th to the 12th 2015. Booking information here
Day walks continue as usual throughout the year - Please contact us for more information
FEBRUARY Wildflowers are always a welcome sight, especially through the winter months, as coupled with the birds beginning to sing they show us that spring is near. Almond trees in blossom are the most noticeable in shades of pink and white, along with the Paperwhite narcissus, Branched asphodels and Broad-leaved iris as each can create swathes of colour across pastures. The much smaller flowered Andaluz storksbill and Field marigolds also cover large areas in pink and golden yellow.
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.
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 for 8 days and 7 nights You arrive at Malaga airport with transport pickup at around 4pm to Grazalema and leave at 8am for Malaga airport for departure. 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.