Spain,

Land of the Lynx

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Tailor-Made Tour
8 Days
From 1313
Big Cat Safari
Birding
Off The Beaten Track

Tour Introduction

8 Days from 1313 per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you

Have a slow-paced wildlife break to sunny Andalusia and stay in a friendly, relaxed villa on the edge of the stunning Sierra de Andújar Natural Park. Its rolling hills, ancient woodlands and picturesque river valleys are filled with wildlife treasures but it is best known for the endangered Iberian lynx.

Achieve a perfect balance of tranquil downtime and thrilling guided excursions into the park in search of lynx and a plethora of other exciting wildlife. As well as that beautiful cat you may also be lucky to see sure-footed Spanish ibex, herds of red and fallow deer, mouflon sheep, wild boar, otter, hare and birds such as the mighty Spanish imperial eagle and cinerous vulture.

Reptiles, amphibians and butterflies abound there too and there are plenty of curious invertebrates and specialist plants to discover and enjoy, as well as the delicious home cooked Spanish cuisine and tranquil surroundings of your villa.

Full Itinerary

Price from 1313 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms
Day 1
Malaga

Arrive in Malaga (alternative airports include Madrid and Granada) with pick up and transfer to the Sierra de Andújar. The journey from Malaga takes around 2.5 hours and passes through ever-changing Andalusian scenery. If time allows, stop at the Fuente de Piedra Reserve to see flocks of greater flamingo, various waders and basking Spanish terrapins. Arrive at your accommodation in the Sierra de Andújar Natural Park in the late afternoon with time to rest.

Staying at Villa Matilde. Includes Dinner.

Day 2
Sierra de Andújar Natural Park

Enjoy a full day at leisure to relax at the villa and enjoy its swimming pool and peaceful surroundings.

There are independent walking trails leading out from the villa into the nearby estate where a variety of birds and other wildlife can be seen.

Birdlife includes the locally endemic Iberian azure-winged magpie as well as hawfinch, crested tit, firecrest, Sardinian and Dartford warblers, rock bunting, hoopoe and little owl. Keep an eye out too for reptiles which include the brightly coloured ocellated lizard which can grow to 90cm in length.

Staying at Villa Matilde. Includes All Meals.

Day 3
Sierra de Andújar Natural Park

Today begin your exploration of the beautiful Sierra de Andújar Natural Park in search of the elusive Iberian lynx and plenty of other wildlife. Explore by 4x4 and visit viewpoints along quiet mountain roads overlooking known lynx territories and hotspots where time will be spent patiently scanning (with binoculars and telescopes) for signs of lynx.

The beautifully marked Iberian lynx is endemic to the Iberian Peninsula and is currently listed as the world’s rarest and most endangered wild cat.

Recent estimates suggest its current population is now over 800 individuals, split between several key populations. The world's largest population occurs here and within the surrounding Sierra Morena. Lynx can be very elusive but, with the experience of your local guide and patience, you are likely to enjoy some memorable sightings of these beautiful cats in their natural habitat.

Staying at Villa Matilde. Includes All Meals.

Day 4
Sierra de Andújar Natural Park

Morning and afternoon guided excursions in search of Iberian lynx and other wildlife in the park. Please note each day’s itinerary will be flexible and depends on the local conditions, recent sightings, and your interests.

In addition to lynx the park is home to a large population of red and fallow deer, wild boar, Iberian hare and other mammals such as the Spanish ibex and otter, and bats can often be seen at the Jándula dam and river.

Another specialty of the park is the endangered Spanish imperial eagle which can often be spotted alongside cinerous and griffon vultures soaring over the hillsides.

Staying at Villa Matilde. Includes All Meals.

Day 5
Sierra de Andújar Natural Park

Another day of morning and afternoon guided excursions in search of Iberian lynx and other wildlife in the park.

The 74,774-hectare park consists of a Mediterranean habitat known as dehesa comprising large tracts of holm and cork oak woodland and rocky outcrops, making for a beautiful landscape in which to find lynx. There are many special plants, reptiles, amphibians and insects to discover: your guide will help find them and also introduce you to the fascinating history of the region.

Staying at Villa Matilde. Includes All Meals.

Day 6
Sierra de Andújar Natural Park

Another day of morning and afternoon guided excursions in search of Iberian lynx and other wildlife in the park.

Each day’s itinerary remains flexible to increase the chances for lynx and other wildlife observation. An evening torchlight walk in the grounds of the villa can reveal interesting amphibians such as Western spadefoot (or Iberian midwife) and natterjack toads, Iberian water frog and sharp-ribbed newt, and invertebrates such as giant megarian banded centipede.

Staying at Villa Matilde. Includes All Meals.

Day 7
Sierra de Andújar Natural Park

Today perhaps take a guided tour to local historical points of interests or enjoy more excursions in search of Iberian lynx and other wildlife in the park.

Staying at Villa Matilde. Includes All Meals.

Day 8
El Torcal Reserve and Malaga

Today depart after breakfast for the transfer back to Malaga airport, stopping at a local wildlife spot on the way (if time allows) such as the moonlike karst of El Torcal to see Spanish ibex or look for birdlife at a wetland site.

Includes Breakfast.

Tour Accommodation

Spain Southern Spain

Villa Matilde

Overview

Located north of the typical Andalusian town of Andujar, the villa sits right on the edge of the wonderful Parque Natural Sierra de Andújar. Accommodation is in a converted rural mansion built in 1926 with some of the original interior still present. Rooms are fairly simple but atmospheric and feature ensuite bathrooms. Tasty homemade meals are offered in the dining room or out on the terrace featuring plenty of organic and home grown produce. Facilities include a swimming pool with views over the nearby forested hills and a homely lounge and terrace for relaxing and al fresco meals. Mercedes and Roland, the friendly and welcoming hosts speak fluent English and offer a wealth of knowledge on the local area.

Swimming Pool
Yes
Air Conditioning
No
Rooms
10
Facilities

Private bathrooms, al fresco dining, Wi-Fi and a swimming pool.

Local Wildlife

Iberian lynx are the highlight and the villa sits within the territory of a female, but nearby are many hotspots for sightings of this elusive cat. Red and fallow deer, wild boar, mouflon sheep, Spanish ibex, Iberian hare, European rabbit, Eurasian otter and genet are among the other regularly spotted mammals. Birdlife is exceptional too with the rare Spanish imperial eagle, golden eagle, booted eagle, griffon and cinerous vultures, goshawk, chough, hawfinch, subapline, Western bonelli's and Sardinian warblers, hoopoe, Iberian green woodpecker and much more. The park is also rich in reptile and amphibian life with colourful ocellated lizards and Iberian midwife toads found in the grounds.

Optional Activities

Wildlife watching tours, cultural and historical tours and nature walks.

Route Map

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Villa Matilde: 38.143409, -3.948115

Departure Dates

This tour has no set departure date and can be tailored to suit your travel requirements. Contact us for more details.

Travel Information

Are International Flights Included?

No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

Flight Info:

There are direct flights to Malaga from London, Manchester and Bristol and connecting flights from other regional UK airports. Airlines include British Airways, Iberia, EasyJet and Ryanair.

Best Visited:

October to April

Are you ATOL Registered?

Yes. This means we are legally able to book your international flights in conjunction with your ground arrangements so you can book with us with complete confidence. Read more about our ATOL license here.

Ian Loyd

Area Specialist

If you have any questions regarding this Tour, please feel free to contact me on +44 (0)1803 866965