Tour Details

Dates:13th of Aug - 19th of Aug 2024
Availability:8Guaranteed departure
Group Size:Minimum 3, maximum 12
Grading:Generally easy, to moderate.
PricesFull price: £1,595.00 / person Single room supplement: £175.00 / person Deposit: £150.00 / person
Price includes: Accommodation, all meals, ground transportation, services of your guides and local wolf trackers, and a holiday report
Not included: International travel, drinks and other personal items, holiday insurance

Tour Highlights

  • Using expertise and knowledge of local specialist wolf-trackers to ensure the best possible encounters
  • In addition to Wolves, we will also be looking for Wildcats, and Southern Chamois
  • Good chance of some terrific birds - Wallcreeper, Rock Bunting, Alpine Chough, Snowfinch, Alpine Accentor

Tour Description

In this mammal-watching tour we will explore, over the course of five well-paced days, the rugged montane landscape of north-western Spain. We will be located in the isolated and beautiful Cantabrian Mountains.

For decades, the isolation and severe human emigration of this region have allowed wolves to survive when they were relentlessly pursued in Spain. In more recent years wolves have made a comeback in Spain despite continued legal and illegal hunting in most areas in North Spain.

During our stay in the wolves’ range, we will join local wolf-researchers and trackers who will maximise our chances of enjoying unparalleled encounters with these enigmatic apex predators. We will also use our Spanish guide’s extensive knowledge of the region to best advantage for encounters with another iconic predator – the wildcat. We’ll hope to see these mini-tigers hunting early in the morning and before nightfall in montane meadows.

There will also be a host of high altitude speciality birds to look for, including the dramatic Wallcreeper – a bird that’s almost an honorary butterfly! – in addition to, amongst others, Alpine Accentor, Alpine Chough, Rock Sparrow, Golden Eagle, and Snowfinch.

We’ll certainly see other mammals besides our main predatory targets – Southern Chamois should show well, and we can always hope for some surprises besides…

Tour Leaders

Jon is a natural history writer, photographer and experienced wildlife tour leader based in the Shetland Isles, but with strong links in Europe and the Americas that see him travelling widely in search of memorable wildlife encounters.

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Pau, from Gandia in Spain, has a lifelong interest in wildlife. He’s a professional ornithologist and wildlife guide, but finds time to work as a professor at the Universitat Politècnica de València, teaching Zoology and Wildlife Management.

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Tour Itinerary

  • DAY 1

Arrival at Santander airport

and transit to hotel in Boca de Húergano. After checking in the hotel, if time allows, we will explore local tracks to look for Wildcats.

  • DAY 2 & DAY 3

We will be looking earnest for Iberian Wolves.

We will start the day before the sun rises to be ready in the watch points as soon as day breaks, allowing us to look for this superb predator. Around midday, we will finish the search and go for a general wildlife walk before returning to the hotel for lunch and rest. We will look for Dipers, White Storks, Rock Sparrows, Marsh Tits, and other species of birds. In addition, we will keep our eyes open for butterflies. During the late afternoon, we will be driven again by 4x4 vehicles to isolated vantagepoints to look again for Wolves until night falls.

  • DAY 4

A focus on Alpine birds.

Today we will take a cable car to reach almost 2,000 metres above sea level to look for some Alpine specialties such as Wallcreeper, Alpine Accentor, Alpine Chough, Water Pipit, and Snowfinch, among others. In addition, we will search the peaks for Southern Chamois and Golden Eagles.

  • DAY 5 & DAY 6

Our focus now turns to Wildcats.

In the last two days, we will put all our effort into finding the stunning Wildcats. This unique mammal spends most of the day hidden in the forest, but they venture to the meadows to hunt voles in some areas. To maximise our chances of good views of the cats, we combine morning and afternoon searches with lovely walks to look for birds and butterflies.

  • DAY 7

Return to Santander airport

and tour concludes.

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