10 Days from$2,158 p/p in USD
Budget, Camping, Mid Range
In Spain’s Sierra de la Culebra search for the Iberian wolf and other wildlife by vehicle and on foot and in Picos de Europa National Park look for wolf and brown bear on a night adventure. As well as wildlife watching, this trip also includes a gastronomy experience in Madrid, wine tasting, stopping in lively Spanish towns, a fun canyoning adventure and a stay in Bilbao near beautiful beaches. Spain has a diverse array of native animals including some renowned species, such as the Spanish ‘Big Five’: bearded vulture, Spanish imperial eagle, Iberian lynx, Iberian wolf and Eurasian brown bear. It has the second largest number of mammals in Europe, with 115 different species recorded. Other distinctive mammals encountered include the common Genet, wild boar and Spanish ibex.
Safari types:Cultural Safari, Self Drive Safari, Wildlife Safari
You will visit:Madrid, Zamora, Medina del Campo, Sierra de la Culebra, Picos de Europa National Park, Bilbao
Wildlife:Iberian Lynx, Iberian Wolf, Eurasian Brown Bear, Common Genet, Spanish Ibex, Chamois, Deer, Golden Eagle
Activities:Game Viewing, Walking Safari, Wine Tasting, Culinary Experience, Canyoning
Getting around:Rental Car
Start/end:Start in Madrid, end in Bilbao
Price Per Person – EUR
From EUR 2,000 per person
- Accommodations: Three/four-star rural boutique hotels or glamping (Madrid: 1 night, Zamora: 1 night, Sierra de la Culebra: 3 nights, Picos de Europa: 4 nights, Bilbao: 1 night)
- Meals: 9 breakfasts, 1 dinner (food tour)
- Transport: Private transfers by car to/from airport (arrival and departure day)
- 8-day rental car
- Gastronomic experience Madrid
- Wine experience
- Various wildlife watching experience as listed in the itinerary
- Professional English speaking guides for excursions
- International flights
- Personal expenditures
- Most meals
- Entrance fees to monuments during excursions except where indicated in the itinerary
- Tourist tax paid directly to the hotel in Lisbon/Porto/Azores
- Any options or suggestions listed in the trip plan
Day by Day Overview
Upon arrival at the nation’s capital, you’ll pick up your rental car and transfer to your hotel in the city center. Take some time to settle in before heading out to explore. You’ll definitely want to see some of the highlights like the Puerta del Sol, one of the most historic and expansive plazas in the city. There’s also Madrid’s famous Fountain of Cibeles. Located in the city center it features a sculpture completed in 1782 and depicting Cybele, the Greek goddess of fertility, riding in a chariot pulled by lions.
In the evening, you’ll really dig into Madrid’s culture on a food tour. A local expert guide will lead you on a two-hour walking excursion that stops at some great tapas bars. On this tour, you’ll visit Barrio Las Letras, which is known as the “literary quarter.” This historic neighborhood in the city center was once home to Spanish lit legends like Cervantes and Quevedo. Besides visiting some historic sights around here, you’ll also stop on Calle Huertas for a bite at one of the many tapas bars that line the street.
Today, you will drive to Zamora to start your first adventure of this trip. On your way to Zamora you will make two stops. You will first stop at Medina del Campo, a town of pre-Roman origin that enjoys an excellent geographical location, located in the southwestern area of the province of Valladolid. The town, which has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site, has a magnificent compendium of monuments and beautiful corners. In a corner of the arcaded Plaza Mayor is the house where Queen Isabel la Católica died in 1504. Her statue presides over this historic enclave. Walking through the town center, other treasures also emerge, such as the Dueñas Palace, a Renaissance-Plateresque building with a beautiful coffered ceiling and cloister, which was the residence of Carlos I. You will have time to walk around this beautiful town.
You will continue today’s journey to Tordesillas, here you will visit a winery, Bodega Muelas and learn about the wine making process of this winery under the ground! You will finish the day in Sierra de la Culebra in your rural house (dinner included).
Breakfast at the hotel. At dawn, you will be picked up in Villardeciervos and we will approach in an all-terrain vehicle to the chosen observation point, to make a first attempt to observe the Iberian wolf and other wildlife in the wild. At the end of the wait, we will take a walking route during which we will look for signs of the presence of the wolf and other fauna, in which we will teach you how to interpret their tracks and tracks. The duration of this outing is around 5 hours, taking into account that it can vary as it is an activity that takes place in nature. At the end we return to the hotel and you will have free time until the next activity.
In the afternoon, after a talk / workshop about the Iberian wolf and its situation in the Sierra de la Culebra, in which we will talk about biology, ethology, legal situation, conflict with livestock and the social environment in which the wolf lives, as well as biological aspects of the different species that cohabit with it, we will approach one of the authorized observation points, always the one that we believe we can optimize our chances of seeing it and we will make a second observation attempt. The duration of this outing is around 3 hours. At the end return to the hotel, for dinner.
Today you will be picked up in Villardeciervos and approach an authorized observation point to make a last attempt to see the wolf in the wild. After the wait we will visit a shepherd to learn about the relationship between wolves, mastiffs and men. During the visit we intend to know all the preventive measures that are used by the shepherds to defend their sheep from the attacks
of the wolf. The duration of this day trip is around 5 hours taking into account that it may vary when it comes to an activity that takes place in nature. At the end, return to the hotel and relax.
Today, you will drive north to Cantabria. On your way you will make a stop in Valladolid. Valladolid is a lively provincial Spanish city and a convenient gateway to northern Spain. An attractive place with a very Spanish character, the city’s appeal is in its sprinkling of striking monuments, the fine Plaza Mayor and some excellent museums. By night, Valladolid comes alive as its large student population overflows from the city’s boisterous bars. Here you will have time to walk around before you hit the road again.
Upon arrival to Picos de Europa National Park your Tracking and Night Adventure will start. You will start your first adventure at sunset and pass through the legal and practicable domains of the Iberian wolf and the Cantabrian brown bear. Overnight in high brañas, caves or in the open, where we can hear the nocturnal sounds of the forest and mountain fauna, a wonder.
You will carry out a Tracking and Interpretation Workshop of the terrain, stable presence or passage of fauna, employment and techniques for success in photo-trapping, as well as places of legal and prohibited use. We will see various animals such as chamois, deer, golden eagles, vultures, black woodpecker and corcitos among others, such as the wolf or the bear.
Breakfast and departure to another area of Berrea within the same valley. At the end of the day, the song of the black woodpecker will accompany us while we carry out a workshop to trace a mountain route of short duration and low difficulty, with a “surprise” ending. You will have a free afternoon to enjoy walking around and taking in the amazing landscapes.
The Ruta de los Teyeros is an eco-experience that aims to pay tribute to an almost forgotten and very little known profession and culture outside the Asturian council of Llanes. The activity takes place in the Sierra del Cuera and is made up of one or two routes (depending on whether you want to sleep in the shepherds’ hut) with a visit to the last mill that is still in operation throughout Llanes (Meré) and a clay workshop to learn how to make the tiles just as the artisan jewelers of the region did.
In the afternoon you will do some canyoning! It is an ideal start in this fun world of walking through the rivers of Picos de Europa and its surroundings. You will meet your guide for this adventure activity (2-3 hoursr). Late in the day you will head to Bilbao for the evening.
A free day to enjoy the city or head to one of the nearby beaches. Some of the most beautiful beaches along the northern coast are within a stone’s throw of Bilbao. Enjoy a stroll along the shore or spend the time chilling out on the beach.
In the morning, at the appropriate time, make your way to the airport where you’ll return your rental car and catch your flight home.
We hope you enjoyed your trip!