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Destinations

Extremadura

39.8472, -6.02972

Glimpse into Extremadura, a Nature Photography Escapade

Discover the enchanting landscapes of Extremadura, Spain, where our captivating sanctuaries unfold. As UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, these remarkable regions beckon nature enthusiasts and photographers alike, offering an immersive experience in the pure splendor of the natural world.

Nestled in Monfragüe National Park, La Parrilla spans 1,000 hectares, celebrated for its diverse Mediterranean forests. A haven for vultures, it provides a privileged view of Griffon Vultures year-round, but is also a wonderful place for the red deers’s rutting season.

Captivating landscapes dominate Las Viñas, a picturesque sanctuary emphasizing the “Dehesa Extremeña.” Home to diverse bird species, it holds a unique distinction as the wintering grounds for Egyptian vultures. Spring brings vibrant bird activities, creating unparalleled photography opportunities.

Embark on an unforgettable journey to Extremadura with Skua, where these reserves blend pristine landscapes and ornithological marvels into a symphony of nature’s grandeur.

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Discover the allure of a haven for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers in Extremadura, Spain. Its diverse ecosystems, featuring the iconic “Dehesa,” provide a picturesque canvas for capturing an array of bird species, including the black stork, golden eagle, Spanish imperial eagle, and various vultures. Noteworthy is its exclusive status as the European wintering ground for a colony of Egyptian vultures.

Spring unfolds a vibrant spectacle, with black vultures, griffon vultures, Egyptian vultures, and striking black and red kites taking center stage. Explore the reserve’s specialized hides, including “Infierno,” perched strategically for capturing dramatic images of birds of prey in flight. Extremadura’s ornithological wonders extend beyond Las Viñas, encompassing La Parrilla Estate and its expansive territory within Monfragüe National Park. Boasting the world’s largest colony of Cinereous Vultures and the second-largest colony of Griffon Vultures, the region is a haven for birdwatchers. Male eagle owls serenade from nearby rocks, while red kites, golden eagles, Bonelli’s eagles, and sparrowhawks frequent the area.

The landscapes host a variety of species, from Mediterranean birds like Thecla lark, red-rumped swallow, and blue rock thrush to warblers, including Dartford, subalpine, Sardinian, common, western Orphean, and Iberian chiffchaff. The valley bottoms come alive with golden orioles, lesser spotted woodpeckers, gray wagtails, jays, azure-winged magpies, and hawfinches.

But the reserve includes a rich tapestry of mammals to the mix, with red deer, red foxes, beech martens, wildcats, common genets, Egyptian mongooses, otters, badgers, and even documented wolf sightings. Elegant butterflies, like the Spanish festoon and swallowtail, grace the surroundings. Surprisingly, the arid Dehesa and Mediterranean scrub offer a rich diversity of amphibian species, from Iberian ribbed newts to Mediterranean tree frogs. The geological history of the Iberian Peninsula has shaped the reptilian fauna, rendering Monfragüe National Park a treasure trove of herpetological biodiversity.

Extremadura offers remarkable photography opportunities, with hides for golden orioles, cinereous and griffon vultures, and an enchanting grove landscape. Witness vultures returning to their nests during the golden hour, while eagles owl serenades at sunset.

These pristine landscapes and ornithological wonders promise an unforgettable experience for travelers, blending biodiversity and historical heritage. Explore the fusion of nature and history, enriched by initiatives like SKUA Nature, making Extremadura a prime destination for birdwatching, astro-tourism, and wildlife observation.

“One of the most incredible regions in Europe for history, culture, nature and traditions.”
Highlights & Facts
Habitats
Wildlife
Climate & Seasons

Highlights & Key Facts

Our Extremadura reserve, situated in Spain, celebrates rich ecosystem diversity. It encompasses the Tago Valley with its aquatic wonders, fruitful vineyards and orchards, the vast Dehesa Extremeña, and thriving Mediterranean scrubs. Amidst this blend of nature and agriculture, diverse birdlife thrives, painting a captivating and harmonious portrait of this landscape.
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Geographic size

Abundant Birdlife

With over 180 bird species observed in the Monfragüe National Park and more than a hundred breeding here, the reserve is a magical place for any photographer or bird watching enthusiast. In this area many birds find refuge and above them all, different species of diurnal birds of prey and vultures, such as the stunning Egyptian vulture; of which a colony chose this area to stay during winter.

Diverse Mammals

In the park there are over 50 species of mammals, so the chances to see most of them are high, amongst them you can see Egyptian mongooses, weasels, genets and many others.

Year Round Wonder

Our rangers await your visit in the period you prefer as the reserve is year-round active, and every season has something special to offer.
Come and visit us in the wilderness of the Extremadura; The reserve is ready to host you with different species and scenarios waiting to be discovered.

Accessible Locations

You can access this natural wonderland through the nearby airport of Madrid Barajas (3 h.) and Lisbona Portela (3.5h).

Habitats

Tago Valley

Tago Valley, with its lush vegetation and serene river, serves as a haven for a diverse range of bird species, including kingfishers, reed warblers, and herons, contributing to the valley's vibrant ecological tapestry.

Vineyards & Orchards

Within Extremadura, the harmonious blend of vineyards and orchards supports both agriculture and wildlife, offering a welcoming habitat for European Bee-Eaters, Barn Swallows, and Yellowhammers, enhancing the region's natural beauty.

Dehesa Extremeña

The Dehesa Extremeña, a picturesque mosaic of open grasslands and ancient oak trees, thrives in Extremadura and provides a refuge for Iberian Magpies, Hoopoes, and Eurasian Hoopoes, animating this timeless landscape.

Mediterranean Scrubs

Mediterranean scrubs, teeming with biodiversity, offer a sanctuary for iconic bird species such as Sardinian Warblers, Dartford Warblers, and Subalpine Warblers, adding a vibrant and melodious touch to the region's natural canvas.

Sierras

Sierra is the Spanish name for mountains, and the ones closeby are exceptional for their biodiversity and different habitats; there’s an infinite number of trails to explore, lush woodlands and flower-filled meadows.

Orphean Warbler

Explore the enchanting songs of the Orphean Warbler as it weaves its melodies through the scrublands, adding musical charm to the natural tapestry.

Egyptian Vulture

Witness the striking Egyptian Vulture, an emblematic raptor, soaring above Extremadura, where its presence adds a touch of ancient elegance to the skies.

Griffon Vulture

Marvel at the impressive Griffon Vulture as it gracefully circles the thermal currents in search of sustenance, contributing to the charismatic avian spectacle of the region.

Cinereous Vulture

Encounter the majestic Cinereous Vulture, a symbol of rugged wilderness, as it soars over the skies, making its presence known in this picturesque landscape.

Red Kite

Watch the elegant Red Kite with its distinctive forked tail as it navigates the air above Dehesa Extremena, showcasing its mastery of flight in the open expanses.

Golden Eagle

Be captivated by the regal Golden Eagle, a symbol of wild majesty, gracing the landscape with its soaring presence and keen hunting prowess.

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin

Listen to the delightful melodies of the Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin as it hides among the scrub, its charming calls echoing through the natural corridors.

Azure-winged Magpie

Witness the vibrant Azure-winged Magpie, a splash of blue and white in the wooded areas of Extremadura, adding a touch of color to this rich avian landscape.

Sardinian Warbler

Discover the Sardinian Warbler, a master of song and stealth, as it navigates the shrubs and woodlands, adding a layer of enchantment to the avian chorus of the region.

Eagle Owl

The Eagle Owl reigns as a nocturnal monarch in Extremadura, symbolizing the wild allure of the region. With its majestic presence, it embodies the spirit of untamed beauty of the Spanish landscape.

Kestrel

In the skies of Extremadura, the agile Kestrel soars, epitomizing freedom in this Spanish haven. Glide alongside this remarkable bird as it gracefully navigates.

Weasel

Swift and nimble, the Weasel adds an element of agility to the region's natural charm. In its elusive movements, it becomes a symbol of the untamed beauty that thrives in the heart of Spain.

West African Large-spotted Genet

In the shadows of Extremadura, the elusive Genet stealthily roams, contributing to the region's rich ecosystem with its secretive and captivating presence.

Golden Oriole

Golden Oriole graces the landscape with its vibrant yellow plumage, adding a burst of color to the region's diverse ecosystems. Witness the beauty of these elusive birds.

Climate & Seasons

Winter season from 1°C to 16°C (34°F to 61°F).
Summer season from 15°C to 36°C (59°F to 97°F).

Winter (December - February)

Wintering Cranes in Extremadura: From November to February Thousands of cranes come every year from northern and central Europe to overwinter in southern and central Spain. We will not only use the photo hides of the estate, but also make
special trips to photograph these elegant birds.

Spring (March - May)

Blooming and Landscapes: From late February to May The Dehesa is full of flowers, with purple wild lavender dominating the landscape. Walking through the different areas you can take photos of wild animals in a unique environment.

Birds Breeding Season: From March 15 to May 15 Perhaps one of the best times to photograph so many species in their best plumage, active in parades, mating and raising young. All hides are active at this time of year and offer great photo opportunities.

Summer (June - August)

Looking for Water: From May to August Temperatures can be very high at this time and all species spend a lot of time searching for water to drink and cool off. Thanks to the many watering holes built also for large vultures, you can take unusual and unique photos.

Nightsky Photography: From June to September the Milky Way show gives its best, this is the best period to make Astrophotography.

Autumn (September - November)

Red Deer Rutting Season: From September 15 to October 15 As autumn approaches, the large male deer begin their display. From your room you can hear their calls every night. In the reserve we have two permanent hides for this special event.

Vivid Autumn Colors: Autumn season is the best time of the year to marvel at the colors of Foliage that makes everything magical.

Journeys

Lodges & Guesthouses

Several exclusive lodges, immersed in the Dehesa Extremeña are located around the Monfrague National Park and are able to cater a quality service, answering all your needs.

You will have different options, including ancient “Casa Rural” style places and modern ones, whichever is your choice you cannot go wrong!

Activities

Travel with Skua Nature

At SKUA Nature, we are dedicated to creating unforgettable and impactful experiences in Extremadura that will leave an indelible mark on your memory and on the planet.

Tailored Adventures

Craft your own unique journey, whether it’s focused on birdwatching, wildlife photography.

Exclusive Access

Enjoy privileged access to specialized facilities and hides, offering you unparalleled encounters with Extremadura’s wildlife.

Wildlife Oasis

Our hides provide a cozy sanctuary within the untamed wilderness, ensuring your comfort while having a session.

Personalized Care

Our committed team is here to ensure your every need is met, ensuring your comfort and satisfaction exceed your highest expectations.