Unlike the Mediterranean coastline, the Costa de Luz is dominated by miles and miles of beautiful undisturbed sandy beaches and dunes offering views of Africa to the South, and to the west, the rolling surf of the Atlantic.
At the mouths of the Rio Barbate and the Rio Guadilquivir (specialties tour), as well large parts of the Bay of Cadiz, are extensive bird rich saltmarsh and saltpans within the intertidal areas.
Notable Coastal and Intertidal Birds
Cory’s Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater, Mediterranean Shearwater, Glossy Ibis, Spoonbill, Greater Flamingo, Black-winged Stilt, Collared Pratincole, Kentish Plover, Mediterranean Gull, Little Gull, Slender-billed Gull, Audoin’s Gull, Gull-billed Tern, Caspian Tern, Lesser crested Tern, Whiskered Tern, Short-toed Lark, Lesser short-toed Lark and Bluethroat
The vast La Janda wetlands have now vastly been drained for farmlands. Despite this, the drainage channels and the Rio Barbate that pass through this area, together with the paddy fields in the wetter regions still provide valuable habitats for a wide variety of birds, mammals, amphibians and aquatic invertebrates. In the north of our area the shallower reed-fringed lagoons and coastal marshes that join the Rio Guadalquivir (specialties tour) support internationally important populations of wildfowl and raptors.
Notable Freshwater Birds
Black-necked Grebe, Little Bittern, Squacco Herron, Purple Heron, Great White Egret, Black Stork, White Stork, Marsh Harrier, Spanish Imperial Eagle, Ruddy Shelduck, Garganey Marbled Teal, Red-crested Podard, Ferruginous Duck, White-headed Duck, Osprey, Crested Coot, Purple Gallinule, Common Crane, Kingfisher, Great Reed Warbler and Penduline Tit.
The extensive Los Alcornacales Natural Park makes up the 3rd largest protected area in Andalucía. Its sheer size 80 km – 35 km provides a rich mosaic of mountain streams and rocky outcrops offering views of soaring birds and impressive scenery down to its most southern extent at Tarifa. This spectacular mountain range, along with stunning coastal massifs are composed of sandstones and limestones which have been uplifted and folded to create stunning geomorphological features including impressive cave systems, several of which include Neolithic paintings.
Notable Mountain Birds
Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Ruppell’s Vulture, Golden Eagle, Bonelli’s Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Eagle Owl, Alpine Swift, White-rumped Swift, Little Swift, Crag Martin and Blue Rock Thrush.