Wildlife and walking holiday in the Spanish Pyrenees
Description of Wildlife and walking holiday in the Spanish Pyrenees
A week long, small group walking holiday in the Spanish Pyrenees, in a region known as Sobrabre, in the province of Aragon. The walking holiday is fully guided, staying in beautifully restored farmhouse that is owned by your guides, Simon and Lucy. They live close to the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park, one of Spain’s oldest national parks, a spectacular karst limestone landscape dominated by the Monte Perdido massif (3355m). The walking trails vary from valley floors tracks, to high alpine meadows, paths carved into cliffs or through ancient beech, pine and oak forests, each providing a unique ecosystem within its own right.
Simon and Lucy are also wildlife enthusiasts and, with the help of local wildlife experts they will take you on journeys that are well known habitats for the likes of chamois, marmots and the magnificent Lammergeier (bearded vulture). There is a wonderful array of birdlife, including from the tiny firecrest, bee-eater, golden oriole, hoopoe, and wall creeper to the largest raptors in Europe. Alberto is founder of ATONPA, a regional ornithological organisation and, with two decades of guiding experience in the area, his knowledge and passion for wildlife, flowers geology and local history is second to none. There is a lot to see and learn here, the area being not only a national park but also a UNESCO Geopark, a site of geological importance, and a World Biosphere Reserve. There are more than 1500 species of flowers here, 171 species of birds, over 131 species of butterflies and 32 different species of mammals, with eclectic insect life, including the praying mantis.
During this nature week, we host you in our restored traditional Pyrenean farmhouse, dating back to the 17th century. Restored to a high spec, the bedrooms are spacious with ensuite bathrooms and modern rain showers. There are spectacular views over the valley. Local artefacts and antiques are throughout, and our large sitting room has a wood burning stove. Wi-Fi is also available.
The price of the holiday includes just about everything except your transport to get here, and we do offer transfers from Zaragoza, for a charge of €80 pp return. Please note that we do not charge a supplement for solo travellers.
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15 Reviews of Wildlife and walking holiday in the Spanish Pyrenees
Reviewed on 23 Jun 2023 by Susan SpellingThe actual location and renovation of the farmhouse are spectacular. Every day was a joy seeing the local wildlife with local enthusiasts... We ended the week feeling very relaxed, great food and kind hosts plus the other people on the holiday made it so memorable. Read full review
Reviewed on 28 May 2023 by Rebecca NaidisSuper! Wonderful! Restful, educational. Read full review
Reviewed on 27 May 2023 by Debbie ThomasSimon and Lucy’s guiding principle is to use local and home grown ingredients for their delicious meals... A very worthwhile week. Read full review
Reviewed on 26 May 2023 by Julie DawsonOne of the best we have ever done! Simon and Lucy are fantastic hosts, their knowledge and passion is contagious! Read full review
Reviewed on 26 May 2023 by Ian PowellThe best holiday and wildlife experience I have had. Simon and Lucy are doing an incredible job and the whole experience is really good value for money. Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Oct 2023 by Jessica mckoenThe knowledge gained about the local area including ecology , wildlife , gastronomy history and culture. Particularly enjoyed the walks, visit to a traditional farmhouse and the visit to the goats cheese farm. Read full review
Reviewed on 14 Aug 2022 by Toby FountainThis was an outstanding holiday. The accommodation is a beautiful old farmhouse, the cuisine is healthy and delicious, and the range of wildlife and landscapes I experienced was breath taking. Read full review
Reviewed on 04 Jul 2022 by Susan LivingstoneExcellent, educational and truly inspiring. We learnt so much about the local nature, geography and culture of this beautiful part of Aragón. Read full review
Reviewed on 30 Jun 2022 by Janice NewmanAbsolutely brilliant. Lucy and Simon go out of their way to ensure everything is perfect. Read full review
Reviewed on 15 Jun 2022 by Judith BrooksOutstanding in every way. Great attention to detail in providing for guests' needs. The accommodation was comfortable and impeccably clean. I felt very welcome and cared for. Read full review
Reviewed on 22 Jul 2019 by Roland CherryOur holiday was brilliant! The wild and rugged beauty of the Aragon landscape took our breath away. Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Jun 2019 by Denise RamsdenThere were so many wonderful moments - the beautiful Lady's Slipper orchids, the vultures, the marmots, the Graellsia moth, the wonderful scenery of the Ordesa National Park. Read full review
Reviewed on 25 Jun 2019 by Margaret and Roger STEVENSExcellent - one of the best holidays we've had, with a well-balanced programme of nature, wildlife and walking which was adaptable to all needs. Read full review
Reviewed on 09 Jun 2019 by Elena CherkashynaThe day when we went high in the mountains and saw some wild animals was memorable. Also the night when we watched butterflies with our guide was amazing. Read full review
Reviewed on 29 May 2018 by Alison PelikanThe beautiful scenery on the walks plus the stunning variety of flowers, the birds and their songs and the insect activity generally. Enjoyed the actual walking too! Also the real quiet in the area we were in allowed me to be able to hear the birds rather than the traffic. Read full review
PlanetWe are passionate about the environment and the wildlife where we live. The Ordesa National Park is a World Biosphere Reserve and a ‘Special Protection Area for Birds’ with over 171 species, including the rare Lammergeier or Bearded Vulture (Gypaetus Barbatus). We support the Lammergeier Conservation Foundation by using guides from the Foundation, visiting the raptor feeding stations with guests and selling the Foundation T-shirts. This helps fund a breeding program in our area which has had great success. Our walks are led by experts in the area (or accompanied by information packs when self-guided) and ensure that fragile environments are not degraded in any way when walking.
There are also well over 100 species of butterflies and moths in our area, including the rare and beautiful Isabelina Moth (Actias Isabellae) and the Giant Peacock Moth (Saturnia Pyri). We have been successful in hatching the eggs and releasing the caterpillars for these moths.
At the farmhouse we have geothermal heating and hot water with minimal environmental impact. We also harvest rainwater for both the irrigation of our vegetable patch and garden, and for the washing machine.
We recycle all we can, including building materials and furniture. For example all the vanity units in the luxury bathrooms are unique secondhand pieces of furniture, adapted with a granite top and basin. All the furniture in the house is antique or secondhand and has been or is in the process of being restored by Simon, your host. Many of the external doors are secondhand and have been adapted. The beams and stone from the four year renovation of the property have been reused throughout the building process. We continue to reuse this material now as we landscape the garden.
PeopleWe support the local economy wherever possible by employing guides, experts and teachers from our area. We offer English lessons to our guides, providing them with a greater opportunity for work.
We involve our neighbours with our holidays, offering the possibility to visit their houses which have changed little through the centuries. This gives a unique insight into the culture and traditions of the high Pyrenees. In return we make donations to the village fund, for amongst other things the maintenance of our historic chapel of San Urbez (hermitage).
We also offer a guided visit to the chapel of San Urbez, explaining stories about our saint, his miracles and the architectural features. For this, we ask our guests for a donation in the chapel collection box.
We are involved in trying to preserve and restore the local pathways, acting as volunteers as the need arises. We will be running a path clearing holiday in the future which we hope will also ultimately benefit the community as a whole.
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