September - EARLY AUTUMN SUNSHINE - Southerly bird migration, a good time to watch Bee-eaters, Short-toed eagles and Booted eagles.
September 20th-27th - 4 places left for this holiday - Click here to reserve now!
The temperature begins to cool and, if we have had rain, then the ground will soften, giving way from dried straw colours to a soft green as plants sprout anew after their summer dormancy. Some of the flowers we can see now are Round-leaved fluellin, Common ivy, Fennel, Rosemary, White asparagus, Apple mint and Maritime squill. A range of fruits and berries begin to ripen, which can add a surprising splash of colour; Sloe, Blackberry, Hawthorn, Laurustinus, Peony, Turpentine Tree and Strawberry tree.
There are many insects which only live for one summer, they will now have reached maturity and be laying eggs which will hatch in the coming spring. Reptiles will continue to enjoy sunbathing and snacking on a plentiful supply of insects.
The following Sample Itinerary shows a selection of the walks we offer. We are very flexible and can change the routes according to the time of year, level of fitness of our customers and weather conditions.
Telescope and binoculars are available for watching wildlife.
16:00 Airport Transfer
Arrive at Malaga Airport where we will meet you and transport you to the village. After settling in your accommodation we will arrange a short orientation tour of Grazalema.
20:00 Dinner at local restaurant
Day 2: Puerto de Boyar - Puerto de las Presillas - Llanos de Endrinal - Grazalema (Circular)
This is an excellent walk for a chance of spotting the Spanish Ibex - the wild mountain goats which roam the high peaks of the Sierra de Grazalema.
Time: 5-6 hours including wildlife stops and a picnic lunch.
Surface: A well-defined, rocky path and a comfortable forest path.
Day 3: Benaocaz Village - Salto de Cabrero - Grazalema Village (linear, village-to-village)
This village-to-village walk is a wonderful ramble through changing landscapes - forest paths, rocky outcrops, meadows and a gorge overlooked by the famous Salto de Cabrero crag - the Goatherd's Leap - named after the anonymous legendary goatherd who could jump from one side of the gorge to the other.
Time: 5 hours 30 minutes including wildlife stops and a picnic lunch break.
Surface: A rocky path for the first short section and then easy paths and a comfortable forest track.
Getting there: 20 minute drive to Benaocaz.
Day 4: Pinsapar - The Spanish Fir Forest (linear, return)
This is one of the most memorable walks of the Sierra de Grazalema, offering mountain views, abundant birdlife and a chance to see the ancient endemic Spanish Fir Trees - a protected species that exists only around Grazalema and Sierra de las Nieves (near Ronda).
Time : 5 hours 30 minutes including 1 hour for picnic and wildlife stops.
Getting there: 15 minute drive to the start of the walk.
Day 5: Rest Day
Day 6: The summit of Simancon (1560 metres).
The spectacular views are worth the steady climb which starts at about 950 metres. The climb is very gradual and the surface does not pose much of a challenge until the last 20 minutes of the walk when we must pick our way through the rocks to reach the very peak of Simancon. Your reward is 360o views.
Time: 6 hours, including a stop for a picnic lunch.
Day 7: Montejaque to Venta de los Alamillos (linear, one way)
This is a remote ramble through lost and lonely stunning landscapes. The walk starts at the Montejaque village square with its story-book feel and ends in a cork oak and Portuguese oak forest where the magnificent oak trees encourage nesting of woodpeckers, various owls and Hoopoes.
Time: 6 hours including a stop for a picnic lunch
Getting there: 30 minute drive to Montejaque main square
Return: 10-minute drive from Venta los Alamillos to Grazalema
Day 8: 8am return to Malaga airport
Our Guided walking and nature holidays run every month of the year. Click the month below that fits in with your preferences.
One of Spain's most stunning natural parks. A fabulous location to spend time be it resting, walking, bird watching or photography.
Grazalema is to be found in the north east part of Cadiz province (at a height of 800m) in the mountain range bearing the same name Sierra de Grazalema. In 1977 this area was declared a “Biosphere Reserve” by UNESCO due to the exceptional variety and wealth of its fauna and flora. In 1984 it was made the first Nature Park of Andalucia by the Junta de Andalucia.
Our nature walking holidays run from Saturday to Saturday. You arrive on a Saturday at Malaga airport with transport pickup at 4pm to Grazalema and leave at 8am for Malaga airport on the following Saturday. We run small groups with normally 8 guests at a time although sometimes we invite other people visiting or passing through the park area with our "join a group" service. Meeting like minded people and making new friendships through our shared love of the surrounding nature is an important part of Wildside Holidays - Grazalema.
Summer time is when many insects reach the adult phase of their life. They may have spent months, even years as a larva, drab in colour and unable to move far, possibly living underwater or underground. Now, in this last stage of their lifecycle, they might be brightly coloured, able to fly or to emit sounds and so they become more obvious to us. Insects are a very important part of the food chain on which we depend.
We also rely heavily on insects for their ability to pollinate much of our food crops, and so they deserve at least a moment of our time. Here is a tiny selection of those that might gain your attention within the natural park area.
During late May and into June temperatures start to rise as springtime turns quickly to summer. Road side verges are full of flowering plants in all colours and cereal fields turn bright red with poppies and yellow with false fennel. As the weeks progress, spring blooms will be turning to seed and the golden browns of summer will begin to dominate the lower landscapes. However the later flowering of the higher altitude mountainous plants means that there is still plenty to discover in what is known as the ‘hedgehog zone’ describing plants with a dwarf and prickly form.
The common consensus in the European birdwatching communities is that May is the best time for looking at birds. While this could be true, June and July should not be discarded that quickly. There are two great advantages to that time of the year as far as birds are concerned. There are more birds as the adults of songbirds, for example, are said to be outnumbered by five to one by their offspring. Another advantage is that birds gather around water sources in the hottest part of the day for a bath and a drink.
Spring is in full swing during the month of May and the plants in flower are so numerous that it is difficult to choose which ones to mention here. You will see that the waysides and meadows hold a tremendous variety, pause to count how many species you can find in just one square metre! Note that there is a subtle difference between the flowering times in the sheltered valleys to that of the exposed higher pastures. Look below the featured plants here, to see a condensed list to whet your appetite! (Grouped by colour).
Traditional cheeses from the Sierra de Grazalema are made from goat’s or sheep’s milk. ‘Cabra Payoya’ goats and ‘Oveja Merina Grazalemeña’ sheep are both registered and protected breeds of the Sierra de Grazalema and adjoining Serranía de Ronda. These breeds have been developed to flourish in a mountain terrain where summer droughts are the norm and winter rainfall can be in heavy bursts.These flocks play a key role in the maintenance of local traditions and cultures, contributing to sustainable rural development in the region. Managed well, they aid in the conservation and maintenance of the mountain area.
Colour is spreading into every corner as now, according to the calendars, spring is official. Our surroundings become a painter’s paradise as lush plants vie for attention, their soft edges contrasting with the sharp mountain landscape. Botanising amongst the orchids is sheer pleasure as more species are appearing in bloom and photographers beware – extra memory cards and batteries are advised!
Also called Dolmen del Chopo -after the name of the farm where it is situated
Dolmens are built stone burial chambers or tombs. They are created by standing huge stones on their edges to create the basic form and then these are capped with massive slabs. Soil would have been used to totally cover the entire area, but this has washed away over the centuries. A simple shape may be box like but the one we look at here is a longer structure, forming a corridor for multiple burials.