Holiday ideas for bird watchers

Depending on where you go, you can see a lot more than buzzards or bee-eaters. Look out for avocets, Bonelli’s eagles, curlews, egrets, flamingos, golden eagles, hoopoes, kingfishers, marsh harriers, nightingales, ospreys, purple herons, redwings, storks, terns, vultures, warblers and much more besides. Below are highlights from our walking and cycling holidays.

Buzzards to bee-eaters

  • The fact that the region’s name derives from the Roman word aviarium, meaning ‘gathering place of birds’, hints heavily at the bird-watching opportunities as you cycle leisurely past the lagoons and salt flats of this northern section of Portugal’s coastline. Look out for kites, swifts, warblers, little bitterns, Eurasian marsh harriers, Iberian yellow wagtails and more.
  • Virgin coastlines such as Portugal’s Costa Vicentina are not just great for walking, but great for wildlife-spotting too. The headline act here are the storks. If the nests you’ve seen built elsewhere on chimneys and church steeples have seemed precarious, the gravity-defying ones that they build here on precipitous sea stacks beggar belief. Their bravado is all the more special to witness given that this is the only place in the world where you’ll see storks nesting above the sea (you’ll need to come in spring, of course). Peregrine falcons also breed on the cliffs here, and you should look out, too, for Bonelli’s eagles and even, if you are lucky, ospreys.
  • Our holiday in the Basque Pyrenees promises thrilling walking and gradually changing scenery as you descend to the coast through a unique corner of France characterised by whitewashed villages and a distinctive culture and cuisine. Travel in late summer and you’ll also witness the migration of hundreds of thousands of raptors as they fly south – a fantastic sight, even for non-bird-watchers. The spectacle starts in mid-August, with black kites and honey buzzards, followed by black storks, ospreys, hobbies and marsh harriers in September, then red kites, buzzards and sparrowhawks in October.
  • The island of Runde, accessible from Ålesund on the northern fringes of the Norwegian fjords, is home to the greatest number of bird species in Scandinavia. The puffin colony alone numbers some 100,000. Need we say more?
  • Andalucía is synonymous with white towns, beaches, flamenco and sherry. Our holidays in the Grazalema Sierra west of Ronda promise plenty of the first (in which there are bars serving the latter!) combined with one of Andalucía’s lesser-known features: its diverse wildlife. As you follow the inviting paths through this surprisingly verdant sierra, you may well spot griffon vultures gliding above the jagged limestone peaks – 200 pairs nest here. Keep your eyes peeled, too, for Bonelli’s, golden, booted and short-toed eagles – as well as the 130 or so other bird species found here.
  • To explore the Lofoten archipelago is to discover a land of stark beauty, where jagged mountains rise steeply above beaches of silver sand. Amid these untamed landscapes, all the more special when bathed in the Midnight Sun, you feel very close to nature. Along the coast, the air is filled with the cries of seabirds – eider ducks, common scoters, red breasted mergansers, goosanders and marauding seagulls which like nothing more than mobbing a sea eagle in the hope that it will drop its catch. Inland, the calls of ptarmigan, curlews, bluethroats and redwings echo across the moors.
  • The holidays above aren’t the only ones with a strong emphasis on birds. In Spain, listen for nightingales in the mountains of Alicante, which are also home to eagles, hoopoes, warblers and more; join your host on a bird-watching walk on our holiday in Green Spain; sight birds ranging from blue rock thrushes to buzzards in the Catalan Pyrenees; and keep your eyes peeled for black-winged stilts, Kentish plovers and black-necked grebes on the island of Formentera. In Norfolk (which you can explore on foot or by bike), there are seabirds and waders aplenty, while Sicily's Madonie Mountains shelter peregrine falcons, jays, golden and Bonelli’s eagles.

More themes

Keep in touch

Our weekly newsletters are a great way to hear all the latest news from Inntravel. To sign up, please enter your details below.

By clicking ‘sign me up’, I agree to Inntravel’s Privacy Statement.

Thank you for joining our mailing list - you should have a welcome email waiting for you already. If it's not in your inbox, check your junk folder and save our address so you don't miss out on weekly news and offers from Inntravel.
Sorry, something went wrong. Please email us and we will be happy to sign you up.
Last fetch time is : 6/25/2024 4:50:52 PM

currency iplookup:

cookie value: null

querystring value: null