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Recommendations to visit Doñana in summer

By José Antonio Sánchez Iglesias

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The good temperatures and the typical clear skies of summer become the ideal conditions to spend a few days in Doñana, enjoy its beaches and spend some time getting to know the National Park a bit.

Panorámica de la Playa de Matalascañas

The Mother of the Marshes, next to the Rocío, normally still keeps a good amount of water in June and offers very good conditions to attract a good number of birds and very good opportunities if you are interested in bird watching. The so-called Marsh Promenade, which runs along the marsh edge, is ideal for these purposes. In August, it usually succumb to the intense and continuous heat and become a parched plain where mares graze. If there is  still water, you will enjoy this wonderful place at its best where flamingos, spoonbills, herons and storks flock to it.

La marisma con aves revoloteando con El Rocío al fondo

If you also make the effort, not small in vacation time, to visit El Rocío at dawn, I assure you that it will be worth it. At that time the deer are moving away from the marshes to take refuge in the nearby forests and are often seen crossing its shallow waters in small groups. Flamingos at those early hours are still very close to the marsh promenade and you can take a nice photo of them with a normal camera. Later they will move away as the traffic of people and vehicles increases. This is usually the first stop on our excursions, taking advantage of our optical equipment of binoculars and telescopes we can make the most of the place.

Calle de El Rocío con la ermita al fondo

Since you are here you should also spend some time taking a walk through the picturesque El Rocío village. Its sandy streets, its white houses and its famous sanctuary make up a very attractive set. There is no shortage of bars and restaurants where you can have the typical tapas and portions of good meat and fish from the area, both of which are of very good quality in the province, washed down with the traditional white and fruity “Vino del Condado” (typical local whine).

Bosque del Sendero del Charco de la Boca

After lunch, a walk along the trails of the nearby visitor centers of La Rocina and / or El Acebrón is the best option. Just 1 km south of El Rocío you will find the access to both places. In the first one you have a small information center and an easy signposted path a couple of kilometers long along the right banks of La Rocina Stream. In the second, a curious neoclassical building in which an interesting exhibition has been mounted on the activities and traditional uses of the inhabitants of the area. A short path runs through the coolest area of Doñana: it crosses the pine and cork oak forests near the La Rocina Stream and the dense riverside forest that covers it, one of the most attractive landscapes in Doñana.

Arroyo de La Rocina y observatorio de aves

An important recommendation would be that you bring your binoculars, they will help you make much better use of the resources that Doñana offers to the visitor. Even if you decide to spend the morning with us on one of our organized tours to the north of the Park, you will have enough time to follow the plan I have proposed you.

Excursión a caballo

Another very typical activity of the area is the horseback tour (or cart-horse) through El Rocío and the nearby forests. There are several companies that offer these types of services.

We hope that our recommendations for visiting Doñana in summer will be useful to you and that you enjoy your stay.

See you in Doñana.

About José Antonio Sánchez Iglesias

José Antonio Sánchez se licenció en Biología por la Universidad de Sevilla en 1985. Más tarde, durante varios años, se dedicó a organizar y guiar rutas de senderismo y naturaleza ...

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