This full day tour in 4WD vehicles has been specially designed for people whose interests focus on bird watching or nature photography and already have some knowledge of the subject. If your main interest is to learn about and enjoy the nature of Doñana, our half day tours are better suited to your needs. We remind you that you will not see more of the Park by choosing this tour option.
We will design and adapt the tour to your needs. Our full day tours are very appropriate, for example, if you need to complete your bird list and this requires a visit to some very specific places in the region, far from each other. The only limitation is that we cannot finish too far after sunset as night tours are not allowed.
Our professional and well trained guides have also good English skills. We have many years of experience in developing nature activities in Doñana with a team that enjoys their work and knows how to transmit their enthusiasm to our customers. We will show you the most beautiful places in the Park at all times of year and will do everything possible for Doñana to look to you as spectacular as you expect.
The recommended group size is 1-4 people and we normally used 4-8 seated Land Rover Defender for these tours. Four people will fit comfortably in it and have sufficient room for all your equipment in the back, where there are more seats with reduced visibility to fit 4 more people if you go light luggage. We have larger vehicles if needed.
You will visit the forests and marshes in the north of the Doñana National Park and take a coffee break at José Antonio Valverde Visitors Center, where you will be able to enjoy the bird breeding colony in spring and use the services provided by the facility. In the afternoon you will visit other spots of ornithological and scenic interest in the vicinity of the Park.
The starting time will be agreed with you and our guide will pick you up at your hotel in El Rocio or wait for you at our offices in the village. Our recommendation is to go out in the morning and before sunrise if possible.
There is a small local restaurant next to our offices, in case you need it, that offers breakfast from very early in the morning, although later, around 10:00 our guide will offer a cup of coffee in a visitor center. At lunchtime, you will have the possibility to stop somewhere to have your picnic or choose the option to try the traditional cuisine in a small local restaurant at a price of around 10€ / person.
Do not hesitate to tell your requirements and we will do our best to accommodate you.
Description of the route
El Rocío and Coto del Rey
Our route begins in the village of El Rocío, a place where a famous pilgrimage take place just before Pentecost every year; more than a hundred brotherhoods coming from all parts of Spain concentrate here for a few days in spring bringing around 1 million people in good years. The picturesque Sanctuary of El Rocio presides elegantly a marsh parade, definitely becoming the undisputed star of the typical Rocío postcard, together with the nearby Mother of the Marshes, one of the best birding spots in Doñana. The usual sight of horsemen riding along the sandy streets surprise everyone. The traditional pilgrims’ road locally called Raya Real (Royal Line) will take us to the Coto del Rey Pine Forest, where we will focus on the observation of mammals and try species like red deer, wild boar and iberian lynx.
Matasgordas Cork Oak Forest and the Vera
Matasgordas Cork Oak Forest is one of the best preserved patches of our natural forest and in Spring offers excellent opportunities to observe birds of prey such as black kite and booted eagle and passerines such as sardinian warbler and Iberian shrike. Among its halimium rockroses and mastic trees we will try to detect the presence of one of the emblems of the Park, our Iberian lynx. Throughout the Vera, the contact zone between the sand of the forest and the clay of the marshes, is not rare to find large herds of red deer and groups of wild boar; in winter large flocks of egrets, waders, ibis and flamingos.
On leaving the last ancient oaks, it opens before our eyes the vast expanse of the Guadalquivir Marshes. Its infinity overwhelms the senses and the life within it is shown in as many ways as different are the seasons. Summer parched plains welcome the autumn rains and within a few weeks, become an endless lake supporting huge flocks of waders and ducks arrived from the north to take advantage of our mild winters. In spring the marsh turn into a green carpet of sea clubrush that holds a rich birdlife. Herons and egrets, grebes, stilts and avocets, whiskered and black-billed terns swirl in the breeding areas, disputing their right to existence to black kites and marsh harriers that fly menacingly up in the skies.
Caño Guadiamar and Aznalcázar Marshes
El Pastor Marsh Thatch-huts give us way to the Caño Guadiamar, an excellent birding place where purple herons, squacco herons, glossy ibis, grebes and purple swamphens, among others, concentrate for several months during their breeding season. From the bridge over the Caño we can see in winter large flocks of coots and ducks hiding among reeds. Kites, harriers, kestrels and our scarce Spanish Imperial Eagle use it as a hunting ground. In the nearby cereal fields is not difficult to see in winter large groups of geese and cranes, as well as huge flocks of calandra larks and skylarks, and hen harriers overflying them.
Lucio del Lobo and Entremuros
Further east, at Lucio del Lobo, surrounded by dry marshes, short-toed eagles and lesser kestrels watch us from their perches, while groups of fallow deer stare at us curiously s as we passed. Here we stop again to look through our binoculars the usual groups of flamingos and spoonbills. In winter, large flocks of black-tailed godwits and ruffs catch our attention and the fast flight of the merlin leads us to the distant silhouettes of the mobile dunes in the south of the Park shining in the sun. Purple swamphens hid among the reeds and barn owls in the tamarisks along Entremuros which will drive us without difficulty to the transformed marshes in the north.
Dehesa de Abajo
Here we find the largest colony in Spain of white stork on trees, with several hundred pairs. It is a must stop in spring when hundreds of black kites and booted eagles fly over the colony in search of an easy prey. In its well-preserved wild olive forests is not difficult to get species such as iberian shrike, little owl, bee-eater or great-spotted cuckoo. Down in the lagoon of the natural reserve huge flocks of shovelers, common pochards and red-crested pochards concentrated in winter, while in spring is home to large groups of avocets, black-winged stilts, spoonbills, flamingos and herons. The nearby rice paddies and the so called Brazo de la Torre (an old branch of the Guadalquivir River Delta) are the perfect complement with species like penduline tit, collared pratincole in spring and blue throat in winter.
Isla Mayor Rice Fields
This is the largest rice-growing area in Spain with about 36,000; many of Doñana’s waterbirds concentrate here during our dry season. You will need the help of a local guide not to get lost in the complicated network of roads, tracks and channels of this vast green extension. Huge flocks of several thousand glossy ibis or flamingos, clouds of godwits and greylag geese, species like gull-billed tern, purple heron, black stork or squacco heron, stand out among the long list in this section of Doñana so important for the National Park. This is a must especially in the Autumn during harvest time when large concentrations of birds occur in the freshly harvested fields.
North of the marshes
North of the transformed marshes of Doñana we find a complex patchwork of farm fields, meadows, riverbank forests, lagoons, cattle pastures and pine forests that offer a large variety of habitats for some interesting birds like black-winged kite, little bustard, pintail sandgrouse, stone curlew, great-spotted cuckoo, golden oriole, red-necked nightjar, kingfisher, iberian magpie and isabelline warbler. Places like Dehesa de Pilas, Arroyo de la Cigüeña, Guadiamar River, Dehesa de Villamanrique, the abandoned gravel pits or Aznalcázar Pine Forests are a very important complement to the already rich forest, marshes and rice fields communities of Doñana.
Doñana changes through the seasons
he gave us a very informative dissertation
on folk customs, botany, zoology,
environmental sustainability ... well, even
children talked later about how many
things they learned and how easy
was to understand him.”
– Fátima García –
Antonio in Doñana. It is appreciated when
people love their work, enjoy teaching
others all they know and do not have any
hurry to finish. And furthermore the
equipment was just perfect, telescope, binos
and field guides were of a great help to us.”
– Pedro Dámaso –
was the highlight of our visit to
Andalusia. Not only for the 100 species
of birds we saw, but also because of the
interesting information from the guide
on Doñana’s ecology and history. It was
an unforgettable experience for us.”
– Andrea Owen & Martin Holmes –
Book this tour now
Contact us and we will personally inform you of all the details.