Doñana National Park

Andalusía, in Southern Spain, is known for many things: it’s home to amazing monuments like the Alhambra of granda and the Mezquita of Crdoba, it’s the birthplace of flamenco and bullfighting and the region is world renowned for its laid-back fun-loving spirit. But, Andalusia has other “tricks up its sleeve”. The region also enjoys a unique natural beauty that sometimes gets overlooked.

From the Spectacular, pristine beaches, the Sierra Nevada mountain range Andalusia has some truly breathtaking natural gems, none more spectacular than the doñana national park, located mainly in the province of Huelva, though parts spill over into Cádiz and Seville as well.

Doñana is one of the most unique natural environments in the world. The park spans over 543 square kilometers and contains several different and distinct ecosystems within. Marshes, streams, sand dunes, Mediterranean forest, all can be found within the same park. This microcosm is created due to the peculiar location of the park.

Table of Contents

Tour of Doñana National Park

Tours of the park are permitted, but they are closely supervised by the parks overseers. Bellow you will find link to the tour we recommend that will give you the full Doñana experience with none of the hassle. 

Doñana: The Largest National park in Spain and in Europe! 

 

Doñana is located at the delta of the Guadalquivir river (one of the longest in Spain) that runs all the way up through the city of Seville, located about 70 km north of the park. This meeting point between the fresh waters of the Guadalquivir and the warm salty waters of the Mediterranean generates creates an unparalleled level of biodiversity in the continent.  The park features a great variety of wildlife including thousands of European and African migratory birds, fallow deer, Spanish red deer, wild boars, European badgers, Egyptian mongooses, and endangered species such as the Spanish imperial eagle and the elusive Iberian lynx.

The Doñana nature reserve includes both the Doñana National Park and the Natural Park, created in 1989. The park has been in constant danger due to the agricultural exploitation of the area, but thankfully the area has been under the protectio0n of the Spanish government for decades and has been classified (in its entirety) as a natural landscape. It’s the location between the continents of Europe and Africa and its proximity to the Strait of Gibraltar, make Doñana’s large expanse of salt marsh a perfect breeding ground and resting point for thousands of European and African birds. Over 200,000 individual migratory birds show up in the winter months, and over 300 different species of birds may be sighted there annually. Doñana is the largest nature reserve in Europe, with several different scientific monitoring stations within its boundaries that are there to ensure the appropriate development of the ecosystems and the conservation of threatened species that call Doñana home. The area was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.

Doñana park map

How to get to Doñana from Seville?

The best way to get to Doñana from Seville is by car, and there really isn’t any other way because of the protection of the reserve. The drive takes about 40 minutes, check out the map bellow: 

Bird watching at Doñana

The northern area of Doñana, that all visitors have to cross before reching the parks visitor center is a wonderful area for birding especially in the wet season. Several species of waterfowl can be spotted here, including Marbled and White-headed Ducks, resident species like the Glossy Ibis, and the Spoonbill, Red-knobbed Coot, Red-crested Pochard, Little and Cattle EgretsNight and Squacco Herons and thousands of Flamingos can easily be spotted in this area of the park.

In summer, Short-toed LarkPurple and Night Herons, and Gull-billed Tern, can all be found as well as Short-toed Eagles, Black Terns and the rare Rufous Bush Robin all show up in nothern Doñana. 

In the parks south, at least 2 days are needed to properly experience everything. The Asperillo, a scrubland within the old dunes are home to a wide variety of warblers.

La Rocina, closer to the river is one of the parks best birding spots during the wet season. There are several hides and nice footpaths where you can observe many species of waterfowl and aquatic birds.

Summer residents of this area include, among others: Savi’s WarblersBee-eaters, Gull-billed TernsBooted Eagles, and Whiskered Terns. Harder to spot, but also a resident of this southern slice of Doñana is the  Spanish Imperial Eagle, one of the parks endangered species

In winter, the area really comes alive: Great White Egrets, Osprey, Black-tailed Godwits and a large number of waders visit Doñana. During migration, Garganey and Temminck’s Stint are also seen regularly.

 

Additional Details

  • Romantic traveler:Yes
  • Trendy traveler:No
  • Culture seeker:No
  • Fun seeker:No
  • No hassle traveler:No
  • Family traveler:Yes
Show all
  • Like a local:Yes