Cadiz

Day Trip Cadiz: Doñana National Park

04 Oct 2019
Jump in the car and drive 45 minutes north out of Cádiz, following the A-480 until the signs for Doñana National Park (Doñana Reserves) begin. You’re about to enter a nirvana of nature that will simultaneously take your breath away and fill you with new life, if such a contradiction is allowed to exist. The cities of Andalusia can be pretty exhausting from time to time, so get out into nature and relax.

Getting to Doñana National Park isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but it is well worth the effort. Using your own transport is absolutely the best option, not to mention the easiest, as the park lies just 57km north of Cádiz. If you don’t have a private mode of transport, the amount of time it takes to get here will severely impede the amount of time you have to enjoy it. So drive, or get a very expensive taxi.

What exactly is there to see at Doñana National Park? Well this is a national park, so you should be expecting sumptuous nature and absolute serenity. Your expectations will be met, with vast vistas of sand dunes, marshes and streams, steadily growing and building up that beautiful tension before the Guadalquivir flows into the majestic Atlantic Ocean. The biodiversity on offer here is utterly unique, completely unlike anywhere else in Europe, with masses of ecosystems maintained by the migratory birds of Southern Europe and North Africa.

This is a vibrant breeding ground for many beasts, with over 300 different species of bird sighted here every single year. The list of flying beasts here is vast, and includes such magnificently monikered birds as the Kentish plover, the little bustard, the pied flycatcher and the bean goose. Bird names are the best. There is also plenty of non-bird wildlife to be found in Doñana, including deer, lynx, lizards and snakes, not to mention two species of indigenous horses and Europe’s only feral camels. Saying that, if you come across the wild dromedaries, please do inform park officials.

Doñana National Park is far from easy to get to, but the window into the world that it offers is well worth every drop of sweat expended in the effort to get here. If you think gazing at the Atlantic on the beaches of Cádiz is tranquil, just wait until the vast expanse of Doñana National Park spreads out in front of you.

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