Highly special local and african butterflies
Visit Sierra Nevada, Iberian's highest mountains
Explore a variety of habitats from sea level to 2700 m
Apollo, Sierra Nevada Blue, Tiger Blue, Spanish Argus, Desert Orange Tip ...
Butterflies of Spain's Sierra Nevada
A fantastic tour to discover some endemic butterflies and some rare species that occur just on this little corner of Europe! Sierra Nevada homes endemisms such as Nevada Blue and Nevada Apollo, and very localized species such as Zullichi Glandon Blue, Spanish Argus or Spanish Brassy Ringlet. We'll also look for African species at the mediterranean coast, such as Desert Orange Tip and Common Tiger Blue.
We will meet in either Granada or Málaga and head directly to our accomodation near Sierra Nevada. Time allowing, there will be a stop on the way to check for local butterflies and flora. We will dinner outdoors and present the upcoming tour itinerary.
A day to visit Sierra de Huétor Natural Park, at short distance from Granada city. This forested limestone massif holds nice populations of Iberian Marbled White, Cleopatra and Great Banded Grayling. We will check several spots of this protected area including a botanical garden where wll be looking for False Ilex Hairstreak and Cardinal Fritillary, among many others.
A challenging day into the Sierra Nevada National Park to watch out for its endemic butterflies and flora. We will check different locations to maximize the chances to find Nevada Blue, Purple-shot Copper, Silver-studded Blue, Escher's Blue and Spanish Brassy Ringlet among others.
Time to travel to the coastal areas of the Granada and Almería provinces on the look out for rare species that only occur here within Europe. The main targets of the day are Common Tiger Blue and Desert Orange Tip, but there will be many other possible sightings as the habitats are completely different to those previously visited.
On these two days we will visit a variety of new areas of the Sierra Nevada National and Natural Parks, including some of its southern slopes, botanical gardens and high passes. This aims to produce new species, among them first is the local Apollo with its orange ocelli. We will enjoy scores of Idas Blue at some specific water points as we cross our fingers for Spanish Argus, several Fritillaries, Graylings, Browns and hopefully the very scarce Zullich's Blue.
On one of these days we will be joined by butterfly expert Miguel Olvera, who will delight us with his strong local knowledge after many years monitoring these mountains. We will also enjoy with him a delightful moth-trapping session.
A relaxed breakfast at our hotel and we'll head back to either Granada or Málaga for departure.
What wildlife to expect
This is a butterfly tour that aims to enjoy a variety of endemic species/subspecies in Spain's Sierra Nevada plus some other species that only occur in very localized locations of Southeast Spain. We can expect to find around 45 species. You can find a daily butterfly checklist on our last trip report. The top 10 butterflies on this tour are Apollo, Nevada Blue, Common Tiger Blue, Escher's Blue, Zullich's Blue, Spanish Argus, Spanish Brassy Ringlet, Desert Orange Tip, Cardinal Fritillary and Cleopatra. Whereas the moths will not be treated on this tour, a moth trapping activity will add some joy to the itinerary.
Granada's birdlife is notorious and we shall enjoy nice sightings of Red-billed Chough and Northern Wheatear. We will hear Golden Orioles and Grey Wagtails when near the Genil river as Pallid Swifts will quickly dash through the blue sky. On the day at the coast we'll have chances to see Stone Curlew, Iberian Grey Shrike and Red-rumped Swallow.
We should come acros some Iberian Ibex in the highest peaks. Other possible sightings include Wild Boar and Red Squirrel.
Sierra Nevada will bring us an interesting array of endemic flora, such as sempervivum minutum, the carnivorous plant pinguicula nevadensis, its endemic Foxglove or the beautiful Sierra Nevada Gentians. Robust Marsh Orchid should be in full flower. The day at the coast we will wander across a ziziphus lotus bushland and will also find capparis spinosa.
We guide this butterfly tour in Spain by means of Andalucía Slow Tours, S.L., a local travel agency accredited by the Spanish Tourist Board with number CIAN 297083-2.
OPEN GROUP TOUR DATES
July 9 - 15, 2023 (7 days)
* Query us for other dates, tour extensions or for a private tour
Rates per person (2023): 900 €
Min. 4 - max. 7 fellow travellers (1 guide)
(or max. 14 travellers with 2 guides)
Tour leader: Álvaro Peral
- Transfers from/to Málaga and Granada
- Professional guiding services (in English)
- A day guided by expert Miguel Olvera
- A moth-trapping session
- Guidebooks and daily butterfly checklist
- Holiday report
- Accidents insurance
- All taxes and entry fees
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
- Accomodation (around 45 eur/night in single occupancy). We can help to arrange it.
- Food or drinks (around 30 eur/day)
- Personal costs
- Travel insurance
We will be based at the river village of Pinos Genil, midway between Granada and Sierra Nevada.
Easy-medium walks on rocky terrain. This tour is suitable for all ages.
Coffee and tostadas for breakfast. Lunches will be picnic on site. Dinners will be plentiful and prioritize traditional andalusian cuisine.
What the tour leader says
I can't think of a most rewarding wildlife trip in July than looking for the endemic butterflies of Sierra Nevada. With high temperatures all across Andalucía, being at the high mountain is a enjoyable break. July is definitely the month for butterflies in Sierra Nevada, join us there!
Álvaro Peral, founder of Wild Andalucía