Spanish Ibex on a rocky hillside, Spain

Sierra Nevada - wild flowers and mountain wildlife

An introduction to the wild flowers, butterflies, birds and mammals of Spain’s beautiful Sierra Nevada.

Located in southern Spain, the Mediterranean climate and rugged landscape of the Sierra Nevada make this an important location for plants. Over 2,100 plant species have been recorded here amongst the alpine meadows, rocky outcrops and pine woods, including many that are unique to Iberia, Spain or even the Sierra Nevada itself.

Our trip will take us from the surrounds of the highest peak at Mulhacén and the Alpujarra valley slopes northwards to the woodland and limestone outcrops of Trevenque and Cortijuela. We will also visit the semi-arid Desierto de Tabernas and the striking landscape of Cabo de Gata.

This region of Spain has a rich cultural heritage and the legacy of the Berbers who once inhabited the area can be seen in the architecture of the houses and villages, as well as the systems of terraces and irrigation ditches of the valleys.

Our time in the Sierra Nevada would not be complete without a visit to see the beautiful and ornate details of the palace at Alhambra.

Although our itinerary is focused on the plants of the area, there should be opportunities to see many of the other specialities of the area including Spanish Ibex, reptiles such as Ladder Snake and perhaps some of the Sierra’s endemic butterflies, Spanish Brassy Ringlet and Zullichi’s Blue. In the mountains we can expect to see plenty of larks and wheatears, along with Bonelli’s Eagles and perhaps even a wandering Lammergeier, whilst we hope to find Trumpeter Finch during our time nearer the coast.

Chaenorrhinum glareosum flowers, Sierra Nevada
Gentiana sierrae flowers, Sierra Nevada
Aquilegia nevadensis flower, Sierra Nevada