Landscape, Fauna & Flora

Landscape, Fauna & Flora

Not only has Spain more mountains, forest and prairie than beaches, it is home to half of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserves in Europe, and for its size leads the world in number of protected nature areas.

Until recently one of the best kept secrets of the naturalists' world, the area covered by Outback Spain is in the heart of the Iberian peninsula, at the foot of the Sierra de Guadarrama, Spain’s newest National Park. The adjoining Regional Park embraces the piedmont on the north face of the Sierra. Like most geological and ecological contact zones, the piedmont holds a wider variety of landscapes and an even richer biodiversity than the National Park.

This meeting of mountain and prairie creates a magic mosaic of small hills with an evergreen scrubland vegetation of Spanish Juniper (Juniperus thurifera) and Mediterranean Oak (Quercus ilex), broken by escarpments revealing multicoloured earths, giving way to rolling tracts of land farmed in the traditional way, some of it in tillage (cereals, pulses, vegetables), most of it grazed and browsed by free-ranging cattle, sheep, and horses, tended by their herdsmen and shepherds. The slow-down in farming has allowed native woodland to extend freely, and with it a wealth of wildlife, including the wolf.

There are hundreds of kilometres of trails by which you can explore the countryside and, with your guides, discover some of the secrets of the wild.

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