Ornithological tourism (birdwatching or birding as it is more commonly known) is one of the most popular ecotourism activities in the world. In Catalonia you will find up to 400 species of birds. Thanks to this, and to the easy access to observation areas, it is one of the best areas in Europe to see a huge variety of species, some of them rare or protected. An ornithological paradise where you can observe birds of prey and carrion birds such as vultures flying over the valleys of the Pyrenees, or a myriad of waterfowl, including elegant flamingos, that choose to nest and rest in the wetlands of the Empordà and in the Llobregat and Ebro Deltas.
- Birdwatching in the Delta
- Eco-kayak through the wetlands
Observing flora and fauna
The power of attraction of wild animals is undeniable and seeing them in their natural habitat is priceless. In Catalonia you can hear the bellowing of rutting Pyrenean stags, watch wild goats climb the massifs of Els Ports and Montserrat, or track the footprints of the elusive brown bear. And don’t miss the aquatic wildlife of the Medes Islands, home to spectacular Neptune grass meadows. The plant life also offers great diversity, with typically Mediterranean forests, others which are more unusual like the beech forests of La Garrotxa, and the alpine flowers with really emblematic species such as orchids.
- Eco-kayak in the Medes Islands
- Mushrooming nature excursions
- “Feel the landscape” using mindfulness techniques
- Medicinal plant Walk
- World of Bees
- The world of natural parks
Emblematic mountains and geology
This region is home to tons of emblematic mountains and geology. The Landscape is created by lava. La Garrotxa for instance hosts 40 volcanoes whereas in Maravelles you will find spectacular caves. In Benifallet you will be able to see the unique morphology of the Montserrat mountain, which is seen as Catalonia’s symbol. Find out how the Pyrenees went from sea to a set of mountains, follow the footprints of dinosaurs, which used to live there or discover the UNESCO global geoparks: Central Cataloina and Conca de Tremp-Montsec. In Catalonia the stones will speak to you: listen to them!
- Geological and Mineral Park of Central Catalonia
- Land of fire and water
- Volcanoes and lava flows
Coastal and delta landscapes
Catalonia’s coastline stretches for over 580 kilometres. When it comes to the coastal landscapes, diversity plays a big role: from the rugged Costa Brava in the North to the Ebro Delta in the south. An example of Costa Brava’s natural heritage can be found on the Medes Islands or in. Terras de l’Ebre, where you will find a plethora of birds swoop over lagoons and rice paddies. Discover, enjoy and get to know the Catalan coast line.
- Sail around the Natural Park
- Eco-snorkel in the Medes Islands
- Whales & dolphins ahoy!
- Coastal paths and hidden coves
- Surreal Geology
Rural world – nature and tradition
Gaining knowledge about long-term used wild grasses, how to identify flowers, nuts and seeds that are typically found in The Pyrenees or taking a trip through the famous Penedès vineyards using sustainable transport are just some activities that connect nature and humans. Ecotourism contributes to the survival of rural and farming communities, prevents depopulation and is vital for its economy, keeping traditions and trades alive. Taking part in ecotourism also gives you the chance to acquire local products and craftwork.
- Working in the natural garden
- Vegan chef masterclass – wild, green tapas
- Organic vineyards by bicycle
- Shepherd for a day
Active in the nature
Get to know the flora and fauna of valuable natural spaces by foot, walk along the Mediterranean coast en discover the most remote bays in the Costa Brava area, pedal among the vineyards of Penedès or trough the ornithological richness of the Ebro Delta with an e-bike. Hiking and cycling tours are excellent to get in touch with the environment and connect with it. Catalonia has several options to do so (see examples below). Get moving and immerse yourself in nature!
- Adventure sports: canyoning, via ferrata, climbing
- Swim run