A holiday discovering the Pyrenees wildlife
|INCLUDED||3 days guided hiking||4 nights full board|
|OPTIONS||Add extra nights||Airport transfers|
|CONDITIONS||For pre-composed groups of 4-6 people|
The central French Pyrenees is home to some unique and very special wildlife.
On this guided wildlife holiday you will be accompanied by a local expert who knows just where to go to stand the best chance of discovering some of the most elusive animals of the Pyrenees.
You will hike on often indistinct and rough terrain on unmarked paths, so you should be a regular hiker, confident on your feet.
The brown bear
Thanks to the wildness of the terrain and a concerted re-introduction programme, the brown bear is once again thriving in the Pyrenees.
Although the chances of seeing one in daylight are remote, you may be lucky enough to see their paw prints in muddy ground and traces of fur left on tree scratching posts.
Your guide will take great pleasure in telling you all about the reintroduction programme and the tracking of these impressive animals in the Pyrenees.
Birds of prey
The Lammergeier is otherwise known as the bearded vulture. It’s the rarest vulture in Europe but is now breeding successfully in certain areas of the Pyrenees.
It is a distinctive bird, easily identified thanks to its spoon shaped tail and strong markings.
You may also see the Egyptian vulture which has distinctive white feathers with a black trailing wing edge. This bird of prey is on the global red list but is often seen frequenting the skies in the central Pyrenees
Snake eagles, short toed eagles and also golden eagles are other raptors that you may well see on this wildlife holiday in the French Pyrenees.
The red deer rut
Come on this wildlife holiday in the autumn and your guide will take you off the beaten track to where you can experience the red deer rut up close and personal. This is an incredible experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
For around 4 weeks from the end of September, the red deer stags are at their most active, seeking females with whom to mate and defending their territory from incoming males.
This period is known as rutting season or ‘la brame des cerfs’ and is a highlight of the nature calendar in the Pyrenees.
The bellow of the red deer from such close proximity will send shivers up your spine and you should have some amazing photographic opportunities to capture these majestic animals in all their glory.
Other Pyrenees wildlife
On your wildlife holiday you may also see chamois and maybe also reintroduced ibex which are mountain goat like animals that scamper along rocky outcrops in impressive style
Accommodation for your wildlife holiday
The accommodation for your Pyrenees wildlife holiday is a delightful British-owned B&B on the edge of the foothills village of Aspet.
We know you’ll love the warm welcome, the swimming pool and the fantastic home-cooked food that you’ll enjoy each evening.
He’ll tell you all about the area and what you can expect over the next few days. After dinner you’ll retire to your room for a good night’s sleep.
The stunning views of the mountains bordering Spain will take your breath away.
This is the territory of the chamois, of the Lammergeier/bearded vulture and also, oh yes, the brown bear!
You may see signs of the passage of the bears such as footprints and fur on trees and if you’re lucky you’ll also observe the chamois posing for you on one of the craggy outcrops.
At the end of your hike you’ll return to your accommodation for dinner.
If you’re here to experience the deer rut then you’ll have a free morning before heading out with your guide at lunchtime as the stags are at their most active late afternoon and early evening.
Equipped with a picnic lunch and something to eat in the evening (all provided by your B&B host) you’ll head out with your guide to get up close (but not too close!) to the red deer in their natural environment. You’re sure to have the opportunity to take some great photos of the stags in full voice too!
It will be dark, around 21h30, when you return to your car so make sure you bring a head-torch with new batteries.