Wild goats of l’Estartit, Spain’s Costa Brava

L’Estartit is an excellent tourist destination to enjoy some active tourism journeys. Stand out the fabulous sea bottom from the Medes Islands, a big reserve of fauna and marine flora considered one of the most interesting area in all the Mediterranean.

The nearby natural park is no less impressive, it surprised me when on my way to Cala Pedrosa (a rocky beach nearby), I had the privilege to meet some of the wild residents. I felt truly lucky (probably as my walk was outside touristic season) and promised to get back one day!

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Costa Brava’s successful ecological project

Spain’s Costa Brava is one of the most visited touristic place in Europe, and yet somewhere on its Mediterranean shores, through the Pletera Life Project (2014 – 2018), nature activists and local authorities (as well as European Union through its generous funding), successfully worked together in returning to nature a large area of paramount importance for the local ecosystem and its wildlife.

The salt-marshes of la Pletera harbored a series of lagoons that were drained in 1987 in order to build an almost 1 km long promenade and six apartment blocs, of which only one was ever finished. The deconstruction and restoration of the site has regenerated the coastal salt-marshes and lagoons, which are now home to more than 80 species of birds as well as other small mammals. The place attracts also many tourists which love nature, here being able to enjoy fresh air, nature’s finest songs (those of the birds), long walks, excellent biking routes, and a long list of water sports, from swimming to diving and canoe, all in a nature-friendly way!

For me this is a great example that nature still has a place in today’s social and economic reality, and through understanding and willingness we can contribute into restoring nature and wildlife to their lost habitats! Others places and its people and authorities should follow the example! Kudos to all that made this happen!

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The Islands

Islands are ecological ecosystems. Isolated from the rest of the world, the species here may have followed their own evolution path. It is the wildlife in islands that the famous naturalist Charles Darwin studied and made subject of his famous book on evolution: The Origin of Species, considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology!

The volcanic islands of Canary (Spain, Atlantic Ocean) may not seem much today in terms of terrestrial wildlife, since they practice mass tourism or intensive agriculture (bananas and grape-wines are main mono-cultures). But visiting the islands outside summer season, and ignoring the mass of hungry feral cats in wait for the next wave of tourists, the Ocean rewards you with many wildlife encounters (marine birds, crabs, various species of dolphins and even whales), if only you take a walk along its shores or a boat tour around the islands!

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Other interesting activities may be stars and galaxies watching, since light pollution in some places is really reduced, thanks to astrological friendly policies of local administration.

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Have fun, if you get the chance to visit!

Autumn in Coma Pedrosa National Park, Andorra’s Pirinei mountains

Autumn arrived in the Northern hemisphere, and this is best time to consider reconnecting with the nature, while weather is still warm and you get a free spectacle of colors from planet’s best designer, the nature itself! We have chosen a national park in the mountains, closest to our location, and this was Coma Pedrosa National Park in the Pirinei, in the Principality of Andorra, between France and Spain. After 22 km of hiking in one day and a good night sleep, I felt alive again (far from office virtual reality) and with recharged battery and another perspective over life!

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All along, above the 2900 m peaks around us, the symbol of the wild and free, the Griffon vultures, were our company. Masters of the sky, using the warm air to float with minimum energy, these giants are luckily still a common sight in the mountains, helping the ecosystems by cleaning it, as feeding with wild carrion as well as dead sheep left behind by shepherds. They are known for their excellent sight and sense of small, detecting their food from kilometers away! Magnificent wild birds!

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Don’t hesitate, visit your closest national park, the seasonal wild fruits, mushrooms and autumn colors are a yearly spectacle not to be missed! Fun and relax guaranteed!

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Réserve Africaine de Sigean, a different type of ZOO

Accommodating some 3800 animals from more than 160 species, on a surface of about 300 hectares, Sigean (Aude, south of France, close to Spanish border) is a different type of zoo, where you can drive through the large enclosures, or you can walk outside others, in total covering at least half a day and in our case almost 14.000 steps ( www address here ).

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A very educational visit we recommend, animals being organized as they would be in the wild, with larger space to move than in a regular standard zoo, and no notice of stress behavior displayed during the one day trip we had. Also we enjoyed the educational sessions over various animals organized by the zoo, where we were pleased to notice children were particularly interested and they were asking many questions about their favorite wild animals. Enjoy the few photos we took, before you organize your own visit!

 

For more pictures, pls browse through the TripAdvisor page here ! Enjoy!