Overview

Few countries in Europe have especially large birding lists, with many of the sought after species being found at opposite ends of the continent. No single trip could provide an all-encompassing overview of the best of what Europe has to offer, until now. Our new Highlights of Europe tour takes us to 4 countries, from Mediterranean Spain in the south and Finland in the Arctic north to Poland and Bulgaria in the east. This tour can be taken as a single three and half week tour de force of Europe’s avifauna, or in shorter bite sized chunks.

We spend our first week in Spain, long a popular birdwatching destination it its own right. Offering a wide range of Mediterranean habitats along with safe, easy and excellent birding. Many sites are in beautifully scenic settings, featuring Romanesque architecture and ancient, fortified hilltop villages to the coastal waters of the Strait of Gibraltar.

Designed to find a good diversity of birds, we concentrate on the wetlands and marshes of Doñana National Park on the Atlantic coast and the semi-arid steppes and cork-oak dehesas (a type of wooded pastureland). Some of the fabulous species we hope to see include Spanish Imperial Eagle, Great and Little Bustards, Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Spectacled Warbler and White-throated Dipper.

2023 Tour price is an estimate and will change. Tour dates could be adjusted.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Spanish Imperial Eagle, Bonellí’s Eagle, Northern Bald Ibis, White-headed Duck, Marbled Teal, Audouin’s, Yellow-legged & Slender-billed Gulls, Scopoli’s & Balearic Shearwaters, chances for Little Bustard, Eurasian Stone-curlew, Collared Pratincole, Caspian Tern, Iberian Chiffchaff, Common Firecrest, European Crested Tit, Pin-tailed and Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Spectacled Warbler and White-throated Dipper.
Top Mammals
possible shore sightings for Pilot, Sperm & Fin Whale, Killer Whale, Bottlenose & Striped Dolphins.
Habitats Covered
coastline, dunes, marshes, mudflats, salt plants, Cork Oak Forest
Expected Climate
mild, Mediterranean climate, though can be cold & windy at this time of year
Max Group Size
8 with 1 Local Leader
Tour Pace & Walking
mostly very relaxed
Accommodation
comfortable
Ease of Birding
mostly easy
Other Attractions
good numbers of migrating raptors & other species, visiting a newly established breeding colony of Critically Endangered Northern Bald Ibis, photographing a breeding colony of Lesser Kestrel
Photographic Opportunities
very good
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

Rob Williams was a fantastic guide -- "Everything's under control!" He is absolutely superb at bird identification. Rob has a great sense of humor, and a wonderful relationship with the innkeepers and vendors along our way. Yeray Seminario, our guide on the Gibraltar Extension, is a treasure! He is soft-spoken, easy-going, approachable, and incredibly knowledgeable about birds. I was delighted to learn that he is an eBird moderator for Spain. He directed us to several great restaurants in the Tarifa area. Alberto Bueno is a sweetheart! He is so classically Spanish and so passionate about the birds. Except for myself (!), I think he was the most enthusiastic about EVERY bird we saw. He is a delightful guide -- compassionate, generous and fun. He and Rob made an unbeatable team and got along seamlessly. We saw well over 250 species of birds, enjoyed fantastic scenery, food and wine! It was a very good trip, and my thanks go to Rob, Yeray and Alberto for all their hard work.

Everything was very good. We certainly tried for everything. Great that we had the time to look at reptiles, frogs, etc. I certainly got almost all my major targets.

I enjoyed the tour and was especially pleased with our tour leader, Rob Williams, and both local guides, who were excellent and very adept at finding our target birds as well as managing all the logistics required by a trip of this nature. This was my first Rockjumper birding tour and the tour exceeded my expectations.

Guides Rob Williams & Alberto Bueno were professional, diligent and hardworking throughout the tour, maintaining their sense of humour and pleasant demeanour to the end; their respective birding competence was impeccable and, more importantly, they functioned as a team without issue or conflict, complimenting each other in a manner which quite enhanced the trip.

We had a wonderful tour in Spain. It was so nice that our guide, Rob, could speak Spanish. We saw many more species and lifers than we expected to. We would love to do another trip with him.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
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