Birding in Álava - Tourism in Vitoria-Gasteiz


The province of Álava has six observation areas with first-rate tourist services characterised by their facilities for use by the public - bird observatories, interpretation centres, sign posted routes...
Recommendations for observation.

Bird observatories

Valderejo - Natura 2000 network - Natural Park

Río Purón

Valderejo Natural Park Information Centre, Lalastra ( Araba/ Álava)

The Purón River runs through Valderejo Natural Park(Opens in new window), carving through a stunning deep gorge. This area is home to one of the most complete lists of rock-breeding bird in the Basque Country. Here will have the chance to see the griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, alpine swift and both the yellow-bellied and red-billed chough.

Birding routes:

  • San Lorenzo route (7 kilometres).
  • Purón Gorge (5,9 kilometres).

Starting point: Parketxe de Valderejo, Lalastra(Opens in new window). Tel. 945 35 31 46.

Salburua -Ramsar Wetland - Natura 2000 Network - Periurban Park


Salburua is a wetland made up of several lakes surrounded by wet grassland, poplar woods and a small oak grove. Easy access is a major draw. A series of trails and observatories make it easy for visitors to view the native birdlife. It is not usual to see a variety of aquatic bird, waterfowl, shorebird and long-legged waders living alongside a community of deer kept in semi-captivity to help maintain the vegetation around the lakes.

Birding routes:

  • Arkaute Pond (5,4 kilometres).
  • Betoño Pond (3,1 kilometres).

Starting point: Ataria, Interpretation Centre of Salburua wetlands. Paseo de la Biosfera, 4(Opens in new window). Vitoria- Gasteiz. Tel. 945 25 47 59.

Ullibarri-Ganboa Reservoir - Ramsar Wetland - Red Natura 2000 - Biding Park

Ullíbarri- Gamboa

The Ullibarri-Gamboa reservoir lies just a few kilometres from Vitoria-Gasteiz. Numerous points of access make birdwatching easy along the shoreline and, a 45 km-long green route circles the reservoir. The shoreline in the southern part of the reservoir is more abrupt. Here, abundant vegetation grows around a series of shallows-water inlets, and serves as the breeding site for several pairs of coots, great crested grebes, little grebes and mallards. Also sighted here, although less common to this area, are the purple heron, the gadwell and the northern shovelled. During migration and in winter this wetland provides shelter and food for large groups of waterfowls and waders.

Birding routes:

Izki - Red natura 2000 - Natural Park


Izki is a densely forested area with one of the largest extensions of Pyrenean oak (Quercus pyrenaica) in Europe.
The most highly-prized bird in the Izki park(Opens in new window) is the middle spotted woodpecker. This rare species poses a challenge to birders and to the park's natural resources team, whose job it is to safeguard the woodpecker's nesting areas. And if you haven't been lucky enough to spot a woodpecker, the rock-breeding species that live in the forest here, such as the griffon vulture and the golden eagle, are much easier to come across.

Birding routes:

Southern Sierras of Álava - Red Natura 2000 -


The Toloño, Cantabria, Codes and Lokiz mountains ranges extend from east to west in southern Álava, forming a barrier that separates the Mediterranean and Atlantic basins.
The shady side is covered with dense beech and gall oak woods, marking the most southerly distribution in the Basque Country of species such as the European honey-buzzard and the marsh tit. Here the most outstanding species are raptors, the griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, Eurasian eagle-owl and golden eagle, as well as other rock-breeding species including the alpine swift and the rufous-tailed rock thrust. The red-billed chough is also common in this park

Birding routes:

Information: Izki Natural Park Information Centre, Korres(Opens in new window) (Álava). Tel. 945 41 05 02.

Wetlands of Laguardia - Ramsar Wetland - Red Natura 2000 - Protected Biotope

Lagunas Laguardia

The wetlands of Laguardia are the nesting place for mallards, coots, little grebes, great crested grebes, water rails and western marsh harriers. A colony of night herons, grey herons and pusple herons also make their home in the reeds surrounding these lakes.
The lakes are surrounded by characteristic Rioja Alavesa landscape-vineyards, almond orchard and patches of Mediterranean scrubland, in witch birds with a Mediterranean distribution make their nests. Examples include the black-eared wheatear, the European bee-eater.

Biding routes:

  • Wetlands of Laguardia (8,7 kilometres).
  • Prao de la Paul loop (3,7 kilometres).

Tourism Office of Laguardia(Opens in new window), Calle Mayor, 52. Laguardia(Opens in new window) (Álava). Tel. 945 60 08 45.

Related information

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