Recommended Acoommodation

Edelweiss Hotel - Ideal for discovering the spectacular Ordesa National Park

Ordesa National Park Itinerary

Starting point: Ordesa car park, 10 km from Torla.
Time: a full day.
Time of year: from May to October.

(i) This itinerary takes the visitor to an altitude of almost 2,500 m to enjoy sightings of the most alpine of species: Wallcreeper, Alpine Chough and Snowfinch. It is, however, a long uphill hike which will require about 10 hours and an ascent of more than 1,100m from the starting point in the Ordesa National Park car park. If you feel sure you can do it then it's well worth it, for both the birds and the scenery.

From the car park head northwards following the path that will take you up the long, steep ascent to the Faja de las Flores (in the general direction of the Circo de Carriata). Look skywards before entering the forest, as you may well spot Red-billed Chough, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture or even Lammergeier flying around the vertical rock faces towering over you.

When you finally emerge from the forest keep an eye out for Rock Bunting and Citril Finch in the appropriate areas, where there are also Water Pipit, Northern Wheatear and Black Redstart. On arriving at the Clavijas de Salarons take a rest while searching for the Wallcreeper. From here follow on to the Faja de las Flores where, apart from having another opportunity of seeing the prized Wallcreeper, birds like Alpine Swift, Alpine Chough and Snowfinch may be claimed as just reward for your efforts.   

To make the descent continue to the Circo de Cotatuero and follow the downward leading path running parallel to the barranco. With some luck you may spot Alpine Accentor in the rocky areas or the scree slopes before descending into the forest where the Black Woodpecker breeds.

(ii) A second easier-going option, although still requiring a full day's walking, would be to follow the Senda de los Cazadores from the car park to the Cola de Caballo waterfall. This path runs along either side of the River Araza, but if you start out north of the river and return via the south you will be spared the steep climb up to the Calcilarruego viewpoint.

Although there is little chance of seeing the high-altitude species that inhabit the Faja de las Flores a good array of interesting species can still be observed, including Lammergeier, Golden Eagle, Black Woodpecker, Water Pipit, Dipper, Ring Ouzel, Citril Finch, Crossbill, Alpine Swift and Ortolan Bunting.

Clients Feedback - Read all

This year will be our 6th trip with Steve. Each year we visit different sites from mountains to plains and in between. Steve knows his birds and he knows where to find them, he is a true professional and we are never disappointed. We highly recommend Bird...
Mary and Clive, France
Trip Date: Every year since 2012
Hi Steve, great trip. Really loved Spain as well as the birds. Have told all my friends best way to see Spain is to do a birding trip with you…thanks for your great company sense of humour and of course, the birds. Glad you liked the books. Cheers. Kare...
Karen Blake, AUS
Trip Date: May 2015
Every time we visit Spain, we arrange a birdwatching tour with Steve West. We are never disappointed! He is a very good guide, who almost always finds the birds he has promised! So, we go out for a long half day touring in the beautiful Spanish countrysid...
Simone Wolthius, Netherlands
Trip Date: Since August 2012
Just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for an excellent trip. We both had a great time and the birding was excellent. Your choice of hotels was excellent and we would be happy to use them again....
Andrew and Maureen Day, UK
Trip Date: Oct 2015
Once again, thanks for your excellent & expert guiding on 16th/17th April, thoroughly enjoyed by all of us. The highlights for me at least were Dupont’s Lark, Bonellis Eagle, the Penduline tits & the Black winged Kite....
Dave and Ann White, UK
Trip Date: April 2015
The 3 days in the bird hides were the highlight of my European trip and I'll treasure the memories. You organised everything brilliantly and I enjoyed meeting you and spending time with you. ...
Ian Montgomery, AUS
Trip Date: Oct 2014
I will recommend Spain and especially birding with you to anyone that will listen or are thinking about going. ...
Nick and Janeke Buys, Namibia
Trip Date: Oct 2013
Hello Steve and thank you so much for taking us it seemed to me over half of Spain on only a half day tour. I am amazed of your birding skills. I am so glad you took the time with us! Expert-sites and very smooth for us to have you as our guide. My husban...
Helen Quafort, Sweden
Trip Date: June 2012
Just a note to say "thank you" for 3 great days birding. Updating my lists I am pleased to tell you that I saw over 20 new birds!!! How good is that?...
Mary and Clive Davis, UK
Trip Date: Mar 2013
Did not have much time at the airport when leaving, but I thought thanks would be in order for a great little trip, excellent hotel good food wonderful wine (which we have sourced in UK and have placed a large order for). Hope to use you again in the futu...
Trevor, UK
Trip Date: Feb 2013
Huge thanks for your kindness and expertise especially in our journey in Lleida’s habitats and its fine and also endemic bird species, just what we had dreamed before in Finland. Fantastic....
Ulla and Leimo Kangas, Finland
Trip Date: April 2014
I still have warm memories of a great birding experience with you. I enjoyed very much your book. Should you ever give up birding, I see writing as a follow-on profession for you!...
Albert Williams, USA
Trip Date: Oct 2013
Great birds, beautiful countryside, fabulous food, and a very knowledgeable guide....
Woody Kuehn, USA
Trip Date: May 2013
After doing my usual early beach walk I have spent a part of the morning sitting on the balcony reading your book. So far I give it ten out of ten. Your recollections have great structure, the imagery is brilliant and your use of vocabulary commendable....
Paul Harvey, UK
Trip Date: June 2013
Thank you very much indeed for arranging an outstanding birding trip in northeast Spain. We were exposed to wonderful birds, culture and scenery which went way beyond our expectations. Accommodation and food were also highlights and at some point we would...
Doug and Ulai Kirwin, Thailand
Trip Date: June 2012
Many thank for a fantastic birding photo trip in Catalonia. From the first contact up to the accommodation and food everything was perfect and very well organised, in a professional manner. Cherry on the cake the lammergeiers were present, and I came bac...
Jean-Christian PIOCH , France
Trip Date: December 2016
My wife and I spent several days birding with Steve in Northern Spain and will never forget it. He knew where to find the birds, arranged excellent accommodations, set just the right pace and had a wonderful sense of humor. As an added bonus, he’s f...
John Pancake, Virginia, USA
Trip Date: May 2011
Thanks again for such a great trip! We both thoroughly enjoyed the birding, the scenic wonders and, as ever, your company. ...Hope it's not too long before we see you again....
Garry and Wendy Philpott, UK
Trip Date: Feb 2015
Thank you for showing me the country you love - Spain. I’ve enjoyed the birds (of course), steppes, Pyrenees, historical and cultural sites, food, Hotels, etc. Most of all you have been a joy to know - you are truly an excellent guide. May we meet you a...
Susan Beach, USA
Trip Date: April 2009
We both thoroughly enjoyed the whole trip with Steve who was an excellent guide, very helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. The area was stunning and the birding very rewarding for both the experienced and novice birder....
Lyn Gillie, UK
Trip Date: November 2014
Just a quick email to thank you again for the 3 birding days. I am still reliving everything I saw, and I think I shall be doing so for a long time. I shall most definitely recommend your services to others and I hope to see you again in the future....
Adrienne Sanders, UK
Trip Date: August 2013
On behalf of a group of Aussies I would say that we thoroughly enjoyed the diverse landscapes and birds of Spain in the excellent company of Steve West. Steve combined film star looks [see Ben Kingsley in the ‘Birder’s Guide to Everything’], a grea...
Ken Cross, AUS
Trip Date: May 2015
We really enjoyed our time with you and appreciated your bird finding skills. Now I am enjoying your book. ...
Ann and Bruce McGregor AUS,
Trip Date: Sep 2012
Thanks again for a great birding adventure and for sharing your knowledge. I particularly enjoyed the first day and the beautiful landscape in which the birds live ... Reading your book prior to the trip was a nice introduction to your area and the birds...
Kathryn Askin, USA
Trip Date: Sep 2015
Just to let you know we had a great time last week. I have rather a lot of shots to go through, Rollers stole the show for us this time, so we will have to come back for some Bee Eaters! Thanks for everything, roll on next time....
Howard Kearley, UK
Trip Date: June 2015
I was very fortunate to be able to go birding with Steve for a day in the Pyrenees. It was the one spectacular day in an otherwise wet and cold week. Steve arrived promptly at the appiointed time and asked me for a wish list. He made some quick mental cal...
Sue Ennis, USA
Trip Date: May 2013
Steve - thank you for your wonderful work in showing me all of my target species while in Aragon. Your knowledge of the area and the bird species, as well as your knowledge of Spanish history and Spain's birds in general are tremendous. I really appreci...
Rob Wallace, USA
Trip Date: May 2014
Thank you ever so much for your wonderful guiding which practically completed my entire wish-list! My trip was so successful and significant birdwise that I decided to write a report. I look forward to further birding adventures with you., , Book: I read ...
Mikko Pyhälä, Finland
Trip Date: May 2014
I travel frequently as vice president of the outdoor apparel company Patagonia, and when I can, I add a day to business trips for birding. I found Steve by a Google search, and I couldn’t have had a better day outside of Barcelona. Steve is an expert gu...
Rick Ridgeway, California, USA
Trip Date: October 2016
A good time was had by all - thanks for a successful inaugural tour of Spain’s natural areas. From my perspective it was just the right mix of birds, nature, and culture....
Linda Ingram, USA
Trip Date: June 2014
Three mates and I had a fantastic tour with Birding in Spain seeing 150+ species including all our targets including Bonelli’s Eagles, both Bustards and Wallcreeper. Steve West’s knowledge of the birds of the area is formidable, as are his call recogn...
Lee Wilkinson, UK
Trip Date: April 2016
We wanted to tell you again what a great experience it was birding with you while we were in Spain a couple of weeks ago. It was certainly one of the highlights of our family vacation. ...
Allan and Linda Kellar, USA
Trip Date: Aug 2015
Steve is an amazing birder!! And great company. ...
Barbara and Dave Horn, USA
Trip Date: March 2012
I have arranged 2 group trips with Steve, his patience in the planning stage and helpful suggestions, have made for 2 very successful and enjoyable trips. He worked very hard to find all our target birds on both trips, from Wallcreeper to Lammergeier in t...
Steve Lane, UK
Trip Date: April 2015
We really did have a great time and appreciated all your hard work on our behalf - the hotel was great and the area stunning, we are still boasting to anyone who will listen about the variety and number of different birds we saw!...
Lyn and David Gillie, UK
Trip Date: Nov 2014
Thank you so much for taking us out, it was such a lovely day- We appreciate it....
Adrienne Ottenburg, USA
Trip Date: Jan 2015
Steve was excellent - very knowledgeable and quite an exceptional 'ear'for bird calls - if he were a Shearwater, would have no problem finding his nest in the dark!!...
Roger Buchanan, UK
Trip Date: April 2014