Guadalhorce River Estuary Natural Area (Paraje Natural Desembocadura del Guadalhorce)
Most people visit the Guadalhorce River Estuary Natural Area to spot some of the many birds that call this place home; flamingos, cormorants, and herons are common sightings among the reserve’s five lagoons, reed beds, marshes, and pools. Half-day guided walking and cycling tours of the reserve are popular, with most departing from Málaga. Alternatively, you can explore the palm-, willow-, and eucalyptus-dotted woodland independently, arriving along the coastal path and following the way-marked trails.
Things to Know Before You Go
Admission is free to the Guadalhorce River Estuary Natural Area.
Several way-marked hiking and biking trails lead across the marshes.
Birdwatchers won’t want to miss this spectacular natural area, where over 200 species of birds have been spotted.
There are photography and bird-watching hides in the woodland, ideal for amateur photogs and twitchers alike.
The Guadalhorce River Estuary Natural Area is not easily accessible for wheelchair users, due to uneven ground.
How to Get There
The Guadalhorce River Estuary Natural Area is situated 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Málaga, close to the Málaga Airport. To get there, take EMT bus number 10 to Guadalmar; alternatively, drive along the N340 and follow signs for Torremolinos before turning off to Guadalmar and parking by the church. From there, it’s a 5-minute walk to the entrance of the reserve. You can also get there by walking along the coastal path from Málaga.
When to Get There
The Guadalhorce River Estuary Natural Area is open all-day, year-round. However, it’s best visited by day when you can truly appreciate the flora and fauna, as well as the views. Birdwatching in the area is at its best during spring, when both wintering birds and summer arrivals can be spotted simultaneously.
Animals to Look Out For
Of the 350 bird species that have been recorded in Andalucia, 260 have been spotted in this nature reserve, including nightingales, crested larks, moorhens, and a variety of waders and herons. You may also be lucky enough to spot a few raptors. Birds aside, mammals that call this river estuary home include foxes, polecats, and weasels.
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