Visit the Wetlands in Padul, Lecrín Valley, Granada
Lecrín Valley Nature and Wildlife
Situated just 25 kilometres south of Granada, these wetlands and peat bogs occupy 327.398 hectares of land near the town of Padul in the Lecrín Valley. The area lies at the foot of Sierra Nevada and is declared a Natural Reserve within the Natural Park of Sierra Nevada. The lagoons are the only endoreic basin in the province of Granada as well as the largest peatland in southern Europe.
Wildlife in the Wetlands
Dating back millions of years, the lagoons and bogs conserve a unique ecosystem, thanks to the flooding they receive during most of the year. The reedbed, the second largest in Andalucia after Doñana, and the lagoons provide refuge to a large number of birds in search of food and rest on their long migratory journeys. At a height of nearly1.000 m, this biological and environmental quality has some very, special characteristics. Two of the Iberian Peninsula’s threatened species live here, Mauremys leprosa (Iberian Pond Turtle) and Arvicola sapidus (Southwestern Water Vole). Unfortunately, both are in Spain’s Red Book of Threatened Species.
These two species survive alongside around 158 bird species, the Cacho fish (Squalius pyrenaicusl) endemic to Spain and Portugal, five species of amphibians and four of reptiles, as well as dozens of botanical species. Any time of the year is suitable for a visit but, obviously, the amount of birds does depend on the season and the time of day. The Ornithological Station of Padul organizes ringing and marking of the birds, workshops and other events during the year. Find out more in the visitor’s centre.
There are several walking routes, the newest being the Ruta del Mamut (Mammoth’s Path, named after the discovery of some remains of this prehistoric mammal). In fact, Padul is now known as the Villa del Mamut and you’ll see a huge one standing at the entrance to the town hall. The Mammoth’s Trail, along a raised boardwalk, makes a lovely stroll through willows, reeds and tamarisk and takes about 45 minutes. En route several small hides are provided for birdwatching. We also enjoy the longer route that encircles the reserve. It takes you through agricultural land with Sierra Nevada as a backdrop. Information on these routes, in the visitor’s centre, the Aula de La Naturaleza, where they also sell guides to the birds you are likely to see.
How to Get There
Access is possible both from the village of Padul, on foot, or along the old Granada – Motril N323a road to the visitor’s centre or Aula de la Naturaleza El Aguadero (this is what is on the signpost). You can park near the centre where the Ruta del Mamut and the other walks start from. From Casa Tagomago it takes about 25 minutes to the Aula.
The telephone number for El Aguadero: 958489759 Email: [email protected]