Set in 1,300 hectares of stunning countryside Finca La Alcaidesa is an Environmental Education Centre owned and operated by the Junta de Andalucia. The hub of the centre is the finca itself that has been tastefully converted to accommodation for singles and groups with a comfortable meeting room. Outside of the finca are a number of wooden cabins providing further accommodation designed for groups such as school or club parties.
With many kilometres of paths through different landscapes from the Mediterranean mountains of the Alcornocales to the pine forests and deciduous woods of alder, ash and poplar, there is a huge range of flora. This is complimen ted by an extensive distribution of fauna including foxes, mongoose, badgers, shrews, moles, hedgehogs, bats, deer, and wild boar. It is hardly surprising that a guide is essential. All the guides are local people who know where the walker is likely to see the various wildlife.
Bird watchers too are catered for. Finca La Alcaidesa has a large resident population and is also on the migration route for a number of birds. You may see the Golden Eagle, Griffon Vultures, kingfishers, bee eaters, owls, ravens, all sorts of finches and many more.
Just as the naturalist is well catered for, so too is the more active person. You can hire mountain bikes and a guide to explore the paths and tracks or take your turn on the climbing towers. The more proficient climber can arrange climbing and abseiling on the nearby crags. For those more interested in water sports, canoe instructors will take you or a party on the natural lake or you may prefer to travel on horse back. Pony trekking expeditions through the woods are very popular.
In addition to catering for resident parties, the staff at La Finca Alcaidesa are happy to accept bookings from individuals. Many of the staff also speak excellent English.
© Nicholas Craig Nutter 2004 - 2012. Nick Nutter asserts his rights as the author of this article and all associated images. This article and images may not be copied or reproduced in any way without written permission of the author.