Doñana National Park is one of Europe’s last great wildernesses. A stunning and expansive nature reserve, Doñana extends across the provinces of Huelva, Cádiz and Seville. Established as a nature reserve in 1969, Donaña became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Doñana is known for incredible biodiversity, a striking tapestry of sand dunes, marshes, lagoons, forests, and endless beaches. Doñana is home to a wealth of flora and fauna and is the last refuge for many endangered species, including the Iberian Lynx – the most threatened wild cat on the planet. With breathtaking landscapes, rare ecosystems and an abundance of wildlife, Doñana is an unspoiled paradise. Easily accessible from Seville with our day trip, Doñana offers a perfect contrast to the bustling city. Ready to explore the jewel of Andalucia? Here’s our guide to the top 6 things to do in the unmissable Doñana National Park.
Ride horses along the beach
Arguably the best way to explore the rugged coastline and beautiful windswept beaches of Doñana is by horseback! Horse-riding provides the perfect opportunity to cross expansive beaches, marvel at the scenery and feel at one with nature.
Don’t have time to visit Doñana? We also offer half-day horse riding tours in the stunning Andalusian countryside, just a short drive from Seville.
See flamingos in the marshlands
Doñana is a haven for bird-watchers. The rare and unspoilt ecosystem of its marshes provides an unparalleled bird-watching experience. The marshes team with gulls, geese and white stork. Doñana is home to around 500 species of threatened birds. Here you have the chance to witness stunning flamingos, among other rare species such as the Marbled Duck and the Squacco Heron. There have even been sightings of the desperately endangered Spanish Imperial Eagle.
Explore the sand dunes
One of the strangest and most specular features of Doñana National Park are the moving sand dunes. Where the beach meets the marsh, sand is pulled inland by coastal winds, forming ever-changing peaks and valleys. The impressive mountains of sand seem almost otherworldly and are an unmissable sight. Our Doñana day trip offers horse-riding across the stunning sand dunes, so you can scale the summits without breaking a sweat!
Swim in the Atlantic ocean
On the Iberian Peninsula between the mouths of the rivers Tinto and Guadalquivir, Doñana has 27km of pristine shoreline. There’s no better way to cool off than taking a dip in the Atlantic ocean. If you’re not feeling quite so adventurous, Doñana’s picturesque beaches offer a perfect place to lounge in the sun or enjoy a peaceful picnic.
Looking for beaches closer to Seville? We can take you on a dedicated day trip to the best beaches in Andalusia, a stones throw from the city!
Visit El Rocio
The charming and romantic village of El Rocio, located within Doñana, is by far one of the most unique places in Spain. With its stunning chapel, wild horses and dirt roads, the awe-inspiring El Rocio resembles a wild west town. On the first Monday of Pentecost, the typically sleepy village is host to the most riotous pilgrimage in Spain. El Rocio welcomes over a million pilgrims in an explosion of colour and joy.
Search for the endangered Lynx
The beautiful Iberian lynx is currently the most endangered species of wild cat on the planet, with around 600 left in existence. Driven to the brink of extinction by habitat loss, hunting and decreasing food base, fortunately, the population has grown in recent years thanks to concerted conservation efforts. The wild Lynx remains only in the mountains of Andujar and in Doñana, which is home to the last surviving sea-level population. If luck is on your side, you’ll spot the lynx lounging in the scrublands or stalking the plains of Doñana National Park.
We hope this guide to the top 6 things to do in Doñana National Park has convinced you not to miss out on the magic of Doñana! You can cover all bases with our Donaña and El Rocio day trip, which includes every incredible experience listed here. For more things to do in the region, check out our guide to Huelva. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a personalised, private tour that caters perfectly to your interests – we’re eager to help you create your dream trip! Contact us today to start planning your ideal tour.
Caitie Fisher is a writer, digital marketing intern and travel addict from Newcastle, England. Follow her adventures on Instagram.