Prepare your trip: Monfragüe
FIO is held in Villarreal de San Carlos, in the Monfragüe National Park, where the information centre is located and is the starting point of activities.
Monfragüe consists of a set of rugged mountains, six kilometres wide, that extends over thirty kilometres running parallel to both the banks of the Tagus River, between the Miravete pass and the western end of the Sierra de las Corchuelas.
Monfragüe National Park has a surface area of 17,852 hectares, its borders coinciding with the Special Protection Area for Birds (ZEPA) with the same name. This protected area stretches along both banks of the river Tagus, including the mouth and an important section of the river Tiétar. In a privileged location, it constitutes the southern end of the natural region of Campo Arañuelo, its sierras forming an arch which provides the backbone of the link between Las Villuercas and the mountains surrounding La Vega del Alagón, acting as a true ecological corridor.
Monfragüe National Park is situated in the heart of one of the best conserved areas of Mediterranean forest and scrub in the south-west of the peninsula.
The importance of the wildlife in Monfragüe is largely due to the extraordinary combination of slopes with dense vegetation, crags and broad open areas, offering the fauna a great availability of shelter and nesting places, as well as food. The cork oak and holm oak groves provide a home for the most numerous and dense colony of black vultures in the world, and it is easy to observe individuals during any visit. The Spanish imperial eagle, a species listed as in danger of extinction, has reproductive pairs in the park and its area of influence, this being one of its greatest conservation values. Visitors will be surprised by the cliffs by the river, crags where numerous species nest, such as the black stork, griffon vulture, Egyptian vulture, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, eagle owl and chough.
Other interesting species which can be seen are the short-toed eagle, the golden eagle, the booted eagle, the goshawk, the sparrowhawk, the red kite and the black-shouldered kite. On the reservoirs, especially in winter, it is easy to see cormorants, herons, mallards and black-headed gulls.
The wildcat, genet and mongoose are frequent. The mountainous areas serve as shelter for a large population of deer and wild boar, which can even be observed in broad daylight, as they are not subjected to the usual pressure of hunting.