A wetland that is virtually unique in Europe
A recommendation if you visit this park: take your camera. You'll want to have it handy when you walk along the wooden walkways specially designed for these wetlands, one of Spain's most precious ecosystems. The variety of birds, their colours and simple, serene beauty are what makes this national park so special, a mere 35 minutes by car from the tourist destination of Almagro, in the province of Ciudad Real.
Las Tablas de Daimiel National Park
In the province of Ciudad Real (Castilla-La Mancha), in the heart of Spain.
Ciudad Real (Castilla-La Mancha)
Ciudad Real (Castilla-La Mancha):
Daimiel. Villarrubia de los Ojos. Torralba de Calatrava.
What you need to know
What you will find
Although it is the smallest of Spain's 15 national parks, it is very special. The fact that it is within the semi-arid area of La Mancha makes it somewhat of an oasis for animals and plants, and the perfect place to spot its more than 200 species of birds. That's why it's best to go equipped with binoculars, so you can study close-up how some birds have adapted to the water, such as the great crested grebe, the common grebe and the black-necked grebe. Since it consists of a labyrinth of islands connected by wooden walkways, you will also find aquatic plants and tamarisks, the only trees in the park. If you don't have binoculars, it is no problem as you will find numerous observation points along the way.
Routes around the Park
There are three self-guided footpaths: 'La Isla del Pan' (a circular 2 km route), 'La Laguna Permanente' (a linear 800 m route) and 'La Torre de Prado Ancho' (a linear 1,500 m route). The Visitor Centre will answer any queries you may have and provide you with a leaflet showing the three routes. You can also book some of the free guided tours organised by the park guides. And one piece of advice: do not miss the colours at sunset.If you also want to explore other natural spaces in the area, such as Lagunas de Ruidera or Cabañeros National Park, there are companies offering excursions in four-wheel-drive vehicles.Map of Las Tablas de Daimiel National Park
Don't leave without...
This National Park is very close to Almagro, where you will be entranced by the traditional regional style of its streets and houses, its National Theatre Museum, and its iconic Corral de Comedias, an active theatre since the 18th century.You can also follow some of the Don Quixote Route, feel like a medieval knight in the castles of Calatrava la Vieja or Calatrava la Nueva, and try local specialities like Manchego cheese, migas, or duelos y quebrantos.