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European wildcat

Day trips and regular tours



The European wildcat ( Felis silvestris), is one of the most beautiful mammals all over the world, being extremely difficult to observe in the most of the cases.

Habitually develop the daily activity during the dusk and dawn, around the forest limits and in scrublands, far from prying eyes, passing unnoticed.

In wide areas of Europe, observe and photograph cats is an exceptional event. However, in cantabrian valleys attempt these beautiful felines with guarantees is possible.

During the early summer, the grass of this fields is mowed by the farmers, with the aim of getting food reserves for the livestock during the cold winter.

And this event is a fantastic opportunity for wildcats, that leave the forest during the dawn and evening to hunt rodents in these areas.

The main preys of the wildcats are the mountane water vole, and the wood mouse. A wildcat can hunt and eat more than 4 rodents during the same morning, and return again during the sunset to continue with the hunting.

The skill for hunting of wildcats is simply brilliant. It can stay completely quiet for several minutes, moving the ears locating the sound sources, later it will move carefully towards the mouse hole and wait patient until the prey shows the head outside.

Then the cat with a powerful jump catch the mouse…or fail.

If it finally get the prey, it used to move to the edge of the forest to eat the rodent, coming back later to the fields to hunt again.

The cats are not alone on the fields hunting; foxes, buzzars, pine martens, wolves and white storks are ready to take advantadge of this abundance of food.

Meetings between wildcats and foxes are usual, but they used to avoid confrontations.

Thanks to this grass fields and the farmers, we can spend many hours with these beautiful animals.

2020 Season for wildcat observation and photography

Summer season: from July 25th to October 31st.

Guided excursions for wildcat watching and photography in the mountains of Riaño, transport in 4WD cars and availability of optic equipment*.

The daily service consist on 2 excursions, one in the morning and another one during the afternoon. The average duration of each one is around 3-4 hours, variable depending on wildcat activity.

Meeting points

Riaño Petrol Station (León)


Rates

Adult: 120€/person and day.

Child (up to 14 years old): 60€/person and day.

* all the vehicles have serveral binoculars and telescopes for the clients.

Important, in the winter period, the minimum number of customers per excursion must be 2. One single clients could be joined with another single clients. In the case of being only one clients per guide and car, the cost of the private service must be 220€.

Professional Photographers

The professional photographic activity in relation to wildcats in Natural Parks must be done with prior authorization.

WWS offered from next season a guide service and specific logistics for professionals.

More information in the phones (0034) 609726444/ 987740805 o en el mail: info@wildwatchingspain.com

2020 wildcat regular tours

The big 3, wolves, bears and wildcats from August 17th to 23th.

The big 3, wolves, bears and wildcats II, from September 7th to 13th.

Wildcat and Iberian wolf watching tour, from August 3rd to 8th.

Where overnight in Riaño Mountain Range?

We can find different kind of accommodations and possibilities in Riaño, with different prices and services.

Some suggestions could be:

Cheap accommodations: Casa Rural La Era (Lario), Albergue Venta de Eslonza ( Villafrea de la Reina), Albergue de Maraña.

Good price-value accommodations: Hotel Presa (Riaño), Hotel Tierra de la Reina ( Boca de Huergano), Hostal Sainz (Riaño).

Others: Casa Rural Riaño, Casa Rural La Huerta, Camping de Riaño, Camping Alto Esla, Hotel San Glorio.

How to get to Riaño?

If you travel from central or south Spain, you must drive to León and the take the N-625 road, driving in direction to Riaño, arriving at Riaño some miles after crossing Cistierna Town.

However, coming from the East the best option will be to use the CL-626 road, that crosses villages such as Cervera de Pisuerga and in Guardo take the P215 road to Velilla del Riaño carrion and later the P215 road to Boca de Huergano, there we meet N621that drive us to Riaño in few minutes.

Travelling from north, Oviedo or Gijon, you can access to the are through Tarna or Ponton pass, firstly taking the AS-117 road and later N-621 road to Cremenes. However if you choose Ponton pass you will drive by N-625 road, taking again later N-621.

Finally, the clients that come from Santander or Bilbao must to take the A-8 motorway to Unquera. There they must leave to motorway taking the N-625 road, accessing to Riaño area through San Glorio pass.





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