Wolves in Spain

Hi all

It seems like the Picos/Cantabrian mountains are now ‘the place’ to see wolf in southern Europe. Has anyone out there had any luck independently? It’s a possibility for next summer for me so any advice would we most welcome.




  • Jan Kelchtermans

    Hi Steve,

    Wolves are easy in Picos when using a guide there – in Culebra mountains too when experienced.
    I’ve seen them at both places during two of my trips running in the area this week.

    In Poland wolves are reliable too.

    Regards, Jan

  • Charles Foley

    Hi Steve,

    I think most people go to the Sierra Culebra (a few hours south of the Cantabrian mountains) to see wolves. If you look back through some of the old Spain reports on this site I think you’ll find one that gives detailed instructions on how to get to the main look-out area. I visited last year for two days and missed the wolves, but apparently the alpha male had been shot by hunters the previous week, so its perhaps not surprising that they weren’t showing themselves. I don’t know where people are seeing wolves in the Cantabrian mountains, but with a bit of sleuthing on the web you might be able to figure out the general area. By the way, summer is not a great time for either wolves or bears (the other Cantabrian speciality).

    There’s a British guide called John Hallowell who I met when I was there, and who specialises in wolf and bear tours (he lives in the Sierra Culebras). He would certainly know where to look if you wanted to use a guide, although there’s enough information on the web to help you figure things out on your own.

  • stevebabbs

    Thanks Charles. I have tried the Sierra Culebra, in February 2013. We were unsuccessful and got very fed up with rangers hassling us when we were watching from public tracks. I was told that you had to have a license to watch wildlife in Spain. I know others have had a similar problems. I believe it is one of the reasons Naturetrek stopped searching for them in this area. I am of the opinion that responsible ecotourism should be encouraged not discouraged.

    I’m told it is actually the best time for bears as they come out onto the hillsides to eat fruit; certainly Naturetrek do their tour in July. I do agree it’s probably not the best time for wolves but we tend to alternate the family summer holiday between an expensive far-flung destination and a much cheaper trip to Europe.

    I much prefer looking myself rather than using guides even if it reduces my chance of being successful. I have seen brown bear and wolf in The States and it’s a nice area so being unsuccessful wouldn’t ruin the holiday.

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