Coto Doñana National Park and all its Beauty
Located conveniently between the coastal towns of Huelva and Sanlucar de Barrameda, and behind the Guadalquivir River, you can find the breathtaking Coto Doñana National park. On the southern Atlantic coast of Spain and about 40 meters above sea level, it’s a perfect combination of nature, life and earth.
This World Heritage site is also known as the Coto de Doñana in Andalucia, the largest sanctuary for migrating birds, in Europe that is. Here you don’t only find 500,000 wintering waterfowl and an endless count of migrant birds, but you can also find beaches, swamps, lagoons, moving dunes, pine and cork oak woodland. Varied in its landscapes, Coto Doñana may be in some ways undeveloped, but it never lacks even a tiny bit of beauty. The whole park is pretty much part marshes, part dunes and part heat.
When visiting Coto de Doñana, you don’t need to pay to get in. All you are required to do is to get a permit and the local knowledge of a certified guide. The 250,000 yearly visitors usually go to the El Rocio or the El Acebuche visitors’ centers. The ways of the park are very systematic, you have nothing to worry about as long as you’re with your guide, and just in case, there are always the markings of the observation point, possible bird habitats and marked trails. You’ll definitely find your way back.
As for the fauna, you will be pleasantly surprised with the variety of not only Mediterranean, but also North African and Northern European species. All of these, looked after and monitored Coto Doñana was once commissioned and preserved as a hunting park for over 500 years. This was because in the 1200’s, the Spanish Kings frequented Coto de Doñana. It was the favorite hunting reserve of Alfonso X, Ferdinand II, Charles V, Phillips II and V and also Alfonso XIII. Coto de Doñana was then granted to the Dukes, and then a duchess who lived there named Doñana had the honor of having her name used for what is now, Coto Doñana National Park.
This park is managed with the help of 32 stake holders consisting of landowners, farmers and conservationists. Now protected by law, there is no more hunting, drainage, forestry plantation or even excess tourist exploration. Which are very good measures in preserving its beauty.
On your next vacation, don’t go to a place where you will have to endure the same traffic, expenses and bars like your own city’s, travel to a place that will bring you to peace amidst pristine and near-primal forests and sceneries. Realize why people are working so hard to save the environment nowadays. The Coto Doñana experience will change your mind and views on nature in ways you have never imagined – mine did.