Note: The information presented below has been extracted from our formal General Information for this tour. It covers topics we feel potential registrants may wish to consider before booking space. The complete General Information for this tour will be sent to all tour registrants and of course supplemental information, if needed, is available from the WINGS office.
ENTERING SPAIN: U.S. citizens will need a passport valid for at least three months beyond your scheduled date of departure from the country, and with at least one blank page for an entry stamp. A visa is not required for stays of fewer than 90 days.. Citizens of other nations should contact the nearest Spanish Consulate for entry requirements.
COUNTRY INFORMATION: You can review the U.S. Department of State Country Specific Travel Information at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/spain.html, and the CIA World Factbook background notes on Morocco at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/sp.html.
PACE OF THE TOUR: This is a fairly relaxed tour: leisurely walking, occasionally over moderately rough or steep terrain, is the only physical requirement. There are several long drives (between 5-6 hours, usually with some birding en route) and an early start on one day. On most days, we will have breakfast before heading out for the day. Lunch is often a leisurely picnic or sometimes in a café en route to our next birding location. There are plenty of stops for tea, coffee or a cold drink. We usually return to the hotel at around 7.00 pm and on at least one night we’ll go out after dark to look for Red-necked Nightjar. Dinner is taken late in Spain with several of our hotels not serving before 8:30pm.
Virtually all the walking is fairly easy and on good paths or tracks. There are a couple of longer walks of about 1.5 miles each. Most of the birdwatching is done within a short distance of our vehicle.
HEALTH: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations. These include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.
They further recommend that most travelers have protection against Hepatitis A.
The most current information about travelers’ health recommendations can be found on the CDC’s Travel Health website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/spain?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-single-001.
Smoking: Smoking is prohibited in the vehicles or when the group is gathered for meals, checklists, etc. If you are sharing a room with a nonsmoker, please do not smoke in the room. If you smoke in the field, do so well away and downwind from the group. If any location where the group is gathered has a stricter policy than the WINGS policy, that stricter policy will prevail.
Miscellaneous: Day flying mosquitoes can be a problem in some areas, so bring an insect repellent. We recommend using insect repellents with a high concentration of DEET.
You are advised not to drink the tap water at the hotel, primarily because of its high mineral content.
CLIMATE: Temperatures will typically range from possibly as low as 32°F (0°C) in the early mornings to as high as 86°F (30C) during the day. Sunshine should be plentiful but rain is possible throughout. The Pyrenees and plains around central Spain are often very windy, very cold and exposed so warm, winter clothing is recommended there. Snow is still possible in the mountains.
ACCOMMODATION: The tour stays at a number of hotels all of which have private bathroom facilities. Some have balconies and many have good views of the Spanish countryside with birdwatching right on the doorstep.
FOOD: Breakfasts are quite varied but with the usual staple items e.g. coffee, tea, juice and toast or pastries found at most of the hotels. The further inland we travel the more local delicacies such as cheese and smoked meats appear on the breakfast menu. Lunch will usually be a picnic, (provided by our hotels), which will include a selection of freshly made sandwiches and fruit. Evening meals are taken late in Spain (usually 8.30-9.00pm) which allows us to make the most of the daylight hours for birding.
Drinks: Bottled water and/or a soft drink, beer or wine is provided at lunch and dinner, as is coffee or tea. All other drinks or ‘personal’ drinking water for use in your room etc. is the responsibility of the individual. We will keep bottled water on the minibus for use during the day.
TRANSPORTATION: Transportation will be by minibus driven by the leader. The leader will arrange a seating rotation. Participants should be willing and able to ride in any seat in tour vehicles.
Updated: 04 August 2015