Vira Natura

Narcissus of Andalucia - Spain

5-14 March 2025
From €2,995.00 per person

Woods and rocks are gilded with early season Narcissus throughout Andalucia, alongside hellebores, giant squills, orchids and toadflaxes. Coastal sands are smothered in bright coloured displays and the dunes and macchie begins to stir. Add in delightful white villages, soaring limestone massifs and gnarled cork oak forests for an early spring wake up call. This tour will explore a number of 'Sierras' searching for hoop petticoats, jonquills and more.

 A 10-day tour with Chris Gardner

Day 1     Arrival in Malaga

Following our arrival in Malaga we will drive east to Almeria for the night. If there is time we can look around the Cabo de Gata. This is a unique corner of Spain, with the lowest rainfall and many endemic plants.Impressive stands of Chamaeropes humilis dominate parts of the littoral and there superb look outs along this unique coastline. Overnight Almeria

Day 2     Sierra de Filabres

Heading north we stop for incredible spikes of the parasitic Cistanche lutea that burst from the dry ground. There are some wonderful wild west landscapes in the semi-desert corner, that is not bereft of interesting flora from Phlomis purpurea to pretty Coris monspeliensis. Reaching the Sierra de Filabres we climb to cooler heights where the lovely white petticoat daffodil; Narcissus cantabricus subsp. monophyllos is nestled beneath stunted oaks and even sprouting from the dense macchie. Continuing on to the woods above Cazorla we’ll find diminutive Narcissus hedraeathus in flower before continuing onto the fine Parador at Cazorla for the night.

Day 3     Santa Elena

An interesting and scenic mountain area with fine stands of Helleborus foetidus in the woods, large flowered forms of Erodium cicutarium on the rocks with Scilla verna and grand views. The main part of the day lies beyond the vast expanse of olive groves, where rocky hills swathed in handsome Cistus ladinifera support thriving populations of lovely Narcissus triandrum mingled with airy Saxifraga granulata and stands of showy Erophaca baetica. Overnight Sierra de Cazorla.

Day 4     Journey to Ronda via Torcal de Antequera

Our journey takes us across to a remarkable geological site, where pancake limestone and contorted rock formations comprise the Torcal de Antequera. Architectural Euphorbia characias grow among the rocks and it is an area ripe for exploring. Nearby areas have stands of Ophrys fusca, the lovely Moricandia moricandoides, Linaria verticillata subsp. anticaria (endemic to the area) and Anacamptis collina. Another geologically (and botanically) interesting area lies not far away where a shift in geology seems different formations. the sandy soils here support plentiful Dipcadi serotinum, snowy drifts of Iberis pectinata, pretty Linaria becarae and more. Overnight near Ronda.

Day 5     Sierra de la Nieves

A somewhat higher area today where one of the few remaining tracts of Abies pinsapo persists on the upper slopes. Below these damp areas have the large sulphurous trumpets of Narcissus bujei, Helleborus foetidus and flowering Daphne laureola, whilst rocky areas are gilded with patches of tufts of pretty Narcissus assoanus and Linaria platycalyx. Damp turf is liberally sprinkled with Romulea bulbocodium and warm machine slopes have Erica australis. a wonderfully scenic area we will spend time strolling through. Overnight near Ronda.

Day 6     Sierra de Ronda

There is a complex of massifs and outcrops around Ronda and spending time among these we’ll find sweet-scented Narcissus cuatrecassasii, Ornithogalum reverchonii, Fritillaria lusitanica, endemic Orchis olbiensis, the large-flowered buttercup Ranunculus rupestris, loose mounds of Saxifraga bourgeana, pretty pink Fedia cornucopia and with luck a few late-flowering Iris planifolia. Short turf has a frosting of Erodium cicutarium among which we might find milky Neotinea tridentata subsp. conica. Overnight near Ronda.

Day 7     Sierra de Grazalema & Montejaque

Emerging from tracts of cork oaks, cliffs soaring from the grassy slopes and are topped with a classic white village; Grazalema. Below nearby cliffs Narcissus jonquilla should be in full flower and nearby wet seeps have the delicate N. bulbocodium. The road snakes up to a spectacular viewpoint above Grazalema and there are architectural gnarled cork oaks framing the landscape. Overnight near Ronda.

Day 8     To Tarifa via La Janda

We stop first at limestone outcrops that support the lovely Linaria aeruginosa and after crossing the plains beyond and finding Narcissus papyraceus subsp. panizzianus in flower, we then encounter the hefty blue turbans of that most impressive of all squills; Scilla peruviana. Hopefully, the first Iris xiphium will be in flower too and these two lovely species commonly grow together. Overnight near Tarifa.

Day 9     Barbate & Trafalgar

The coastal areas offer a change of scene with low-lying areas swathed in golden Lotus cretica, the large-flowered Centaurea sphaerocephala and Limonium sinuatum among which appear Dipcadi serotinum. Closer to the sea is Romulea clusiana. Dunes are stabilised with architectural umbrella pines below which grow Ophyrs tenthredinifera, fine forms of O. fusca, the all green Gennaria diphylla as well as Scilla ramburii, deep blue Anagallis monellii and pretty drifts of snow-white Acis triphyllum. The extraordinary Antirrhinum tortuousum climbs up through the rich shrub flora of sun roses, lavender and golden Anthyllis cytisoides. The scenic lookout from Trafalgar has stout Orobanche densiflora and weeping bushes of Lygos monosperma are weighed down with ivory flowers. Near Tarifa we drive up to a special microclimate where were find the endemic sundew Drosophyllum lusitanicum on slopes near contorted cork oaks and stands of Rhododendron ponticum - a relict from cooler times. Overnight near Tarifa.

Day 10     To Malaga for flights

Return flights from Malaga airport (two hours drive away)



5-14 March 2025 


Per person: 2995 Euros

Single supplement: 550 Euros


  • 9 nights of accommodation
  • All food
  • All transport
  • Guide services

Not included:

  • Flights
  • Travel/Medical Insurance
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Personal expenses
  • Visas if required


Minimum number of participants 5; maximum 10.  

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