iNat in Europe on a Budget

I’m leaving for Madrid in roughly a week to study abroad for a semester. A lot of my time will be spent at the usual tourist locations, but I’m hoping to see some wildlife. I’m not too picky - I’m looking for birds, mammals, marine life, fungi, reptiles, amphibians, and insects.

I’m already enrolled in an amazing course that takes students snorkeling near Cabo de Palos, Murcia and diving off Islas Hormigas. Hopefully I’ll be able to use my GoPro on that trip.

This may have been covered in a previous topic, but I’m looking for any suggestions on places to visit. They can be in Madrid, in Spain as a whole or elsewhere.

I’m trying to keep costs somewhat reasonable given I’ll be traveling to see historical sites as well. I’ve planning going to Barcelona and Lyon, France during the semester if anyone knows side trips from there. I’m also considering a big trip to the Azores or Canary Islands but haven’t looked too closely into logistics.



Well, sorry to put something that you might have already looked up on Google Maps, but sine nobody else has replied… Cuenca Alta del Manzanares Regional Park is right outside Madrid.


I hope you are enjoying your studies. I have wonderful memories of many afternoons spent at La Boca del Asno, which is just outside Segovia. Saludos desde Yucatán!

edit to add: @susanne-kasimir may have additional/better suggestions?


I can recommend the whole of Andalusia. Even though the spring and summer were especially dry and hot, and there are less insects than usual, wherever you go, you’ll find something interesting.
Some tips on birds: from the Roman Bridge in the center of Córdoba (on your way to the mezquita) you can see black-crowned night herons, in the Parque del Alamillo in Sevilla there is an observatorio de aves with crested coots, near the airport of Málaga there is a little nature reserve where you will usually see white-headed ducks. Then there is the laguna de Fuente de Piedra with some 10K flamingos (if there is enough water). By the way, I am also on a budget, since I don’t have a car. All those places are accessible with public transport. Closer to home but without public transport ( I hitchhike) is El Torcal de Antequera, a stunning landscape where you will most likely see Spanish ibex - and of course griffon vultures flying overhead.
I envy you for your snorkelling trips. I go snorkelling in the middle of Málaga and am always amazed at what I find there.
You can also PM me if you decide to come down here.
PS. Barcelona has beautiful modernismo architecture, but too many tourists and is expensive.

EDIT: How could I forget the Caminito del Rey??


Since you said: and elsewhere. The best deal budget-wise is travelling through Germany now. The government has started a programme - of course aimed at commuters to use public transport - and anybody can buy a ticket (actually it’s a subscription, but you can cancel anytime) for ALL suburban trains, buses, metros etc. for 49€ per month! I have been travelling from South to North visiting friends and finding new lifers for three weeks in May and it was fantastic. I think I would have paid 10 times as much with regular tickets.


Idk what your sleeping situation is like but if you have access to an outlet outdoors and somewhere you can hang a white sheet, UV lights to attract nocturnal insects would definitely get you some interesting stuff. I do it in one of the largest North American urban areas and still get new species fairly frequently after 3+ years

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