5 wild animals you can to see in the mountains of Vista Lago


One of the more thrilling aspects about living in nature is that even if you own the land you live on, it’s never really yours. In reality, you simply share it with the region-specific flora and fauna. We’ve picked out five of our favourite fauna that grace the mountains surrounding Marbella and Benahavís.

Iberian Ibex

On a brisk morning walk up any one of various paths that seem to lead directly to La Concha you might be nobly greeted by one of the biggest Iberian Ibex’s you’ve ever seen – the male Ibex’s horns can grow to an astonishing 75 cm in length. When they aren’t grazing and foraging for food at lower altitudes, they are capable of climbing mountains and reaching up to 3,000 metres in altitude – so don’t be surprised if you meet one all the way up on La Concha’s peak!

Iberiensteinbock (Capra pyrenaica) in Spanien - Iberian ibex
A male Ibex in the mountains.

There is one animal which is considered a special sighting is known as ‘the common’ small-spotted Genet. Not so commonly seen as its name would have you believe, but they are around. Being skilled hunters from as young as seven weeks of age, the chances increase that you’ll get to see them during their feeding hours, chasing the wild rabbits, mice, rats and birds.

Genet head portrait looking at side
Genets are hard to sport and easy to scare away. A rare encounter indeed!
European Roller

Spotted more frequently around Sevilla, this European Roller can be seen passing through Marbella on its way to southern Africa, where it winters in dry wooded savanna and bushy plains. The species ‘garrulus’ is from Latin and it means ‘chattering’ or ‘noisy’. The roller’s call is quite harsh and whenever it’s nervous it will make a raucous series of calls. You might not be lucky enough to see it but you’ll certainly hear it!

European Roller
This beautiful azure-coloured bird could brighten up even a cloudy day. Photo by Kevin Wade.
Swallowtail butterfly

With a wingspan of up to 93 mm, the swallowtail is Spain’s largest species of butterfly, which emerges from unassuming caterpillars with black and white patterns. There are over 500 species that are differentiated on the basis of their appearance, making them a perfect photo collectible.

Swallowtail butterfly
Just when the caterpillar thought her life was over… Photo by Kevin Wade.
Red-rumped swallow

Interesting fact: a group of swallows has many collective nouns, including a “gulp”, “herd”, “kettle”, “richness”, and “sord” of swallows. A bird that originates in Mongolia is by now well accustomed to the southern climate, with big populations in sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia.

Red-rumped swallow
Red-rumped swallow passes by La Concha. Photo by Kevin Wade.

Due to the vast ecosystem which makes up this diverse landscape, you can be sure of two things when living around Marbella: every day you will enjoy looking out at the view, and every now and then, nature will look back at you, too.

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