Fuente de Piedra Natural Reserve

Sierras Subbéticas Natural Park

The Fuente de Piedra Natural Reserve contains the largest natural lake in the Iberian Peninsula.  Measuring around 2.5km wide and 6.5km long it provides an important habitat for an immense amount of birds.  It is a seasonal lake though and can in summer almost dry out.  As it is a salt lake, it is particularly important for flamingos.  The reserve is home to the second largest colony of flamingos.

The footpath Sendero de la Vicaría provides excellent views of the lake. Guided tours are available when the lake has water.

The Fuente de Piedra Natural Reserve has a visitors centre which provides an abundance of information.  The village of Fuente de Piedra is close by and is worth a visit.

Flamingos flock to the reserve from around late February.  A small island known as La Colonia located on the lake provides a place where the flamingos can build their nests and bring up their young in relative safety.  Freshwater running into the lake attracts other bird species such as avocets, Montagu's harriers, black-winged stilts, white-headed ducks and little bitterns. The winter migration attracts cranes, grey herons, black-necked grebes, great crested grebes, teals and mallards and many hundreds of other species. The lake is home to a diverse number of reptiles.  These include ocellated lizards, Spanish sand lizards, Algerian sand lizards, southern wall lizards, as well as, horseshoe snakes, ladder snakes, water snakes and grass snakes.

Saltwort, Mediterranean brushwood and African tamarisks, are all found in the Fuente de Piedra Natural Reserve.  Some freshwater reeds and rushes grow here along with holm oaks and wild olive trees.


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