The birds and the rice, natural pathway through Ebro Delta Natural Park

The route

This route runs through a part of the protected area of the Ebro Delta Natural Park and offers an astonishing variety of scenery. Part of the route coincides with a nature walk, which begins at The Olles Lagoon and ends at Goleró. From here the route turns back, skirting rice fields to then once again cross the borders of the protected area.

You can do i ton foot or by bicycle. If you take this walk on foot, the best idea is to go as far as Goleró and return by the same route. The starting point can be l’Ampolla or The Olles Lagoon car park.

Privileged natural environment

Those responsible for the charm of this route are The Olles Lagoon, the Goleró and the Ebro Delta. The Olles Lagoon is the smallest lagoon in the Delta del Ebro. Despite its small size, its privileged location in front of the bay of El Fangar and its environment of rice fields makes it host a large population of waterfowl and a varied flora that is difficult to find in such small spaces.

El Goleró is at the end of a former branch of the Ebro that connects the river, at the point of the Isle of Gràcia, with the Bay of Fangar. It could well have been the mouth of the river in the 11th century. Nowadays, it is used as a drainage channel at the time of the year when the paddy fields are drained before preparing the land for the next harvest.

Moreover, the Ebro Delta offers one of the most attractive landscapes in the Mediterranean. The interior of this small earthly paradise is dominated by rice fields, which make the landscape change completely according to the season of the year.

The brown hues typical of the fertile winter ground slowly transform into liquid mirrors when the fields are flooded in Spring. At that time, the sky and the sea merge into one and the Delta becomes a real dream world. Later the rice plants break through the surface of the water and a huge emerald carpet spreads over the paths until at the end of summer the grains of rice take on a golden hue as they await the harvest.

The itinerary

Route  GR path

  • 1
    (0.000 m) Starting point. l’Ampolla. Tourist Office. (Ronda de Mar, 12). Take the sea front in the direction of Camarles, along the GR 92.
  • 2
    (1.940 m) Leave the road to Camarles and take the GR path, turn left and continue alongside l’Arenal Beach. Enter The Olles Lagoon protected area (Ebro Delta Natural Park). Here, there is an observation tower with views of The Olles Lagoon and surrounding areas.
  • 3
    (3.980 m) The Lagoon Gorge. This can be crossed by means of concrete weirs. Continue straight on, passing a small house on the right, and then follow the canal until you find a point where it can be crossed. Now continue upstream on the left along a cart track which, when it reaches the rear part of the beach, turns right in the direction of Goleró.
  • 4
    (5.180 m) El Goleró. Take the asphalt path that crosses the rice fields.
  • 5
    (5.650 m) Bridge on the left. Do not cross it, continue along the edge of the fields.
  • 6
    (7.050 m) Turn left and cross the canal over a bridge. Continue along an asphalt path, passing a small house on the right.
  • 7
    (8.630 m) Cross the canal after you come to a house on the right. When reaching the road, take the right side of the road and continue along it, past the roads to Deltebre and Camarles, which branch out to the left.
  • 8
    (10.600 m) Crossroads. Go straight ahead.
  • 9
    (11.440 m) L’Arenal Beach. Return to l’Ampolla along the same path as on the outward journey.
  • 10
    (14.000 m) We reach to the starting point.

Bird sightings

The ornithological richness of this route is due to its location in the northern hemidelta, going through a good part of the Ebro Delta Natural Park and which includes the itinerary of the Olles Lagoon. The other ornithological attraction of this itinerary is the Goleró, a point of attraction for birds because it is an area rich in food.

The best time for bird watching here is during wintering and migratory steps, both prenuptial and postnuptial, and as always, during the first and last hours of the day. Being a place halfway between the Fangar and the beach of l’Arenal, it becomes a place of habitual traffic that facilitates the enjoyment of different bird species at any time of the day.

The ornithological richness in this route lies in water birds. You can find waders birds during the winter, creating a visual spectacle with which you will have a good time. See how they go through the Fangar Bay in search of food or trying to identify the different species that fold back to rest.

Species to observer

  • Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
  • Ardeidae (Ardeidae)
  • Flamingos (Phoenicopterus)
  • Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)
  • Glossy ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)
  • Ducks (Anatidae)
  • Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
  • Gulls (fam. Laridae)
  • Common tern (Sternidae)
  • Waders (Charadriiformes)

Download the checklist – birds list in l’Ampolla and add it to your personal list.

Last bird sightings in l’Ampolla.

Useful information

  • The recommended walk follows the GR 92 path to l’Arenal beach. From this point the walk is not signposted; however, the description and the map make it easy to follow the route.
  • This walk is perfect for any time of the year. The spring and autumn months are the best. Sunny winter days can also be especially very pleasant.
  • It can be extremely hot in the summer and you must start off early in the morning so as to avoid the midday heat. Do not forget to bring along drinking water and a hat.
  • The estimated time for the walk has been calculated at an easy relaxed pace. It should be borne in mind however that, depending on the number of stops made, it could take much longer. It goes without saying that great care should be taken to avoid the risk of forest and brush fires.
  • The l’Ampolla tourist office can provide further information and will be only too pleased to help you with any queries or hear your suggestions.