Ebro Delta - Delta del Ebre Natural Park

Delta del Ebre Natural Park

Bird santuary near Barcelona

Updated January 2024

The Delta del Ebro (Ebro Delta) is a river delta located on the northeastern coast of Spain. Experience flamingos and other bird varieties, rice fields. lagoons and stunning wetlands scenery in the Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre in the province of Tarragona, Spain near Barcelona.



The Ebro Delta Natural Park, called Parc Natural del Delta de l'Ebre, is located 200 km south of Barcelona. In 2013 it became part of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve network. The Ebre river (Ebro in Spanish - Ebre in Catalan) is Spain’s largest river and stretches almost all the way across Spain flowing from west to east.

The Delta del Ebro (Ebro Delta) was formed over thousands of years as a result of the sediment carried by the Ebro River being deposited at its mouth where it meets the Mediterranean Sea. The Ebro River, Spain's second-longest river at approximately 910 kilometers, flows eastward from the Cantabrian Mountains, weaving through diverse landscapes including valleys and plains. Serving as a crucial water source for communities along its course, the river is instrumental in supporting local agriculture and economies. Cities like Zaragoza benefit from its waters for irrigation. Beyond its practical significance, the Ebro River holds historical importance as a witness to the interactions of various civilizations over the centuries. Today, the Ebro remains a vital watercourse, contributing significantly to the ecological and economic well-being of the regions it traverses.

As it flows southeastward towards the Mediterranean Sea, it passes through a variety of geological formations and picks up sediment from the surrounding areas. The sediment is carried downstream by the river and deposited at its mouth, where it forms the delta. For thousands of years the river Ebro has deposited soils that have washed downriver to create an enormous wetlands delta area of over 300 km2 of lagoons, salt marshes, dunes, reed beds, canals and rice fields.

Rice fields

The rice fields produces one fifth of Spain’s rice production. The natural park is a permanent or temporary home to around 300 species of wild birds including herons, gulls, waders, terns, ducks and the exotic flocks of pink flamingos.

The shape and size of the Ebro delta have changed over time due to a combination of natural processes, such as erosion and deposition, and human activities, such as the construction of dams and levees. The Ebro delta is an important ecological area and supports a variety of habitats, including wetlands, lagoons, and sand dunes. It is also home to a number of species of plants and animals, some of which are unique to the area.

Even in a dry summer, the river Ebre has enough water to flood the endless kilometres of rice fields that fill delta area. The Ebro delta is only 2 hours from Barcelona, but it has a very remote and exotic feel, almost far eastern, with the Els Ports hills in the background (which were once on the coast of this area) and rice fields as far as the eye can see.

Ecomuseum

For information on the Delta Ebro bird sanctuary and natural park  visit the information centre and eco-museum in the town of Deltebre, where you can get an overview of the delta area and its natural environment and wildlife. The museum also explains why the Delta Ebre area is so suitable for growing rice and how the rice is harvested and packaged. Don't miss the tiny palm tree filled oasis-like village of Poble Nou de Delta located well inside the protected wildlife area of the Delta Ebre.

Things to do

Wildlife Drive or cycle into the protected wildlife swamp and climb the many wildlife observation towers, where you can see many species of birds including flamingos which are Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus)  There is usually 95% chance of seeing flocks of flamingos, which have their natural habitat in the delta.

Boat tours There are boat tours on the river Ebre to the island Illa Buda. Book here



Watersports

In the summer you can drive or bike to the beaches including the lovely Trabucador beach, which is a long thin strip of beach with water on both sides. With an extensive shallow lagoon on one side of the 5 km long Trabucador beach and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, this is a mecca for kitesurfers all year round. In the summer you can  swim in the lagoon or sea and rent watersports equipment like stand-up paddle surf board. 



How to get to Ebre Delta from Barcelona

To our knowledge there are are few regular group tours from Barcelona to the Ebre Delta, so your best option is the rent a car, take a bus or contact day tour companies about day tours.

Related pages:

Day tours outside Barcelona
Visit Tarragona

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Last Updated on Friday, 19 January 2024 16:20
 

Friday, 23 February 2024