White storks perched on a rooftop in the Algarve, Portugal


Wildlife Watch


From budding wildlife enthusiasts, to those planning an exciting day of animal-spotting with the kids – get back to nature on holiday. Whether you’re relaxing by the pool or hiking in the forests, catch a glimpse of the creatures who call that part of the world home. Here are just some of the animals to encounter when travelling to some of our favourite destinations.


White Stork

Protected and revered in Portugal, you’ll spot these beautiful birds and their nests high up on chimneys and telegraph poles. So don’t forget to pack your binoculars! Discovering the White Stork perched on the roof of your villa would also be a sign of good luck. Just like us, storks prefer warmer climates. So in winter why not watch as thousands migrate and capture  the stunning view as they soar in the skies above?


Eurasian Lynx

Eurasian lynx

Want to feel at one with nature? Then leave the stunning Dalmatian shoreline behind and discover Croatia’s big cat – the Eurasian Lynx. Native to Europe and Asia, this solitary creature will have you feel like your very own nature show presenter as you hide behind bushes to sneak a glance. Recognised by their ruff face fur and short tails, these forest felines feast on mammals and birds. With incredibly secretive natures, you’ll feel that finding the Eurasian Lynx is a real game of cat and mouse.


Freshwater Crab

An old 5-cent Maltese coin, with freshwater crab engraved into one side

This little guy is somewhat of a celebrity in Malta. Once taking centre stage on their old 5-cent coin, the Maltese freshwater crab (known as qabru) is now endangered. If lucky enough, you’ll spot these greenish-grey creatures wherever there is fresh water, no matter what time of year. As you enjoy a glass or two after sunset, this carnivorous crab will be tucking into his dinner of a tadpole or any smaller animal he can get his claws into, so keep a lookout for these precious creatures.


Ibiza Wall Lizard

Ibiza wall lizard perched on a rock

Ibiza’s wall lizard is just as energetic as the island’s nightlife. Found in and outdoors, you may find these small, fast creatures flash under your feet as you relax in the comfort of your villa. As you get a glimpse, you’ll first notice its long tail, attached to a rounded body. Varying in species, their striking colours of green and brown makes them easy to spot as they scurry past. One things for sure though, these funny lizards are harmless and will add amusement to your day!


Cyprus Mouflon

Cyprus Mouflon

As you soak up the Cyprus sun, take a trip to Paphos Forest and spot their largest mammal – the Cyprus Mouflon. Make sure to pack your hiking boots as these wild sheep live high on the mountains, perfect for an early morning workout! Very shy and agile, these animals are quick-moving so take care when walking nearby. Although mouflons are found in various Mediterranean countries, this species is exclusive to Cyprus.

Feeling inspired to set out on your own animal adventure? With over 2900 holiday villas in 50 destinations, you’ll be wildlife watching before you know it!

Alice Allwright

Alice Allwright is a Marketing Communications Executive at James Villa Holidays.

See all articles by Alice Allwright

See all articles by Alice Allwright

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