Sunday, 15 January 2017

Cycling the Ebro Delta

L'Ampolla sculpture 
The first excursion we chose from our new Footpaths Of The Mediterranean folder (thank you Ametlla Tourist Office!) was actually, for us, a cycle ride although walking around the Ebro Delta is perfectly feasible too. We parked up just by a roundabout on the way into l'Ampolla. It had the distinctive sculpture pictured here which I have been unable to find online so I am not sure what it depicts or who created it!

From the roundabout, it was an easy cycle down to the seafront with just a little confusion once we got there as we expected the promenade cycleway to have started already, but we had to navigate a short road one-way section first. Then the open path beckoned and we tootled along the prom in gorgeous sunshine, only screeching to a halt to take a look at this amazing sculpture, El lector de l'Ampolla by local artist Paco Morales who is from Deltebre. The book being read is Odysseus which I am taking as a second sign to get on and read my own copy (the first sign having been the Phocaean Greeks at Empuries speaking the same Ionian language as Homer.)

El lector de l'Ampolla sculpture 
Footpaths of the Mediterranean 10 
The best thing about cycling the Ebro Delta is that it is practically flat for miles - and not just looking so, but actually cycling flat! We soon shot off the end of the leaflet map pictured below and made up our own ride along the camis and levees that separate the natural park from acres of rice paddies. At this time of year we hardly saw anyone else, just two other cyclists and one walker so it felt like the whole delta was ours alone!

The Ebro is a favoured area for birdspotting and we saw several varieties of waterbirds, a couple of which we could even identify! We definitely saw cormorants, herons and flamingos. I tried to photograph the flamingos but they were just too distant for my phone camera to cope with. If you enlarge and squint at this vista, I promise you that is what the white blobs are!

Flamingos on the Ebro Delta 

Our visit lasted about three hours in all including a brief picnic lunch on a convenient bench out in the middle of nowhere. I was delighted to finally see the famed Delta especially as it might not exist in such a way for much longer. Threatened by sea level rises from one side and lack of incoming sediment from the other (the River Ebro has been dammed upstream), I would say get there soon if you want to experience this amazing habitat. However erosion from so many tourists' feet (and wheels) is another threat.

Footpaths of the Mediterranean 10 


  1. It must have been like cycling through the Netherlands if it was that flat! Sounds like a nice and easy cycle ride in that case, and like the sights were nice and worth seeing :D

    1. Funnily enough I thought of you there while we were at the Delta. Must bring our bikes to the Netherlands one day :-)