The rut

A unique spectacle

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During the last days of summer and at the beginning of autumn is the time of the rut for the red and fallow deer which provide the soundtrack for the Tajo Internacional Biosphere Reserve. Their loud bellows coincide at this time of the year with the flowing of the waters of the Tajo, the calls of cranes, storks and birds of prey, and the hooting of owls at night.

The guttural sound of the male deer which is interrupted by the clashing of antlers finds at Tajo Internacional magnificent places where it can be enjoyed.

Las Viñas Viewpoint

A good way of enjoying this environment in autumn is by walking from Santiago de Alcántara to Carbajo to reach this viewpoint, where you will be delighted not only by the rut but also by all the birds in the Nature Reserve.

No doubt on the way you will come across groups of deer; during the rut this area is ideal for your enjoyment because you can listen to and observe the males at relatively close quarters.

La berrea

The dehesas of Herreruela, Membrío, and Salorino

These enclaves are also splendid places for enjoying the rut. Moreover, some estates and companies organise guided tours to enjoy the bellows in autumn.

Portuguese side


On the Portuguese side of the nature reserve at Idanha-a-Nova an itinerary has been established for enjoying observation of the rut:

The Route of the Stags

This wide track has two alternatives and a branch for enjoying the fauna at Tajo Internacional. The starting point is Rosmaninhal, a Portuguese parish belonging to the municipal district of Idanha-a-Nova. From here we must take the road towards Fonte do Medo and then the country lanes leading to Guedelha, Vale Pórros, Rivera do Freixo, and Cegonhas. Once you have reached this village, take the road to Couto dos Correias to then stop at the survey point of São Felizes and finally come to Soalheiras.

Here at Soalheiras a path leaves the village to penetrate areas dominated by Mediterranean woodland and scrubland until it reaches Alares, an ancient abandoned hamlet built of slate. This place in ruins and surrounded by nature will give a telluric touch to your journey.

From this point the branch needs to be followed; it starts from a lane between walls which runs southwards to the former post of the Guarda Fiscal.

Another option is to go northwards and then turn to the northeast so as to reach Rosmaninhal once more.

LA berrea en la Sierra de San Pedro
Hamlet of Los Alares GR29.1

This alternative to the route of 7.6 km shows us the home of red and fallow deer in all its glory. Here the terrain is clothed by holm oaks, cork oaks, and several shrubs of great ecological value. This path is ideal for enjoying the rut and coincides with the trail which leaves Alares for the former post of the Guarda Fiscal.

Los Alares, bird hide Alternative GR29.2

This route of 2.8 km (there and back) leaves from the former post of the Guarda Fiscal and ends at the bird hide which is located on the banks of the Tajo right on the border with Extremadura. This area is a paradise for animal lovers and particularly at the time of the rut as it is the haunt of many deer. On top of all that, this beautiful landscape is frequented by many birds of prey and storks.

Fonte Santa Stream, Alternative GR29.3

From the former post of the Guarda Fiscal this path runs to where the Fonte Santa Stream flows into the River Tajo. It has a length of about 4 kilometres and you will enjoy not only the deer but also the typical riverside landscape.


Tajo Internacional has several strategic places for viewing this spectacle of nature. But before you go let us give you some advice for enjoying the rut:

  • Don’t get too close and naturally do not touch the deer. Remember that as they are in rut they will become aggressive.
  • You may wait for several hours. The best thing is to take some food and something to do.
  • The viewpoints are the best place for enjoying the rut.
  • Take mountain equipment and above all don’t forget your binoculars!
  • The best time for enjoying the rut is at dawn and dusk.

Look for the companies belonging to the Tajo Internacional – Sierra de San Pedro Tourist Association which operate in the Tajo Internacional Reserve.

Tourist association