Faunia is a biodiversity theme park that is made up of 8 of the worlds eco-systems and 3,500 animals.
The metro from the centre of Madrid will take about 20 minutes. Take the following route:
Metro: Principe de Vergara (Red Line, L2) from Sol, in the direction of Ventas, and change at Principe de Vergara. Then take:
Metro: Valdebernardo (Purple Line, L9) in the direction of Arganda del Rey.
When you get off the train, look for the green sign on the wall that tells you which direction to exit for the park. Once outside, the park is not signposted. In front of you there will be Calle (street) Pinillas. Take this street and then turn right onto Cordel de Pavones. At the end you will see a large commercial centre. Turn left, keeping the commercial centre on your left. At the end of the road you should see a large yellow billboard saying 'Faunia'. Walk towards this and you will see the Faunia Madrid Nature Park entrance. The walk from the metro takes about 15 minutes.
Faunia is a mix of both indoor and outdoor things to see. On entering you will be given an easy to follow map of the park, its pathways, and separate areas. The park is set amidst pleasant countryside, and also contains a lake full of pink flamingoes.
There is the largest reconstruction of a Polar Eco-system in Europe, that houses animals from both the North and South poles. In contrast, the Amazon Jungle area is a reconstruction of the rainforests and is kept at a temperature of 28 degrees Celsius with 80% humidity. This area is especially fun, as it is filled with colourful birds and odd looking reptiles that you can get close to. One little girl was feeding her crisps to the parrots when I went.
Visit the part of the jungle where the monkeys live. They run free and if you're quick you can even stroke them. Kids will love it.
There is also a 'Night time' area, many animals and birds are kept outside, and three cute sea lions that take part in their own show. The aquarium section should not be missed, as it contains the worlds largest species of fish, and I have to say, I have seen some fish in my time, but this creature is incredible.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of the Faunia park is that many of the animals are allowed to roam quite freely. We saw some incredibly cute little furry animals, popping up out of holes in a grass bank, and they were totally free to scuttle off wherever they wanted. This caused some surprise amongst unsuspecting passing pedestrians.
There are several bars and restaurants throughout the park. Although there's no reason not to take your own lunch and rest up on one of the benches next to the lake, and enjoy the view. The restaurants have both indoor and outdoor seating.
If you have small children you might want to hire a buggy for them.
Buggy hire: €6.00
Faunia Madrid is both fun and also educational. It is so peaceful, it's hard to believe that you are in Madrid. I would allow the best part of a day to see everything, especially if you're with the kids.
Faunia Nature Park
Avenida de las Comunidades, 28
28032 Madrid, España.
Telephone: +34 90 253 5545
Faunia Official website: http://www.faunia.es
Metro: Valdebernardo (Purple Line, L9)
By car: A3 in the direction of Valencia; Exit (salida) 6 for Valdebernardo
Children under (3-7): €19.95Seniors over 60: €19.95
There is Disabled access and plenty of spaces for parking.