There are some 13 species of snakes in Spain, of which 5 are venomous (shown in red).

Grass Snake

Ladder Snake

Aesculapian Snake

Horseshoe Whip Snake

Smooth Snake

Southern Smooth Snake

Western Whip Snake

Viperine Snake

Asp Viper

Seoane’s Viper

Snub-Nosed Viper

Montpellier Snake

Hooded Snake

Seoane’s viper lives in Galicia, León, the Cantabrian coastal strip and the Basque Country.

The most prevalent of the vipers, Lataste’s viper, is present throughout the Iberian Peninsula, though not actually considered to be common. It is grey, around 50cm in length and is distinguished by its triangular head and zigzag pattern on its back. It lives in dry, rocky areas and away from humans as it is timid. Viper bites can be fatal.

Montpellier Snake

The 2-metre long Montpellier snake is blue with a white underbelly and has prominent ridges over the eyes. The position of its venom fangs means that it would be unlucky to have poison injected into you. The venom is much weaker than the vipers.


Viperine Water Snake

Viperine Water Snake (or just Viperine Snake), Natrix maura, which looks, behaves and strikes like an adder but is quite harmless. It is semi-aquatic and hunts and eats fish.

Viperine Water Snake

The Viperine Water Snake can grow up to 85 centimetres in length.

Viperine Water Snake

Horseshoe Whip Snake

The Horseshoe Whip Snake, Hemorrhois hippocrepis or Coluber hippocrepis, is found in Algeria, Italy, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Gibraltar and Tunisia.

Horseshoe Whip Snake

Adults can grow up to around 1.50 metres, but I would guess this one was about a metre or just over, difficult to tell as it was coiled. It is non-venomous.

Horseshoe Whip Snake

The snake gets its name from a light horseshoe-shaped mark on the neck and back of the head.

If bitten by a snake, try to remain calm and seek medical attention immediately. Bites only occur in the spring and summer as snakes hibernate. Of an estimated 50 snakebite deaths a year in Europe, only 3-6 occur in Spain. More people die from bee and wasp stings.