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Picos de Europa National Park

Picos de Europa, on the borders of Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y León, is probably the most stunning national park in Spain, or even Europe.

Picos de Europa is one of the few truly unspoiled areas of the country that is still unaffected by large numbers of tourists. The contrasts within these 300 square miles of spectacular natural beauty that link Cantabria and Asturias are amazing. Looking up you'll see a series of dramatic rocky mountain peaks rising to well over 8,000 feet, their sharp jagged edges clearly defined against the pale blue skyline. Small mountain villages are tucked away in the higher slopes almost completely isolated. Looking down, the first signs of colourful mountain flowers begin to appear, increasing in frequency the lower you look amongst the rolling hills of lush vegetation. Deep gorges that plunge vertically down into deep river valleys, sparkling lakes, and magical forests make this an adventure playground just begging to be explored

The park is full of endangered species including the golden eagle, the European brown bear and asturcon, a shaggy wild horse. Chamois, a species of goat-antelope, are common. Due to the total ban on hunting here, these creatures have little fear of humans, and will usually allow you to plenty of opportunities for good camera close ups. Up in the skies, apart from golden eagles, other birds you can expect to frequently catch a sight of are peregrine falcons, short-toed eagles, black woodpeckers, snow finches and literally hundreds of other smaller species.

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Throughout the park there are opportunities for a multitude of outdoor activities such as horse riding, fishing, white water rafting, and, of course, hiking and climbing to name just a few. There are peaks to challenge even the best climbers as well as others that are suitable for everyone with their well-trodden trails.

For getting around, a car is essential and the N-621 highway from Santander goes right through the heart of the park in almost a straight line, and is joined by many subsidiary roads. In some places you can take an easy route up the mountains by travelling in a cable car such as at Fuente Dé. The views from any given summit on a clear day are guaranteed to be nothing less than spectacular. In the secluded mountain villages people live a traditional way of life of self-sufficiency that has all but disappeared in most of Europe. For your own stay in the Picos, we have more luxurious accommodation available in our hotels within the park itself or just a very short drive away.

Coordinates shown are based on the WGS84 system, please check driving directions before departing. We recommend contacting the attraction, if appropriate, to check opening times etc.

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