Picos de Europa National Park comprises three different Spanish provinces; Asturias, Cantabria and León; hence this is the only National Park belonging to three different autonomous communities and it is currently managed in a combined manner. The Western Massif (Macizo Occidental) was declared a National Park on the 22nd of July 1918, becoming thus Spain’s first protected area. The park presently comprises 64,660 hectares. Afterwards, in 1994 it was declared as Picos de Europa National Park.
In this environment there are numerous U-shaped valleys of glacial origin as well as many glacial cirques carved in the rocks and glacial lakes which show evidence of a glacial activity that is still noticeable nowadays in the perpetual snows that still remain not only on the hilltops, but also in the rocky glaciers.
You can see the rich variety of fauna and flora found in this protected environment if you walk through its different types of woodlands.
The National Park vast richness of animals can be depicted as an exceptional example of all kinds of animals included in it. Inside this Park you can see a number of protected animal species such as the Cantabrian capercaillie, the lammergeier or the brown bear, these latter are becoming a more and more frequent presence all over the area, moreover one of the park’s most representative animals is the Cantabrian chamois. As a example of its importance, several sculptures devoted to it have been erected in different places inside the park. Amongst the most representative species it is worth noting the following ones: grey partridge, accentor, snow finch, Iberian wolf, middle spotted woodpecker and also rare species like the rosalia longicorn beetle that is unique in the world.
Inside the National Park there are, on the whole, thirty natural trails approved as “Pequeño Recorrido PR” ( Short Distance) which comprise the most representative areas in this natural environment: glacial valleys, beech woods, oak groves, mixed woods, hazelnut groves, holm oak groves, meadows in the bottom of the valley, alpine pasture lands, glacial lakes, ridges, crags , peaks, etc. In addition to this variety, the Park includes, in the part of the Central Massif located in León, a number of high mountain routes starting at the foothill of Pico Torrecedro (2,648 metres) and several dozens of peaks and mountains that reach an altitude over 2,000 metres. This part is completed by recreation areas and camp sites.
The trips we offer are of medium and low difficulty; therefore accessible to everybody.
In this area you will enjoy trekking throughout the year thanks to a wide range of possibilities. In this country, most of the trails going up some mountains are specially designed for mountain bikes, off-piste skis, rackets, crampons or ice-axes.
In addition to both hunting and fishing tradition in this land, the offer is completed by a number of exclusive activities that can be carried out throughout the park since it has a ski resort in Puerto de San Isidro as well as two reservoirs in which it is allowed to play aquatic sports, areas for climbing etc. Furthermore this country is the cradle of craftsmen whose workshops are open to those visitors curious to know how they work. The rich cultural heritage is completed with Roman and baroque churches, traditional and fulling mills, forges, bullpens, emblazoned houses, medieval towers, local pilgrimages, typical cuisine and traditional games which date back to a far-off past. This whole of deep-rooted traditions is the greatest exponent of a heritage to be discovered by visitors.