The Camino del Norte can be a little tougher at points than other roads leading to Santiago, but the payoff for conquering the occasional steep climb includes breathtaking vistas of the coast and days when you may walk for hours, alone with the stunning scenery of this rugged section of Spain. One of Europe’s great natural wonders lies just north of the Camino, the Picos de Europa. Located in Asturias, these granite limestone peaks soar above the surrounding countryside with the tallest reaching a height of 8,690 feet. (Their name is believed to derive from the fact that they were the first glimpse of Europe that some sailors returning from the Americas would see.) The park is as famous for what is underground as above with some of the world’s deepest caves. The residents of the park are an attraction too, with its population of Cantabrian brown bears, chamois goats, and Iberian wolves.
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