Picos de Europa
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Peak BeautyWith its alpine karsts, glacial lakes, and hilltop woods, it’s no wonder Picos de Europa was the first designated national park in Spain. Occupying a remote area on Spain’s northern coast, the park celebrates its centenary in 2018. Join avid mountaineers and head for the highest of its famous limestone picos (peaks), 8,688-foot Torre de Cerredo, or chase butterflies and snap photos of fearless wild horses in the high valleys. The park’s main access towns are a few hours’ bus ride from regions such as Asturias, Cantabria, and Castilla y León.
This appeared in the January/February 2018 issue.
about 6 years ago
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.