Picos de Europa, Spain

By | December 2, 2021

Picos de Europa – Spain’s first national park

In 1995 a large part of the Picos de Europa was designated as the first official national park in Spain. They invite you to travel and study trips, to hiking and mountaineering. The Margrave of Villaviciosa, Pedro Pidal, had already called for a corresponding law in 1918. In 2002 UNESCO declared the Picos de Europa a biosphere area. The Picos de Europa are centrally located in northern Spain and touch the regions of Asturias, Castile-León and Cantabria. Today the national park is one of the most visited in Spain.

Small but spectacular limestone massif

The Picos de Europa owe their name to the three large mountain ranges that border them. The best known is the Macizo Oriental, which is also called the Andara massif. The Picos de Europa also consist of the Macizo Central or massive Los Urrieles and the Macizo Occidental, also known as the Cornion Massif.

Espana Verde – Green Spain in the north of the country

According to topschoolsintheusa, the climatic conditions in the Picos de Europa are determined by heavy and frequent rainfall. The sea is only about 20 kilometers away and plays a key role in the formation of precipitation. In the winter months, snow falls and covers peaks and valleys. In deep snow pits, the snow remains partially throughout the year.

Demanding hiking area

Due to these special weather conditions, very dense banks of fog often form in the park, which make orientation difficult. Mountaineers in particular are afraid of the often unpredictable weather changes.

Naranjo de Bulnes – the most famous peak

The mountain relief is characterized by steep mountain peaks, gorges and deep gorges. In the entire mountain range there are more than 200 peaks that exceed 2,000 meters in altitude. The height differences between mountain and valley are not infrequently over 2,300 meters.

The Massif Central (Macizo Central) presents itself as a rugged mountain range. With its high peaks, it shapes the face of the park: the Torrecerredo at 2,646 meters is the highest peak in the Picos de Europa, directly followed by the Naranjo de Bulnes at 2,519 meters and the Pico Tesorero at 2,570 meters.

The largest area is the Macizo Occidental with its main peak Pena Santa de Castilla and 2,596 meters. Sloping hillside forests with beeches, oaks and meadows with heather offer a rare botanical sight. The touristic famous lakes of Covadonga can also be found here.

The east massif is the smallest of the three mountain ranges. Rugged rock massifs lie close to green pastureland.

Rivers, gorges and gorges

The entire area of ​​the Picos de Europa is criss-crossed by four feet and a few gorges. The Deva River flows through the Hermida Gorge, the Sella through the Desfiladero de los Beyos. The Cares crosses the Garganta Divina, the Duje River crosses the Klam de la India.


For tourists who do not want to climb high mountains, the park offers many wonderful viewpoints from which the impressive nature can be experienced. The Funtedé cable car also invites you to enjoy the panorama from above at an altitude of 1,800 meters.

Sierra de Guadarrama

Image: Sierra de Guadarrama Madrid Spain

Mountain range in central Spain

In the heart of Spain lies the Sierra de Guadarrama mountain range, which is part of the Iberian Scheidegebirge. The mountainous region is also recognized as the Sierra de Guadarrama National Park, which has existed since 2013. The proximity of the national park to the metropolitan region of Spain’s capital Madrid is exceptional, the sometimes snow-capped mountains are a popular recreational area with well-frequented ski areas. Much of the park belongs to the autonomous community of Madrid. The highest point of the Sierra de Guadarrama is the Peñalara with its 2430 meters.

Relax in the biodiverse Sierra de Guadarrama National Park

The striking mountain range extends over a length of around 80 kilometers and has 15 mountains that are over 2,000 meters high. The Sierra de Guadarrama was created by the collision of tectonic plates in the New Age. The idyllic local mountains and pine forests are home to a wide variety of wild cats, deer, black vultures and Spanish imperial eagles. The beautiful natural panorama of Sierra de Guadarrama was also immortalized in numerous works of art – including Ernest Hemingway’s Whom the Hour Strikes. Even today, many locals and tourists travel to the region, which is popular not only with winter sports enthusiasts, but also hikers with its scenic hiking trails. This exceptionally biodiverse area northwest of Madrid is an excellent destination for those.

Picos de Europa, Spain