Characterized by a mosaic of landscapes which combines forests, alpine meadows and rocky peaks with a lot of needles, ravines and chasms, Picos de Europa host extraordinary biodiversity, what made them worthy of being declared the first Park national Spain, in 1918.
Forest ecosystems are dominated by Atlantic formations such as beech, oak and mixed deciduous forests, combined with relict holm oaks in the thermally protected areas. In these forests abound deer, roe deer, wild boar, various species of mustelids and a large representation of forest birds like the black woodpecker, the middle and the lesser spotted woodpecker and the rare Cantabrian capercaillie. Occasionally also host the brown bear.
Rocky areas, where the cliffs and gorges abound, are the perfect habitat for large raptors such as the griffon vulture, golden eagle or bearded vulture. This one, after its extinction in 1956 returns now through a recovery Project. Small wallcreepers, snowfinchs and alpine acentors alternate their rapid flight by rocks and meadows between flocks of the acrobatic choughs, the elegant leaps of chamois, or the watchful walk of the Iberian wolf.
Abundant “majadas” -meadows maintained by the continued work of extensive farming of goat, sheep and cow-housing the cabins where shepherds live during the summer months, tending livestock and making ‘gamoneu cheese’ . These practices are an example of an essential human activity to the maintenance of a landscape and a delicate ecological balance.
Kind of area
National Park, Reserve of the Biosphere.
Commitment to sustainable tourism
The Biosphere Reserve is attached to the Tourism Product Club “Spanish Biosphere Reserves”, which involves a commitment to sustainable tourism development, both by the management administration of the Reserve and attached entrepreneurs.
Asturias, Cantabria y León
Information and contact
Tel.: 985 848 614 (National Park Interpretive Center “Casa Dago”in Cangas de Onís, Asturias).
Official website of the National Park: