Located in the northeast of Leon, in the Cantabrian mountain range (Castile and Leon), the Riaño mountains (Montaña de Riaño in Spanish) are one of the best-kept natural wonders of Spain. There are three protected areas within these mountains: the Riaño and Mampodre mountains Regional Park, a region of great diversity and home of iconic wildlife; the Picos de Europa National Park with the largest limestone formation in Atlantic Europe and home to chamois, roe deer, wolves and more than 100 species of birds; and Los Argüellos Biosphere Reserve, which has spectacular geological and geomorphological values, as well as great biodiversity.
In Montaña de Riaño you will have the opportunity to enjoy nature in its purest form whilst hiking, cycling or horseback riding. You can also delve into the local traditions and culture learning about the transhumance or the mining heritage in the region.
In the next section you will find everything you need to know to plan your next getaway in Montaña de Riaño, from activities and experiences to places to stay and eat or travel agencies to help you design your trip. All the companies mentioned below are accredited by Soy Ecoturista.
Tourism activities in Montaña de Riaño
Ubuntu Aventuras is an ecotourism and active tourism company focused on the enjoyment of nature and adventure through guided activities. Their offer includes guided hiking, mountaineering, climbing, caving, kayaking, via ferrata, snowshoes or canyoning. All their activities can be tailor-made to fit any group sizes and abilities.
Más que pájaros
Más que Pájaros is a company that offers guided activities in Los Argüellos Biosphere Reserve. Their guides are very knowledgeable and will take you on a journey to explore and spot wildlife, learn about the local ecosystem, birds and environmental conservation. The company also offers private experiences in nature, field trips, tailor-made wildlife watching trips or undisturbed wild photography sessions.
Granja Morgovejo – Equnaturocio
Granja Morgovejo – Equnaturocio is a company located in Morgovejo Farm passionate about ecotourism, the rural world and agrotourism. Their activities are designed for all ages and abilities and offer unique experiences in nature involving horses. They also run camps with activities such as horse-riding, languages, crafts, gastronomy and environmental education.
Biosfera Aventura is a company dedicated to ecotourism, nature and adventure tourism. Their offer of activities includes wildlife watching, ornithology, guided tours, geotourism, forest therapy, astronomy and micological experiences.
Aveshide is a leading ecotourism company focused on designing wildlife watching and photography activities and trips. They are experts in creating experiences that meet the needs and expectations of nature and photography lovers when it comes to big animals such as wolves, bears, wildcats or deers as well as birds..
Wild Watching Spain
Wild Watching Spain is an incoming travel agency specialised in wildlife watching. They cater for small themed guided trips and cover a wide range of destinations on all continents. Their most popular activities include wildlife watching getaways and nature photography workshops.
Highlighted experience: Get to know the beauty of the wild cat in Los Argüellos
Más que Pájaros invites us to discover the habitat of the wild cat, the only feline in the Cantabrian region that is very difficult to spot but has quite predictable behaviors. This is a full day experience with a number of waiting opportunities to set camp and spot the wildcat. The activity includes a specialised guide, Carl Zeiss optical equipment, a mid-morning snack and insurance.
Where to eat in Montaña de Riaño
Restaurante Verdiago – Vive
The Verdiago Vive Hotel & Restaurant delights visitors with exquisite regional food and wine using fresh local produce. The restaurant is a free house and showcases a selection of some of the best wine with Denomination of Origin in the region.
Tierra de la Reina Hotel & Restaurant
Tierra de la Reina Hotel & Restaurant is located in the south of Picos de Europa and its restaurant stands out for offering traditional cuisine based on local produce. The menu showcases a real taste of Leon, including a variety of dishes that can be adapted for visitors with allergies and food intolerances.
Where to sleep in Montaña de Riaño
Casas de Montaña Alto Curueño
Alto Curueño Mountain Houses is a charming rural resort of ten mountain houses that can host between four to seven people each. Eight houses have two double rooms and one bathroom, whilst the two duplex houses have three double bedrooms and two bathrooms. Every mountain house is fully equipped with a kitchen, living room, bedrooms and bathrooms.
Verdiago Vive is a cozy resort committed to nature conservation where you can find a hotel and three rural houses. Gastronomy tourism is one of the highlights in this beautiful place, drawing people from all over the world. The hotel guarantees a comfortable and pleasant stay in nature, whilst the rural houses are ideal for travelling in small groups or with family.
Hotel Tierra de la Reina
The Hotel Tierra de la Reina is a 25 room hotel located halfway between the imposing Picos de Europa and the majestic peaks of the Riaño Mountain. The building is made of stone and wood, perfectly integrated in the rural environment and providing an unforgettable experience in nature. The hotel provides guests with a variety of services to ensure their comfort and a selection of tourism activities such as horseback riding or guided tours.
El Casar del Puente
The houses of El Casar del Puente are located on the threshold of Picos de Europa and were built ensuring a sustainable and respectful approach to the natural environment. Surrounded by wilderness, guests can enjoy nature at its fullest and try their luck to spot all sorts of wildlife from bears to wolves, capercaillie and roe deers. There are two types of accommodation within the complex: El Casar del Puente (I and II) with two rooms and capacity for 4 people each, and El Casar de Espejos (I and II) with three and four rooms and capacity for 8 people each.
Cabañas Patagónicas is a modest ecotourism resort of 5 wooden cabins with large windows offering impressive views of the majestic Mampodre massif. Each cabin is named after a native species of the Maraña and Riaño mountains: wolf, vulture, green grouse, bear and chamois. This highlights the hotel commitment to local biodiversity conservation. Each cabin has 2 rooms and a maximum capacity of 5 people each.
Casas Rurales de Caín
The Caín Rural Houses are a set of two ecological houses located in Caín, in the mountain valley of Eigon (Valdeón). Each house is designed to host up to two people and is proud to be ecological, bioclimatic and eco-premium. Both houses have the four green star Rural House certification, the highest rating granted by the Tourism Department of the Castilla y León Governmen
How to travel to Montaña de Riaño
If you would like local experts to help you design a tailor-made ecotourism adventure in Montaña de Riaño, we recommend checking out Wild Watching Spain and Wild Spain Travel. These travel agencies are focused on ecotourism, wildlife watching and photography and active tourism. Their guides are very knowledgeable and will do their best to help you discover the most remote corners in search of memorable experiences.
The Ecotourism Club in Spain – Soy Ecoturista groups together destinations and companies which guarantee, by fulfilling a series of requirements, their commitment to conservation and local sustainable development. That is why it has created its own brand “Ecotourist in Spain” and the website www.ecotouristinspain.com, where you can find protected areas, accommodation and companies which offer their tourism services, as well as experiences and activities committed to the preservation of the area in which they take place.