Picos de Europa National Park
Picos de Europa National Park Reviews
Picos de Europa National Park Aug 04, 2011
there are two legends of how Picos de Europa was named - first is that its the first sight of landmass when european sailors sailed back to europe from the americas and second - it is when the god zeus abducted and where he hid the princess europa in a remote mountain range with deep caves in the ends of the earth in greek mythology.
Picos de Europa National Park or Parque Nacional de Picos de Europa is spain's oldest national park. it is named after the mountain range Picos de Europa that encompasses the autonomous provinces of Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y Léon. it is part of a much bigger mountain range that runs into the northern coast of spain called the "cordillera cantábrica".
the national park is divided into three distinct ranges or "massifs" mainly - macizo occidental, macizo central and macizo oriental - the three ranges are divided by deep gorges for which the garganta del cares is the deepest - at least a mile deep. it is home to many wildlife and plant species including the endangered cantabrian brown bear, the rebeco, and hundreds of species of mountain orchids. not only that but it is also home to europe's (probably one of the world's) deepest caves, the dwindling population of the "vaqueiros d'alzada" - mountain shepherds of asturias and the shrine of Nuestra Señora de Covadonga and the lakes of Covadonga famous for the Vuelta a España.
the macizo central is the most busiest route - it contains the highest mountain in the picos - torrecerredo at 2,648 meters and the most famous mountain in spain - naranjo de bulnes (picu urriellu in asturian) at 2,519 meters which is a challenge for rock climbers because of its vertical peak.
the national park is famous for so many recreational activities like cross country the entire massif from hut to hut, water rafting and canoeing the cares river, spelunking, rock climbing, bird spotting and many other more nature enthusiast activities.
the national park can be reached from the mountain towns of Arenas de Cabrales, Poncebos, Funicular de Bulnes, in Asturias, and then Fuente de cable car, Espinama and Sotres from Cantabria.
the route that we trekked was at the starting point of collado de pandébano (1200 meters) until the first hut - majada de la tenerosa (1300 meters) - the dangerous up and down mountain pass at fuente de la meadoria - the steep and zig zag route of jou lluengo - then camping at the mountain hut of vega urriellu (1960 meters) - final hike around 2000 meters at the beginning of garganta del jou sin tierra to see the highest peaks of the picos - then going in the same direction back down but towards the remote mountain town of bulnes (600 meters) - using the funicular to poncebos and then back to arenas de cabrales. a total of around 20-25-30 kms of steep hike.
it is one of the most remotest spot in europe where you can still experience the wilderness, adventure, green scenery, wildflife and breathaking jagged peaks and lunar-like landscapes rolled into one.
Part of the ESPAÑA... en tus ojos verdes, mi última aventura en la tierra. travel blog
Part of the list ESPAÑA, en la tierra de los sueños.
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