Picos de Europa is one of the most emblematic and breathtaking spots of Asturias. Situated in northern Spain, it separates the state of Asturias from Leon. It is the second most visited Natural Park of Spain and their limestone formation reaches 2.500 metres of height, being only 15 kilometres from the Cantabric Sea. The glacial action and the several rivers (Cares, Sella or Dobra) that cross the main mountain ranges have influenced tremendously the morphology of this incredible gift of nature. You can find in “Picos de Europa” some of the most important peaks of Spain like “Naranjo de Bulnes” (“Picu Urriellu” in the Asturian dialect), which is considered one of the hardest peaks of the world to climb because of its 550 metres of vertical wall.
Its etymological origin is a bit varied, but it could be named “Picos de Europa” (Peaks of Europe) after being this one of the first places stepped by the Scandinavian sailors. Indeed, the mountain range was firstly called “Peaks of Europe and Scandinavia”, but as time went by the name tended to be simplified.
[youtube width=”640″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vq8A3X_ZeuE1
“Picos de Europa” counts with loads of trekking routes that made us enjoy magnificent sceneries and a unique flora and fauna (oaks, beeches, deer, wild pigs, troutwo, bears, chamois and bearded vultures among many others). This time I was able to walk through “Garganta del Cares” (Cares Canyon) whichs follows the Cares river and separates one of the principal massifs of “Picos de Europa”. With a duration of 12 kilometres, it starts in the Asturian town of Poncebos and finishes in Caín (situated in León). This route shows us a great piece of the astonishing “Picos de Europa” landscapes: cliffs, lakes, gorges, goats, caves and wild eagles. By walking through “Ruta del Cares” you will feel the peaceful and continous water flow, the exquisite birds singing, the nature and soft air that encloses the mountains and the crispy step of your feet on the soil. Pure nature. The best seasons to visit “Picos de Europa” and do this trekking route are spring and autumn. In summer you will lose a bit this sensation of purity and exclusiveness due to the massive visits of people during their holidays.