Friday, August 23, 2019
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Welcome to The Picos de Europa,

your complete English guide to these beautiful mountains of Northern Spain.

Here you'll find information on the area's wildlife in the nature pages Picos de Europa wildlifewhich are part species identification guides on plants and animals found around the Picos de Europa and part English translations of Spanish news regarding rare species such as the Cantabrian brown bear or threats to their habitat such as the San Glorio ski resort project. Check out the special interest holidays too, such as bear-watching and birdwatching.

Find a friendly place to stay in Picos Holiday Rentals from our selection of self-catering holiday houses and apartments to let in Asturias, Cantabria and Castile-León.

For planning excursions into the mountains you'll need to check current weather conditions and forecasts for the Picos de Europa.

Picos Rock and Snow
And in Picos Rock & Snow you'll find guided mountain activity holidays such as walking and trekking, snowshoeing and ski touring - plus trip reports as well as general mountaineering information. Catch up with the latest expeditions in the Picos Blog. Independent travellers can find trip packages, support and bag transfer services for self-guided routes.

We hope you enjoy your visit to the Picos de Europa, whether virtual or real!

 

Find a Place to Stay in Asturias

Find a place to stay in Asturias

Find a Place to Stay in Cantabria

Find a place to stay in Cantabria

Find a Place to Stay in Leon

Find a place to stay in Leon

Lammergeiers, Capercaillies and Cormorants

Last summer a new Lammergeier, a male named Atilano, was introduced to the Picos de Europa to join the remaining female, Deva, of the project run by the Bearded Vulture Foundation.

As of last December, at least, he appears to be doing well as proved by this photo of him taken by Javier Gil of Birdwatching Asturias.

atilano-javier-gil-small

Photo ©Javier Gil

Another project has been started to support the reintroductions, to ensure a decent price for the farmers' products and for it to be sold to local restaurants, Lechazos Montañas de Liébana, Lamb from the Mountains of Liébana. If you'd like to support the initiative while you're holidaying in the Picos de Europa, here's a list of restaurants collaborating in the project;

Restaurants selling Liebana lamb

 

In Asturias a visitor's centre has been opened in Benia de Onís with a modest 3€ entrance fee.

 

While we're in Asturias, the Cantabrian Capercaillie breeding project based in Sobrescobio is receiving mixed results with a high mortality rate among the eggs hatched. (The remaining wild birds in the Cantabrian mountains currently have a successful production rate of an average of less than 0,4. per breeding female due to various factors: general health of the females, depredation of eggs and chicks, very wet spring weather conditions and, surely, a low level of genetic diversity).

Capercaillie chicks in Sobrescobio

Photo of chicks in the breeding centre in Sobrescobio, La Nueva España.

At present there are three breeding pairs of which one female and one male were bred at the centre. The rest were collected as eggs from the wild. Although in 2011 nine chicks were succesfully raised, in 2012 the number dropped to just one chick bred leaving a total of fourteen birds. The breeding centre is also, apparently, suffering from lack of funding with only one working biologist.

On the bright side, SEO/Birdlife organise annual work in the field including clearing thick undergrowth to favour the spread of the key foodplant species, the bilberry, Vaccinium myrtillus.

Cormorants, meanwhile, are being threatened by Asturian fishermen who are calling for their erradication (along with herons and otters!) from what they perceive to be "their rivers" for stealing "their" fish. See La Crónica Verde.

Bear News

Bear or Dog?

Following the recent heavy snowfalls a photo has been doing the rounds on Spanish social media and even made it to the

The Picos Blog

Go to the blog

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