Sunday, May 26, 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

The Unexpected


Emerging onto Deck 6 of the Pont Aven a little later than usual, having slept too well, my first surprise of the morning was to find a Turtle dove, Streptopelia turtur, perched on the deck lighting.

It didn't hang around long enough for a photo. I've seen one or two on the ship before, flying in and out of the funnel but don't know whether they are resident or cadging lifts during migration. Whatever, it must be warm inside that enormous chimney.

I haven't done the crossing much in high summer so was hoping for a millpond of a sea with big Baleen whales visible, but it was windy and choppy with a fair swell and not looking promising. A shearwater skimmed the waves, I think possibly a Cory's in moult.










Another bird caught my eye but this time not the usual deep-sea wanderer but a Curlew! Numenius arquata, resolutely heading south. It was flying fairly high above the water at first  before (worringly) dropping to join the shearwater.





While I was transfixed by this unusual sight a tap on my shoulder alerted me to a whale blowing in the distance. Huge plumes of spray were shooting vertically and high but I couldn't glimpse the animal responsible and assume it was either, most likely a Fin whale, Balaenoptera physalus, or even, less likely but possibly, a Blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus, the biggest of all.

Strolling around the Marismas Blancas, a marshy area on the outskirts of Santander, a few weeks later we heard and saw a Curlew probing along the shoreline. I like to think it was "my" bird having safely made it to it's wintering quarters.

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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