TRIP: 7 days

Picos de Europa is the second most visited National Park in Spain. However most of the visitors come to Asturias, to visit the religious monuments and the Enol Lakes. Picos de Europa hosts three different communities in its territory, Asturias, Cantabria and León. The first two are indeed the most popular ones, but León remains wild and not so popular. León is one of the last unspoiled places in Spain. Here you can enjoy the quietness of real nature life and furthermore you can feel the excitement of sharing the terrain with endemic, native endangered creatures such as brown bears and wolves.

The local architecture and the traditional lifestyle of the locals, shows you the idea of how humans have been living in this region for many generations in sustainable harmony with nature. Livestock, agriculture and hunting have been the most significant economy sources in the region for ages, however, nowadays high quality tourism has become a main economic activity in some of the valleys.

Location

Part of the terrain is integrated in a Regional Park, and the rest is established in the wider Picos the Europa National Park. The mountain range is situated in the Cantabric range, as a natural border between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean climate regions. Thus its location, the north orientated valleys are covered with beech trees, whereas the south faces are covered with oak and evergreen trees. But not only forests are present in the Park, also there are vast grassland areas as well as alpine meadows. The terrain varies significantly in short distances from the lowlands in Cain at 250 meters above the sea level, up to 2.600 m, in the breathtaking Torre Cerredo Peak. Its powerful rivers erode these magnificent limestone areas carrying the sediment into the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean

Wildlife

The extreme variety of altitudes and habitats has enriched the biodiversity of the region, proudly represented by numerous species of flora and fauna. Perhaps the most spectacular are the big, legendary carnivorous, but therefore, those are just the top of the food chain that is enclosed with plenty of endemic and native species, unique in the world. Other examples could be the Cantabric capercaillie, the Atlantic salmon or the Gold-striped salamander.

During the winter months the highest mountains are densely covered with snow, so some of its habitants such as the Wallcreeper or the abundant Cantabric Chamois move down towards the valleys, looking for a more accessible area for living. But it is perhaps in spring when the snow melts and the temperatures are mild, that Picos is at its best. It becomes an endless list, trying to mention the amount of interesting species to witness in the Picos. A multitude of insects, butterflies, birds, reptiles and amphibians will make you feel like a lucky explorer.

Tour options

That is why spring, summer and fall are the best times to enjoy Picos. WILDNATURE organizes Wildlife trips along the Picos de Europa Leon from May until October. The trips can be designed as a day trip or a weeklong tour. Accommodation, transportation, extra activities and a guiding service is included in the price.

We provide tour long transportation and connection with the nearest airports and harbors. Furthermore, we also support and advise you, if you want to visit some of the historical buildings or museums, or even if you are interested in practicing any outdoor activity such as rafting or even horse back riding.

WILDNATURE is not just a business for profit; we are dedicated to ensure a high quality experience to the visitor. We search to provide you a close relationship with nature in a unique area, where you can discover the last and best kept secret of Spanish wildlife. Group sizes range from two, to a maximum of six people. Small groups ensure the traveler not just to feel in harmony with nature, but also to be able to get the best from our expert guides.

Accomodation

Basically, there are two main options of accommodation: a high quality, rural housing or a more standard hostel with fewer commodities but at a more affordable price. It just depends on the preferences of the group, but it is important to underline that all the accommodations are conveniently located in the heart of the most beautiful valleys. There, you can walk directly into nature, without the necessity of a car. For instance, wildcats, deer, vultures and a variety of eagle species can be seen directly from the terrace of your hostel. The views of the range and the lowlands are so astonishing, that it becomes a must to enjoy them with a good glass of Spanish red wine.

Description of the trip

Even though here, there are described some travel options, there is always the opportunity to make a customized trip, just as you and your companion desire.

The trips are made to be adjustable to meet all your needs. Trips are suitably designed for everybody, ranging from families with kids to the elderly ones. The difficulty and the length of the walks can vary depending on the target species and the preferences of the visitors. While the trip is basically designed for bird watching; the journey will include as many natural features as can be incorporated. The stlye of the trip can be adjusted to the level of the participant, either way it can be suitable for the most advanced or the most beginner.

Option 1: 1.000 € per person 7 days

Day 1

Transport from the nearest airport or harbor, (Santander, Bilbao, Madrid, Oviedo) to Picos and accommodation in Salamon.

Day 2

Enjoying the lower lands of Salamon, covered with spectacular landscapes where passerines, eagles or woodpeckers can be seen. During the afternoon it is a good option to visit the mountain cathedral of Lois and search for roe deer when the sun sets.

Day 3

If the visitor would like, it is possible to hire the guides that we have available for photography. Indeed Salamon will never stop surprising us, with it enormous variety of wildlife that hide in its surroundings. Furthermore, it is nice to visit the Riaño wáter reservoir and the National Park interpretation center.

Day 4

La Velilla is a tiny village that offers a comfortable setting where we can easily enter the alpine meadows to search for alpine accentors or chamois in the morning, and then enjoy the quietness of the environment in the evening.

Day 5

The head of the main rivers in the region, the Cea and the Porma, are essential ecosystems for the wildlife that live in the area. Therefore, these are desirable spots for us to visit, dreaming to see some of the scarcest animals. La Velilla will still be the accommodation spot.

Day 6

Having La Velilla as a base camp that day we will drive towards the highest town in Picos, the Santa Marina de Valdeon area. Its beauty will amaze your feelings with such startling views like the Torre Friero Peak. During the afternoon, it is also possible to spot with our binoculars bears or wolves near the San Glorio mountain port.

Day 7

Drive back to the airport or harbor.

Option 2: 850 € per person 7 days

Consist of similar trip description, but instead of staying in Salamon and La Velilla, it will be Two nights in Villafrea and three nights in Santa Marina de Valdeon. These places provide a cheaper hosting option, because they are not as private as the rural houses, because in this case these are rural hostels with shared bedrooms.

What is include in the trip?

The two options will include, during the 7 days: transportation, accommodation, all meals, guide service and tasks. The guide will have a telescope and binoculars if needed.

However, it does not include traveling options by plane, by road, or by rail from the original countries.

If you are interested in any extra service, such as the photography guides, any outdoor adventure activities, or the entrance for some of the historical buildings there will be an extra fee.

Even our main trips are designed to be done in 7 days; we could adjust the trip for less or more days, if you wish. In addition, we could also include other visiting areas that could include coastal or steppe terrain. Customized trips are a pleasure for us.

Rates

All our rates include guide service, insurances, transportation and taxes. Groups 1- 7 people. Prices are made per day- per person.

Single day trip: 60 €
Two-Three days trip: 55 €
Four-Seven days trip: 50 €

It is also possible to design a trip for just one person in cane you prefer to travel alone. Also, if you want to share your holidays with some other people but you cannot find them, we can place you with others to make a bigger group. In case your group is bigger than 7, we can arrange an option to fix it.

Guides

Pablo
An environmentalist and ecologist that shows a great passion, not only for wildlife but also for any outdoor activity related to nature. He has worked as a wildlife ranger in some of the most remote terrain on the planet such as New Zealand and Patagonia. Moreover, he has lead groups in the Spanish Pyrenees and in the Cantabric Mountain Range, as well as his favorite territory, Alaska.

David
David is a local that knows León as very few do, he will drive you to the finest spots for viewing your lifelong ambition species and he will ensure you enjoying it as you would not even imagine. He also works as a forestry fire man and has published various guide books on the local flora and fauna. His expertise will definitely lead you on an unforgettable journey, in the reminding unspoiled Leon.

Information and reserves

Please feel free to communicate with WILDNATURE for any inquire.

info@wildnature.es · Pablo: +34 665 642 947 · David: +34 650 792 549