- Capital: Oviedo.
- Area: 10,604 km²
Asturias is a region with an extended rugged coast of cliffs with sandy beaches, coves and caves plus a beautiful inland mountainous area. The Cordillera Cantabrica mountain range forms the southern border of this region.
The Picos de Europa in the east are not only spectacular mountains but also an important and rich haven for plants and wildlife. This National park area (the first to be declared a National park in Spain) is shared between Asturias, Castilla y Leon and Cantabria. The highest peak is Torrecerredo rising to 2648metres.
The mountains usually have snow from November to May (possibly with snow pockets throughout the year) despite the fairly mild winters along the coast. It shares the title of Green Spain along with Galicia and Cantabria with which it has borders, due to the humid, warm climate. Large areas of apple orchards supply the local cider industry.
There are many pre-historic sites that can be visited within Asturias, especially in the east of the region, around Cangas de Onís and Llanes. The Bustillo Cave in Ribadesella, La Peña Cave in San Roman de Candamo and the Llonin Cave in Penamellera feature some excellent cave paintings.
The predominantly-limestone Cantabrian mountains extend some 200 kilometres in total and offer opportunities for activities such as climbing, walking, skiing and caving. They span as far as Galicia province to the west of Asturias, and Cantabria province to the east.
Asturias is situated in a mountainous setting with vast greenery and lush vegetation, making it part of Green Spain. The region has a maritime and mediterranean climate. It receives plenty of annual rainfall and little sunshine by (Southern Spanish standards.)
Heat waves are rare due to the mountains blocking southerly winds. Winters are very mild for the latitude, especially near sea level.
Asturias has 6 protected areas as follows
1 Fuentes del Narcea Y de Ibias
2 Somiedo Natural Park
3 Peña ubina la mesa Natural Park
4 Redes Natural Park
5 Ponga Natural Park
6 Picos de Europa National Park
Natural and National Parks in Asturias, Natural or National Park?
In Spain, a natural park (Spanish: parque natural) is a natural space protected for its biology, geology, or landscape. As is to be expected, natural parks focus their main attention on the conservation and maintenance of flora, fauna, and terrain. Natural parks may be maritime or terrestrial and can be in the mountains, along the coasts, in the desert.
Human habitation and Agriculture has affected in one way or another the habitats in a natural park area.
A National park (Spanish: parque nacional) Has the same if not more protection status. More of a wilderness area less impacted by human habitation and exploitation.
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