- Region: Asturias
- Province / Main town: Somiedo
- Declared a Natural Park: 1988.
- Declared the Somiedo Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO: 2000
- Park surface area: hectares: 29,122 hectares.
- Towns and Villages: Somiedo, Belmonte de Miranda and Teverga.
Points of interest
The Somiedo Natural Park is a protected natural space that is located in the central area of the Cantabrian mountain range, Asturias. It also has the protection as a “Place of Community Importance” and Special Protection Area for Birdlife.
One of the emblems of Somiedo are the teitos. These ancient huts were used as shelters for both livestock and people and date back to medieval times. Conservation of these buildings is lacking and many have already been reduced to piles of rubble through abandonment and disuse.
Find a hotel in the Somiedo Natural Park
Forests occupy almost a quarter of the park’s extension and due to the existence within the reserve of almost all the altitudes that exist in Asturias there are examples of all types of Asturian forests. Especially important are the beech forests in the areas of Saliencia and Valle. Oak, ash, maple and lime trees are abundant along with holly, yew, birch, holm oak and Portuguese oak.
The park also has large areas of pasture, the surface of which occupies a fifth of the total territory of the natural park.
Scrubland contains gorse and heaths are frequent with thickets of various heather species and blueberry.
In the exposed subalpine area vegetation has a difficult climate to develop due to the inclement weather but there are bushes of creeping juniper, bearberry and laurel, blueberry, heather and gentian.
The glacial physiognomy has given rise to lakes, lagoons and peat bogs and this area we can find creeping celery. Within the peat bogs plants such as long-leaf sundew, lentibularia, shrubby potentilla and variegated horsetail are present.
According to recent studies, 40 to 50 percent of the total population of Cantabrian brown bear resides in the Cantabrian mountain range. (Read more about the Cantabrian brown bear here). Also present are red deer, wolf, wild boar, chamois, roe deer, hare, the Iberian desman, otter, red fox, stone marten, genet, wild cat and badger.
Around 120 species of birds have been recorded in the Somiedo Natural Park with notable species present such as the Cantabrian grouse, golden eagle, Egyptian vulture, goshawk and peregrine falcon. Keep your eyes open for the elusive black woodpecker! I have yet to see one in Spain! 🙂
Hiking and walking.
There are quite a few hiking paths (Rutas) in the Somiedo natural park. Find out more information at the interpretation centre or look them up on Goole or another search engine.
- Ruta del Cornon.
- Ruta de la braña de Mumian.
- Ruta de la braña de Saliencia.
- Ruta de Castro.
- Ruta La Peral – Villar de Vildas.
- Ruta del Valle de Pigueña.
- Ruta de los Lagos.
- Ruta del Valle del Lago.
- Ruta del Puerto – Valle del Lago.
- Ruta del Valle del Lago – Braña de Sousas.
The Interpretation Center of the Somiedo Natural Park
The interpretation and reception center for visitors to the Somiedo Natural Park is located in Pola de Somiedo. The building contains an area in which the different aspects of the park are shown including the fauna, flora, climate, etc.
This interpretation centre should be an obligatory visit as it is staffed with helpful knowledgeable staff who will help you get the best out of a visit to the area. Inside the centre you will also find:
- A permanent exhibition room that shows the values of the Park.
- A Temporary exhibition hall.
- Audiovisual room, where you can view videos of the Natural Park.
- Library with reference books of all the Protected Areas of Asturias.
- Information Center where you can ask for information on the Natural Park and on all of Asturias.
- A special area for the study and information on the emblematic Cantabrian Brown Bear.
On the website the opening times are a bit complicated… Assume that it is CLOSED on MONDAYS
The rest of the week 10 am to 2 pm and 4pm to 6pm
(During July and August open till 8pm)
The official website for the Somiedo Natural Park is available here in Spanish
The Grazalema Guide
The best way to see all our web projects in one place is over at the Grazalema Guide.
The Grazalema Guide – Tourist Information Portal for the Sierra de Grazalema, Wildside Holidays, The town of Ronda and the Caminito del Rey.