Spain has 16 national parks, each with its own unique landscape and biodiversity. Some of the most famous national parks in Spain include Doñana National Park, which is home to a diverse range of bird species and wetland habitats; Teide National Park, which features a volcanic landscape and the highest peak in Spain; and Sierra de las nieves National Park. Other National Parks of Spain offer opportunities for hiking, wildlife watching, and exploring cultural and historical sites. Overall, Spain’s national parks are a testament to the country’s rich natural and cultural heritage.
Despite a substantial multi million-Euro investment in Doñana, the remaining national parks in Spain grapple with a spectrum of challenges, spanning from drought and unbridled tourism to wildfires and the encroachment of invasive species.
Above Image By Heparina1985 – Valley of Ordesa, Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, Spain
Declared a Natural Park:1918
Park surface area: 15,696 hectares (extended to this in 1982)
UNESCO 1997 (Ordesa-Viñamala)
Zona de Especial Protección para las Aves.
Points of interest
The Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park is an area of dramatic landscape, overseen by the peak of Monte Perdido at 3,355m, found within the Pyrenean mountain range that forms the border between Spain and France.
Arid limestone mountain peaks contrast with deep ravines and lush green valleys. Glaciers have scoured the mountains and there are four fast flowing rivers that fall into the Spanish side. Their valleys are named Ordesa, Pineta, Añisclo and Escuaín.
The original park, created in 1918, only covered the Ordesa valley with one of the intentions being to preserve the Pyrenean Ibex, a type of wild mountain goat. Sadly the last of this species died in January 2000.
The Cabañeros National Park (in Spanish: Parque Nacional de Cabañeros) is located within the two provinces of Ciudad Real and Toledo. It is the best and largest surviving area of Iberian Mediterranean forest, with an enormous variety of plant species. It also includes sites of geological interest (Paleozoic sites known as Cámbrico y Ordovícico del Parque Nacional de Cabañeros). In addition, the territory has protection status within the framework of the Natura 2000 Network and is a Special Protection Area for Birds (ZEPA)
The Montaña de Covadonga National Park ( now The Picos de Europa National Park) was established in Asturias in 1918, the first national park in Spain. The now much larger park covers three major massifs – Western, Central and Eastern which are all part of the Cordillera Cantabria range. The dramatic Cares river canyon, which is 1,500m deep, divides the western and central parts.
The protected area encompasses these spectacular limestone mountains which are approximately 40 km in length (E-W) and 20 Km wide (N-S). They are situated just 20km inland from the Atlantic coast in northern Spain. This gives them a mixture of both Mediterranean and Temperate climatic influences. Altitudes range from 75m to 2,646m with 200 points over 2,000 metres, all given greater relief by the depth and steepness of the gorges and ravines cut by the rivers and tributaries. The highest peaks are Torre de Cerredo at 2,646m, Naranjo de Bulnes at 2,519 m and Pico Tesorero at 2,570 m. The latter is where the borders of the three provinces meet.