In Asturias is the Somiedo Natural Park, considered a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve , being one of the most beautiful nature spaces to visit in Spain. In this article you will see the charm and grandeur of this extraordinary place, essential for any passionate lover of natural landscapes.
The autonomous community of the Principality of Asturias has many places that are worthy of admiration. Somiedo is one of them, in its Latin term summetum it refers to “the highest”, so it is not surprising that this place is located in the heart of the highest mountains. This protected area continues to preserve the ethnographic and natural values of the mountain. Its landscapes, its fauna and flora, in addition to its gastronomy and its people; they achieve a truly extraordinary set, a natural paradise that was a pioneer in Asturias for being its first protected area .
What can you see in the Somiedo Natural Park?
As we have indicated previously, it is the first natural area protected by the Principality of Asturias. The Somiedo Natural Park has been an example of sustainable development for more than 30 years (since 1988). In the year 2000 it also became a Biosphere Reserve.
Luis Fernando Alonso, who is the current director of the Somiedo Natural Park, declared at the celebration of its third decade that this space constitutes “an example at a European and global level of nature conservation and also a model of socio-economic development based on it. nature”. Values that are sorely lacking today, to continue protecting our natural environment, learning to live with it.
When looking at a map of this fantastic area, you can see that Somiedo is divided into four main valleys , between which you can fully enjoy nature. Each of these geographical areas has a main river that is what gives the valley its name: Pigüeña. Somiedo, Valle and Saliencia.
In Somiedo there are up to 39 population centers , who respectfully coexist in this natural paradise. They are small villages that preserve a traditional architecture and gastronomy. the capital is Pola de Somiedo. Its mountains reach quite high where the peaks of Cornón stand out with 2,194 meters high and Orniz with 2,190 meters. Its climate is rather oceanic, so it has abundant days of fog and rain , with an environment, of course, very humid.
And if you wonder what you can contemplate in this wonderful place, the options and possibilities are really many. Lush forests and incredible lakes cover much of this natural setting. A refuge for a multitude of animals such as wolves, bears and grouse. In such a place and geographical conditions, it is not surprising that there is a great wealth of flora and fauna. The good conservation of this Natural Park has even given rise to the highest concentration of brown bears on the peninsula.
What can you do in Somiedo?
You can access multiple routes to explore its extensive meadows and mountains , thus being able to see beautiful lakes of a deep intense blue, and beech forests that are more than 1,500 meters high. Undoubtedly, a space that offers a wide range of outdoor mountain sports, such as hiking. mountain biking and climbing.
In Somiedo, apart from being able to enjoy great natural wealth, glimpsing fantastic landscapes with extraordinary views, you can enjoy the charms that all its flora offers , which has a good conservation. Wonders that can only be admired in such characteristic places, with colors and quite impressive vegetation.
Gastronomy is also a point in Somiedo’s favor . Those who live there still preserve the traditional typical mountain recipes , abundant and exquisite. Their fabas, a pot of collard greens accompanied by chorizo, bacon and blood sausage, make a good reputation of it, as a hot and fatty condiment to overcome the intense cold of the area. And of course, you cannot miss the beef and game meat that is very widespread and consumed throughout the principality of Asturias. Among the desserts, the flan, the borrachinos and the freisuelos stand out.
In the summertime, when all the agricultural tasks are finished, you can enjoy the Somiedo festivities organized by the locals . This being the best way to get to know their traditions, typical products and livestock fairs.