One of the main natural treasures of Spain
Picos de Europa
The National Park of Picos de Europa is one of Spain’s leading natural treasures, ranking somewhere between three autonomous communities, Castilla y Leon, Asturias and Cantabria. It comprises three distinct mountain ranges of limestone, the Western or Cornion, the central or of the Urrielles, and East or of Andara, defined in part by spectacular gorges (Los Beyos, the Garganta del Cares and the Hermida), showing a relief extraordinarily steep with height differences between the peaks and valleys that reach up to 2500 m.
The Picos de Europa are the largest limestone formation in Atlantic Europe with major karst processes, chasms that reach over 1,000 m very clear glacial erosion. Territory abrupt and steep slopes, in their streams and forests, meadows and ridges, shelter and survive beings already forgotten in many places and unique cultural patterns.
Moreover, the Regional Park of Picos de Europa is located in the northeast of the province of Leon and has as main objectives: to protect natural resources, maintaining the dynamics and the functional structure of the component ecosystems, ensure the persistence of the most significant genetic resources, help to the economic development of its inhabitants and provide forms of public use and enjoyment compatible with its preservation.
The monumentality of the landscape altogether with the diversity of vegetation are only comparable to the faunal treasure hosted: brown bear, capercaillie, chamois, Iberian wolf ... are a good example of the mixture of species of Central Europe and other more southern contacting in this area.
Category: National Park (64,660 ha.)
- Municipalities in the province of León:
- Oseja de Sajambre,
- Posada de Valdeón
Oficina de Información de Posada de Valdeón
Address: Oficina del Parque Nacional de Picos de Europa. C/ El Ferial, s/n. Posada de Valdeón. 24915 León.
Telephone: 987 740 549
Fax: 987 740 587
La Fonseya Information Center
La Fonseya is located on the main road of the town of Oseja de Sajambre, a strategic point where the emblematic establishment of the same name was located. This building was for many years a bar, shop, restaurant, hostel and, above all, a meeting point for the inhabitants of the area and visitors to the Picos de Europa National Park.
The building is a mixed construction and integrated with the traditional architecture of the area, with stone walls and tile roofs. In turn, sustainability has prevailed, being a building with high energy efficiency. From the windows you can enjoy the views of the town and its surroundings, as well as the forests or peaks of Peña Niajo and Pozua Peak. The exterior has a bus stop and a landscaped car park. Several ramps and stairs give access to the building and link the different spaces and terraces that surround it.
The exhibition includes numerous information panels with texts and photographs, old and modern, interactive, short audiovisuals, models, showcases very realistic reproductions of animals or plants and an audiovisual montage in which real images and computer animation are combined with painting and robotic reproductions of great realism
On the ground floor of the Information Center, the reception is located, where the team of environmental educators will welcome visitors and answer their questions. In this part, the Network of National Parks and the Network of Natural Spaces of Castilla y León will be announced. In particular, detailed information about the Picos de Europa National Park and the marked trails will be offered. Good practices will be announced when visiting a natural area and the importance of protective figures for the conservation of the environment, its flora and fauna.
The next floor is dedicated to landscape, flora, fauna and geology. The tour begins with an explanation about Picos de Europa and how the landscape is dominated by the limestone mass of three mountain ranges, between which the main rivers run: Cares, Debra and Sella. Based on a sample of minerals, visitors will know the composition and structure of each of them, classifying them according to their properties: texture, color, hardness or brightness. This part of the exhibition also focuses on the most representative invertebrate and vertebrate animals of the National Park, giving importance to the most threatened, to reinforce the knowledge of such emblematic species in this area as the brown bear. Supported by the exhibition resources, the visit focuses on the biology and ecology of the different species, the place where they live and the importance of conserving their habitats.
The last floor is dedicated to the cultural and historical heritage of the National Park, highlighting the influence of people in the natural space and the dynamics of the forests in the surroundings of Oseja de Sajambre, from the first settlers to the present.
Address: Carretera N-625, s/n. Oseja de Sajambre. 24916 León.
Telephone: 676 416 778
- The bear and capercaillie are the most representative species. Wolves, chamois, European badgers, otters, Bonelli's Eagle, Eurasian eagle-owl, Egyptian vulture and vautour percnoptère are some of its inhabitants.
- A peculiar geological nature formed by a compact mass of limestone, broken and spectacular modeling. Its peculiar landscape is due to two types of erosion: glacier and karst.
- The beech forms its main wooded mass. There are European holly, yew, chestnut, oak and birch also. Pinar de Lillo is a very interesting place but with a restricted access.