Wildlife is a major attraction in the Picos de Europa. In the Cares Gorge, you may well see griffon vultures, black redstarts and ravens, though birdwatchers keep a special eye out for the red-winged, butterfly-like flight of the diminutive wallcreeper, named for the mouse-like way it creeps along the vertical cliff faces. Wild and domestic goats abound, with some unbelievably inaccessible high mountain pastures. Wolves are easy to imagine in the grey boulders of the passes, but bears, despite local gossip and their picturesque appearances on the tourist-board maps, are very seldom spotted. An inbred population of about a hundred specimens of Ursus arctos pyrenaicus (Cantabrian brown bear) remains in the southern Picos, most of them tagged with radio transmitters; another isolated group survives in western Asturias.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Spain features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Beyond tapas: the Spanish food and drink you need to devour

Beyond tapas: the Spanish food and drink you need to devour

Spain is known throughout the world for its Mediterranean diet, heavily featuring seafood, meat and fresh vegetables, all splashed with a healthy dose of olive …

15 Aug 2016 • Esme Fox insert_drive_file Article
A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Madrid

A day-by-day itinerary for the perfect weekend in Madrid

One of the sunniest and liveliest capital cities in Europe, Madrid has a lot to take pride in. Indeed, its inhabitants, the Madrileños, are so proud of their …

09 Aug 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Slow travel: exploring Catalunya’s back roads

Slow travel: exploring Catalunya’s back roads

Barcelona is one of the world’s most visited cities, but relatively few tourists venture beyond the suburbs. Yet, just a couple of hours’ drive from the met…

04 Aug 2016 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month