Asturias is one of the least well known Spanish provinces and is certainly one of the most beautiful. It’s an ideal place to make a rejuvenating and peaceful retreat in wild nature. There are many natural parks and biospheres in Asturias and, among them, Parque Natural de Somiedo stands out as one of the most pristine and preserved areas, not just in Spain, but in all western Europe. It is a lush, green and fertile landscape of ancient beech, chestnut and oak forests, interspersed with rivers, rushing streams and wild flower meadows
The culture of Asturias continues the livestock grazing tradition of the bronze age Celts and has a very familiar feel for people from the northern and mountainous regions of Europe.
The region is mountainous and this stretch of the Cantabrian Mountains has the largest population of brown bears in western Europe. The bear has become emblematic of Somiedo Natural Park but wolves, red deer, chamois, wild boar, wild cats, the common genet, lizards, salamanders, red squirrels and many exotic birds including vultures and eagles are equally of interest. The presence of large carnivores brings a vitality to Somiedo that you have to experience to know.
Although it is extremely rare to see a bear or a wolf, many of the other animals and birds mentioned can be seen daily in the park. In early summer the abundant wild flowers bloom and the air fills with the buzzing sounds of insects. In the Autumn the stags roar and the forest turns incredible shades of red, orange and purple. Prints and droppings of bears and wolves are all over the park and one of the great pleasures of walking in Somiedo is finding the signs of the animals that live here. Frankie will be happy to share what he knows about how to recognise them.
Somiedo is a nourishing feast for all the senses and is the perfect place for establishing a mindfulness practice whilst walking. Ground your awareness in the living sensation and bathe your senses in the tranquility and beauty of nature. Sensory perception is the gateway to awareness beyond thought and this awareness is the font of our creativity.
I look forward to walking with you.