Five amazing national parks to visit across Spain

While Spain is equipped with vibrant cities like Barcelona, ​​Seville, and Madrid, there is much more to explore around the country than just its urban oases. From the laurel-covered peaks of the Canary Islands to the rugged Pyrenees, there is a wealth of wonderful natural destinations scattered across the country, each filled with a unique array of flora and fauna. If you are planning to escape from the serene countryside during your next trip to Spain, don’t miss out on these picturesque national parks.

Parque Nacional de Los Picos de Europa

Established in 1918, the famous Los Picos de Europa is one of the oldest national parks in Spain and was created at the request of politician Pedro Pedal. The reserve is a popular hiking and mountain biking destination, and offers a chance to explore much of Spain’s Cantabrian mountains, with one of its highlights, Torre Ceredo, the highest peak in the entire range. Among the small pockets of civilization scattered throughout the park, a variety of animals can be found thriving along the slopes, with Cantabrian brown bears, Iberian wolves, and Cantabrian chamois serving as some of the most sought-after animals.

Doñana National Park

There is no shortage of breathtaking natural destinations to visit across Andalusia, but for wildlife lovers in particular, Donana National Park is hard to beat. This sprawling reserve is known for its high concentration of pristine marshes, which host a large population of resident and migratory birds. During a visit, guests can discover a wealth of fascinating species ranging from white storks to large flamingos – and there’s more to see around Doñana than just the birds. Although there is a wealth of reptiles, insects, and mammals to find, truly lucky visitors may catch a glimpse of the Iberian lynx, a wild cat that was once in danger of imminent extinction.

Garagonay National Park

Spain’s Canary Islands are famous for their abundant natural beauty and large number of volcanoes, and Garagonay National Park is one of the archipelago’s most stunning natural attractions. Centered around the highest point on the island of La Gomera, the reserve is known for its vast expanses of native laurel forest – a quality that earned the park UNESCO World Heritage status in 1986. While Garajonay is known for its wealth of Macaronesian flora, a wide range of animals also call the area home, as Garajonay is home to a large variety of animals. Native species such as the Gomeran lizard, the laurel dove, and the Polly dove all live within the boundaries of the park.

Monfragüe National Park

In the western reaches of Spain, there is one of the best ecotourism destinations in the country in the form of Monfragüe National Park. This rocky stretch of land is equipped with towering rock faces, ancient rivers, and nearly 300 different species of animals, but Monfragüe is perhaps best known for its abundance of famous birds of prey. Upon arrival, newcomers can head to the 984-foot Salto del Gaetano Vista, where Spanish imperial eagles, cinematic eagles, and griffon vultures can be found soaring through the sky. Although the park is a prominent destination for birders, there is also a wide variety of non-bird species to spot as well, with foxes, mosses, cats, and even Eurasian otters found throughout the region.

Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park

Nestled in the heart of the Pyrenees, Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park offers stunning views of the region’s third tallest mountain – the 11,007-foot Mount Monte Perdido. Charming villages are scattered all over the area from Bielsa to Torla Ordesa, but humans are far from the only animal inhabiting the park. Famous Iberian mammals such as the chamois, red fox, and brown bear can all be spotted while hiking, while small cold-blooded creatures such as the Aesculapian python and the Pyrenean salamander also call the garden home. On a clear day, visitors can keep their eyes on the sky in hopes of seeing a bearded eagle, a huge bird of prey that is also native to China, India, and Ethiopia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *