If you like natural excursions, then the Natural Park of Ponga is the place to visit. An ideal habitat for those who enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of the mountains and the rural landscape, looking for the rest and relaxation that the countryside offers.
Qualified by many as the Asturian Eden, this park has more than 20 thousand hectares of landscapes, located to the west of the Peaks of Europe and within the council of Ponga, in the central-eastern sector of the Cantabrian Mountains, bordering to the south with the province of León.
All the journeys of the Camino de Santiago by bike
Throughout the park there are spectacular forests of various types, of which the beech forests are the best preserved in the Iberian Peninsula. The area is covered by meadows, limestone mountains, valleys and steep slopes, streams and brooks that flow into the great rivers; the Sella and the Ponga.
Flora and fauna in the Natural Park of Ponga
Numerous species inhabit these extensive fields, especially the deer that take refuge through the ample woodlands. At the end of the summer rains, the deer mating season begins, which attracts hundreds of tourists to contemplate the struggles of these to get females, so at this time guided tours are scheduled. Other species such as the brown bear, fox, roe deer, chamois and wild boar are present in the area.
If you like birds, there you can see griffon vultures, golden eagles, Egyptian vultures and if you are lucky capercaillies, since it has become an endangered bird species, it is very difficult to find it in the park.
The richness of its flora is composed of beech, oak, ash, maple and chestnut trees. There are also some species of trees that are currently protected, such as the yew, holly and the Asturian daffodil.
Folklore and gastronomy
In the surrounding area there are several human settlements, villages of livestock tradition, but that offers tourists a lot of activities such as fishing and hunting, opening the doors to its exquisite cuisine within which include liver soup, stewed wild boar or deer, Asturian pot and various cheeses with textures and colors, as well as the unique flavor that will certainly never forget. The local gastronomy has very natural foods without alterations, since they are all locally produced, which makes them much healthier and of course you will notice it in the taste of these.
These typical villages are rich in popular architecture. Here you can find Asturian and Indian style houses, decorated with tiles and ceramic floors, as well as glazed galleries. In the same way there are several traditions that are part of the folklore of these populations. Among them is the legend of the Guirria that is recreated at the beginning of the new year and that is carried out with the participation of all the inhabitants.
Visitors will be able to enjoy rural accommodation and mountain refuges, but also an intense active tourism that you will not want to miss. From spring to autumn you will be able to enjoy a nice and mild climate that will allow you to do different activities.
Hiking and mountain routes
The Peloño Forest is a beautiful beech forest with an extension of 15 km2. which maintains a chromatic variation from spring to autumn where it dresses in yellows and ochres that highlight even more the beauty of the place. Perhaps that is why more travelers come during this time of the year to contemplate the beautiful forest.
It is also an excellent mountain route that starts in San Juan de Beloño and runs along a linear track that does not involve major difficulty. All the hiking routes are perfectly signposted and connected by various paths, trails and tracks with pedestrian itineraries, for the convenience of travellers.
Under the traveler’s responsibility and at their own risk, you can enjoy activities such as canyoning, preferably done by experts.
What are you waiting for to plan your trip? Enjoy the scenery at sunrise or sunset, you won’t forget it.