If you like natural excursions, then Ponga Natural Park 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 rest and relaxation offered by the countryside.
Qualified by many as the Asturian Eden, this park has more than 20 thousand hectares of landscapes, located west of the Picos de Europa and within the council of Ponga, in the eastern central sector of the Cantabrian Mountains, bordering the south with the province of Leon.
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 grasslands, limestone mountains, valleys and steep slopes, streams and brooks that flow into the great rivers; the Sella and the Ponga.
Flora and fauna inside the Natural Park of Ponga
Numerous species inhabit these extensive fields, especially the deer that takes refuge through the wide woods. At the end of the summer rains, begins the mating season of deer which attracts hundreds of tourists to watch the struggles of these to get females. In this time are scheduled guided tours. Other species such as the brown bear, fox, roe deer, chamois and wild boar are present in the area.
If you like birds, you can observe 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 made up of beeches, oaks, ashes, maples and chestnut trees. There are also some species of trees that are currently protected such as the yew, holly and the Asturian narcissus.
Folklore and gastronomy in the Natural Park of Ponga
In the surroundings you can find several human settlements, villages of cattle tradition, but that offers to the tourists a great quantity of activities like fishing and hunting, opening the doors to its exquisite gastronomy inside which the liver soup, the wild boar or venison stew, Asturian pot and varied cheeses with textures and colors, as well as the incomparable flavor that without a doubt you will never forget. The local gastronomy counts on very natural foods without alterations, since all are produced locally, which makes them much healthier and of course you will notice it in the flavor of these.
These typical villages enjoy a wide popular architectural richness. There the Asturian and Indian style mountain houses stand out, adorned with ceramic tiles and 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 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 accommodations and mountain refuges, but also intense active tourism that you won’t want to miss. From spring to autumn you can enjoy a good temperate and pleasant climate that will allow you to do various activities.
Trekking and mountain routes in the Natural Park of Ponga
The Peloño Forest is a beautiful beech forest with an area of 15 km2. which maintains a chromatic variation from spring to autumn where it dresses in yellow and ochre that highlight even more the beauty of the place. Perhaps this is why more travelers arrive during this time of year to contemplate the beautiful forest.
It is also an excellent mountain route that starts in San Juan de Beloño. It runs along a linear track that does not imply major difficulty. All the hiking trails are perfectly signposted and connected by various footpaths, paths and tracks with pedestrian itineraries, for the comfort of travellers.
Under the responsibility of the traveler and at his own risk, you can enjoy activities such as canyoning, preferably should be done by experts.
What are you waiting for to plan your trip? Enjoy the scenery during the sunrise or sunset, surely you will not forget it.