Holiday in Asturias: nature photography in Picos de Europa & Somiedo

Last week I spent a week in the north of Spain with my girlfriend, 3 nights in Cangas de Onis (hotel Fermin) and 3 nights in Pola de Somiedo (hotel Casa Miño). We stayed in two nice hotels we can recommend! Asturias is nothing like the image most people have of Spain and is a really green region. We had a great time there, although the weather was not that great. The first day the buses to Covadonga Lakes did not drive due to snow and in Cangas de Onis it was raining every now and then. We went to the coast and got to see the Bufones de Pria, playa de Barro and playa de Poo. The Bufones de Pria were nice, but our favourite spot was Playa de Barro. Nice beach with rocks!

The next day we drove to Fuente Dé to go to the top. There was a lot of people with the same idea, and we had to wait 2 hours before we could go to the top. Luckily you can also do some nice walks from the parking lot. We did part of one of the walks as we wanted to be away from the other people waiting. Then 2 hours later, when we arrived at the top, we didn’t have that much time to do some walking. There was still plenty of snow. But at least we got some amazing views on the Picos de Europa!

The next day we drove to Covadonga lakes, fortunately no snow, but we had our share of rain. We decided to do the short walk between the lakes in order to not get too wet. Once more nice views on the two lakes. Then we drove to Somiedo. It’s a really nice region to drive, with all the green and the mountains!

In Somiedo we did a bear watching trip with Wildwatching Spain. We had a nice time looking for bears and other animals. In the morning session we didn’t find any bears, but saw some chamois and deer, and on our walk we got the company of two dogs when we headed back to the car. In the evening session we got to see a vulture and… a mother bear and 2 small cubs. Must have been one of the first days they were out. We can definitely recommend Wildwatching Spain if you want to do some animal watching!

As vegans we were a bit dissapointed in Somiedo, as all restaurants seem to have the same menu: Asturian dishes, which include meat and fish, and no other (international cuisine) options. So if you head there, make sure to do some shopping beforehand! There are no ‘big’ supermarkets in Somiedo.

On our last day we did two nice hikes! You seem to be all alone, only hearing natural sounds (birds, wind, water)! This was really nice, because in our society there’s way to much (hard human-made) noises!

I wanted to do quite some photography here, but this turned out differently. Due to the weather conditions, I decided to only use my iPhone on most occasions, as it was really too wet for my “real” photography gear. I wanted to photograph some animals, but this was impossible because of the distance between the animals and us. We could only see most animals using binoculars or even a telescope (for the bears)! This is because we were watching from one slope to the other slope of the valley.

Conclusion: a very nice region, definitely worth visiting, but animal photography might be difficult due to the enormous distances between you and the animals! Very nice hikes can be done! Not that many tourists, especially not in Somiedo!

Below are some of my pictures (both dslr and iPhone):

 

 

 

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