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Cantabrian mountains:

Bears, wild cats and wolves

Wildlife watching
Expert bird Guide
Wildlife watching
Expert Nature Guide

Natural Park

Fuentes del Narcea, Somiedo, Cabo Peña, Picos de Europa, Montaña Palentina

Season

Summer

À la carte

9 full days in the field !

Cantabrian tour for bears, wildcats and wolves

– Bears, wild cats & wolves

– Mountain insects

– Wall creeper

Region

Spain / León, Asturias, Cantabria, Palencia

Meeting point

Madrid (Léon / Gijón)

Specialized service

Small parties / High-end optical devices

The westernmost mountain in Europe, the Cantabrian cordillera extends almost 500 km long. We will visit its most attractive reserves for biodiversity: on one hand, the western core of Fuentes de Nárcea, Somiedo, Las Urbiñas (SW Asturias) and Leon”s Mountains (Laciana) ; on the other hand, the eastern core with the Picos de Europa National Park and the Palencia mountain.

Classic spots for Spanish naturalists whose appeal is increasingly recognized internationally. Greater acceptance of large carnivores, particularly bears (for real experiences: see our blog), and conservation programs have largely favored their populations and optimal conditions for their observations.

“Hideout” mode and powerful telescopes

We will visit the most suitable viewpoints for observing great fauna from Day 1… And benefit from all the biodiversity that surrounds us.

Cantabrian Brown Bear in Cantabrian Mountains

… in the Cantabrian range

Bear (Ursus arctos) in Spain

The westernmost mountain in Europe, the Cantabrian cordillera extends almost 500 km long. We will visit its most attractive reserves for biodiversity: on one hand, the western core of Fuentes de Nárcea, Somiedo, Las Urbiñas (SW Asturias) and Leon”s Mountains (Laciana) ; on the other hand, the eastern core with the Picos de Europa National Park and the Palencia mountain.

Cantabrian Brown Bear in Cantabrian Mountains

“Hideout” mode and powerful telescopes

Classic spots for Spanish naturalists whose appeal is increasingly recognized internationally. Greater acceptance of large carnivores, particularly bears (for real experiences: see our blog), and conservation programs have largely favored their populations and optimal conditions for their observations.

We will visit the most suitable viewpoints for observing great fauna from Day 1… And benefit from all the biodiversity that surrounds us.

Bear (Ursus arctos) in Spain

… in the Cantabrian range

Programme du voyage

 

Fuente en Villablino
DAY 1 | Arrival in Villablino

We will reach the South-West sector of the Cantabrian Mountains at the end of the afternoon and we will stay for 4 nights near the village of Villablino, in the Laciana Biosphere Reserve.

Sous espèce d'Isards de la Cantabrique
DAY 2 | Viewpoints in Western Cantabria

Throughout the trip, we will actively seek out the best viewpoints for observing Cantabrian brown bears, in full freedom. The Isards of the Cantabrian subspecies also breeds localy. Classic localities in Degaña and on the Mirador de la Corza.

Ours brun de Cantabrique. Excréments
DAY 3 | Fuentes de Narcea

Day dedicated to the Narcea river valley (upstream) with again first-class observatories for the Cantabrian large fauna. Exploring the banks allows you to observe dragonflies and why not endemic herpetofauna such as Seoane’s snake. The biodiversity is exceptional.

Puerto de Leitariegos / Asturias
DAY 4 | Puerto de Leitariegos

Once again, a classic viewpoint for the mammals of the Cantabrian cordillera: the port of Leitariegos, where we will spend a long time in search of emblematic species that are often elusive. A mountain lake is home to large populations of moorland hawker (Aeshna juncea) and the area promises to be rich in butterflies and other insects.

Osos Somiedo
DAY 5 | Arrival at Somiedo

Heading for the port of Somiedo, one of the most important natural park for the conservation and observation of brown bears in Europe. The pass itslef is sumptuous. Green meadows provide shelter for rodents and their predators. Once again, very beautiful views welcome us to La Peral. We will spend two nights in the village of La Pola de Somiedo.

Lagos de Saliencia / Somiedo
DAY 6 | Saliencia lakes

Along the way, we will come across “brañas” and mown pastures, habitats ideal for observing wild cats. A spectacular and interesting locality for mountain dragonflies. Fortunately, a very easy hiking trail, approximately of 8 kilometers long, allows us to explore this area without much effort.

Cabo Peña / Asturias
DAY 7 | Cantabrian Sea

Intense day of transfer and full of emotions. After a final search for bears in Somiedo, we head north, where we will reach the Cantabrian coast to briefly enjoy the sea at Cabo Peña. At the end of the afternoon, we will head again towards the mountains and the lovely village of Potes in Eastern Cantabrian.

Picos de Europa
DAY 8 | Picos de Europa

At Fuente Dé, the cable car provides effortless access to the high mountains, with peaks above 2,000 m. The summit of our trip with impressive landscapes. the best habitats of Yellow-billed Choughs, Wall creeper and Alpine Snowfinch are on the way with very safe paths and little slope, that we will explore loaded with telescopes (!)

Mirador de Piedras Luengas / Montañas Palentina
DAY 9 | Montaña Palentina

We will head to Cervera de Pisuerga where to spend two nights. Along the way, we will explore interesting places in the little-known mountains of Palencia, yet rich in the target species of this trip.

Excremento de lobo
DAY 10 | In search of missing species

We will explore the Palentine Mountains with the help of a local guide to improve our chances of observing mammals that have not yet appeared. Of course, no sighting is guaranteed, and we can only make an appointment. In any case, a beautiful day awaits us on the ground.

Vaca asturiana del Valle
DAY 11 | End of the trip

In the morning we will head back to our starting point.

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INCLUDE

  • A wildlife watching travel lead by local nature guide.
  • Half board (picnics by the participants).
  • Double rooms (single room supplement).
  • Does not include round-trip flights by plane.

Bonus

Spain’s blue and sunny sky… with mild temperatures in northern Spain.

Iconic species

Ursus arctos / Somiedo
Tichodroma muraria Picos de Europa
Felis sylvestris León Riaño
Parnassius apollo España
Lupus lupus Montaña Palentina

Cantabrian bear

Wall creeper

Wild cat

Apollo

Grey wolf