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Fuentes del Narcea, Degaña and Ibias Natural Park

Fuentes del Narcea, Degaña and Ibias Natural Park

Updated on 23 October 2023
Fuentes del Narcea, Degaña and Ibias Natural Park

Magical landscapes, amazing forests that shelter an exceptional fauna impossible to see in almost any other place in Spain, such as the bear or the capercaillie. This is what this park is like, a kind of leafy island, an authentic Asturian jungle full of routes, twists and turns and green horizons, with treetops and more trees spreading everywhere. A vision that confuses the gaze as mirages do, but in this case because it is so authentic. Glaciers, forts, dream villages with excellent examples of old trades. Captivating ethnography. An infinity of attractions driven by nature in its purest form and by populations of endearing people.

Photographs: © Roberto Molero on Flickr



Latitude: 43.1729431 Length: -6.5502439
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Declared a Natural Park in 2002 and a Biosphere Reserve in 2003, with an area of ​​more than 5oo square km, extends widely through the councils of Cangas del Narcea, Degaña and Ibias, being a neighbor of another of the most beautiful Natural Parks on the peninsula: the Somiedo Natural Park.

His greatest claim, perhaps, Muniellos. Located in the very heart of this protected area, it is the largest oak grove in all of Spain and one of the best preserved in Europe. Visiting Muniellos means going back in time to rediscover what the forests of the Cantabrian mountain range were like many centuries ago. Once within its limits you have to let yourself be carried away by a world in which the presence of man does not exist.

Forest of Muniellos

Forest of Muniellos

Muniellos is home to the primitive Asturian forest, its densest idiosyncrasy. Visit Muniellos…

But this natural park preserves other irreplaceable forest masses, highlighting the one that extends through the upper basin of the Narcea river (very close to its original sources). We refer to the Monasterio de Hermo Beech Forest. With more than 1.500 hectares (approximately half that of Muniellos), it is the largest beech forest in Asturias and one of the largest in the entire Iberian Peninsula. The town of Hermo Monastery which gives its name to the forest, is a hidden place full of legends. One of the most fabulous settings in southwestern Asturias.

Hermo Monastery Beech Forest

Hermo Monastery Beech Forest

The beech forest of Monasterio de Hermo is an immense forest mass, very photogenic as well as mysterious. The …

More forests. A spectacular forest, before Muniellos, which receives the name of a small town: Moal (Mual), located about 20 km south of Cangas de Narcea but away from everything. With barely 80 inhabitants, this town was awarded in 2018 as «Exemplary Town of Asturias».

moal forest

moal forest

Moal is an Asturian town and also a forest; a green, humid expanse, loaded with trees…

With such wooded areas, it is not surprising that the park is considered the great sanctuary of the endangered fauna of the Cantabrian Sea, since it is home to the best populations of brown bear and capercaillie that are known in Spain.

At more than 2000 meters high are the Cueto de Arbas, an entire Asturian glacier declared a Partial Natural Reserve due to its great rarity in these latitudes, with sets of lagoons, ponds and small peaty spaces.

Last but not least, there are also the human populations that are integrated into this park and that have left signs of their activity at least since the Iron Age. Existing remains of this time, and also of the castreña and the Roman. Since then, the inhabitants of the councils of Degana and Ibias They have been adapting to a mountain area that forges a landscape of great plant richness, on which dolmens such as Pradías or Chao Leda settle. In Ibias, the popular architecture of hórreos and pallozas stands out; an evolution of the old castro house. The traditions linked to forestry and agricultural activities have given rise to a whole series of ethnographic manifestations, such as the popular cortines and talameiros, the cattle brañas or the cunqueira crafts and their tixileira jargon, associated with the trade.

The region also preserves the only wine-producing area on the Cantabrian coast. land of good wineTherefore, in recent years it has undergone significant development and recognition after obtaining a meritorious denomination of origin: wine from Cangas.

The wine of the Land of Cangas

The wine of the Land of Cangas

The Wine of La Tierra de Cangas is the exception that proves the rule. The Principality is not a community…

The most populated locality in the park, the capital Cangas de Narcea, will welcome us with a great patrimonial and cultural inventory. Also with good accommodations and better food.

Cangas del Narcea

Cangas del Narcea

The most untamed Asturias is found in the vast council of Cangas del Narcea. A territory often…