Asturias has the privilege of still possessing forests of extraordinary beauty and enormous biological wealth, populated by centenary trees, bears or grouse.
Among the most representative forest masses of our community, we discovered beech, oak, birch, carbayera, holm oak, riparian forest or cork oak.
We should not be discouraged by fog or orbayu, not even by the phantasmagoric aspect that these places often present, since a forest without humidity or silence could not be called that. Its charm lies in its own climatology, in its isolation. It is best to wear appropriate clothing and footwear, including a raincoat, to get to know the kingdom of busgosu, the spirit of the forest, which according to the traditional representation has two twisted horns on the head and legs of a goat. He wanders through the forest, accompanies us, and in passing acts as protector of trees and animals, coming to protect them from hunters, lumberjacks or daredevil tourists. But just in case Busgosu is not as attentive as he should be, we, the hikers, should respect a maxim in our visit: leave everything as we have found. The Asturian forests are huge museums but they do not have burglar alarms or smoke detectors, so the responsibility is absoutely human.
It is also good to learn to enjoy what surrounds us; do not be in a hurry and observe the tops of the trees, branches, lichens, fungi and small details in the immediate: animal tracks, sounds ... Many people finish the excursion hardly having raised their eyes from the ground, more concerned not to stumble than to the beauty that surrounds you at every step, but it is convenient to take a break and enjoy the surroundings.
Next we suggest you visit six of the most popular forests in Asturias. At asturias.com we challenge ourselves to gradually complete this section, adding more representative forests of our community.
Forest of Muniellos
It is the largest forest in Asturias, the largest oak forest in Spain with more than 5.000 hectares, and one of the best preserved Atlantic forests in Europe. In the year 2000 was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and is currently the most protected natural area in the Principality.
It has been granted the title of Natural Reserve, also that of Reserve of the Biosphere, and is that its impressive trees, its virgin nature, and the invaluable manipulation of the environment by the men and women who inhabit it, well deserves such a reward. Its surface is 376,2 Km2.
Hayedo de Peloño
The 200.000 beeches of the Peloño forest, in the municipality of Ponga, are dressed in fashion, with an intense green color during the spring and a sober brown color in the autumn-winter season. Its 15 square kilometers of clothing are protected (Partial Nature Reserve) and make it a unique space in Spain, a huge parasol that contains atmospheric humidity as in few places.
Hayedo de La Biescona
A beech forest that will leave us speechless by the size of the beech trees and the impressive shapes of the branches. A perfect route to discover as a family it constitutes in itself a whole classroom of nature. Located on the north face of the Sierra del Sueve, very close to the Cantabrian Sea, it is the humidity of the coast that gives it a unique picture and a very rare ecosystem among beech forests
It is the largest beech forest of the western massif of the Picos de Europa, and to enter it is an exclusive experience: forest density, branches, canopy, leaf litter, fauna, silence. The forest is thick, tall, mossy, with spiky holly trees and fallen and old trees. Inside there are clear openings by old forest uses that allow us to parcel out, diversify and position ourselves in the middle of the labyrinth.
Cea Forest is an arboreal mass of incredible value, a whim of nature available to everyone. We arrived at their domains after a short route and great visibility in all its sections. It is located in the Parres council, in the vicinity of the mountain Mota Cetín, and in the surroundings of the Sierra del Sueve.
The willow of Buelles
On the banks of the river Deva, between the towns of El Mazo and Buelles, in the council of Peñamellera Baja, very close to the eastern border with Cantabria, we find one of the most beautiful river valleys in Asturias. Declared a Natural Monument, the sauceda de Buelles is a nearby jungle, a dense and rugged place that allows passage inside through a riverside path.
Atlantic Botanical Garden and Carbayera del Tragamón
It is a living space, recreated but natural to the maximum, which occupies 15 hectares of perfectly designed land and becomes a large display, a green and flowery microcosm in which grow more than 15.000 plants and trees, plant species on both sides of the Atlantic, including an autochthonous forest: the Carbayera de Tragamón.