The Picos de Europa, Spain

Picos de Europa road trips

The Picos de Europa is a dramatic, compact mountain range on the north coast of Spain. The Picos are encircled by 150 miles of narrow, twisting two-lane roads which generally follow rivers and trace the perimeter of the mountains.

The Picos de Europa is a protected National Park, contains some of Spain’s most spectacular scenery and is just a short drive away from Santander. As you tour the range, be on the lookout for some of the rarest wildlife remaining in Europe.

Why Picos de Europa is special

It’s the highest mountain range on the Spanish Atlantic Coast, and the roads provide a challenging drive of around seven hours. The area is surrounded by lush green valleys and tiny hamlets dot the landscape – which can even be explored provided you’ve got the time. While here, you’re only likely to hear streams, birds and cowbells – and in fact, you could be forgiven for thinking you have somehow traversed the continent and ended up in Switzerland.

The beech-covered slopes of the mountains provide a refuge for some endangered species that you might be fortunate enough to spot – including the toy-pony-like Asturcon and the Iberian brown bear. So, there’s always plenty to see along the route – but whatever you do, don’t go in July when it is especially crowded and hot.

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