From time immemorial, the environment (preserved today) Somiedo declared a natural park in 1988 and a biosphere reserve in 2000, has been related to the brown bear. Already in the Middle Ages, this magnificent mountainous region of the Cantabrian Mountains, south of the Principality of Asturias, was the site where kings and nobles gathered to hunt these animals, a practice that would later spread to the rest of the population until the end. Went. Years of the 20th century and it almost wiped out the species. Today, the bear is still an important attraction at this point, though for very different reasons than it was 400 years ago.
Thanks to the Brown Bear Foundation, which is supported by other institutions such as The European Nature Trust (TENT) and its conservation measures, the bear population in the region increased from about 80 individuals in the early 1990s to about 300, which Today is. The Cantabrians populate the western part of the mountain. It is in the Somido Natural Park, which is included in the municipality of the same name, that 38 villages are estimated to be where the greatest numbers of this protected species live and where more is seen, as it is more open and the park Limestone area as compared to other points of.
Somido receives over 100,000 tourists every year, attracted not only by the presence of bears, but also by the incredible natural environment and the many possibilities for its exploration. Next, we propose some of the must-see places within the Natural Park to escape the heat and enjoy its fauna, its traditions, its culinary arts and its incredible landscapes.
Spring is one of the best times to see bears in Somido Natural Park, as it is mating season and the females who have cubs eventually take them out of the caves. The city council has established a series of approaches so that observation of the specimens does not interfere with its conservation and thus also prevents the public from stopping the car in the middle of the road.
Some of these viewpoints are located in the same towns, such as one in Pola de somido, the capital of the municipality. The charming town’s main square, nestled along the banks of the Somido River and between steep hills, is one of those privileged viewpoints. On several occasions the bears have been observed roaming freely on rocks or in the surrounding forests (it is necessary to do this with binoculars or binoculars). there is another point of view aguinoLocated 1.8 km from Pola de Somido (you can walk on a marked path), with great views of the valleys and mountains and a good place to see bears and other animals such as roe deer, chamois, birds. ,
But without a doubt, One of the most luxurious in La Perle Bra is Mirador del Principe, 20 minutes by car from Pola de Somido, with a winding and narrow road along which, on occasion, cows also roam. Situated in the rural village of the same name, the space surrounded by traditional Tito huts (built with branched roofs) and a postcard landscape 1,294 meters above sea level, has parking and interpretive panels for bear viewing. In addition to being a point where specimens are observed (always with binoculars), even sometimes very close to the meadows where cows graze, La Perle is the starting point for many indicated routes, such as The route leading into the town of Villar de Vildas, which crosses the picturesque Bra Váquera de la Pornacal.
To learn more about the relationship between the bear and the municipality, it is recommended to visit bear house In Pola de Somido (Flerez Estrada, 1. tel: 942 23 49 00), an interpretation center containing bear bones from more than 10,000 years ago, old hunting traps, such as forge traps, and other modern ones that are already illegal , and videos and panels explaining where bears are found, how they live, their customs, and what to expect in the (extremely rare) occurrence of human encounters. Ticket price: 4 euros / 2 euros children.
Park Interpretation Center It is also located in Pola de Somido (Emilio García, 4A) and there you can find more information, maps and all the routes to get to know the park better. there are also Several sustainable tourism agencies that tailor routes To see bears (they have binoculars, binoculars and off-road vehicles to reach more complex locations), visit places where bear culture is deeply rooted or to discover the nature, gastronomy and traditions of the region There is a route, such as Wild Spain Travel or Work Ecotourism.
great places to find
Somido was the first natural park in Asturias and today it is one of the most important protected areas. And the best preserved in the principality. It consists of four large basins: the Saliania, the Valle del Lago, the Somido and the Piggia, through which their respective rivers of the same name flow. Present Twelve Ways, Indicated and of Various DifficultiesThose who enter the park and cross bras (grazing places), villages, rivers, landscapes and climb the most incredible mountains.
one of these great routes Lagos, a linear route of 14 km (duration 4.30 hrs). It starts at Alto de la Farrapona, a place with parking 22 km from Pola. And it crosses the Saliencia lakes until it ends in the small town of Valle del Lago. The path, dominated by the Las Ubias massif, encircles several lakes (La Cueva, Calabazos, Cervarez, del Valle …) and passes through an incredible area where iron was mined in the past. Santa Rita Mine, currently abandoned. In summer, despite the fact that the water is cold, there are people who bathe in these lagoons (more about the route here).
where to eat
Cabbage pots and turnip greens (turnip leaves) with potatoes are the two star dishes of local gastronomy, along with sausages, red meat (from cows from the region’s grasslands), trout and hunting (chamois, roe deer). ) , wild boar…), in season. Cider House Grill Carin (Av. Narciso Herrero Vaquero, 5. Pola de Somiedo; Telephone: 985 76 34 41) offers traditional homemade dishes in abundance. hotel restaurant my home (Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Pola de Somido; Tel: 985 76 36 61) also serves generous portions of local cuisine.
where to sleep
Hotel Palacio Alvaro Florez-Estrada (Florez Estrada, s/n, Pola de Somido; tel: 985 76 37 09) An incredible establishment with ten rooms in the middle of nature in an old mansion from the 15th century. It has an outdoor pool and tennis and basketball courts next to a perfectly preserved medieval tower. The delightful hotel is surrounded by gardens with centuries-old trees and is situated on the banks of the Somido River. Price: from 85 euros. Reservation here.
Rosala is its owner and in charge, in the village of El Coto, four kilometers outside Pola de Somiedo. rural house good mother A charming home with incredible views of the Somido Valley where peace and fresh air are the stars of your stay. It has three fully furnished apartments that are open throughout the year (except for Christmas). It is worth lying in the hammocks in the garden or sitting on the swings that are in the trees while looking at the mountains. Price: Apartment for two people (food is not included) from 70 euros. More information here.
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