80. Picos de Europa National Park, Cantabria
Founded in 1918, Picos de Europa National Park was the first official National Park of
Spain.Itcoversnearly650km 2 andwasdeclaredaBiosphereReservebyUNESCOin2003.
While the park's variety of landscapes attracts hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, the paths are
generally uncrowded. Trails lead from wooded glades to rocky peaks, wending around shep-
herds' huts and secluded glacial lakes.
Some trails require technical skills, but there are also plenty of easy walking routes through
the grass plains of the park. The most popular trail, Cares Gorge , winds 12 km along the side
of the gorge, passing under spectacular natural stone arches and providing stunning views.
Hikers may catch a glimpse of some of the more than 100 bird species which inhabit the
park, including griffon vultures and golden eagles.