Although any season is good to make contact with the natural heritage of the Asturian forests, we recommend the fall. It is precisely the second half of October and the first of November when the Asturian forest reaches unsuspected levels of beauty, when the kingdom of mythology becomes part of its obsolete, silent and nostalgic condition. The Asturian forest has reserved us hundreds of excursions.
More than 30 percent of the territory of the Principality is covered by forests. A good number of these are Autochthonous, and in most cases they have a remarkable degree of conservation and regeneration.
Photo report of: Alex Badía
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 tree tops, branches, lichens, fungi and small details in the immediate thing: animal traces, sounds ... Many people finish the tour without having barely looked up from the ground, more aware of not stumbling than of the beauty that surrounds you at each step, but it is advisable to take some rest and enjoy the surroundings.
Next we suggest you visit six of the most popular forests in Asturias. In desdeasturias.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.
«Forest of Muniellos»
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.
The «Network Park»
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.
The «Hayedo de Peloño»
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.
The «Forest of Pome»
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 «Forest of Cea»
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 limit with Cantabria, we find one of the most beautiful river fertile valleys of Asturias. Declared a Natural Monument, the willow of Buelles is a nearby jungle, a dense and wild place that allows the passage inside a river path.
The Sauceda de Buelles
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.
We also encourage you to get to know one of the oldest trees in our geography: the shuffle, a thousand-year-old treeText: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com