Sporting activities in the Picos de Europa Nature Park, Spain.

Spain’s Picos de Europa Regional Nature Park covers parts of three provinces of northern Spain: Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla Leon. The few British hikers who make the trip to the Picos tend to approach this stunning mountain range from Cantabria, as its capital, Santander, has a long established ferry route to the UK and there are flights there from London Stansted and Dublin with Ryanair.

But if you’re looking for somewhere even more off the beaten track, it’s also possible to approach the mountains from the south, flying to Valladolid with Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) from London Stansted. That way you can visit the town and then en route to the hills, call in at León, which has an impressive Cathedral and excellent bar hopping area for tapas, drinks and fun.

Outdoor types should head to the Vegacerva area of Castilla Leon, which is renowned for its sporting activities such as canoeing, rafting and canyoning around the Valporquero Cave, while lovers of flora and fauna can visit the ‘Robledal del Oso’ Tree Adventure Theme Park and the European Bison Conservation Centre at San Cebrian de Muda. A must see is the Ojo Guareña Monument and San Bernabe Cave Hermitage which is said to house the largest series of underground tunnels in Spain. And for those who like a slow hike, the countryside is simply spectacular!

Visit www.castillaleonesvida.com for further details.

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