Half a century ago, it was pretty simple to explore untouched spots in Spain. Nowadays, chances are you won’t find an unspoilt landscape unless you are clearly looking for it.
The Biosphere Reserve of Ancares, in northern Spain, is one of those unique places that nicely invite you to go back in time and enjoy the pleasures of a simple life away from all the fuss.
With a characteristic climate, between Mediterranean and continental, there is a high presence of protected species like the brown bear in this valley. Getting there will take you no less than 1 hour after leaving the A6 highway but, believe us, it’s really worth it! And if you happen to visit Ancares during weekdays, you won’t find anyone else but farmers and local people in the valley.
Transhumance still defines Ancares today and stopping patiently your car while driving is a common procedure as cows, horses and sheeps won’t stop stepping in your way. The density of traffic is so low that they do not feel the urge of adjusting to vehicles!
We can’t wait to come back in Autumn to picture all the array of warm colors and again in Winter when all the cozy pallozas (typical constructions) are semi-hidden by the snow.
A hikers paradise, we specially enjoyed the wildlife and forests in the surroundings of Piornedo; a small village at the end of the road before crossing from Galicia to the next region, Leon.
We would like to thank Hotel Piornedo for having hosted us last month in our short trip to the area. Once a hostel, today is one of your best options in Ancares. Run by a family of warm locals with a lot of knowledge about the Reserve to share; the Hotel has been recently refurbished and modern architecture will make you feel really comfortable after a day exploring the great outdoors!