pyrenees-2142714_1920

Explore the Beauty of Picos de Europa

Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

The Pyrenees Mountains (or Picos de Europa) in Northern Spain was one of the most beautiful destinations I’ve been to during my travels. Overall, Northern Spain is a very underrated area that needs to be seen by more! There are beautiful mountains, nature, stunning Paradores and more.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Along the Bay of Biscay, on the Iberian Peninsula, lies the magical Pyrenees Mountains of Northern Spain. This gorgeous area is highly overlooked amongst travelers visiting Spain, but what people need to know is that it hosts several of Spain’s most beautiful regions and could easily be confused as the “Switzerland” of the country. Unlike the rest of Spain, Northern Spain is known for it’s heavily forested greenery, sky-tall Pyrenees Mountains, beautiful beaches, medieval villages, picturesque wine regions, great hiking trails and ski resorts as well as super cool caverns!

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Prior to traveling to Northern Spain, I was unsure of what to expect. Unlike the more “touristy” cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla, Northern Spain experiences more rain and cloudy days, which is why it is so green and the nature is amazing! I remember driving through the windy mountain roads and being amazed at everything surrounding me – snowcapped mountains, luscious green rolling hills, dreamy farmland and refreshing blue lakes and rivers.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

During May and June 2012, I participated in a study abroad program through my college James Madison University (JMU). I studied abroad in the university city of Salamanca in the Castilla y León region, which is located near the Portuguese border. I absolutely had a BLAST during my early summer semester in Salamanca and it in fact sparked my wanderlust! (You heard that right, prior to studying abroad in Spain, I had never stepped foot out of the United States!) After spending time in Western, Central and Northern Spain as well as Portugal, I officially fell in love with travel and it changed my life forever! (Click here to read my blog posts on Spain.)

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

If you are looking to explore more off-the-grid destinations in Spain, definitely check out these gorgeous must-see places in the Pyrenees Mountains of Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Region.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Getting to the Pyrenees Mountains:

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

During my study abroad trip in Spain, I was with fellow students and professors the entire semester. It was so early into my travel life that the idea of traveling on my own didn’t even exist in my mindset. In that case, we always had organized coach buses take us everywhere.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

If you are traveling to Picos de Europa on your own or with friends and family, it is best to book your flights through Skyscanner to Madrid. From there, you could either rent a car and drive up to Picos de Europa and do Northern Spain road trip or you could book another short flight to Asturias near Oviedo or Santander in Cantabria.

Where to Stay in the Pyrenees Mountains:

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

As you explore Picos de Europa, there are a lot of wonderful accommodations to choose from. Based on your budget, you could either stay in a hotel, Parador, pazo hostel or Airbnb. You could find great options for all of the cities and areas I talk about below.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

During my time in Picos de Europa, I stayed at Parador de Fuente Dé within the national park in the Cantabria region. This Parador was absolutely beautiful and each room overlooked the steep mountains and countryside. (A Parador is a hotel administered by the Spanish government. They are popular in Spain’s northern regions.)

Things to do in the Pyrenees Mountains:

Adventure in Asturias’ Caves:

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Traveling to the beautiful Asturias region is like a real trip back to pre-historic times. In this region, there are several different caverns to visit where you could get spectacular views of Neo-Lithic cave paintings and engravings. When I visited these caves, our tour guide said that people would mash up grains of sand and use it as paint. Most of the artwork was of bison, which are popular animals in the northern Spanish regions.

Wander through Picos de Europa National Park:

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Let’s get real; is there ever a mountain range that isn’t spectacular? The nature, fairytale buildings and friendly people are what make these beautiful European mountain ranges magical for all. Depending on the weather and time of year, there are several hiking trails, ski resorts, outdoor activities and so much more!

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

One of my favorite adventures in Picos de Europa was taking a gondola all the way to the peaks of the Pyrenees Mountains. The views that we experienced on our way up to the top were breathtaking! Once we reached the top, the atmosphere was completely different than it was at the bottom of the mountain. It was snowing, there were wild caribou running around and we even got to see some skiers. There was a cute chalet at the top of the mountain that was serving Spain’s amazing hot chocolate and warm croissants.

Pretend You’re In a Fairytale in Santillana del Mar:

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Santillana del Mar is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the Cantabria region. This adorable town is a stop along the world-famous Camino de Santiago, a spiritual pilgrimage that I actually completed in July 2019. Click here to read about my experience on the Camino de Santiago.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Santillana del Mar features many cute cafés, shops, churches and museums. I LOVED the town’s chocolate shop! They offered a variety of different flavors; even blue cheese. (I know, not my cup of tea either.) But overall, it was a cute city with beautiful views throughout!

Enjoy a Beach Day in Santander:

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

As the capital of the Cantabria region, Santander offers beautiful plazas, gorgeous architecture, seaside promenades, amazing beaches and great surf in the Bay of Biscay. Unfortunately, the couple days I was in Santander, the weather wasn’t necessarily appropriate for a “beach day”, but it was still dreamy being there.

Admire Gothic and Renaissance Architecture in the Provincial City of Burgos:

I visited Burgos on a cold Sunday and it was the definition of a picturesque city. The gorgeous 15th and 16th Century buildings are built with white limestone, giving the city its own character.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Burgos’ 13th Century Cathedral of St. Mary was one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have ever visited in the world. What is also admirable about this cathedral is that it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not only is the architecture beautiful, but the medieval carvings and the peace throughout this sacred site is something you will always remember.

Journey through Spain’s Basque Country:

The Basque Region of Northern Spain is one of the most beautiful areas in the country. Filled with color, picture-perfect villages and bewildering vistas, you will find plenty of hidden treasures in Basque country.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

People who live in the Basque Region speak a distinct language that pre-dates the Romance languages of Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. Some great cities to visit in the Basque Region are Bilbao, San Sebastián and Pamplona to name a few.


Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

I hope you all enjoyed reading about the best things to see and experience in the Pyrenees Mountains of Northern Spain. If you have any questions about my time in Picos de Europa or general questions about Spain, please email me at [email protected].

Basic Facts of Spain:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Madrid

Click here to join my private Facebook group for bloggers!

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

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4 Comments

  1. Josefine on August 4, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    I can’t believe it! I’ve been to Spain almost 20 times and I’ve never been to the Northern part. This seriously has to change! Your pictures look beautiful and it sounds like you had an amazing trip <3

    • Taylor Deer on August 5, 2019 at 9:39 am

      Yes, you definitely have to go! It’s so amazing! I was there when I studied abroad in 2012, so it was a while ago, but I remember it being so amazing!

  2. Valentina Vucici on April 17, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    What an amazing part of Spain! I had no clue! Thank you for showing! Hopefully I will visit this part too in the future as I am a resident now. 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on April 17, 2020 at 11:32 pm

      It was absolutely gorgeous Valentina! You would love Northern Spain. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. 🙂

Leave a Comment





pyrenees-2142714_1920

Explore the Beauty of Picos de Europa

Pin the Below Image to Keep Handy

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

The Pyrenees Mountains (or Picos de Europa) in Northern Spain was one of the most beautiful destinations I’ve been to during my travels. Overall, Northern Spain is a very underrated area that needs to be seen by more! There are beautiful mountains, nature, stunning Paradores and more.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Along the Bay of Biscay, on the Iberian Peninsula, lies the magical Pyrenees Mountains of Northern Spain. This gorgeous area is highly overlooked amongst travelers visiting Spain, but what people need to know is that it hosts several of Spain’s most beautiful regions and could easily be confused as the “Switzerland” of the country. Unlike the rest of Spain, Northern Spain is known for it’s heavily forested greenery, sky-tall Pyrenees Mountains, beautiful beaches, medieval villages, picturesque wine regions, great hiking trails and ski resorts as well as super cool caverns!

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Prior to traveling to Northern Spain, I was unsure of what to expect. Unlike the more “touristy” cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla, Northern Spain experiences more rain and cloudy days, which is why it is so green and the nature is amazing! I remember driving through the windy mountain roads and being amazed at everything surrounding me – snowcapped mountains, luscious green rolling hills, dreamy farmland and refreshing blue lakes and rivers.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

During May and June 2012, I participated in a study abroad program through my college James Madison University (JMU). I studied abroad in the university city of Salamanca in the Castilla y León region, which is located near the Portuguese border. I absolutely had a BLAST during my early summer semester in Salamanca and it in fact sparked my wanderlust! (You heard that right, prior to studying abroad in Spain, I had never stepped foot out of the United States!) After spending time in Western, Central and Northern Spain as well as Portugal, I officially fell in love with travel and it changed my life forever! (Click here to read my blog posts on Spain.)

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

If you are looking to explore more off-the-grid destinations in Spain, definitely check out these gorgeous must-see places in the Pyrenees Mountains of Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Region.

**Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only promote and talk about products and services that I have used and like.


Getting to the Pyrenees Mountains:

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

During my study abroad trip in Spain, I was with fellow students and professors the entire semester. It was so early into my travel life that the idea of traveling on my own didn’t even exist in my mindset. In that case, we always had organized coach buses take us everywhere.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

If you are traveling to Picos de Europa on your own or with friends and family, it is best to book your flights through Skyscanner to Madrid. From there, you could either rent a car and drive up to Picos de Europa and do Northern Spain road trip or you could book another short flight to Asturias near Oviedo or Santander in Cantabria.

Where to Stay in the Pyrenees Mountains:

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

As you explore Picos de Europa, there are a lot of wonderful accommodations to choose from. Based on your budget, you could either stay in a hotel, Parador, pazo hostel or Airbnb. You could find great options for all of the cities and areas I talk about below.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

During my time in Picos de Europa, I stayed at Parador de Fuente Dé within the national park in the Cantabria region. This Parador was absolutely beautiful and each room overlooked the steep mountains and countryside. (A Parador is a hotel administered by the Spanish government. They are popular in Spain’s northern regions.)

Things to do in the Pyrenees Mountains:

Adventure in Asturias’ Caves:

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Traveling to the beautiful Asturias region is like a real trip back to pre-historic times. In this region, there are several different caverns to visit where you could get spectacular views of Neo-Lithic cave paintings and engravings. When I visited these caves, our tour guide said that people would mash up grains of sand and use it as paint. Most of the artwork was of bison, which are popular animals in the northern Spanish regions.

Wander through Picos de Europa National Park:

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Let’s get real; is there ever a mountain range that isn’t spectacular? The nature, fairytale buildings and friendly people are what make these beautiful European mountain ranges magical for all. Depending on the weather and time of year, there are several hiking trails, ski resorts, outdoor activities and so much more!

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

One of my favorite adventures in Picos de Europa was taking a gondola all the way to the peaks of the Pyrenees Mountains. The views that we experienced on our way up to the top were breathtaking! Once we reached the top, the atmosphere was completely different than it was at the bottom of the mountain. It was snowing, there were wild caribou running around and we even got to see some skiers. There was a cute chalet at the top of the mountain that was serving Spain’s amazing hot chocolate and warm croissants.

Pretend You’re In a Fairytale in Santillana del Mar:

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Santillana del Mar is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in the Cantabria region. This adorable town is a stop along the world-famous Camino de Santiago, a spiritual pilgrimage that I actually completed in July 2019. Click here to read about my experience on the Camino de Santiago.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Santillana del Mar features many cute cafés, shops, churches and museums. I LOVED the town’s chocolate shop! They offered a variety of different flavors; even blue cheese. (I know, not my cup of tea either.) But overall, it was a cute city with beautiful views throughout!

Enjoy a Beach Day in Santander:

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

As the capital of the Cantabria region, Santander offers beautiful plazas, gorgeous architecture, seaside promenades, amazing beaches and great surf in the Bay of Biscay. Unfortunately, the couple days I was in Santander, the weather wasn’t necessarily appropriate for a “beach day”, but it was still dreamy being there.

Admire Gothic and Renaissance Architecture in the Provincial City of Burgos:

I visited Burgos on a cold Sunday and it was the definition of a picturesque city. The gorgeous 15th and 16th Century buildings are built with white limestone, giving the city its own character.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

Burgos’ 13th Century Cathedral of St. Mary was one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have ever visited in the world. What is also admirable about this cathedral is that it is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not only is the architecture beautiful, but the medieval carvings and the peace throughout this sacred site is something you will always remember.

Journey through Spain’s Basque Country:

The Basque Region of Northern Spain is one of the most beautiful areas in the country. Filled with color, picture-perfect villages and bewildering vistas, you will find plenty of hidden treasures in Basque country.

Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

People who live in the Basque Region speak a distinct language that pre-dates the Romance languages of Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese. Some great cities to visit in the Basque Region are Bilbao, San Sebastián and Pamplona to name a few.


Wandering through Spain’s Pyrenees Mountains

I hope you all enjoyed reading about the best things to see and experience in the Pyrenees Mountains of Northern Spain. If you have any questions about my time in Picos de Europa or general questions about Spain, please email me at [email protected].

Basic Facts of Spain:

Currency: Euro, Capital: Madrid

Click here to join my private Facebook group for bloggers!

*Anything could happen during your travels. Always make sure you are insured in case there are unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage/theft, natural disasters, personal liabilities and more. Click here to get insured for your next trip.

4 Comments

  1. Josefine on August 4, 2019 at 5:26 pm

    I can’t believe it! I’ve been to Spain almost 20 times and I’ve never been to the Northern part. This seriously has to change! Your pictures look beautiful and it sounds like you had an amazing trip <3

    • Taylor Deer on August 5, 2019 at 9:39 am

      Yes, you definitely have to go! It’s so amazing! I was there when I studied abroad in 2012, so it was a while ago, but I remember it being so amazing!

  2. Valentina Vucici on April 17, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    What an amazing part of Spain! I had no clue! Thank you for showing! Hopefully I will visit this part too in the future as I am a resident now. 🙂

    • Taylor Deer on April 17, 2020 at 11:32 pm

      It was absolutely gorgeous Valentina! You would love Northern Spain. It was one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. 🙂

Leave a Comment





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