Few corners in Spain like Cantabria concentrate in such a small space a great variety and quantity of natural parks, perfect to enjoy a short getaway in which to explore and discover its corners of spectacular beauty and great ecological value, full of unique landscapes and diverse species. of flora and fauna.
In Cantabria, as in all the communities of northern Spain, nature shines with its own light as a tourist destination, being one of its main attractions.
Here we are going to talk about the 6 natural parks to visit in Cantabria. Special mention deserves the Picos de Europa, which has the category of National Park and stands out above all others.
The natural parks of Cantabria
Liencres Dunes Natural Park
Along the coast at the mouth of the River Pas it is possible to find this characteristic natural park, declared in the 1980s, which, despite not being very extensive, has a great tourist attraction due to its extensions of maritime pines, its famous dunes, and its two beautiful beaches: Canallave and Valdearenas, as well as its hidden coves.
This park stands out for the presence of a beautiful pine forest, and obviously for its mobile dune formations, specifically two, one along the coast and the other further inland, which intermingle with natural species such as sea thistle, reeds or pine forests, recreating a unique landscape of great beauty.
Next to this natural park is the Costa Quebrada, another natural and geological wonder with incredible beaches and wild cliffs.
Macizo de Peña Cabarga Natural Park
This natural area, protected since the end of the 1980s, is located in an enviable location to the south of Santander Bay, next to the Sierra de La Gándara.
Its most iconic corner is the great Peña Cabarga and its spectacular views, making it a must for any traveler who comes to this Cantabrian natural park.
With just over two thousand five hundred hectares, full of calcareous rocks and oaks that extend between various municipalities such as Penagos, Liérganes, Medio Cudeyo and Villaescusa, in addition to the Cabárceno area, which has one of the most emblematic parks in Europe for its interesting presence of animals in an open-air reserve.
Oyambre Natural Park
To the west of the Cantabrian community, between San Vicente de la Barquera and Comillas, this natural park with an area of nearly sixty square kilometers, is another of the essential corners to visit if you visit Cantabria, not only for its beauty, but also for the wide range of leisure plans in this area.
In the Oyambre Natural Park, located next to estuaries between the Rabia and San Vicente estuaries, the beauty of some dunes, such as those of Oyambre, is perfectly combined with a large forest such as that of Monte Corona, as well as marshes, wild beaches and sandy areas of great beauty such as Merón.
Its beaches are also sanctuaries for surf lovers, who fill them in search of the perfect wave.
Saja-Besaya Natural Park
In the central and western area of Cantabria there are other of the most emblematic natural parks of the north, recognized as such at the end of the 1980s, due to its relevance in animal and plant species, as well as an interesting presence of corners of great beauty with abundant presence of wild animals such as the ermine, the dormouse, or the elusive wild cat.
With one of the largest extensions, close to twenty-five thousand hectares that extend through some six different municipalities, it stands out mainly for its extensive mountains, perfect for all kinds of excursions with limited areas for camping and picnics, in addition to its extensive presence of native trees of species such as ash, maple, chestnut, and hazel.
Another wonderful natural destination.
Marismas de Santoña Natural Park
The estuary formed by the Victoria and Joyel marshes and the Asón River are responsible for the formation of these beautiful marshes between the towns of Noja and Laredo, which make up a natural area of just over six thousand five hundred hectares that extend over a large number of coastal municipalities in Cantabria.
Due to its location and its wide aquatic spaces, it is one of the favorite corners of the north of the country to live for more than one hundred and thirty different species, especially birds, being an unavoidable destination for all fans of ornithological tourism.
An excellent opportunity to observe first-hand many species in their natural habitat.
Collados del Ason Natural Park
This Cantabrian corner in the Soba area, to the southeast of the community, has been a natural park as such since February 1999, being one of the main destinations for visitors who come to Cantabria and choose the Cantabrian Mountains to enjoy natural spaces of large area like this, close to five thousand hectares.
If there is something characteristic of this park, it is its relief with its whimsical natural forms, shaped over the years by the action of ice after glacialism that has allowed today to enjoy very beautiful corners, with waterfalls and rivers such as the asson.
Without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in Cantabria.