Perhaps the ancients had the virtue of creating beauty even when they were not looking for it.
Las Médulas might be the result of pure chance; a surprising aesthetic gift originated after two hundred years of mining exploitation without any kind of further consideration.
The beauty and solitude of these mountains crossed by narrow and leafy valleys has been shelter to numerous hermits since the fifth century until the Middle Ages. Something very deep they must have felt to bring their backpack here and, entranced, start the spiritual path that would probably take them beyond the sky.
Down-to-earth, these mountains hide beautiful paths crossed
by streams that feed into the Oza River.
The Ancares probably bring the most remote feeling we may experience nowadays. A trip in time that shows us how life was like before the Roman Empire arrived to this area of the Iberian Peninsula, which was declared Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO in 2006.
Witnesses of an ancient life, the Ancares, fight to stand in the middle of a wild landscape where bears, capercaillies, wolves and roe deer hide among the immense forests of oaks, hollies, beeches and chestnuts.
Despite being one of the most unknown places in Spain, it is the natural entrance to and from Asturias and Galicia and it is part of the Way of Saint James.
It is situated in the most western part of the mountain range Cordillera Cantábrica, northwest of the province of Leon, and has deep valleys that can descend as much as 800 metres.
Its territory is mainly made up with the valleys of the Ancares, Burbia, Cúa and Fornela Rivers, and by the Balboa valley that find their way between the Puerto de Piedra Fita (mountain pass) and the Pico de Miravalles (mountain peak), on the border with Asturias.
Beech of Busmayor
Busmayor is located in the village of Barjas, its beech is one of the best preserved in the Iberian Peninsula.
In this area, it is easy to find sorbus or birches, also very colourful.
You may walk across the beech through a well signposted route of about seven kilometres