Wherever you’re doing in Spain, it’s hard to imagine not having an amazing time. Madrid is one of the most amazing cities in the world. And the rest of the country has more than few communities that are more than worth experiencing.
But one aspect of Spain that can get overlooked is the National Parks system. This country has some stunning parks, each one of them highlighting various natural features. If you can’t fit them all into a trip, try to visit at least one or two of them.
Cabrera Maritime-Terrestrial National Park
The name alone should be enough to make you intrigued. Spain has a lot of marvelous National Parks but Cabrera Maritime-Terrestrial National Park stills stands out as one of the best. Being the largest park in the country certainly doesn’t hurt.
This park encompasses the entire Cabrera Archipelago in the Balearic Islands. Only accessible by boat from the island of Mallorca, the snorkeling here is phenomenal. The underwater meadows of seagrass and the Laguna Azul are too incredible to miss.
Spain’s Teide National Park
Located in Spain’s Canary Islands, Teide National Park is centered on Mount Teide. It holds two key records in the region. It is the highest mountain in all of Spain as well as being the third highest volcano in the world. Mount Tiede is truly a sight to behold.
Due to the nutrient-rich volcanic soil, the flora in this park is both exceptional and gorgeous. There are also limited varieties of reptiles and mammals to spot, many of which were introduced to the island by humans.
Picos de Europa National Park
Established in 1918, Picos de Europa National Park was the first park established in Spain. It is largely formed by the Picos de Europa, a mountain range that makes up part of the Cantabrian Mountains. As such, hikers tend to flock to this specific spot for good reason.
There are actually 11 villages within the park, making this Spain’s only inhabited nature reserve. Wildlife spotting here is unreal, particularly if you’re into birding. Egyptian Vultures call this region home as do Iberian Wolves and Cantabrian Brown Bears.
Spain’s Cabañeros National Park
Deep in central Spain is Cabañeros National Park, a place of great biodiversity and beauty. It rests between two rivers, the Estena and the Bullaque. On top of that, the park also encompasses the Chorito and Miraflores mountain ranges.
There is a large number of animal species here, many of which fall under various endangered categories. Of particular note are the Spanish Imperial Eagle, Black Stork, and Eurasian Black Vulture. As such, Cabañeros has been declared a Special Protection Area for birdlife.
Atlantic Islands of Galicia Maritime-Terrestrial National Park
Way up in the northwest corner of Spain is the Atlantic Islands of Galicia Maritime-Terrestrial National Park. It is made up of several archipelagos as well as a vast swath of the Atlantic Ocean. There’s a reason why it’s one of the most visited parks in the country.
Sea caves, coves, and beaches attract visitors year-round, both of the human and animal variety. There are several routes around the islands for hiking. But if you want to take a private boat out to the park, make sure you have the appropriate permits.