Luckily for us, Spain is one of the countries with the most natural diversity in Europe. This is due to our orography; but above all, is to the great variety of climates existing here. Thanks to this, we have very unique forests that are worth visiting to get lost in them, since they are true natural gems.
Forests of Spain: The best places to get lost
# 5 JUNGLE OF IRATI
The Irati forest is one of the best-known forests in Spain. It is located in the province of Navarra, and to get there we have to first go to the town of Orbaitzeta.
It is the largest forest in Navarra and one of the best preserved in Europe. It is full of beech and fir trees and getting into it is a journey through time and space. You will feel that you are in the center of Europe.
A very nice and simple route is the one that leaves from the parking lot of the dam of Irabia. Once we are there, we follow the signs to the SL-NA 54C path. It is a circular route, with a length of 5.5 kilometers and a slope of only 300 meters.
It first crosses a path that borders the reservoir and leaves us incredible views. Then, we go towards the mountains to finish on a paved track back to the starting point. In an hour, we will have completed the whole route. In the area there are other routes; the one that we advise you is short so you can combine it with others that may interest you.
# 4 ORDESA VALLEY
Ordesa always appears on any list when we talk about nature. The Ordesa National Park is located in the town of Torla, province of Huesca, located in the heart of the Pyrenees.
This Park has a special ecological value for its alpine side; although, curiously, due to its altitude, it is where we find fewer forests. But the lower side is also a paradise full of diversity. We can find beech, pine and oak woods in an excellent state of conservation.
The best-known trip to the Park is the one that goes through the bottom of the valley to the Circus of Soaso. This route is a circular route, it is about 20 kilometers long and a slope of 500 meters.
In the first section, we find riparian forests with green meadows. Then we cross a leady forest of beech trees, ending in the last stretch of less vegetation, but with spectacular views of this natural circus. The return will be made in the same way, but this time downhill, so it will be easier for us to enjoy the views.
# 3 HAYEDOS DE RIAÑO
We now enter the lesser known areas of the forests, but not any less impressive. Riaño is a locality in the Leon slope of Picos de Europa, perhaps the least known part of the National Park. As a curiosity, the town of Riaño had to be completely displaced when the dam was built, since it was below the water level.
A very interesting route is the climb to Pico Gilbo. We start at the other end of the Riaño bridge to start walking next to the reservoir, leaving the water on the right. When we walk for about 2 kilometers, we reach the first intersection and take the path that goes to the left. From that moment, the road starts to get a bit more difficult, up until reaching the top with a rough end.
On the way, we are not going to cross its forests, but the views of them are absolutely impressive. It is a route with some difficulty since in total we will do 10 kilometers with a slope of 600 meters. Our recommendation is to enjoy it in the fall; The brown tones of the beech and oak forests from the top of the peak give us a unique snapshot.
# 2 RIBERA DEL RÍO ESPINAREDO
This Asturian riparian forest, located in Redes Natural Park, is a true jewel. To reach it, we have to go to the town of Infiesto and once there take the PI-4 road towards Riofabar.
When we reach the village, we cross it and continue a few kilometers to the end of the road, where we will find the recreational area La Pesanca. I wish all the recreational areas were like that, it looks like a fairy tale! With an incredible green tone and hollow trunks next to the river inviting you to take all kinds of photos.
Once there we begin the route towards the foceras of the Infierno river. It’s a perfect route for summer, since during almost all the way you enjoy the shades of hazel trees, oaks and ash trees. In total it is 16 kilometers long (circular route) through good tracks and accumulates 600 meters of slope.
The hiking trails through the Redes Natural Park are highly recommended if you want to enjoy some quietness, since you will not find many people.
# 1 VALLE DE LA FUENFRÍA AND RÍO MOROS
Now we move away from the south to go to the central part of mainland, where we will find pine forests (mainly Scots pine) in an excellent state of conservation. We can reach them from the town of Cercedilla, in Madrid, or from El Espinar, in the province of Segovia.
These forests are the fruit of the first repopulations that happened in Spain. The large amount of wood demanded by the capital as fuel caused the forests of the central system to be completely destroyed. This sad circumstance caused floods of water and mud in the capital because of the lack of vegetation, which led to the first forestry action repopulating of the area.
In this territory, there are many routes. By Cercedilla, we can go to the recreational area of Dehesas, from where many paths start, being able to do the one that best suits what you are looking for. One recommendation is to go up the highway of the Republic to the port of Fuenfría.
On the ascent, it is essential to stop at the Mirador de los Poetas and make a stop on the slope of the road with 1 kilometer left to go. The views are incredible. On the way down, we recommend taking the other route descending through the Shower of the Germans so you can enjoy this small waterfall in the shade of the pines.
These are our 5 recommendations, but as we say, they are just recommendations. Luckily, we have a plenty of forests in Spain in excellent state; we will leave this for another day, like those areas in Grazalema, Cazorla or Sierra Espuña. We hope that the fires respect them so we can enjoy them for hundreds of years.