I had never heard of Asturias, or much of the northern parts of Spain, before I came to live here. I think it's probably the same for many Brits, and it's an incredible shame, as this is one of the most beautiful areas I have seen in the world. It seriously has scenery and space to rival New Zealand, the Lake District in the UK or the Swiss mountains. Huge green expanses of rolling fields, stunning crystal clear lakes and fantastic weather and food - sounds good right?
The Picos de Europa mountain range hides some of the most incredible scenery, and particularly the two lakes (Lake Enol and Lake Ercina) are worthy of a visit! The picture above is Lake Ercina, and this cute little eight hectare (eight football pitches) lake sits at an altitude of more than 3500 feet, although it's only two metres deep. These two lakes (known as the Lakes of Covadonga) are in the middle of the Picos de Europa National Park in Asturias.
Much of the scenery here looks like a cross between the Scottish Highlands and Switzerland, and it's one of the greenest areas in Spain (an incredibly dry country especially in Summer).
Of course any Spanish experience cannot be enjoyed without food. Food is so central to culture (especially in the southern parts where I live) but also in the North. These northern regions (Asturias, the Basque Country and Galicia) are sometimes known as 'land of the sauces', and much of the cuisine here is traditional and hearty (and saucy). Farming is a major influence here, and so fresh ingredients and great meat are always around. Above everything else in Asturias, visitors should really try the cheese - there are dozens of goat, cow and sheep cheeses from all over the area. Cabrales cheese is stored and matured in the caves in the area, and like Champagne, can only be called Cabrales if it was produced in this particular place.
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