It's almost the end the April, and the weather in central/southern Spain is just starting to heat up. We are up into the high 20's °C, and it will only get hotter from here. And so I wanted to show you one of the really fun, small ski resorts whilst the snow lasts (only for a short while longer) as well as the natural and expansive countryside around this ski resort in the Sierra de Gredos in Castile and Leon. This part will be an introduction to the area and some fun sights and scenery, and the second part will show you more about the skiing in Spain.
These green, lush and wild mountains are part of the large range known as the Sistema Central, which runs almost 500km through the central area in Spain, from West to East. The Sierra de Gredos is a huge area covering almost 900 square kilometres, and with less than 20,000 people living in the whole area, it's an incredibly quiet, peaceful and tranquil region. It's the ideal place for walking and hiking in the Spring an Summer, and you can even ski here during the colder months.
The highest mountain in this central Spanish zone, Pico Almanzor soars 2591 metres above the green fields, named after the Arabic word for 'victory' and is certainly an achievement to climb this peak, just 100 years after it was first climbed in 1899! There are even two ice routes that you could attempt (only for the very advanced climber) - one of these ice routes is very aptly named 'psychosis' -suggesting something about the mentality of those who attempt this climb!
At the feet of these mountains and hills, you can find the Rosarito Reservoir, which is the ideal scene setter for these natural and somewhat isolated mountains. Extremadura and Castile and Leon are fairly sparsely populated areas for the most part. Castile and Leon on average holds 26 people per square kilometre, with Extremadura having almost exactly the same. These are farming, agriculture and livestock regions, and are absolutely packed with natural beauty.
The entire region is riddled with valleys, gorges, lakes, mountains and cliffs, but the Laguna del Barco was one of my favourite spots in the entire mountain system. From the little village of La Erilla, you can walk up to the Laguna del Barco, and feel entirely surrounded by nature, and away from humanity! The walk is quite a long one, and takes a full day to get up and back down again. Although the walk is quite a hard one, the scenery on the way up and the views of the mountains ans surrounding scenery is astounding.
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