This guided tour takes you into Asturias’ Natural Parks to find Cantabrian brown bears (Ursus arctos arctos). Due to various conservation measures, the number of brown bears in Asturias has tripled in the last decades. Nowadays, over 300 individuals roam Asturias’ dense woodlands and rugged mountains. And their number is growing! That, together with the presence of an experienced official guide, gives you a high chance to spot brown bears in Asturias!
Brown bears in Asturias’ mountains and natural parks
You will meet your specialized wildlife guide in Somiedo Natural Park, famous for brown bear observation. The guide’s knowledge about recent sightings and the behavior of bears increases your chance of observing them. However, this can never be guaranteed. If seeing bears is the main purpose of your visit to Asturias, we advise you to plan at least two days to try to find these iconic animals.
You will have an unforgettable day in the Asturian nature. Your private guide tells you everything about the brown bears, their habitat and their role in the ecosystem. He also has many stories and anecdotes about the relationship between bears and the people of Asturias. There’s also a chance to spot bear traces like footprints. Furthermore, there’s a high chance to spot other animals: red deer (Cervus elaphus ), chamois (Rupicabra rupicabra), wild boars (Sus scrofa), badgers (Meles meles) and beech martens (Marten foina). There’s even a possibility to encounter other rare mammals such as wolves (Canis lupus) and European wildcat (Felis silvestris)!
A bit of background on Cantabrian brown bears in Asturias
The brown bear present on the European continent is a relative of the North American grizzly bear. The subspecies ‘Iberian brown bear’ is present in two different geographical and genetical populations: in the Pyrenees (around 40 individuals) and in the Cantabrian mountains (around 300 individuals). The latter, in turn, is divided into two subpopulations: the eastern (Palencia, Cantabria and Asturias with over 40 bears) and the western one (Galicia, Leon and Asturias with over 250 bears).
Natural Park Somiedo is home to the largest number of brown bears on the Iberian Peninsula. Thus, if you want to observe these majestic animals, book this tour with us for an unforgettable experience!
Want to read more about brown bears in Asturias? Read our blog!
You will meet your private guide in Pola de Somiedo, a village at the foot of the Natural Park Somiedo and easily accessible by car. The tour takes place in the afternoon and evening. It consists of a combination of driving, very short walks and spending time at bear observation points. Your personal guide has a background in environmental sciences and years of experience in wildlife observation. Therefore, he can tell you everything about brown bears in Asturias, their role in the natural environment and in the Asturian culture. Moreover, he’ll explain the genesis of the area that you’re in and points you at typical landscape elements. You’ll have ample opportunity to enjoy the views on the typical bear habitat here: rugged rocks with caves and open areas of wild flowers, grass, blueberry bushes and bright purple heather between mixed woodlands of beech, oak, ash, and cherry. There’s also a high chance to spot other wildlife such as red deer (Cervus elaphus ) and chamois (Rupicabra rupicabra).