Photography holiday in Picos de Europa, Spain
Description of Photography holiday in Picos de Europa, Spain
The Picos de Europa National Park in northern Spain is a pristine landscape, reminiscent of parts of Tolkeinís Middle Earth. Jagged, knife-edged peaks and ridges rise above alpine meadows and dense ancient forests where bears, wild boar and wolves still roam and thrive. In some places the evaporating morning mists reveal abandoned villages that mark the historic human retreat from these areas.
Despite its stunning scenery, the wilder areas of the park tend to have few visitors, making them ideal for photographers looking for unspoiled scenic vistas and some iconic shots. Our trips through this area will also take in inhabited but sleepy villages where a strong Celtic culture still prevails. We will be staying in local hotels, managed by families we have known for years, whose buildings are set in picturesque areas of the park.
We will also be taking the short drive to the northern coast, known as the Costa Verde, to admire and photograph the outstanding rock architecture that nature has generously provided there. The rocky cliffs, sandy bays and beaches are in many ways similar to the coastline of Cornwall.
If you have a sense of adventure, a love of dramatic and unspoiled scenery, and a curiosity to observe and absorb the offerings of this hospitable culture, then this may be the photographic holiday for you. Our expert guides and photography tutor will be on hand to help you get the most out your time and equipment. As you travel around with us you will be provided with excellent local food, vast quantities of locally brewed cider, great company, and repeated opportunities to create a fine collection of images. Those who have done this trip before may want to note that this year we have a new and improved itinerary that takes in areas we have not visited before.
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6 Reviews of Photography holiday in Picos de Europa, Spain
Reviewed on 13 Nov 2017 by Esther AndrewsThere were lots of memorable moments. - The people. The small group. The competent and caring leaders. The snow!! The autumn colours. The slug! Being somewhere very different from my subtropical Aus. Read full review
Reviewed on 23 Jan 2014 by Shane WoodsGreat time. Interesting locations. I got a lot of hands on time with the knowledgeable instructors. I ended up looking at certain things I'd never considered before, and have taken that knowledge home with me as I take photos here. Read full review
Reviewed on 12 Nov 2013 by D SmithVery good, I learned a lot. The small group size was perfect for a photography holiday and despite being very full in terms of activities was also very relaxing. Food very large portions and good range of choice. Read full review
Reviewed on 11 Nov 2013 by Maureen FidkinThe mountainous landscape of the Picos de Europa was stunning...lots of photographic help and advice was available for anyone who wished to take it and each participant was treated as an individual at their own level of expertise. Read full review
Reviewed on 01 Nov 2012 by Kym BarlowSuperb locations and expert tution made this a holiday to remember. Both Geraldine and Martin were friendly, approachable, knowledgeable and tirelessly patient Read full review
Reviewed on 30 Oct 2012 by Bert HandI would rate the holiday with full marks! The organisers, (Geraldine and Martin) were extremely patient, always on hand to answer questions, and the trip was extremely well organised. Highly recommended! Read full review
PlanetWe only use transport where necessary, most of the time we prefer to travel on foot. Vehicles such as quad bikes and motor bikes are becoming increasingly popular in the Picos mountains, they pollute the environment with noise and fumes, destroying fragile land...we urge you to please think twice before choosing to travel in the mountains this way. We will only use local agents who do not have any involvement in providing quad biking activities, for example Alfredo Gago UIAGM guide from Guia Trek Ojedo, Cantabria who offers many exciting activities such as Canyoning, Canoeing, Rock Climbing, Mountaineering and Trekking.
All of our service suppliers are informed of our responsible travel policy which is clearly visible on our website.
Out in the field
We encourage you to travel responsibly and to consider the following guidelines:
- When out in wild places we encourage you to keep erosion to a minimum, keep to footpaths and avoid stepping on or picking native flora.
- Protect the environment Ė its flora, fauna and landscapes. We encourage you to use water sparingly particularly often in Spain it is a precious and expensive commodity. Additionally avoid buying plastic bottles of water and use your own metal or heavy-duty plastic bottle such as Nalgene to refil with water from a safe source, there are many Fuentes (water fountains) in the Picos.
- River water could also be drinking water, do not contaminate water supplies by washing in it. Any washing products should be phosphate free.
- Respect local customs religion and traditions. Adhere to local dress codes.
- Carry out some research about your holiday destination and being able to speak a few words of the Spanish language is always appreciated.
- Donít take photographs of local people and places of religious significance without permission.
- Keep promises! Send copies of photos to local people if this is what you have said you will do.
- Buy local products such as food and souvenirs so that money directly benefits the community.
- Minimize pollution, and carry out all litter. We stay often in remote mountain refugios and this principle is especially important here as most provisions are carried in by horse and in rucksacks on peopleís backs with maybe just one helicopter drop per season.
We recommend that you visit our links page where you will find comprehensive information on travel, health and the environmental environmental concerns, of the Picos de Europa, for example a business consortium, backed by regional government, is threatening the continued, precarious survival of the Cantabrian brown bear, already catalogued as in danger of extinction in Spain. An unsustainable project to build a ski resort in an important corridor of access for the last remaining bears in the region of the San Glorio pass in the Cordillera may still be given approval.
Wherever possible we work electronically, we are totally web based and our paper use is minimal.
PeopleKnowing that tourism is an important source of income for the areas that we visit, our responsible travel policy demonstrates our active commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism. Our holidays visit places that are less frequented by tourists; both our departures to the area are outside the main tourist season so our economic contribution on both counts is especially welcome.
Our transport will be local and we always use small family run hotels, guesthouses, hostels and mountain refugios. Many of our connections with these local providers of accommodation and transport go back many years. For example Sante and Aurora own the family hotel that we use in Espinama, they grow their own vegetables which Aurora uses in her cooking for the hotel guests. A large proportion of her meat and fish is from local providers, tourism is a relatively recent development. Aurora and Sante still have deep connections with the land.
Many of our other providers are from farming families, our taxi driverís family owns 200 cows and she knows the names of each one. The area is well known for its traditional farming methods; old meadows are scythed and livestock moved to the high pastures for summer so carrying out the age old practice of transhumance. The Picos de Europa are particularly famous in Spain for the production of many different cheeses and other dairy products, fruit trees proliferate and local shops and markets have a huge variety of local produce available. Each day we buy fresh local produce to make picnic lunches. There is always an English speaking local guide with a wealth of local knowledge leading the holiday.
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