The Landscape of Babia hides an incomparable beauty … come and discover it
San Emiliano, protected by the massif of Peña Ubiña, 2,417 meters high, one of the highest mountains in the Cantabrian Mountains that divides the Principality of Asturias from the province of León.
The landscape of Babia invites to the tranquility and the tranquility with its high mountains, defiles, valleys, prairies and lakes of glacier origin. It has a very diverse flora with endemic species like the babiana saxífraga or the Cantabrian salix, and between its fauna the gray partridge, the hare of the worse one or the griffon vulture. In its forests they inhabit species like the chamois, the boar, the wolf, the vulture or the hawk.
We can not speak of the landscapes of Babia without hinting at transhumance. Babia is a land of transhumant shepherds, always looking for the best pastures and the freshest, some of the best summer harbors are located in the Leon mountain.
The valley of San Emiliano preserves interesting rural centers. Among them stands out the group of Riolago de Babia, with its Renaissance palace of the Quiñones and its sober walled enclosure.
Valleys and mountains where the rivers Luna and Sil are born with infinite pastures around and peaks covered with snow, resulting in a unique landscape and a great biodiversity. The serenity that Babia conveys gives rise to the famous expression “being in Babia”, referring to being distracted and quiet, unconcerned with worries. It is said that the kings of Leon during the Middle Ages chose this place to rest and get away from the problems of the court. For them it was a paradise with roe deer, bears and wild boars. These absences of the king motivated the restlessness of the subjects and when they asked for him they were told “The King is in Babia” with which was implied that he did not want to know anything about anybody.
In 2004, UNESCO registered a total of 38,018 hectares of the region of Babia as a Biosphere Reserve, which aims to raise awareness of the use of natural resources and sustainable development, as well as to conserve and protect biodiversity, as well as development Economic and human development of these areas, research, education and the exchange of information between the different reserves, forming a global network. As of 2014, there are 631 Biosphere Reserves in 119 different countries and Babia is one of them.
If the province of Leon has one of the highest densities of Biosphere Reserves in the world – a total of seven – Babia is among the seven, which makes this landscape an unparalleled natural refuge. The beauty of the landscape of Babia consists of grasslands that grow in high harbors and a vegetation that preserves oak, beech and pine forests.
Its scientific name is calocybe gambosa, but commonly is known by diverse names like small dog, Saint George’s mushroom or spring mushroom. It is an edible mushroom very appreciated in the north of Spain and also in the region of Babia, where there is a mycological Association that drives the management of the mushrooms of San Jorge and regulates in a sustainable way the collection, since it is a mushroom highly appreciated gastronomically And reaches high prices in the market.
It is called the San Jorge mushroom because it is visible from April 23 for its forests and prairies and the collection of this mushroom is an economic income in the area. In Babia is considered as a real delicacy, it becomes an attraction for restaurants and gastronomy in general. She is the queen of the northern mushrooms, the best mushroom of the beginning of the year. It has health benefits, produces a hypoglycemic effect, making it a natural remedy for diabetes.
In Babia we find many points of geological interest, one of the most impressive we can see from the Bridge of Pigeons: the river catch of the river Luna by the Sil. Due to their location and uniqueness they have a high tourist, didactic and scientific interest.
Geology has played an important role in the configuration of the extensive babianas prairies, thanks to the presence of certain rocks and their alteration have formed nutrient rich soils, characteristic of the whole region. The nature of the rocks and how they are organized guarantee active fountains throughout the summer, which makes them have such fresh grasses.
The rocks and landscape of Babia tell a story linked to ice, when more than 30,000 years ago there was a great glaciation that left a mark on the Babinian landscape.
The hunting of this wonderful animal such as the Cantabrian chamois in Babia, takes place in the port of Ventana located in the Cantabrian Mountains at an altitude of 1,586 meters. The chamois is found in the steepest areas of limestone that characterize these mountains. The valleys are protected by peaks that exceed 2,000 meters. The best time for hunting the chamois is late October to early November.
León is the Spanish province with more trucheros rivers and Babia has one of them, the extraordinary river Moon, which runs through the valley. The Luna River and the Torrestío are united, and at the beginning, in the high zone there are calm waters that have a lot of trout.
The Luna River goes down along the road and there we can also find the table of “Las Cuevas”, with abundant trout and good weight. In turn, the two banks of the river are full of poplars with leafy leaves that give shade to the fisherman.