The high tourist season has passed, the air is crisp and the leaves are turning glorious shades of red, mahogany and burnt orange. Fall has arrived in Spain! With the hot summer months behind us, fall is one of the most gorgeous times of the year to visit Spain and take in its natural beauty. From the serene natural parks, dramatic mountain ranges, royal gardens and vineyards that stretch out as far as the eye can see, Spain’s vibrant fall foliage comes in many different forms throughout the county. The good news? Whether you’re a tree hugger or a city dweller, there’s a fall destination for you. To help you decide where to go, we’ve highlighted some of our favorites:

The Mountains of Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park (Aragón)

Mountaineers, rejoice! Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park in Aragón is a nature reserve comprised of towering mountains, crystal clear streams, river beds, green meadows and waterfalls. With a wide range of ecosystems influenced by both the Atlantic and Mediterranean, a hike through the Pyrenees mountains will lead you to some utterly breathtaking views. Get a bird’s eye view and watch the rainbow mountains change colors with the season, or simply admire the tall evergreen trees that align the intricate network of hiking paths. For the extreme hikers, we challenge you to make it all the way to the top of Monte Perdido, the highest limestone peak in Europe, standing proudly at 3335 meters high! Other beautiful national parks to check out this fall: Saja-Besaya Natural Park and Pagoeta Natural Park, Somiedo Nature Reserve.

The Forest of Faedo de Ciñera (León)

Walking through the Faedo de Ciñero forest in Leòn is like walking through a fall fairytale. Maybe you’re in Narnia, or maybe Little Red Riding Hood…let your imagination sweep you away as you stroll through the wooded paths covered in golden leaves that have fallen from the surrounding beech trees. It might be one of Spain’s smaller forests, but it’s been called by many as the “best cared for wood in Spain”, full of trees that have been around for over 500 years. Other beautiful forests to check out this fall: Irati Forest, Beech Forest of La Pedrosa, Hayedo de Peña Roya beech forest in Moncayo Natural Park.

The Vineyards of La Rioja (La Rioja)

Prefer a glass of wine over a hike? We get it! There are stunning fall views for you too! One of the most beautiful times to visit La Rioja wine region is in the fall. The leaves of the vineyards change colors to a magnificent array of earth tones and the air is pleasantly brisk. We recommend not only visiting the vineyards of La Rioja, but the villages that lie in the heart of the wine country landscape. Some villages to explore are Briñas, Viniegra de Abajo, San Millán de la Cogolla and San Vicente de la Sonsierra.

The Royal Gardens of Aranjuez (Madrid)

For those city dwellers out there who want a taste of the beautiful fall foliage without going too far from the city limits, visit the the royal Gardens of Aranjuez. South of Madrid in the suburban town of Aranjuez sits this royal landscape, where art and nature coincide. During the 17th and 18th century, these geometrically designed gardens served as the playground for Spanish kings and queens. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stroll through the maze of greenery, grand fountains and marble statues while taking in the array of colors on the surrounding trees. With landscapes so gorgeous, it’s hard not to “fall” for Spain! Wouldn’t you agree?

Written by: Casie Tennin Oct 5, 2017

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