The beech forests of Montejo (Madrid), Tejera Negra (Castilla – La Mancha), Lizardoa and Aztaparreta (Navarre), and Cuesta Fría and Canal de Asotín (Castilla y León) are part of the “Ancient and Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and Other Regions of Europe”, declared a collective World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Beech forests are famous for their beauty, especially in autumn. In these vast woodlands, dominated by beech and other deciduous trees, human activity is barely noticeable. In October and November they turn to almost infinite shades of ochre and red, and many local towns and villages organise tours and activities relating to the beech forests at this time of year. If you plan to visit, remember that many of them must be booked in advance. Beech forest of Castilla – La Mancha: the Tejera Negra beech forest is 150 kilometres from Madrid, and you will need to reserve a parking space in advance. There are two circular walking routes and a visitors’ centre. Beech forest of the Community of Madrid: the Montejo beech forest, about 100 kilometres from Madrid, includes part of the Sierra del Rincón Biosphere Reserve. Booking is essential, and you can do it up to three months in advance. Beech forests of Navarre: the Lizardoia beech forest is part of the popular Irati Forest, and close to its visitors’ centre (Casa de Irati, in Ochagavía), which organises guided tours and offers information on mountain bike routes. The Aztaparreta beech forest is part of the Roncal Valley and very close to the Larra-Belagua ski resort, in the heart of the Pyrenees. Beech forests of Castilla y León: the beech forests of Cuesta Fría and Canal de Asotín are in León’s share of the Picos de Europa National Park. The park hiking route “Through the villages of Sajambre” covers the beech forest area and is an easy walk. It is about 125 kilometres from the cities of Oviedo and León.