As the leaves begin to fall, autumn offers the perfect opportunity for a little getaway to explore somewhere new and discover some typical autumnal landscapes and activities. Drink in the delightful autumn hues in Spain's numerous forests, pick wild mushrooms and perhaps visit a winery or witness the impressive bellowing of the stag during the rut; there is so much to do in this wonderful season.
If you're a nature fan and you love the beauty of autumn, don't miss some of Spain's most iconic forests. The spectacular beech forest at La Selva de Irati in Navarre, the second largest and the best-kept in the world, is a great example. The Tejera Negra Beech Forest Nature Reserve in Guadalajara is Europe's southernmost beech forest and is right next to the beautiful black villages, another must-see. Or how about Faedo de Ciñera beech forest in León, which has been declared Spain's best-preserved forest. Located in the Montaña Central Leonesa mountain range, the forest is home to beech trees up to 500 years old. In this little haven of tranquillity, time almost seems to stand still.
Mushroom picking is another brilliant autumn activity. The abundant rainfall and mild temperatures typical of the season encourages mushrooms to sprout. The Sierra de Gredos, for example, has one of the most extensive ranges of mushrooms to be found anywhere in Spain. The Sierra de Guadarrama in northern Madrid, the Valles Occidentales Natural Park in the Aragonese Pyrenees, Albarracín and the Serranía de Cuenca and the mushroom region of La Rioja (Autol, Ausejo and Pradejón) are a few other hotspots where you can forage for fungi or just sample some of the broad range of mouthwatering dishes prepared using this little delicacy. And if you want to know even more about mushroom cultivation, the Fungitourism Interpretation Centre in Pradejón is well worth a visit.
Wine and the autumn deer rut
If you're a bit of a wine buff, a trip to La Rioja or the Ribera del Duero region in Castilla y León is practically mandatory. Exploring their wineries and sampling the delicious wines on offer is a treat for the senses, not to mention the stunning sight of the vineyard landscapes you'll enjoy in both regions. Haro, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Cenicero, Logroño, plus Laguardia and Elciego in Vitoria, are just a handful of the best discoveries the Rioja area has to offer. In Ribera del Duero, don't miss Peñafiel, Pesquera de Duero, Valbuena de Duero, all located in Valladolid, and be sure to see Aranda de Duero in Burgos. As well as wineries, pretty much all of these destinations also feature castles, convents, monasteries and even Roman ruins to complement your oenological escapade.
For nature lovers - and animal lovers in particular - the autumn deer rut is a seasonal spectacle not to be missed. You can witness the bellowing of the stag and watch these remarkable creatures stake out their territory for the autumn deer rut in Sierra de la Culebra in Zamora, Sierra de Cazorla in Jaén, Monfragüe National Park in Extremadura, Cabañeros National Park in Ciudad Real/Toledo, Saja-Besaya Natural Park in Cantabria and Los Alcornocales Natural Park in Cádiz. The best time to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience is between late September and mid-October.
At The Singular Space, we’ve handpicked some of the finest examples for your Autumn getaways.