El Cuélebre, cursos de español en inmersión en Somiedo, España

El Cuélebre

Spanish immersion programs (Asturias, Northern Spain)

The climate of Somiedo

The green Spain

Somiedo Natural Park is located in Asturias, an autonomous region that is part of the so-called Green Spain. This means that the climate that surrounds our Spanish courses is not the climate typically associated with Spain, characterised by sun, heat and dryness.

 

Cantabrian Mountains

The climate in Asturias varies quite a lot depending on the altitude, which becomes higher as we move away from the sea. The further south we move away from the coast, the more altitude we gain, until we reach the highest point, which generally coincides with the border with the province of León. The Cantabrian Mountain Range, in the heart of which we are located, runs parallel to the coast, some 20-40 kilometres away from it, from the Basque Country to Galicia.

Near the sea, in the north of Spain, the climate is similar to that of the west coast of France (it would also be similar to that of the south of England, but about 3ºC o 4ºC warmer). As we move inland and away from the coast, the altitude increases, we enter the mountains, and there, things start to change dramatically. As you go up, the precipitation increases and the temperature normally drops, although the air also becomes drier, and it gets sunnier.

La Peral

La Peral is in the highest part of the Somiedo Natural Park, which in turn is in the heart of the mountain range, in the centre-west of it. Our house – in La Peral – is at an altitude of 1,350 metres. At this altitude, in Asturias, the climate is similar to that of some of the high mountain areas of the Pyrenees (especially the more Atlantic parts) or even to that of some medium-low altitude areas of the Alps. As you can see, we are very, very far from the Spain of the sun and the warmth of the Mediterranean postcards.

La Peral, as we said, is at the top of the mountains, on the north side, five minutes away from the Somiedo mountain pass, almost on the border with Castilla y León. The climate in the southern part of the Cantabrian Mountains (provinces of León and Palencia) is more continental, somewhat colder, but also drier and sunnier than on the northern slopes. In La Peral we have a somewhat intermediate climate: sunnier than in the lower areas towards the north, but not as cold as in the south of the mountain range (although we also have less sunshine and a little more rain and snow than in the León side). The influence of the sea is an important factor to take into account. The Gulf Stream affects us, and this means that temperatures are by no means extreme, neither the minimum nor the maximum. It is very rare for minimum temperatures to be less than 3 or 4 degrees below zero (Celsius) in winter, or for maximum temperatures to exceed 25 degrees during the summer.

The four seasons

We can say that the climate and natural environment of the high parts of Somiedo would be almost perfect to teach children at school what are the typical characteristics of the four seasons of the year.

El weather in spring(April, May and June) is very variable, with wonderful sunny days and mild, even warm temperatures, but also with periods, generally short, of rain and some wind, even of snow in the month of April. Spring in Somiedo is sometimes a delight for the senses, full of life, colour, flowers, birds singing… But it can also show a more rigorous and wintry face.

(Averages for the month of May: Maximum 15ºC / Minimum 6ºC)

 

The summer (July, August and September) is dry, with blue skies, very stable, with the possibility of the occasional thunderstorms or late afternoon or evening mists. However, in general we can say that the summer weather in La Peral is really pleasant, with temperatures that can be a little cool at night, but hardly ever hot during the day.

(Averages for the month of August: Maximum 22ºC / Minimum 11ºC)

 

Autumn (October, November, December) is the typical autumn of textbooks, songs and literature: melancholic, beautiful and rainy. If in spring we get enraptured by the colours of the flowers, by the green freshness – almost fluorescent – of the first leaves and grass, in autumn it can sometimes be even moving to watch the spectacle of the withering of the leaves, of their progressive daily variations in tones and textures. The delight in the eye reaches its peak when the slow dying of the leaves coincides with the first whites of the snows, high up in the peaks of Asturias and Leon.

(Average for the month of October: Maximum 14,5ºC / Minimum 7ºC)

 

Winter* (January, February, March) can be harsh, with naked trees, and very often white. In the winter of Somiedo solitude, space, peace and calmness prevail. Snowfalls in the higher areas are irregular -some winters come with little snow-, but they can be intense, even impressive. Winter in the Cantabrian Mountains is not like winter in the Alps or the Pyrenees. Although there is generally some snow, the valleys here are narrow and deep, and the mountains do not reach such high altitudes (the highest peaks range between 2,000 and 2,500 metres high). This means that, as we said, snowfall is very irregular, far from guaranteed, which is why, although there are some ski resorts, they are much smaller and humbler than the Alpine or Pyrenean ones. Winter is therefore not a high season for tourism. However, this in no way means that it is lacking in beauty or charm. The snow leaves beautiful landscapes, periods high pressure can sometimes be prolonged, and they sometimes give us days of extraordinary, almost blinding luminosity, with the sun and the blue sky above our heads, under our feet the immaculate white mantle of a snow that is very rarely trodden on, marked or stained by human presence. The clear nights, especially when there is a full moon, allow you to wander through dreamlike, almost magical landscapes.

(Average for the month of February: Maximum 6ºC / Minimum -0,5ºC)

*(We don’t know if this will continue to be the case in the future, but we are not currently running winter courses. Our availability starts at the beginning of March and ends at the end of December, January and February are not available).

 

EL CUÉLEBRE IS IN A STRATEGIC LOCATION.

The location of La Peral, right on the border between the north and the south slopes of the Cantabrian Mountains, makes it a strategic place, exceptional for planning excursions or walks. A few kilometres in one or other direction usually implies very big differences in weather conditions and scenery. This fact gives us enormous versatility when planning our outdoor activities, which are mainly characterised by walks, always adapted to the capabilities and tastes of our clients, and centred on the practice of the Spanish language and all that the best that the nature of the north of Spain has to offer.

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