The 10,603.57 square kilometers of the Principality of Asturias stand out in all its extension for its beautiful natural landscapes and the history that awaits for the hiking lovers.
Located to the North of the Iberian Peninsula and bathed by the Bay of Biscay, Asturias is geologically the most mountainous region of Spain, which is always good news for us walkers. And there are always pleasant temperatures that allow us to escape from the intense summer heat.
So from Walkaholic we present you 6 hiking routes that you should visit in Asturias, convinced that you will enjoy them in full.
El desfiladero de los Arrudos
Located in the Redes Natural Park, the desfiladero de los Arrudos (Arrudos gorge route) is one of the major natural attractions of the Principality of Asturias. Throughout it we can admire how the water has opened its path in the limestone, creating wonderful valleys and gorges.
The presence of the Atlantic forests, always beautiful but perfect in autumn, also stands out in this path. In addition to the beech forests, there are also pastoral sheds and the Ubales Lake, the only one that can be accessed in the Redes Natural Park near the Cascayón peak, with 1,954 meters of height.
The route of the Arrudos Gorge starts at Caleao and ends at La Fontona. Although it has around 22 kilometers in total, since it is of low difficulty and the slope is only about 400 meters it can be traveled in around 4 hours.
The Bear Path
If you do not mind sharing the road with cyclists, this route is ideal for hikers and has the honor of being the most visited greenway in Asturias. This is not a serious problem, since the Bear Path (Senda del Oso in Spanish) has enough natural and ethnographic richness for everyone.
The Senda del Oso is linked to the mining past of the area, since it was built as a railroad section to transport coal from the towns of Proaza and Teverga to Trubia. After a century of exploitation, the road was abandoned.
Now, it has been taken advantage of the 22 kilometers that separate Tuñón from Entrago as an asphalted road with a protective fence to practice sports while admiring the flora and fauna, the monuments of the area or taking alternative routes.
The whole route is signposted and there are many informative banners. Do not forget to visit the Asturian bears “Paca” and “Molina” in a sanctuary next to the path. That site is managed by the Oso de Asturias Foundation.
El desfiladero de Xanas
With an approximate round-trip length of 8 km, this path goes between Villanueva to Pedroveya. Since it is of low difficulty, it can be travelled in 2-3 hours. This time is enough to cross the natural gorge and return to the starting point.
This magical route lives up to its name, since the Xana is the Asturian fairy, who lives in rivers and fountains. Therefore, it is not surprising that in this journey there is a lot of water, which help to endure the summer temperatures.
Another route that you must take into account is PR-AS-187 Route, it has a circular route of approximately 10 km. You just need to link with the Valdolayés Route that starts next to Pedroveya and that will take you almost to the starting point of the Xanas route.
La ruta de las majadas (The route of the sheepfolds)
Immersed in the deep silence of the Picos de Europa National Park, pastoral herds are resting places for shepherds and sheep in the midst of mountainous landscapes and high lakes.
Going through them is a true feast for the eyes and a return to our oldest roots. This route has approximately 25 kilometers, linking Covadonga Lakes to the Poncebos town in Cabrales.
The route of the sheepfolds will allow you a day of rest from the hectic modern life: it takes almost nine hours to reach the ending point.
La Vega de Orandi
This route has about 8 km and a slope of 700 meters, to be walked in 4 hours through one of the most amazing places in the Asturian orography.
Taking as a starting point the Covadonga sanctuary, we can admire La Santina cave, where a waterfall comes from the Orandi. In his backwater we must not forget to leave a coin, so our prayers can be heard.
The route traces the path by climbing Mount Auseva, to look for the source of the fountain that feeds the praying place. The very name of the mountain tells us that the Vega de Orandi is a sacred place: «mount on the divinized water».
Covadonga is also the burial place of Don Pelayo and Alfonso I, the Catholic, two of the Kings of Asturias. So their tombs in the Holy Cave are other places that you must check.
Las aguas bravas del Alba (The Alba whitewaters)
The Alba route, parallel to the homonymous river, is one of the walks that most bring us closer to the Asturian nature. It has an approximate round trip length of 16 km, with a slope of 380 meters to be traveled in just over 5 hours.
It was a shepherds and muleteers’ path that linked the Sobrescobio town with the council of Aller. After, the route was used to move iron from the Carmen mine on the Llaímo mountain.
It is precisely in the Llaímo fora that the road gains in beauty, thanks to its beech forest. You can find there deer, chamois, wild boar, roe deer, wolves and grouses. The fauna of the Alba River itself is not far behind, rich in aquatic blackbirds, trout and funny otters.
The Route of the Alba is contained within the Redes Natural Park, Biosphere Reserve since 2001.
Of course, this is just a sample of the many routes that a hiker can travel in Asturias. Other beautiful routes that you should take into account are the Cares route, the Archdeacon trail and many others.
But if you have a favorite route and it is not on our list, do not hesitate to mention it in a comment so that we can all benefit from your experience. Who knows? Maybe one of these days we will meet on the road, traveling the best routes in Asturias.
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