Asturias presents some of the best spots of the Cordillera Cantábrica. This time we are going to focus on Somiedo and Ponga natural parks and mix it up with a visit to the coastal city of Gijón.
|July 31||Transfer Valencia – Ponga (about 8 hours, we’ll make 3 stops along the way)|
|Check-in to the hotel|
|Warm-up hike, Senda del Cartero (easy, 5km)|
|August 1||Drive to Beleño (10 minutes)|
|Hike Valle de Ponga (medium, 10.3km, 450m+)|
|August 2||Drive to Collado Llomena (20 minutes)|
|Hike Pico Pierzu (medium/high, 10.5km, 600m+)|
|Transfer to Gijón|
|August 3||Drive to Villanueva (45 minutes)|
|Hike Desfiladero de las Xanas (medium, 12.8km, 480m+)|
|August 4||Transfer to Pola de Somiedo (1.5 hours)|
|Check in to the hotel|
|Hike Pico Cornón (medium/high, 16km, 650m+)|
|August 5||Drive to Saliencia|
|Hike Lagos de Saliencia (medium, 15km, 150m+, 400m-)|
|Trip finale dinner|
|August 6||Return to Valencia (about 8 hours)|
Ponga Natural Park
Ponga Natural Park is located in the central-eastern sector of the Cantabrian Cordillera. Nested between the Picos de Europa National Park and the Redes Natural Park, it is a spectacular place. A fantastic natural space that will delight lovers of nature, hiking trails and fairytale landscapes. Without a doubt, Ponga Natural Park is one of the best places to see in Asturias. A little-known corner where you can enjoy some fantastic days in the most absolute calm, discovering each of its corners.
Parque Natural de Ponga (Asturias) | Sitios de España
Pierzu is an excellent viewpoint of Ponga, being the northernmost peak of the Arcenorio range. The first section is comfortable, combining areas with more vegetation and other more exposed, and where in the middle of the track we will find a good spring. This track continues until it reaches an old quarry, where it ends and starts an ascending path to the right. This road passes over the quarry and zigzags until reaching the Cantu d’Aranga, where we we will find some lonely thorn. From this point it begins to see below to the left the valley of Aranga and the small lake of the same name, while you continue advancing along the rope until you reach the sheepfold de Cerboes (1,258 m), made up of several cabins and a group of ash trees.
We advance to the cabin that is located in the highest area of the sheepfold and closer to the rock, where we take a path that starts at the right and that goes up a short rocky stretch to the Pierzu peak (1,552 m).
Once at the top, the excellent views are amazing. The last mountains to the north correspond to the Sierra del Sueve, and closer is spot populations of Ponga, such as Cazu or Ambingue, and of Amieva, such as Pen and Cirieñu. To the east, the views of the western massif of Picos de Europa, the Cornión massif, and to the south, the highest altitudes of Put, Ten and Pileñes. To the west rises the Tiatordos.
Ruta del Valle de Ponga PR.AS-213 – Pico Pierzu
Somiedo Natural Park
The natural park is made up of four main valleys that correspond to the four most important rivers that flow through the territory: Somiedo, Pigüeña, Valle and Saliencia.
There are also numerous lakes and lagoons, among which Saliencia Lakes (La Cueva, Calabazosa and Cerveriz) at 1,600 meters above sea level, and the Valle Lake stand out, due to their size and location. The latter is the largest in Asturias, located at an altitude of 1,580 m at the foot of the Picos Albos and Peña La Mortera. In its origins it had much smaller dimensions than the current ones, but the reservoir of the waters with a view to producing electricity in the La Malva power plant has caused its subsequent enlargement.
There is a pronounced altimetric difference in the area, which ranges between 2,194 m at El Cornón peak and 400 m at Aguasmestas. As a result, the landscape appears upholstered with rotational pastures or brañas, where the teito cabins have been built. The main economic activity of Somiedo continues to be livestock. However, the declaration of a Natural Park has meant a notable increase in touristic sector.
Lagos de Saliencia
There are more than a hundred lakes and lagoons that dot the Principality of Asturias, but the three lakes of Saliencia may take the cake. Somiedo is one of the five Natural Parks of Asturias and is home to a dozen lakes, including the largest and deepest in the Cantabrian Mountains. Due to the environment in which they are registered, they have little or nothing to envy to the mythical Lakes of Covadonga. We go in search of these lakes through spectacular glacial valleys, along the P.R. AS-15.
There are no words to describe them. You have to see them. The Saliencia lakes are a diamond in the rough, one of the meccas of the Asturian landscape. The fact that you have to walk a long way to discover them keeps them away from mass tourism. Hiking lovers are the ones who carry an unrepeatable image on their retinas, like a jackpot.
Romans lived the Hispania dream from Thermal Baths overlooking the sea. This was in Gijón, just under the esplanade outside the Church of San Pedro, one of the most beautiful urban vantage points on the entire Asturian coastline. But Gijón/Xixón had already come into being some time before the Romans at the hands of a tribe of cauldron makers, who likewise lived a dream -that of metal-making- overlooking the sea, sealing Gijón’s fate as a city forever linked to metallurgy, coal, industry, science, energy and art.
With a fishing port and industrial docks as well as a marina, Gijón/Xixón offers travellers a city with a unique “green” setting, featuring the Atlantic Botanical Gardens and Laboral, City of Culture with its Centre for Art and Industrial Creation.
Desfiladero de las Xanas
One of the best known routes in Asturias, and no wonder… This gorge cut into the rock by the Las Xanas stream is a spectacle for the eyes and the camera. In it we can discover, if we look closely, stalactites from old caves opened in the limestone and that the river cut, exposing them.
At the bottom of the valley, under our feet, a typical riverside forest develops, of which we can only see the tops from the air; above, in the areas where the limestone has almost no soil, in its cracks, it is the holm oaks that barely survive.
Iron mining left its mark on us in the area in an old mine whose mouth we found in the middle of the route. As we ascend, we leave the gorge behind, to enter the forest, first, and the green pastures, later, which will culminate next to the church of Pedroveya, where we can sit down to eat a sandwich if we do not have a reserved table in the town and enjoy an idyllic landscape.
Ruta de Las Xanas | Turismo Asturias
July 31 – August 2 La Casona de Mestas
Located within Ponga Nature Reserve, La Casona de Mestas features a natural thermal spring pool set within a cave. Opening onto beautiful gardens, this charming Asturian country house opens onto a terrace with great views of the surrounding mountains and Ponga River. The rustic rooms at La Casona de Mestas have attractive, pastel-coloured décor. All rooms have heating and a private bathroom with free toiletries. You can enjoy traditional Asturian cuisine in the Mestas restaurant, which specialises in game dishes. There is also a café, a lounge with a TV and a library.
August 2 – August 4 Hotel Alcomar
This hotel boasts a great location overlooking the seafront promenade, at the heart of the city of Gijón, in the northern region of Asturias. Hotel Alcomar is decorated in an elegant and classic-continental style. Enjoy the fantastic views of San Lorenzo beach, or onto Calle San Bernardo one of the principal shopping streets in the city. The Alcomar has a family-run atmosphere, which will help you relax while on holiday. A continental breakfast is served every morning.
August 4 – August 6 Casa Cesáreo
Surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of Somiedo Nature Reserve, Pensión Casa Cesáreo offers views of the valleys and mountains in Pola de Somiedo. The guest house includes an on-site bar. Heated rooms are decorated simply decorated and with brightly coloured walls. They include free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom. Casa Cesáreo’s bar serves a range of Spanish tapas. A small selection of restaurants is also available in Pola de Somiedo.
The price of the trip is 765 Euros per person (1475 Euros for a couple). 150 euros paid in advance to reserve the spot; balance due by 7th of July (free cancellation till 10th of July). The price includes transportation, six nights of accommodation, insurance and a professional guide.
Members get a 15-euro discount.
The price is for a person sharing a twin room. You can reserve a single room for additional 175 euros.
It is possible to sign up till 7th of July. Payment by bank transfer.
You can use the button below to reserve your spot / get more info about the trip or contact us by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org