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The Ruta del Cares: Seven-Hour Megahike

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Looking for a Hotel in the Picos de Europa?

The Picos de Europa are a huge mountain range that straddles the border between Asturias, Cantabria and León, just twenty kilometers from the ocean, and a paradise for mountain climbers, nature lovers and hikers.

Sun Hike

Juergen and I fall into that latter group for sure, so we embarked on the most famous hike through the Picos: The Ruta del Cares. Connecting the tiny villages of Poncebos and Caín, it’s a 24km, seven-hour roundtrip hike. That’s a lot, but the seven hours are packed with breathtaking nature, and fairly easy.

The river Cares has carved an immense and exhilaratingly narrow canyon into the Picos. The route travels alongside the river, high up into the mountains, through tunnels and along cliff faces. It was developed in the early 20th century for workers of the Electra de Viesgo company, who needed to reach the canal which still runs between the two villages. The hike has since become incredibly popular, and welcomes over 200,000 adventurers a year.

The Ruta del Cares starts with a long ascent, and before long we were high above the river. It leveled out from there, as we entered the canyon. I experienced some mild vertigo. In such a narrow canyon gap with sheer cliff faces towering high over your head and the river so far below, it’s easy to become disoriented.

There were long stretches through dark tunnels, over bridges high above the river, and we passed by a few waterfalls. By the time we reached Caín, we were exhausted but in great spirits. The first half of the hike had gone quickly by and, after a quick lunch, I didn’t dread the thought of returning the same way. The chance to see the canyon again was a powerful incentive.

If you’re fit enough and enjoy the outdoors, don’t miss this hike. But try and pick an off-season day during the week, as the route is truly popular and, on summer weekends, the number of people can be overwhelming.

Location of Poncebos (Start)
Plan of the Hike in Wikiloc
Detailed Info in Spanish on the Hike

Mist Land
Rio Asturias
Rio Picos de Europa
Picos de Europa Hike
Ruta del Cares
No Bikers Allowed
Dizzy
Dangerous Hike
Gefahr Wandern
Hiking Routes Picos
Fall Asturias
Exciting Hike
China in Spain
Hiking
Tunnel Hiking Asturias
Welcome to Leon
Waterfall
Wandern Asturias
On Nom Nom
Wet Land
Wet
Splish Splash
Sidra IN leon
Wandern
Picos de Europa
Play of Light
Travel Stock Photographer

Asturias Guide

Hiking Insurance
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October 20, 2010 at 8:39 pm Comments (6)

El Lago del Valle in Somiedo

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Looking for a Hotel in Somiedo?

During our recent day trip to Somiedo, we found ourselves with time for a long walk. After parking our car in Valle del Lago, we hiked to Lago del Valle. Now that’s some clever toponymy.

Somiedo Lake

Uninspiring name aside, the Lake of the Valley is a beautiful bit of nature. The hike takes about 90 minutes if you walk without pause, and is enchanting from beginning to end. Following the low-lying valley, the walk is easy enough and affords views of mountainsides, beechwood forests and a small river. We walked by teitas, the stone huts with straw roofs so indicative of Somiedo, and past herds of cattle.

Eventually, we arrived at the lake. Almost completely enclosed by mountains, and with a small island in its center, it’s far enough away from civilization to be quiet and unspoiled. The Lago del Valle is the largest lake in Asturias, but still small enough to walk around in 30 minutes. We sat for awhile on the shore, under the searing sun, before heading back to the village, and soaked in the nature. It’s amazing how rejuvenating a place like this can be.

Location of the Lago del Valle on our Day Trips Map

Somiedo See
Asturias
Hiking in Spain
Lago del Valle
Lago Somiedo
El Lago Del Valle Somiedo
Aqua Somiedo
Natura Asturias
Lago Asturias
Super Cute Frog

Best way to explore Somiedo

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September 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm Comments (5)

Hiking the Ruta Naviega

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Looking for a hotel in Navia?

A popular hiking trail connects Barayo Beach to the town of Navia, about twenty kilometers away. Especially for fans of cliffs, seaside villages and hidden beaches, it’s a long walk through paradise.

Wandern Asturias

The Ruta Naviega is a well-marked trail, with yellow and white stripes leading the way. We began at the river Barayo, a small stream which eventually ends at a beach of the same name, popular with nudists. From here, it was a five-hour hike westward along the coast. We encountered very few people, and aside from some horses, cows, spiders and a snake, saw little wildlife. The cliffs were our only companions, and it was as solitary as I’ve ever felt in Spain.

After a couple hours of walking, we took a short break in Puerto de Vega, a charming fishing village. The port is the center of activity, with fishermen were working on their nets and retired men playing cards at the nearby bar. The only women we saw were modestly dressed matrons, leaning out the windows of their apartments to carry on shouted conversations with one another. It was as though we had been transported back in time a few generations.

Near the trail’s end in Navia, we found a long staircase carved into the cliff, leading to a beach called the Playa del Moro. We had been hiking all day, and the steps were steep and long enough to nearly deter us. But, reasoning (correctly) that we’d never have another chance, we dutifully sucked it up and went down. I’m glad we did. With a deep cave and powerful waves splashing upon the rocks, it was a neat discovery.

In Navia, we didn’t do anything except collapse into the first bar we found. It looked like a neat town and probably merited exploration, but that was something we just didn’t have the energy for.

Hiking in Spain

Nature Bridge
Bosque Asturias
Fauna Asturias
Asturian Spider
Playa Barayo
Bahia Asturias
Playa Asturias
Lonely Beach
Asturian Rain
Dramatic Asturias
Coast Asturias
Cliffs Asturias
Isla Asturia
Atlantic Hike Asturias
Vega Harbor
Lonja Pescado Vega
Fisherman Asturias
Whale Asturias
Iglesia Asturias Vega
Vega Church
Rock Fishing
Wild Asturias
Whicker Coast
Nature Boy
Nature Mike
Fishing Vega
Hiking Asturias
Hiking Asturias Path
Isla Soiranna
Playa Freijulfe
Missing Big Waves
Surfin Studs
Pirate Bay
Schoener Strand
Moros Playa
Moros Playa Navia
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August 27, 2010 at 5:57 pm Comments (2)

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