ASTURIAS and PICOS DE EUROPA

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From A Coruña after running its marathon we head towards Asturias. There is time enough to do a short stop in Lugo to appreciate its old quarters, surrounded by a roman wall perimeter in very good shape, and World Heritage by UNESCO.

Route day 1
Tower of Hercules (A Coruña)
Roman wall (Lugo)

Entering to Asturias by Ribadeo, we follow national roads with plenty of peaceful beaches to stroll around. Not to miss the beautiful village of Cudillero, which welcome us with unpleasant weather.

Cudillero

After spending the night, next day we visit Oviedo and Gijón, two of the main cities in Asturias, as we follow the coastal road eastwards. Abandoning the main road, we head towards Cangas de Onís, and from there to the “Picos de Europa” National Park, and Covadonga, where we will spend the next couple of nights.

Route day 2
Oviedo Cathedral
Typical cahopo with cider (Cangas de Onís)
Gijón seaside

Covadonga is one of the main entrances to the Picos de Europa National Park. It is a small village with restricted car access in top season and famous because of its Sanctuary celebrating the first victory of Christian Spain against the Muslim army that conquered the whole Iberian Peninsula in the VIII century.  It is an ideal base to visit the famous Lakes of Covadonga, Enol and Ercina, 8 miles from here, and accessible by public bus, or sometimes by private car. The lakes can be visited walking, using a short or long route, from the Enol, or using a taxi.

Map of the "Lagos de Covadonga" area
Enol Lake
Ercina Lake

If visiting a National Park is a good idea to idea to do some walking and immerse in the surroundings. We spend the morning doing so, driving up to the Enol lake, and then walking the long route towards Ercina, crossing the old mining sites and the Palomberu forest.

Palomberu Forest
Buferrera mining site

After a picnic lunch and back in the car we head towards Cabrales to visit its cheese museum. Cabrales is a blue cheese, maturated in caves, typical of the area. The museum explains the production process and offers a tasting of cider and cheese. Before sunset we get to Poncebos, finishing point of the “Ruta del Cares”, one of the most popular treks in Picos de Europa, where we can appreciate the scenery before returning home and get dinner.

A special mention to the food, as every lunch is an occasion to taste some of the culinary specialities, such as cachopo, fabada, cabrito and the many cheeses. The meat quality is excellent, from animals grown in freedom and fed on green natural pastures. An ideal combination of good food quality and affordable prices.

Fabada
"Denominación de Origen" Cabrales cheese

Last day is time to get back home, although there is still time to visit some spots despite the rainy weather. In Covadonga before leaving we visit the cave dedicated to the Virgin. Already on the way back we stop in the beautiful village of Potes, with its popular monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana, where we get to taste a traditional “cocido lebaniego”.

View to Covadonga Monastery
Chapel of the Virgin of Covadonga
Potes
Cocido lebaniego

Leaving the National Park areas and their green setting seems as a good conclusion to a worthy holiday break.

View of National Park "Picos de Europa"

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