Landscapes of Asturias are beautiful and great for hiking. There’re many options for all the levels, from beginners to experts hiking. When I was living here I went almost every weekend to the mountains and I discovered other part of Asturias, the natural paradise, the slow life, the traditional villages, the farming life, exploring many villages and trails. It was a great way to unwind after finishing a working week in Oviedo.
Hiking is like travelling, once you start doing it and enjoying it so much you can’t stop, always planning your next one.
Over the hundreds of hiking trails, I recommend the following ones, which I’ve done many times, all easy and not too long. They are located in different areas of the asturian region.
Top hiking trails in Asturias:
Somiedo is located in the southwest part of Asturias. It is the first listed National Park in Asturias, declared in 1988, and it’s also a Biosphere Reserve. The main town is Pola de Somiedo, where you can find the visitors centre and get all the information about what to do in Somiedo.
- 1 Alto de San Lorenzo to Braña de la Corra – This trekking route has beautiful views and it’s easy to walk, because it starts already at a big altitude at Puerto de San Lorenzo, 1350m, that we reach easily by car. The duration is about 2h30 return, 10.5 km. At the “braña” there’re some traditional cottages, called teitos, made with stone and vegetal roof. You could go further if you desire to Peña Negra, although it would be 4 hours return or even towards Torres town in Leon, but this will add 3 hours or so more to the route and it will be too much for a day excursion. It is part of the Roman trail “Camino Real de la Mesa” which was used by the romans to cross over to the region of Leon from Asturias.
- 2 Valle del Lago – Lago del valle – the trail starts at the Valle de Lago mountain village and goes to the nice lake of the valley (lago del valle) It’s a comfortable walk, 12km, that will take you around 3 hours return, crossing a beech forest and meadows. The lake it’s in a glacier valley, surrounded by mountains, a beautiful place to rest before heading back. This route is ideal for autumn, when the valley turns to the stunning fall colours.
Ponga is one of my favourite parts of Asturias, where I spent almost every weekend for about 2 years and I never got tired of it’s beauty and peace. It’s located on the “Cordillera Cantábrica” or Cantabrian Mountains. It’s also a Natural Park, full of nice forests and mountains.
- 3 Les Bedules – Collado Granceno (10 km return) This is a classic trail, easy to access by car from Beleño to Les Bedules, where you can park the car and start the hike. The path is wide and mostly plain, because you have done most of the mountain climbing by car. The views of Picos de Europa skylines are stunning in a clear day. The total distance is 10 Km return to Collado Granceno, where you can contemplate the beautiful Peloño forest on the other side of the collado or mountain pass.
- 4 Sobrefoz – La Ventaniella (17 km return) This is a nice and easy walk, most of it it’s a rural path, with stones, that goes up little by little until you arrive to the Ventaniella chapel and hermitage. On the left side of the hermitage you’ll find the way that will lead you quickly to the Ventaniella mountain pass. Landscapes are sublime and you might see some deers or other wild animals on the way, so keep your eyes wide open.
Redes is another great natural park, and it was declared by the UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve in the year 2001. It has a great variety of landscapes, from beautiful beech and oak forests to glacier valleys. Wildlife is also impressive, bears, wolfs, deer, chamois, otter…. The best moment to visit is when the stags are roaring, usually early September, and if you’re lucky you can see the deers very close.
- 5 Ruta del Alba (14.2 Km return) – the trail runs parallel to the River Alba and it starts at the charming village of Soto de Agues. It takes around 4 hours, return and it’s an easy walk, the path is almost flat, so it’s recommended for all, even kids or beginners.
- 6 Ruta de la Cascada del Taballón ( 12.5 km return) this is another nice walk, starting at Tarna village and heading up towards the Taballón waterfall, crossing some nice beech and oak forests. It takes about 4h15 return.
Picos de Europa area:
- 7 El Cares trail ( 22 km return) This is the most famous hiking trail in Asturias. Located in between Asturias and the region of Leon, the trail is stunning from start to end, with impressive views of the gorge. The starting point is the Village of Poncebos, at the Picos de Europa National Park. Because of the high altitude, is best to avoid wintertime, and summer is the best season to do it, although there might be plenty of people, it could be a little busy, especially at weekends.
- 8 Las Xanas trail (7,4 km return) This is my favourite hike in Asturias, I’ve done it so many times that I’ve lost count….and I’ll keep doing it. It’s located close to Oviedo, near the village of Villanueva, and it can be done in half day, in around 3h15, which are great advantages. But it’s not only a convenient one, it’s also very beautiful and fulfilling. Not in vain it’s considered as the little sister of the Cares Hiking trail. It’s also a stunning gorge that offers great views all over the way. My little treat after finishing it is to walk to the nearby village of Pedroveya, to have a drink at the local bar, Casa Generosa, where they also serve delicious asturian food, before heading back on the same trail towards the car park.