Covadonga - Hiking the Covadonga Lakes District
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Spain Site Map - Asturias - Covadonga, Hicking the Covadonga Lakes District

Hiking and Relaxing in the Covadonga Lakes District
Text by: Paula Repo
Photos by: Pasi Rein

Drivng on the winding road from Covadonga all the way up to the Lakes of Covadonga is unforgettable. You emerge from the beech forest to green pastures surrounded by high mountain tops, and reach the lakes after 12 kilometres. After passing the Enol Lake, you keep right and come to the Ercina Lake, 1,100 metres above the sea level, where the road ends.

Photo Left - Crossing the grassy Plain of Enol by foot takes some 30 minutes.

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Photo above - On the background of the Ercina Lake rise the mountains of Picos de Europa.

If you want to use your own transportation, do this trip outside the holiday season and public holidays. From late July to early September, you have to rely on public transportation. Although well organised, it has disadvantages. You miss the lookout spot of Reina with breathtaking views over the valley of Covadonga and other charming stops along the road.

Lovely Mini Walks
The surrounding of Covadonga Lakes has a number of mini walks of less than half a kilometre along paved walkways. Following the sign for "Mirador Entrelagos" from the parking area by the Ercina Lake, you encounter in five minutes the lookout spot. As its name suggests, it is on a hillock between the two lakes of Ercina and Enol. On their background rise the rugged peaks of the western massif of Picos de Europa. The name "Peaks of Europe" comes probably from the seafarers sailing from America to Europe, whose first sight of the continent was this mountain range.

Photo above - (top layer) Pedro Pidal's Centre for Visitors with its expositions and multimedia presentations is worth visiting. (bottom layer) Looking down from the lookout spot of Principe, you see the vast plain of Comeya.

If you branch off left at the fork by the Enol Lake, you come to the parking place of Buferrera, where you find steps leading to the Pedro Pidal's Centre for Visitors. Again, it takes some five minutes to walk from the centre to the lookout spot of Principe, located above the Plain of Comeya. This vast grassland divided by creeks is actually a depression formed by water flows from the above glaciers. Nowadays it serves as a grazing ground for herds of cattle and horses.

Photo above - he circuit around the Mines of Buferrera is furnished with information panels, old mining equipment and statues.

Halfway between the parking places of Ercina Lake and Buferrera lie the Mines of Buferrera, some five minutes walk from both of them. You can make a small circuit in this abandoned mining area, which used to produce iron and magnesium. It had its golden era under the control of the British mining company "Asturiana de Minas Ltd., between the years 1893 and 1932.

Naturally you can also stroll in the grass fields around the lakes, and have a picnic at the recreation area or a meal in one of the restaurants.

Next: Easy Hike along the Covadonga Lake Route

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This page last updated December 2009