Covadonga - Hiking and Relaxing in the Covadonga Lakes District
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Spain Site Map - Asturias - Covadonga, Hicking the Covadonga Lakes District - page 2, Easy Hike along the Lake Route

Hiking the Covadonga Lakes, page 2 - Easy Hike along the Lake Route
Text by: Paula Repo
Photos by: Pasi Rein

In case you have only one day in the Covadonga Lakes and want to do an easy walk, which gives a good overview of the western massif, the best choice is the "Lake Route". You can start this five kilometre long circuit from the Enol Lake, where you find a sign for "Lago Ercina PR-PNPE-2", or by the Ercina Lake, where you find a sign for "Ruta de los Lagos". It goes along the shores of both lakes, through shady beech forests, and across beautiful plains dotted with traditional herdsman's huts, where some of the famous Asturian cheese is made of cow, sheep and goat milk.

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Covadonga Lakes District
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Photo Above - pastures with herdsman's huts are a typical sight in the lake district.

On your way, you can marvel the mountains of Peña Santa (2,596 m), Torre de Santa María and Torre Santa de Enol, the three highest tops in the western massif.

Photo Above - Covadonga Lakes has a number of lookout spots opening up views to mountains, valleys and plains.

For those who plan to have a hiking holiday, the western massif of Picos de Europa offers tens of wonderful routes with signposts and waymarks. Separated from the central massif by the 1.6 km deep Cares Canyon, the western massif is a good place to start your walks. The landscape is much gentler and the climate milder than in the central part, although you can climb high mountains of above 2,400 meters in this part of the National Park of Picos de Europa as well.

Photo Above - The impressive route of Cares river used to serve hydropower plants.

Mining Activity Left Behind Gorgeus Tracks
Many of the gorgeous walking tracks in the Picos of Europa were originally access routes to mines or to canals carrying water for hydropower plants. The mines of Milagro en Onís were exploited already during the Roman reign, but, in large scale, the mining activity accompanied by "road" construction started in the 19th century. Until that time the people of the Liébana county, in the eastern massif, were isolated from the coast. Thanks to the needs of the mining companies, the 21 km long Canyon of Hermida was opened for the traffic. Access roads were also built to the mines of Mazarrasa and Providencia located in the Andara range, at a height of 1,800 meters. Now these tracks serve as PNPE-routes (Parque Nacional Picos de Europa). In the central massif, some of the most popular walking routes, like PNPE-25 through the Plain of Liordes and the PNPE-22 through the Plain of Áliva, are partly routes for the mines of Áliva and Liordes. The most impressive, however, is a track excavated into the sheer rockwall of the Cares canyon for the construction of a canal. You can follow this 12 km long track from the Asturian village of Poncebos to the village of Cain. Most of the route runs at the same level opening fantastic views to the deep canyon with the river Cares flowing along its bed, and to the high mountain tops.

Learn about Covadonga and its Holy Cave.

Learn more about Spain Walking Trails

In Nava; A Taste of Cider an Asturias Tradition

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This page last updated December 2009