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Welcome to Hooked on Walking holidays and our walking holidays in Spain. This hiking vacation in Spain is in the region of Asturias in Northern Spain. This walking tour is available as a level 2-3 self guided trip. For the average Spaniard “Asturias” means rural, friendly, green, tasty and authentic. A great place to relax, walk, cycle or swim and enjoy fresh products, straight from the garden, mountain meadows or the sea. Thanks to a relatively mild and humid climate, temperatures are pleasant, even in the height of summer, and the landscape is green year round. Rural Asturias is a patchwork landscape of walled pastures, dense forests and farming villages, bordered by a magnificent coastline to the north and steep limestone massifs to the south. A rich cultural tradition, vibrant historical towns, intimate (pre) Romanesque churches, welcoming accommodations and superb regional cooking complete this palette.
UNESCO has declared five biosphere reserves in the region. The Picos de Europa National Park is the main attraction, but nature holds many other surprising secrets to be discovered. This walking tour is through the valleys of Grado, Proaza, Quirós and Teverga, and the mountains of Nature Parks such as Ubinas-La Mesa and Somiedo. The key note which provides the theme for this trip is the historical footpath known as the Camín Real de la Mesa, major route leading from Asturias to the Spanish Meseta and recently marked as a GR route.
Day 1 Arrival to Grado in Asturias.
Arrival in Asturias. From Oviedo airport, you travel first by bus to the city centre then you then take a local train to the peaceful town of Grado and a short taxi transfer to your Hotel. A lovely chance to relax and enjoy the Asturian countryside. If you’re coming from elsewhere in Spain, there are direct train and/or bus connections to Oviedo from Madrid, Valladolid, Bilbao and Santander.
Day 2 Circular walk 4.5-5.5 hours
Today, a walk through the valley of Grado, home to more than a thousand years of history on the oldest pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, the Camino Primitivo. The trail passes through peaceful countryside, bucolic farmland and along several (abandoned) villages. After 8 km (265m in ascent and 250m in descent, 3hrs) you either choose to make an adventurous hike along old footpaths through the Sierra de Cuota (6,5 km, extra ascent of 250m and descent of 415m, 2,5 hours) or you continue along quiet country lanes to the villages of Vallonga and Vayo, where you can be picked up by a taxi (min. 5 km extra, 85m in ascent and 135m in descent, 1.5 hours).
Day 3 Grado to Proaza 10 miles 16km, 5.5 hrs, 500m in ascent, 575m in descent.
Walking tour from Sama de Grado to Proaza, which follows quiet country roads with just one ascent, up to the Sierra de Buanga. As you ascend, the sweeping views widen to reveal an ever expanding landscape of small mountain ranges. You reach Linares, one in a series of villages along this narrow mountain ridge, then begin the descent to the Río Trubia. Here you pick up the converted railway path which is now the popular hiking and cycling route called the Senda del Oso. This “Trail of the Bear” takes you past a small reserve where two Asturian brown bears have been raised in captivity in a frantic attempt to increase the native (bear) population. At the end of the day you reach the next accommodation, a family run hotel situated in the heart of a pleasant village.
Day 4 Proaza to Faedo.
Today you have a chance to combine a walk through the spectacular Natural Monumente Garganta de las Xanas” with a high route through pasture grounds along the ‘Ruta de los Relíquias’. This long distance trail leads gradually uphill to a pass at 1050m, at the edge of the limestone massif of the Sierra Aramo. Enjoying open views, you descend along cow trails and quiet country lanes to the valley of Quirós, where you’ll spend the night at a comfortable hotel, run by a very hospitable Spanish-English couple. Pick up at Bermiego after 6,5 hours (10.2 miles 16,5 km, 950m in ascent and 375m in descent). If you think that this is too much, you can be dropped off in La Robellada in the morning (4,5 hours 6.25 miles 10 km, 465m in ascent and 375m in descent).
Day 5 Circular 7.7 miles 12,5 km, 4 hours, 250m in ascent and descent.
After three days of real mountain hikes, today your knees will get some rest during the circular walk around the Valdemurrio Reservoir. You pass small hamlets, chapels and have a change to visit the beautiful Romanesque church of San Pedro de Arrojo, following country roads and tracks through the valley.
Day 6 Faedo to La Plaza 5,5-6 hours, 10.6 miles 17 km, 300m ascent, 950m descent.
In the morning, you’ll be dropped off at San LorenzoPass (1375m) near the entrance to Somiedo Natural Park. From here, you follow the major route on the Camin Real de la Mesa, through summer pastures on either side of the ridge, where you’ll be treated to marvellous views. You also pass thatched shepherd huts called teitos, summer residence for the transhumant Vaqueiros, who spend the warmer months on the brañas with their cattle. Until the mid 19th century, there was even an inn at the top of the ridge: Venta de Piedra Xueves. After you reach the Magdalena pass (1517m), you walk down a winding land rover track to the village of Barriu, where you will be picked up by the taxi. In La Plaza you stay in a lively bar/restaurant/hotel in front of the Romanesque church of San Pedro de Teverga.
Day 7 Circular 4.5-5 hours, 8.75 miles 14 km, 175m ascent, 665m descent.
If you are now hooked on views from high ridges, have the taxi driver let you off at San Lorenzo Pass, then follow the Camin Real de la Mesa northward to Puertos de Marabio, a vast karstic landscape adorned with idyllic summer meadows. You can be picked up at Urria or walk another 1.5 hours to the Capilla Santa Ana (3.8 miles 6 km, 50m extra in descent, 150m LESS in descent). Another option for the day: cycling along the Senda del Oso (the hotel staff can arrange the bike rental for you) or to the Prehistorical Park in San Salvador de Alesga. This unique museum is located partially underground, where you can enjoy replicas of prehistoric cave paintings from northern Spain and the rest of Europe. The costs of taxi transfers (total of approx 35 euros; for two transfers) OR bicycle rent ( approx 10 euros p.p. a day + optional costs for transfers) are NOT included today.
After breakfast, you take a local bus (4 departures a day)
Difficulty: This is a level 2-3 tour.
Accommodation: You stay authentic Spanish hotels and Casa’s.
What is Included
Tour Code HOWAST
Price per persons based on 2 persons sharing double room
High Season Supplement 1/7 to 10/9 per person
£43 Double, £86 Single
How to get there
By plane to Oviedo, Santander or Bilboa airports and then by train or coach to Grado where a short taxi ride to your first accommodation.
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Cycling Holidays in Spain