If you are on the Cantabrian coast route and one is a lover of natural beauty, the Picos de Europe become an indispensable trip that there be a good place in our plans.
The Peaks of Europe, belongs to three regions: Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla-Leon. Each of their areas is unique, for example green meadows in the eastern Massif, dense beech forests and spectacular peaks as Peña Santa de Castilla in the Western Massif or the highest levels like Torrecerredo of 2,646 meters in the Massif Central.
With more than 200 mountains over 2,000 meters, the Picos de Europa are exceptional and offer a whole lot of possibilities depending from which to access, such as a valid path is to address the Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias.
Statue of Don Pelayo and the Sanctuary of Covadonga:
The statue of Don Pelayo with the green mountains behind him and us into a story, perhaps with a bit of legend and some reality or vice versa, one of the most striking episodes of the Reconquista in the Iberian Peninsula.
The Muslim army was moving north lands and conquering armies defeating all who stood in their path until they reached the mountainous north of the peninsula. In the Picos de Europa took refuge Don Pelayo and his army had already been successfully addressed to Muslims. With the intention to destroy the premises they put in front, the Muslim troops reached the valley where Don Pelayo Covadonga attacked to force them to retreat towards Cares, and into the hard mountainous terrain of today call Picos de Europa.
Photography by Jaume Meneses
According to this story Don Pelayo attacked his enemies in the cave at the height where now stands the shrine of Covadonga. From this same cave waterfall coming down to the foot of the mountain.
These peaks Asturias Europe offer a multitude of hiking trails to enjoy their valleys, lakes, waterfalls and alpine peaks. In principle, camping is prohibited in the National Park and camping is only allowed to survive night at altitudes above 1,600 meters. But there are campsites with good organization we can build a base camp for exploring the area.
Photography by horrapics
Another option is to stay at a hotel in Asturias or a cottage. The good thing is that we can choose Asturias sea or mountain according to our tastes, and from there follow routes for exploring the region.
Walks around the lakes:
But if we are not prepared for routes that require minimal physical training, one advantage of the lakes of Covadonga is that you can make small trips that is enough to fill the retina of large landscapes in a single day. One of the busiest is the one that begins in the parking lot next to Lake Enol. From here the view of the lake and the Massif Central and promises … we can approach the lake to enjoy the landscapes inhabited by hundreds of species and the views of the cows.
After lunch, a good option is to surround the lake Ercina, through the shepherd’s huts. The ride can be complicated if we dared to climb some of the peaks, but suffice it to stay halfway to see the next valley and bottom view of the Massif Central peaks covered with snow (when they did not visit the lake in winter and are covered with snow).
A great way we expected, but worth the effort!