The heart of mining

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To say "Nalón" is to talk of the river and also of the coal mining valley, as the remains of this industrial archaeological heritage are to be found here.

The heart of mining
GPS: 43.30609300348398, -5.688993064939763

Sama de Lanfreo - La Felguera - Ciaño - El Entrego - Laviana - La Pola - Villoria - Soto de Agues - Campo de Caso

Day 1: Sama de Langreo - La Nueva - Ciaño 10,9

Day 1: The journey begins in the larger towns in the Nalón Valley, Sama de Langreo and La Felguera. One of the best examples of the valley's industrial past is the Steelworks Museum (MUSI), located inside a 45-metre-high cooling tower on the Valnalón Estate. Another example of its industrial past can be found in Samuño Ecomuseum, located in La Nueva on the LA-7 just after Ciaño. The museum houses an exhibition complex at the former San Luis Pit, which includes a two-kilometre ride on a mining train. The Eduardo Úrculo Municipal Art Gallery, opened in a former slaughterhouse in 1919, is another point of interest. Just five minutes from Sama, Ciaño safeguards several jewels, such as the Quintana Tower and Solis House site, dating from the 14th century, and Buelga House, a Baroque building currently occupied by the University of Oviedo.

Day 2: Ciaño - Laviana 16

Day 2: The route heads southward along the AS-17, known as Nalón Corridor. El Entrego is home to the Mining Museum (MUMI), which features a mock-up of the entrance to a coal pit and a cage in which miners descended into the bowels of the earth. In the town itself, you can take a stroll through the La Vega, San Juan, Santa Barbara and El Coto miner housing estates which constitute examples of working-class architecture in the region. The typical dish in El Entrego is stuffed onions, which are even extolled in a popular festival in autumn. Further south, in Sotrondio, the Santa Barbara Valley Pathway commences in the neighbourhood of El Pontón, following the old railway line from La Cerezal to the Hullera coal washery.

Day 3: Pola de Laviana - Rioseco 13,5

Day 3: Laviana takes up the third day of the tour. Next to the cemetery in La Pola, the borough capital, is the Virgen del Otero Shrine, a 15th-century building with a unique Baroque altarpiece. One of the typical dishes of this town are bartolos, ground almond and puff pastry confectionaries. A kilometre and a half further south you come to Entralgo and the birthplace of Armando Palacio Valdés, a 17th-century country house. This interpretation centre covers the work of this novelist and critic. Outside the house commences a trail to Canzana which follows the settings of what is perhaps his most famous novel, The Lost Village. Next comes the Puente del Arco, a Romanesque bridge with two arches. A catch-and-release trout fishing reserve has been established between this bridge and that of La Chalana.

Day 4: Rioseco - Soto de Agues -Rioseco 6,77

Day 4: Today, the tour takes you to the borough of Sobrescobio and therefore to the gateway to Redes Park, a UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve. The borough capital, Rioseco, is nestled between two reservoirs, Tanes and Rioseco, which lie parallel to the AS-17. The town is the headquarters of the Water Reception and Interpretation Centre (check the centre's opening times beforehand), a museum that explains to a great extent the beauty of the surroundings. Just three kilometres away on the SC-2 is Soto de Agues, which is the starting point of the Alba Route, a popular 14-km (roundtrip) hiking trail through the mountains. The first few kilometres of this route are wheelchair accessible. Back in Rioseco, you can make a stop along the way at Villamoréi Recreational Area. One of the most typical dishes in this area is lamb roasted on a stake over an open fire.

Day 5: Rioseco - Tarna - Rioseco 60,7

Day 5: The source of the River Nalón, a river which accompanies you throughout the trip, is located in the vicinity of Campo de Caso. The source is called Fuente la Nalona, located in Tarna Pass. In this area you can complete the 9-km trail between Tabayón and Mongayo, which commences in the hamlet of Tarna. Back in Campo de Caso, you can visit Redes Reception and Interpretation Centre. This facility has a permanent exhibition about the reserve, but also provides practical information on hiking routes. To end the day, an option to do with the kids is a walk in the surroundings of Deboyu Cave, a karst cavern carved out of the limestone rock by the River Nalón, situated near to Campo de Caso. As regards gastronomy, Casín cheese has become a reference product and several cheesemakers now offer guided tours of their dairies.