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Bold viticulture in a Biosphere Reserve
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Bold viticulture in a Biosphere Reserve (Western Asturias)
117 kms
Car 5 days
Layout of the route

Terraced vineyards dug out of the mountainside, caverns drilled in search of gold and coal, the most extensive oak forests in Europe.

Summary Bold viticulture in a Biosphere Reserve

Terraced vineyards dug out of the mountainside, caverns drilled in search of gold and coal, the most extensive oak forests in Europe... The southwest of Asturias is a unique territory overlooked by the foothills of the Cantabrian Mountain Range.

25,7 kms
Day 1 Cangas del Narcea - Cangas del Narcea

Day 1: Cangas del Narcea is the capital of the borough of the same name and also the wine capital of southwestern Asturias. Along its streets, the traveller will find the traces of its medieval past, the pride of its Indianos (returning emigrants who had made their fortune in the Americas) and a museum displaying the process of wine-making. A walk through the town leads to the Church of St Mary Magdalene, Omaña Mansion and Pambley Mansion (the oldest building in the town), El Carmen Chapel and the Roman bridge. Five minutes from Cangas, Corias is home to a monastery founded in 1022, a listed historical-artistic monument which has been newly restored and converted into a Parador luxury hotel. The rear of the parador houses the Fuentes del Narcea, Degaña e Ibias Nature Park House, a key facility for learning about this environment. A few kilometres away is the Shrine of La Virgen del Acebo (Our Lady of the Holly Tree), patron saint of the nomadic herdsmen known as vaqueiros de alzada. Back in Cangas, another essential stop is the Wine Museum. This centre has been built in the neighbourhood of Santiso, in the outskirts of the town on the road to Leitariegos, where some wineries are located.

23,5 kms
Day 2 Cangas del Narcea - Muniellos

Day 2: Muniellos Nature Reserve, a UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserve, offers a unique landscape. Visitors can start the day at the Interpretation Centre, located a few kilometres from the entrance to the protected area. The trail through the interior of the reserve, the largest oak forest in Spain and the natural habitat of the Cantabrian brown bear, requires a permit from the Principality, which has set a maximum number of visits per day. You are recommended to apply for this permit as early as possible in advance. The circular hiking route through Muniellos is 20 kilometres long and takes about 7 hours. A second, shorter trail running along the riverside is 14 kilometres long. An alternative for those travellers who do not manage to get a permit or for those who want to take a shorter hike (9 km) is Moal Forest, which starts in the village of Moal, about four kilometres before you get to the Interpretation Centre. Montecín Scenic Balcony, which is right on the trail, offers fabulous views of Muniellos.

48,9 kms
Day 3 Cangas del Narcea - Degaña

Day 3: The tour continues south today on the AS-15 heading into the borough of Degaña. Degaña is the name of both the borough and the capital. The lower part of the town is older, namely the neighbourhoods of La Veiga, Entrerríos and El Corral, with typical single-storey buildings with a large door for livestock. The upper part of the town is newer, although it does house the 14th-century Church of Santiago. Just 10 minutes from Degaña, Cerredo is a mining town with industrial archaeological remains and the 14th-century Church of Santa María. Florencio House Ethnographic Site, in the neighbourhood of La Costapina, is an example of the typical style of architecture found in the territory. Two other interesting villages are El Rebollar and El Corralín, where you can still see the remains of a Roman gold mine. Both belong to the land of the cunqueiros, artisans who manufactured wooden bowls, tableware and utensils.

41,2 kms
Day 4 Degaña - San Antolín de Ibias

Day 4: San Antolín de Ibias is 51 kilometres from Degaña on the AS-215 and AS-212. This town houses an 11th-century church and an Interpretation Centre devoted to the Palloza (a thatched stone hut that is typical to the area). In fact, the Pallozas de Santiso Trail starts out from the Town Square, with a length of 14 kilometres (a 5-hour hike). Along this trail, the hiker will come across numerous Palloza, as well as thatched hórreos (raised granaries-cum-storehouses), paths shaded by vine trellises forming a pergola and unique scenery.

64,3 kms
Day 5 San Antolín de Ibias - Besullo

Day 5: The journey back to Cangas del Narcea from Ibias can be made this time via El Pozo de las Mujeres Muertas (literally, "Dead Women's Pit"), a mountain pass which will take you above a thousand metres, offering the traveller a unique panorama of southwestern Asturias. This drive lasts an hour and a quarter. After refreshment in Cangas, the journey continues towards Besullo, a village located half an hour further on along the CN-1. The writer Alejandro Casona was born here and the village houses an interpretation centre devoted to his work. Land of blacksmiths, it also preserves the Mazo d'Abaxu, a fine example of a water-driven forge hammer.