Covadonga Lakes, A Prehistoric Cave, and Pretty Towns – 3 Nights in Cangas de Onis

2014 05 20 View of Cangas de Onis from the room at La Cepeda

Cangas de Onis

The nice day we started with in Fuente dé became overcast and cool as we rolled into Cangas de Onis. It was like a ghost town, the deserted streets and gray skies contributing to an overall bleak first impression. I thought “What have I gotten us into?”

But Cangas de Onis turned out to be a perfect “country break”.

Our first stop before checking in was the famous “Roman” bridge. It’s 13th century so not Roman but it’s old, historic and a beautiful setting over the Sella River.

Cangas de Onis Bridge

Cangas de Onis Roman Bridge – not really Roman – actually 13th century

Cangas de Onis

Cangas de Onis scenes around town

Hotel La Cepada, 3 nights in a superior room – Huge with a Huge view. Go for a superior room with the view, the standard rooms are on the top floor with the small dormer window. Depending on the room you get, the first impression may not be “ah, lovely”. Those huge windows let in a lot of light and that will fade any fabric. That, and the furniture in each room is different, some more upscale looking than others. But that VIEW plus the huge comfortable room made up for any shortcomings in furnishings.

Tip: The hotel is a little too far to walk to town, we drove each night for dinner in town at one of the many Sidrerias.

After 8:30pm places opened for dinner (typical in this whole region) and we had our first taste of the famous Cider and some regional food at a Sidreria, the first of 3 different Sidrerias we ate at in Cangas.

Covadonga Lakes

The next day was beautiful and our Lake hike was on – a day of one spectacular view after another.

Lago Enol

Lago Enol

Just us and the cows, the few other tourists that were around weren’t as ambitious hikers as we were. Tip: Pack a picnic lunch, there are innumerable rocks to sit on to take a break.

Cows on the road

Cows on the road next to Lago Enol

On the way back to Cangas, a couple of view stops on CO-4 – you can see the Bay of Biscay! – and a stop in Covadonga to visit the Holy Cave of Covadonga and Basilica.

Pretty Ribadesella and the Tito Bustillo Prehistoric Cave

The weather forcast was rain, and a drive to the coast and the resort town of Ribadesella seemed like the right alternative.

Ribadesella from the walk to the Ermita de la Virgen de la Guia

Ribadesella from the walk to the Ermita de la Virgen de la Guia

Pretty town for a walk, but the BEST cool day excursion – the Tito Bustillo Cave with wondrous drawings dating between 22,000 and 10,000 BC. Fortunately our timed entry ticket was for later in the afternoon, giving us time to see the terrific museum plus have some lunch.

Tip: See the museum first to fully appreciate what you will see in the caves. The cave tour is in Spanish only.

Leaving Cangas de Onis

After that first day “uh oh” when Cangas de Onis was grey and deserted, the next days were bright, shops were open, we had a terrific view from the room, and we really enjoyed Cangas de Onis. We were clearly there in the off season, off the highways there were huge restaurants that were empty. According to the guy manning the immense and deserted Tourist Info office on AS-114 the area sees 100,000 visitors in a typical summer. We were very happy we came in May!

Travel: Drive from Cangas de Onis to Santiago de Compostela – 4 hours.


Have you been to the Picos? What was your favorite part?

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