For a fair few years now I've been taking trips to the north of Spain, specifically the states of Cantabria and Asturias, and have been in a constant state of awe at the natural marvels of this region. The mountain range of the Picos de Europa dominates this area, overlapping both Asturias and Cantabria, with snowy peaks of 2,500m giving way to lush valleys and picturesque mountain pueblos, and ancient forests intersected by vertiginous river gorges. Not forgetting the rugged and wild coastline with its secretive coves and sandy beaches which is only 25km north. Its is an area in which nature reigns supreme, and glories in its variety and dominance at every opportunity.
For a while I've wanted to explore a little further west than the Picos range, areas which are a little less on the map as destinations, but which looked on Google Earth (a favourite pastime of mine) to be heavily forested, rugged and less easy to get to. This area is made up of a number of adjoining protected Natural Parks, Arriondas, Redes, and Ponga. The idea was to start from a town which was accessible by train or bus, then pick a route through a few mountain ranges and end up in the Picos again, familiar territory, from where I would make my way back to the city via train or bus.
Here are a few images of the route I took from the town of Infiesto, south along the Sierra de Aves, down along to Beleno up and over to the Desfiladero de los Beyos, across to Oseja de Sajambre and then Cain, and up to Las Arenas and then Panes, a total of about 115km with some really difficult terrain, impeccable weather, and some of the friendliest people I have ever met.