Picos de Europa & Cangas de Onis – Spain & Portugal Tour 2009

Leaving Leon, we headed north east to the Parque Nacional Picos de Europa. The north of Spain is home to some very impressive mountains and we were planning a seriously scenic drive to our destination for the day, a mountain resort called Cangas de Onis which boasted a motorhome aire.

Our route took us across the south west corner of the Parque on the N-625. It’s very scenic, very mountainous and was a little wet. Enjoy the views:

The Picos de Europa are proper mountains...
The Picos de Europa are proper mountains...
...the views are rather good...
...the views are rather good...
...although once again the weather was against us slightly
...although once again the weather was against us slightly

Cangas de Onis proved to be a very pleasant mountain town that put one in mind of an Alpine town in Switzerland or France. It wasn’t cheap and had a fair number of expensive tourist shops – but there were some good local shops and cafes too. We spent most of a morning at one internet café using its free wireless internet. In that time, we drank two coffees and one beer each. The total cost came to €7 – and that included table service and some free tapas with the beer. I wasn’t complaining!

True to form the motorhome aire was right in the centre of the town, free and in good order with a full service point.

Like all good mountain towers, Cangas de Onis has a cold-looking river!
Like all good mountain towns, Cangas de Onis has a cold-looking river!
It felt quite alpine...
It felt quite alpine...

When we left Cangas de Onis, we headed towards the village of Covadonga to visit the Lagos de Covadonga – a very popular attraction. This attraction, on the fringes of the Picos de Europa moutains, comprises two lakes – Lago de Enol and 1km away, Lago de la Ercina.

This pair are popular enough that in summer, private vehicles aren’t allowed up the road to the lakes (a very steep, winding mountain road). You have to park in one of several car parks around Covadonga and take a bus up. Sometimes, according to our guide book, the car parks become full so the road into the area closes until spaces free up.

It wasn’t busy on the day we tried to go up, but we did face another obstacle:

I'm not sure if this was cloud or fog... shortly after this picture was taken, we came up behind a herd of cows that were being taken up the mountain road. I then decided that discretion was the better part of valour and turned around at the next opportunity.
I'm not sure if this was cloud or fog... shortly after this picture was taken, we came up behind a herd of cows that were being taken up the mountain road. I then decided that discretion was the better part of valour and turned around at the next opportunity.

Distance driven: 111 miles

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