Covadonga: the Lakes

The queen stage landscape: Los Lagos

Covadonga: the Lakes

Going up to the lakes of Covadonga is very worthwhile especially if you do it by bycicle. They stretch 12 kilometres from the basilica that gives the lakes their name. Along the path one can enjoy the almost vertigo like feeling and take in beautiful views of the high hills. Above the 800 metre height of the hills there is a 12% gradient of unevenness. Going ahead, 100 metres higher, one should make a stop here (and switch the car engine off) to see the Mirador de la Reina.

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In this place one can feel like a monarch for a short while, because here one is above the mist and the low clouds, watching carefully the route made from one of the highest points of the route. Sitting here, it is easy to dream of being a cyclist and winning one of the most difficult stages of the Cyclist Tour of Spain. If the sky is clear one can see the great stretch of the sea and at the same time, enjoy a very green landscape with the high peaks of the mountains reaching the sky. El Mirador de la Reina (Queen’s viewpoint), marks the end of the route: The Lakes. But from here, we still have time to enjoy more cliffs.

Along the route is easy to see that the wild animals,living in the mountains are unaware of our traffic codes. They are wild, so they go from the right to the left of the road without realizing the presence of humans. At last, when they leave the road clear then, they look at us with an angry face making us aware that this is their natural environment and we are there the foreigners. The pastures of the mountains are full of walls made of limestone, and the shepherd’s cottages are surrounded by deep forests. Here we notice the true meaning of the natural lifestyle and pastoral mythology, we are at Peaks of Europe.

The water running from the mountains makes this a place of great beauty. The first lake is called Enol. To see it we only have to follow the road around. The lake is located 1070 metres high and it has a glacial origin, as well as, the valley of Ercina. The waters from the Enol Lake reach 23 metres of depth in the meridian area, so we can swim if the season permits. During winter the snow is piling up on the borders of the lake and the cold waters are the result of the melting ice. The passing of time is responsible for the cold lake because it is placed between the Mosquital Peak (1268m), the Enol Mount(1274m) and the hill Sahorn (1183m). This lake comes from an ancient glacier whose highest peak is called Peña Santa, formed in the beginnings of the Cuaternarian age. The Enol lake flows with a great number of river-crabs that we can see easily in the quiet waters because there is no place to hide. When we look at the mountains carefully we can see the green and the blue of the sky perfectly mixed on the horizon.

Now, we may follow the road of Ercina, two kilometres further from the last point. We ascend to 1108 metres of altitude. Here, we can see the smallest lake of the route also surrounded by a mountain chain. The waters run through the summit of the mount Cornión. The growth of acuatic vegetation feeds a large community of different birds. The depth of this lake does not go beyond of two metres.

In the surroundings of the lakes of Covadonga we can admire skies full of birds, especially predatory birds. The kings of the sky are the eagles.

From the lakes it is possible to take other routes through the surrounding woods and meadows. For brave people interested in climbing mountains there are also other adventure routes. The most important paths are those which lead us to Vega Redonda and the Mirador of Ordiales from the lake Enol, and also the path of Vega de Ario from the Ercina. We can also climb the summits of the Peaks of Europe, such as the famous Naranjo of Bulnes.

The lakes maintain the silent, and quiet life of the shepherds. In summertime, (July 25 th) this place celebrates the shepherd’s Party. A beautiful midsummer celebration where you can enjoy the culture and nice weather at the same time.

Texto: © Ramón Molleda para desdeasturias.com

Information of interest

Covadonga Lakes is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Asturias throughout the year. In order to protect the Picos de Europa National Park, Biosphere Reserve, it has designed a plan of access to and Covadonga Lakes. This plan regulates access the peak days in Easter and summer by public transport. The rest of the year can be accessed by private vehicle, not having any restrictions on access

How the public transport is organized ?
Access Covadonga Lagos and public transport is organized from a network of parking and bus transportation system.

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