The great beech wood of Mount Peloño

A sea of trees in Peloño

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It is a great sunshade and maintains atmospheric humidity better than in other forests. Their dead leaves protect the soil from erosion and provide it with nutritious organic substance at the same time.

The inside of this great beech forest houses its own vegetation which allows very little lights through the trees. Moss grows wildly in this area also.


The 200.000 beeches in the wood of Peloño, in the council of Ponga, are of an intense green colour during spring and brown during the autumn-winter term. 15 square kilometres are protected (Partial Natural Reserve) which converts it into an unique space in Spain.

We can say that the forest is both very much alive and intelligent as it protects itself from excessive heat. The leaves of the beeches stay horizontal which means that only 2 per cent of the radiation the top of trees receive, reaches the ground. This kind of tree endures low temperatures but it can not cope with heat and drought. In case of sunstroke this tree has the ability of turning its leaves around to avoid excessive water transpiration. This tree is a natural genius with an important defense mechanism that holds a millenium of history and works with the intelligence of the rest of the forest.

Ecosystem of Peloño forest

This kind of forest is usually dark but Peloño offers a place which the sightseer can enjoy, using all of their senses. This forest houses its own fauna that lives freely in special habitat of this Principado of Asturias. The beech tree bears nutritious fruit called “hayuco” which becomes ripens at the end of Summer and the beginning of Autumn. This is a delicious fruit enjoyed by brown bears, capercaillies, pigeons and several types of rodents. The population of Cantabrian brown bears is located in the Western part of Peloño. Peloño is also home to many capercaillies. At the same time this beech forest is the home of the rare woodpecker. Here, we can also find great populations of chamoises and wolves. Other species that live freely here are wild boars, roe bucks and deers. This forest is a unique Noah’s Ark in the middle of this Asturian region.

In Peloño we can see how life grows, dies and is born once more, demonstrating well the circle of life. The shoots of beech are everywhere, especially around the fallen trunks moss covered. They live on dead leaves. The grandparent trees look on at the new life that continues in the forest. They have lost the necessity to grow up, so all they can do now is wind around themselves, making knots and often forming sinister shapes within their trunks. We can consider them as genuine sculptures, the fruits of deep forests always standing upright as centenary authorities among the new life.

In the Celtic horoscope, beech symbolises smart people and linked to the Godness of mothering and fertility. This fertility is proven with an area of 1507 hectares, 1455 of which belong to the towns of San Juan, Casielles, San Ignacio and Vago. The beech forest of Peloño is surrounded by oakwoods which still survive in the limits where high mountain ranges are located. The Mount of Peloño is situated in a circular depression formed by the Rasu (1.056 m.) to the North, Pileñes (2.021 m.) to the South, Sen de los Mulos (1.056 m.) to the East and the Collau Zorro (1.845 m.) to the West. All water from there follows the course of the river Mojizo, a tributary of the river Sella. The forest looks up the heavens searching through fog emphasising their nostalgic existence.

Texto: © Ramón Molleda para desdeasturias.com

Information of interest

To get to Peloño, the best approach is from Cangas de Onís, once past the bridge over the River Sella we continue down the road of El Ponton N-625 to Santillán (Km. 75). A right hand comes the AS-261 road that leads to San Juan de Beleño (Km. 88), from here take the PO road - 1 there is a rise of about 3 km to the pass of Llomena (elevation 990 m.. ) where we left the vehicle

One of the possible routes. the North route. Collada Collada Llomena- Granceno -. Pradería of Vegadona

hours estimated between 4 or 5 hours. Drop of about 200 meters. The Collada de Llomena have to go the way of the right which is the highest, passing through the flock of Les Bedules (elevation 1,120 m.) To reach the Pierva (Km 2.5 ) must follow the right path without losing altitude through Llevancos, and coming down the track that goes straight to Collada Granceno (1,195 m.), this whole area can be considered the Mount Peloño and we can continue on this track to Pradería of Vegadona distance of about 8.5 km. to reach the heart of the forest of Peloño we take as main reference the south direction along the entire route of the track.