It is said that Asturias has some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Spain, and that it is in autumn when they are at their most splendid moment and, if possible, they look even more gorgeous.
Copper, orange, reddish and golden hues stain the landscape, which at this time of year gives off the characteristic smell of earth dampened by the orbayu, that light, almost imperceptible rain which soaks everything.
This is the Asturian autumn, an ideal time to enjoy its natural corners, to lose yourself in its leafy valleys and magical forests and to feel the babbling of the water that gushes through waterfalls, rivers and streams.
Among the countless hiking and cycling routes you can take in Asturias, the Senda del Oso is undoubtedly one of the most popular, due to its natural beauty. Its steep mountains, dense forests and lush vegetation make it a real treat for the senses.
It is a greenway of some 40 kilometres, immersed in the Las Ubiñas-La Mesa Nature Reserve, which runs along the nature trails from Entragu (Teverga) to Cueva Huerta and from Valdemurio to Ricao (Quirós) and which has a star attraction: the brown bears, which have been living in this marvellous enclave and have become a natural icon of the Principality of Asturias.
On foot or by bike, the route follows the old mining railway line which, from the end of the 19th century until 1936, ran through the mountainous entrails of the area. The train used to cross the valley of the river Trubia from the towns of Santa Marina (Quirós), on the one hand, and the mines of Teverga (from Entrago), on the other. Both converged at the village of Caranga de Abajo (Proaza and its power station) and, from there, reached the village of Trubia, which belongs to the municipality of Oviedo. The train was used to transport iron ore and coal, until the exhaustion of the deposits and the lack of economic profitability led to its closure in 1963.
The path, in the shape of a “Y”, has two routes that evoke the mining past. One follows the route from Tuñón to Cueva Huerta (Teverga) and the other from Tuñón to Ricao (Quirós). Doing them on foot or by bicycle (there are different companies that rent bicycles) will depend only on personal preference, because the route is suitable for either way.
Delimited by a wooden fence, it is of low difficulty and is signposted with information panels explaining the geological, fauna and flora peculiarities. The Patronato de Turismo de Asturias (Asturias Tourist Office) recommends doing it in stages to make the most of the trip, which is also designed for the youngest members of the family. Along the way, you will cross wooden bridges over spectacular slopes and long rocky tunnels. An experience for the senses which allows you to visit unique places, such as the Ethnographic Museum of Quirós, the Valdemurrio Reservoir, the Prehistoric Park of Teverga and the Valdecerezales Gorge.
Parador of Corias, an idyllic setting
There is no better alternative to tiredness than to stay at the majestic Parador of Corias, in Cangas de Narcea. Also known as the Asturian Escorial, it is a monastery declared a National Historic-Artistic Monument. Its underground cellars are a beautiful museum containing archaeological remains of the first construction, dating from the beginning of the 11th century. From the windows of the rooms, the sights of the mountainous landscape and the Narcea river are breathtaking.
The restaurant is located in the former refectory of the monastery, one of the most stunning places in the parador. The menu offers the best products from the Asturian vegetable garden: peas, tomatoes, vegetables and beans, hake and tender veal, without forgetting the delicious desserts with a monastic influence. All combined in succulent recipes, such as the crab cream with diced pixín (angler) and confit potato, the Asturian fabada (bean stew) with its compango (assorted meats) of Cangas or the grilled Asturian beef sirloin gratiné with Peñacoba cheese.