Saturday, 2 August 2008

The Cares Gorge

We thought it might also be interesting to write about some of the walks which we have done and are possible to do when staying at the hotel. We start with the most famous walk in Asturias, and one of the most famous walks in the whole of Spain; the Cares gorge or “Garganta del Cares”

The origin of the path comes from the construction of a hydroelectric scheme, where a canal was built from a small dam in the river Cares at Cain through the mountains to Poncebos where a power station “Puente Poncebos” was built.

The construction of the canal was started in 1916 and lasted 5 years. The path through the gorge was cut a few years after building the canal to enable its maintenance and was reconditioned in 1946, after which it soon became a tourist attraction.

The path follows the river Cares which separates the western and central massifs of the Picos de Europa. It connects two villages; Poncebos at 200 meters altitude on the northern side of the Picos de Europa with Cain at 500 meters altitude on the southern side.The villages are 11 kms apart along the path.

Its possible top start the route from either end of the gorge, but most people staying at the hotel start at Poncebos which is about 40 minutes drive. The first hour of the walk is a climb of about 300 meters and after that it is mostly flat.

As you approach Cain the gorge narrows and the path goes through various tunnels which are carved through the mountain and crosses the river a couple of times.

The scenery along the whole of the walk is stunning and it normally takes just under 6 hours there and back.

As this is a very popular walk it can get very busy from mid July to late August and bare in mind in summer it can get very hot so take plenty of water. However one of the most memorable times we walked the Cares gorge was with all the hotel staff in January a couple of years ago when the snow line had come down to the paths limit.

At the hotel we have notes and maps for guests use for more than 20 self guided walks.

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Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.