Monday, 22 December 2008

Snowy Mountains

With Christmas fast approaching I thought it would be nice to show some of the local mountain scenery covered in snow. This year the snow started in October and there has been plenty of it since. The photo above, taken a week ago, is on the way up to Vizcares on the north western edge of the Ponga Mountains. In the back ground you can see both the Picos (to the left) and the Ponga Mountains to the right.

A small yew forest on the way to Vizcarres

Also on Vizcarres

Sunrise over the Picos

The day before yesterday I went up to the Pienzo summit on the Sueve range (just behind the hotel) to see the sun rise over the snow covered Picos; quite breathtaking. At the bottom you have a sea of cloud covering the valleys

Pico Mirueñu

This is the second highest summit on the Sueve range. Note the Karst depressions in the foreground and the Cordillera Cantabrica in the Background

A beech forest in the Ponga range close to "Pileñes"

Awsome Pileñes (late October)

Farmers hut in the valley beneath Pileñes

That’s me in early November climbing up to Peña Main in the central Massif of the Picos de Europa

Central massiff with the famous "Naranjo de Bulnes"as seen climbing Peña Main.

Frozen plants near the top of Peña Main

Descending from Peña main

And a MERRY CHRISTMAS from the whole family (taken just over a week ago on a flat road outside the hotel.)

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Joe and the donkey sanctuary.

Since the middle of summer Joe has been helping at the donkey sanctuary “El Paraíso del burro” in Arrobes about 8 kms from the hotel. The sanctuary has been operating just over a year and is run by a Dutch couple; Marlene and Leo.

Marelene with two of the donkeys.

Although a donkey sanctuary is a well established concept in the UK and Holland it’s a new idea here in North Spain. What Marlene wants is that when the working life of a donkey has finished there is a place where they can go and enjoy their retirement. Thanks to Marlene and with the help of volunteers and people who are “adopting” a donkey this is now becoming possible. Over the last few months there has been a lot of interest from both regional and national media, and they now have 14 donkeys in total.

Joe goes once a week and helps with the grooming of the donkeys and other work that needs doing on the farm. Although some of the work might be similar to the work we have on our own farm, she finds it a complete break from the hotel, enjoys the contact with the animals and has great admiration for Marlene and Leo and their enthusiasm and dedication to the project.

If anyone wants to get involved with the project or wants more information, they can get in contact directly with Marlene at; or contact Joe at the hotel web address

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Inntravel Discovery Day

Nigel and Joe in front of our stand at the Inntravel travel fair

Joe and I got back from the UK yesterday where we had been to exhibit at the Inntravel Discovery day, along with another hotel from Asturias . Inntravel is the major travel agent with whom we work and specialise in independent holidays with a bias towards people who are interested in walking, good food and authentic accommodation.

Every 3 to 4 years they organise a travel fair where all their suppliers (destinations and hotels) are invited to exhibit their products. This year they celebrated it at the Heritage car museum in Warwickshire on Saturday the 6th.

Joe preparing the final details for the stand

In total there were about 60 stands (including ourselves) and it was attended by over 1,200 people, not bad considering entrance is by invitation only. The hotels supply information about what they have to offer; the accommodation, destination, activities etc. and normally have some products for the people to sample. This year we took our own apple juice and some local cheese for people to try.

Joe talks to potential customers, telling them how nice our hotel is!

I think it was a very successful event, with lots of interest being shown by people about what we are doing. In the evening there was a gala dinner with dancing for the suppliers and all in all we had an enjoyable, if not tiring, time.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Self guided walking – a new “book”

Over the last couple of years we have spent a lot of time and effort in developing the “environmental” side of the hotel and the farm, which in general has been very much appreciated by guests. So I thought it was time we did some more work for those guests who want to use the hotel primarily as a base for walking in the area.

Asturias, with its soaring mountains, rolling hills and unspoilt coastline, offers a huge range of excellent walking opportunities; from people looking for a gentle stroll, to serious walkers looking for a challenging high mountain trek.

We have always had a selection of self guided walking notes and maps available for guests at the hotel, and updated them periodically. But after a lot of walking, photographing and fact finding, I am pleased to say we have just finished a new “book”: Self guided walking in the Picos de Europa and Asturias.

In this “book” we give an introduction to the walking opportunities in the eastern part of Asturias, including the Picos de Europa, with brief descriptions and photographs of 35 different walks.

The walks are grouped into the following geographical areas:

Around the hotel including the Sueve Mountain range
Picos de Europa Western and Central Massif
Ponga Mountain Range
Coastal walks

In each section (geographical area) the walks are listed in increasing degree of difficulty; easiest walks first, most difficult walks last. To grade the walk a combination of both the total distance and the total ascent has been taken into consideration.

Most of the information in this “book” has also been placed on our web page under the self guided walking section. The actual notes for each self guided walk are available for guests along with the appropriate map at the hotel.

Happy walking!


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.