If we are interested in getting into the Peaks of Europe we do not need to run any risk or climb any high mountain any. The only thing we need is to put on our best boots, and start a natural route at the feet of those huge rocks of limestone.
We are talking about a route that runs between the Lakes of Covadonga, at 1.100 meters of height, and the Ario meadow at 1.600 meters. The return route will take around six hours approximately. This excursion starts on the shores of the Lake Ercina, one of the most famous Lakes of Covadonga.
Our goal is the Ario meadow, an extensive piece of land full of limestones and flock during the summer time. In this place we can find a genuine mountain shelter ideal for those lovers of the Peaks, that works as a base for numerous mountain activities and speleology.
For us, the occasional tourists, this route is seen as a small great adventure of return. Once we have our rucksack on our shoulders we can follow the path marked by the left side of the lake Ercina. A path marked with the letters PR PNPE-3 signing the hiking routes of this park. This one borders in its first stage the lake by its eastern flank. Now we will move between some shacks which form the Ercina meadow, then we may take a new path bordering to stream, the "Riega of the Brazu". This little river flows into the channel of "the Cuenye" that at the same time flows into the "Paré meadow". In this location we can observe the first forest areas.
In the first 40 minutes of this route approximately we get to the "Bobias meadow" full of shacks. In the limits of this meadow we can refresh ourselves in the fountain called "la Canaleta", whose water comes down from a high rock next to this path.
In a short while we get into a forest and cross it, then we go down to a new meadow on our left. This is the meadow called "Redondiella" (but we do not go down this one). Up to here this route would have taken us around 60 minutes. Then we go on this route and cross to river reaching popular area called "Las Reblagas". A rocky path would lead to a high-altitude area commonly known as "Las Campizas".
At this point we are in the middle of our route and this is the perfect stage to get some relaxation. From here this route is well signed and easy to follow. We will cross to a high area called "Los Abedules" that leads us to the pass of "El Jitu". Here we can admire the wonderful shapes of the Central Mass drew on the horizon over the popular cliff called "Route of Cares".
The clear path on our left leads us to the refugee "Marqués of Villaviciosa", with kitchen service and a near fountain. This refugee is located on the northern border of the Ario meadow (1.630 m) (2.40 h.). From here we can also identify the main peaks because we are in a perfect location for it.
The rounded summit called "Jultayu" is at our right. If after this route we feel strong enough, we can ascend this mountain of 1935 meters of height. This summit is easy to reach and it will take us around one hour from our last position. This summit is considered to be one of the most wonderful viewpoints in the Cantabrian mountain range.
The panoramic sight from here is really astonishing. We can observe the splendor of the "Llambrión" and "Torre Cerrado" masses respectively. Down here is located the town of Cain. The mount Jultayu is the perfect balcony of the Cares gorge.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com
Information of interestRecommendations
Its better to start walking at 9.00 or 9.30 at the latest.
Do not try it in bad weather or fog.
You can do this tour with hiking boots or strong shorebirds.
Do not forget the water bottle, we can fill in the sources of the way. The camera is almost essential.
two hours and a half hours to Vega de Ario, a Jultayu hour. The return on the same path.