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Sierra de Santianes and the Peme Valley

Mofrechu, balcony to the mountain

Sierra de Santianes and the Peme Valley

Mofrechu, balcony to the mountain

Mount Mofrechu, the highest level of the municipality of Ribadesella, is an excellent route for all those who want to feel the Asturian landscape in a unique way.

From the summit (891 meters), affordable and very high in relation to its proximity to the sea, we can see at a glance the coast of the East of Asturias and all the surrounding mountains: Sueve, Cuera, Escapa, Santianes; including the three massifs of the Picos de Europa and the mountains of Cangas de Onís, Amieva and Ponga.

Mount Mofrechu is undoubtedly one of the most privileged viewpoints of the eastern region of Asturias, a balcony to the mountain.

Get to get this panoramic it's not too complicated. You just have to choose a clear day, a suitable shoes and go up the route that we will detail below. The excursion is, at most, about two hours (two to climb and a little less to return), is available to all audiences.

Monte Mofrechu: start of the route

Actually the summit can be undertaken from two starting points. From Santianes in Ribadesella, or from the vicinity of Igena, in Cangas de Onís. The first option is much harder and involves facing almost a thousand meters of unevenness from the coast itself, with really steep sections. The second possibility, the most practical, is what we recommend.

To reach the village of Igena we can do it from different locations. Access to the town is done by the AS-340 that connects Corao (Cangas de Onís) and Nueva (Llanes). The road, taking it one way or the other, has no waste. The beauty of the excursion is evident from the first moment, in the car itself. As we pass we are assailed by the green valleys and slopes, wide and hidden, as well as hidden villages and good examples of popular architecture.

The starting point of the route is one kilometer from our arrival in Igena; once past Riensena if we come from Nueva, or a kilometer after Igena, if we arrive from Corao. The beginning of the route is marked by a porthole, after it we see an ascending road. Once the car is parked, a few meters ahead, we will find a second porthole (we must leave it closed at our pace) and continue through the forest track.

It opens before us a landscape of a thousand horizons and dozens of mountains and small mountain ranges, in fact we start from an initial height of 600 meters. In our march, cows, goats and horses graze in the inmdeaciones.

Little by little the road will become steeper, although the march is always bearable. At the time of travel we will leave the forest track and to walk by a mountain trail, a dirt track. The change takes place in a kind of high plateau in which the farmers have their cabins and their farms surrounded with stone to shelter the cattle. An ideal place to stop. Shortly before this plateau we will leave behind another smaller one, with some cabin and surrounded by a tall and stocked grove.

The dirt track from the second plateau or hill, takes us a little further west, where we discover an immense trough that in winter usually houses a couple of natural lagoons. The cattle have a greater presence here. On the valley, which we border on the south, stands the Picu Mofrechu.

Monte Mofrechu: we make top

A moment arrives that the path disappears and we must face the ascent of the last section as we see more convenient. It does not involve any difficulty, and walking among the rocks and paths of the cattle themselves, soon we will reach the top.

From the top we will enjoy a bird's-eye view of authentic merit. We look in derremor and we understand that the Mofrechu is an ideal point to start the cartography of the area. We are giving name to everything we see, locating towns in which we have already been. A real map opens in front of us, in color and in three dimensions. A real luxury that helps us to orient ourselves and situate ourselves in the region.

The Sierra del Mofrechu and its surroundings, as well as a viewpoint like few others, is also a place of great environmental diversity. Apart from its own fauna and a tree rich in autochthonous specimens of oaks, hazel trees, ash or beech trees, the high bryophyte diversity is noteworthy, with numerous species of mosses and ferns of great ecological value. This vegetal richness is undoubtedly greater in the vicinity of the numerous streams that cross and delimit the Sierra, such as the streams of Santianes, Llovio, Llordón, or the basin of the river Zardón and of the same Sella, that we see meander down to the point of ending in Ribadesella. Villa from which we get an unbeatable view from the top of Mofrechu.

The mountain descends inland to the lands of Cangas de Onís, unfolding in the Sierras de Zardón, Olicio, Onao, Peña Verde, Peña Mail and Llueve. Towards the sea running between the Sierra de Escapa and Santianes, in the council of Ribadesella.



From the town of Santianes del Agua, to 5 km of Ribadesella, on the same N-634 road towards Arriondas, a great route as affordable as the Mofrechu begins and of variable dimensions, because each one can end the walk wherever he wants. An inner valley formed by different Vegas stretches in parallel under the Sierra de Escapa.

Valley of Peme

There is no loss, from Santianes we take the path that leads to Peme, rich in humidity, trees and with a lot of unevenness initially. In just one hour of climbing through the Sierra de Santianes we will reach a mountain meadow with wide meadows and forest. The fertile plain of Peme It is an idyllic place where in the past they lived more than 50 neighbors and today only one family lives. Above Peme there are creases in the slope that allow to see the sea and the town of Ribadesella. If we cheer up we can have an even better view ascending to the peak Cueri or any high part of the mountain range. The panoramic from there is magnificent and it covers practically 60 kilometers of coastline. Any high point of Escapa is easy to approach to get this view, although it is best to pass the Vega de Peme, simply following the path that we arrived and continue until the next Vega, the Vega de Llames. From there the height of Escapa is lower. We can also recreate in the vicinity visiting the huge cave of Conegra and enjoying in general with a coquettish landscape, of small and entangled trees, loose cattle and springs.

We can also reach Peme in a more daring way by going through the Cueva del Tinganón, which drills underground the Sierra de Escapa thanks to the flow of a river, at the height of the village of Llovio. This is a highly recommended excursion, of 1.000 meters of unforgettable journey through the grotto, which include in its program of various activities active sport companies of Ribadesella

Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com


Total distance: 8376 m
Maximum height: 902 m
Minimum height: 459 m
Ascent slope: 566 m
Descent slope: -567 m
Time spent: 05:20:40

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