Sierra of Santianes and the valley of Peme

Mofrechu, mountain balcony

Sierra of Santianes and the valley of Peme
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Mofrechu, mountain balcony

The mount Mofrechu is the highest peak in the municipality of Ribadesella, it is an excellent route for all people who want to see the mountains and the Asturian landscape from closer.

From the summit (891 meters) we can see a wonderful view of The Eastern coast of Asturias and all of the surrounding mountains: Sueve, Cuera, Escapa, Santianes also including the Peaks of Europe and the mountains of Cangas of Onís, Amieva and Ponga.

The Mount Mofrechu is with no doubt one of the most privileged vantage points of this region of Asturias, a natural balcony to the mountain.

It is, in fact, really easy to take a picture of this place. The only thing to do is just to choose a sunny day, suitable shoes and follow a route that we will detail afterwards. This excursion only takes two hours (two for going up and less to return), and it is for all public.

Mount Mofrechu: starting the route

We can reach the summit of this mount from two different starting points. One of them starts in Santianes in Ribadesella and the other starts in Igena in Cangas of Onís. Our first option is a bit tough since we have to overcome more or less 1000 meters of gradient. The second choice is more practical and we recommend it much more.

We can reach the town of Igena from different locations. The access to this town is made by the AS-340 road that joins Corao (Cangas of Onís) to Nueva (Llanes). The beauty of this excursion is clearly shown since the first moment we start it. Besides us there are slopes and wide green valleys, as well as many hidden rich towns in architectural monuments.

The starting point of this route is only at one kilometer to our arrival at Igena, once we pass Riensena, if we come from New or we are one kilometer passed Igena, if we come from Corao. The starting point of this route is marked by a gate through which we can see a path. Once we park our car, we find a second gate (we must leave it closed as it was) and follow a forest trace.

Opposite us we can see thousands of horizons of this landscape and have mountains and small ones. It is important to mention that we start this route 600 meters high over the sea level. On this route we can easily find cows, goats and horses in the environs.

Little by little we can see how the road raises although we can do it at once. After one hour of walking we must leave this forest trace to follow now a mountain path. Here, at this point the farm men have their huts covered with stones in order to protect themselves during the winter and to keep their livestock safe. Behind us we have already left some huts and a whole of high trees.

This route leads to the West, where we find some lagoons that are full of natural water during winter time. Here, the livestock is abundant. By the South we are bordering the Picu Mofrechu.

Monte Mofrechu: we get to the top

At this point the path seems to disappear and now we can overcome the highest ascent if we want, and this is the last plot of our route. This is not so difficult as it seems at first sight but we have to walk among some rocks if we want to do it, but soon we will reach the summit.

From the highest point we can enjoy a really beautiful sight of this area. The Mount Mofrechu is not only a natural paradise but the starting point of the cartography of this area. Now we can draw a map that can be seen in three dimensions.

The sierra of Mofrechu and its surroundings are of great environmental importance. Apart from its native fauna and diversity of trees such as oaks, hazel trees and beeches, it is important to mention the richness of its grounds that feed different kinds of moss and ferns. This richness is bigger when we are close to a stream, for instance, those of Santianes, Llovio, Llordón, or the deep valley of Zardón or even the well known river Sella. All of them come to their end in the municipality of Ribadesella. We can appreciate this village from the summit of the Mount Mofrechu.

The mount Mofrechu goes by the ulterior grounds of Cangas of Onís, expanding towards the sierras of Zardón, Olicio, Onao, Peña verde, Peña Mail and Llueve. On its way to the sea it also goes by the Sierra of Escapa and Santianes in the municipality of Ribadesella.

From the locality of Santianes of Water, only five kilometers from Ribadesella, in the road N-634 on direction to Arriondas, starts a wonderful route similar to that of Mofrechu of variable longitude, always depending on where we want to finish it. We are talking about an ulterior valley that follows the Sierra of Escapa.

Valley of Peme

From Santianes we must take a path that leads us to Peme, a place rich in its variety of floors and trees, it also has medium gradient. After one hour of going up by the Sierra of Santianes we reach a mountain with wide meadows and deep forests. This is the valley of Peme, an ideal place that used to house 50 neighbours.

Today it is only inhabited by one family. Over the Peme we can see the sea and the village of Ribadesella. If we go up a bit more we can reach the peak Cueri. The panorama from here is really wonderful and covers 60 kilometers along the coast. It is easy to reach any point in the Sierra de Escapa but our best choice is to pass the valley of Peme and follow that route to the valley of Llames. We can enjoy the environs, visiting the huge grotto of Conegra and also enjoying this landscape and its springs.

Another choice to get to Peme is to get there by throwing the Cave of Tinganón That goes through the Sierra of Escapa thanks to the flow of a river that passes by the town of Llovio. This is a very advisable route of 1000 through a grotto, included in the touristic guides of several enterprises of active sports in Ribadesella

Text: © Ramón Molleda for

coordinates Latitude: 43.4187660 Length: -5.0499344
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