Any place on Earth is determined by two numbers, their latitude and their longitude. The numbers of Cabo Peñas are these: 43º 39.4 'North; 5º 50.8 'West. Cold coordinates that, however, already indicate one thing to take into account: we are in the northernmost point of Asturias. Farther north impossible. What the numbers do not define is the vertigo and the abyss that summons one of the most impressive capes of the Spanish geography. Everyone looks out, some even recklessly, but no wonder, the occasion can not be missed. From the 2014 is part of the European Network Natura 2000.
They are more than 100 meters above sea level, an exceptional experience on a cliff so sharp that it looks like the prow of a giant ocean liner. The cruise to which Cabo Peñas invites us is not anything, the winds whip, the sea brings us with all its rage, and over our heads the seagulls fly. The swell breaks in half against the prow of our imaginary ship, which is actually a protruding and powerful shell of the same earth. The sea is split against the figurehead; a quartzite, abstract and geometric figure. Mysterious too.
Our hair is ruffled at Cabo Peñas, we breathe deeply, we dare to look towards the beyond, in this case at the bottom, where the white foam is radiant and vivacious. The islets appear for help.
In our particular meridian we can sit down to imagine. Suppose it is midday and moves to the west, or to the east. Suppose you can travel instantly wherever you want. Keeping a steady rhythm, 180º will later reach midnight. When you have traveled 360º you will return to where you were, the time will be midday again, yesterday at noon. Today or tomorrow. Time does not stop but it stops while navigating on the «Barco Peñas». That pica or tiny triangle that we see on the map of Asturias turns out to be a monument to the sea, of overwhelming dimensions.
Protected area of Cabo Peñas
Geographically, Cabo Peñas is located in the central area of the Asturian coast, between Gijón and Avilés, in the municipality of Gozón. The actual surface of this projection, in view of satellite, is 19,2 km2 and contains a whole series of fully natural watertight compartments; to the point of being a protected space, mainly at a biological level due to its importance as a habitat for marine birds and other migratory species. Here are also all varieties of heather in the region, as well as relevant geological formations. Towards the interior, to port, the relief is very little pronounced, with fluvial valleys of little importance that have allowed that this flat peninsula has not been consumed nor cornered by the terrestrial water. In this way it also maintains its own height and personality compared to the Bay of Biscay. The landscape around is reached with a glance, and on a clear day you can see the constant folds of the central coast of Asturias to locations far away. From the cross and mailbox of summits, on top of The Gaviera (94 ms.), The northernmost peak of the entire cape, we can see Cabo Vidío and even Cabo Busto to the west (at 100 Kms. Away, in the municipality of Luarca); and to the east, the Punta del Castro, Punta de la Narvata, Punta el Paguión, Punta la Vaca, reaching the view to Punta Tazones (about 60 Kms, in Villaviciosa).
The own Space of the Cabo Peñas collects mainly cliffs and beaches with valuable dune systems, emphasizing from west to east: the Xagó sandbank, the Portezuelos beach, the Verdicio beach, the Ferrero beach, the Llumeres beach or the Bañugues beach. It is also included the islet of La Erbosa, the largest in the Asturian coastline after the island of Deva.
The corporal is crowned by the Lighthouse of Peñas, the most important and the most extensive of the Asturian coast. It gives light from 1852 and is a basic guide for the northern sailors. With good weather the beam of light reaches the 41 miles, with haze the no disdainful 18 miles. Prior to 1852, it was signaled with fire, burning logs on a stone screen that illuminated the night in Peñas and indicated the way home to the sailors. Retreating in time and imagining such a primitive signaling, allows us to imagine a really cruel navigation, lasting in practically all conditions. What the sailors would not think to see up close, suddenly, the mass of this corporal that already overwhelms us completely. And that we are on him, with his feet on the ground and without suffering the swells.
Our boat does not move, We're safe.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com
Information of interestWe access the point from Avilés by the AS-238 Regional to Luanco. From Gijón by the Regional AS-19, to El Otero, and then by the Regional AS-239 to Luanco.
In the council of Gozón we can choose to approach the Cabo on foot thanks to The Senda del Cabo Peñas (PR-AS-25), well signposted, that runs through this coastal rasa, very close to the edge of the sea. Traveling through the West of Peñas the parishes of: Laviana, Podes, Verdicio and Viodo. By the East of Peñas: Bañugues, Heres and Luanco.