Very close to Cangas de Onís is the Covadonga Mountain and Lakes, the place where the Picos de Europa National Park was born and where Don Pelayo began the Reconquest.
In the Montaña de Covadonga are the Sanctuary and the Lakes of the same name, two of the most visited places in Spain and one of the most famous. It is worth getting here and enjoying the surroundings.
If you want more information you can visit the official page of Covadonga.
What to see on the route through the Lakes of Covadonga
The Sanctuary of the Virgin of Covadonga
It is the most visited place in Asturias and is dedicated to the Virgin of Covadonga.
The sanctuary is made up of the Holy Cave and the Basilica and commemorates the Battle of Covadonga, the battle in which Don Pelayo defeated the Muslims in 722 and began the Reconquest.
In the Santa Cueva is the image of the Virgin of Covadonga, the patron saint of Asturias and known as La Santina, for 1300 years. It is excavated in the rock and is accessed through a staircase. According to legend, this was the place where Don Pelayo and his troops hid.
In this place he is buried next to his wife and next to the third King of Asturias, Alfonso I the Catholic.
Next to the Santa Cueva is the Basilica of Santa María la Real de Covadonga, a neo-Romanesque basilica built at the beginning of the 20th century in the same place where there was an old basilica that was destroyed by fire in the 18th century. Next to them stands out the Casa Capitular and a bronze statue of Don Pelayo.
How to visit the Lakes of Covadonga
They are world famous for the Vuelta a España and for their mythical stage finishes on this summit.
It is made up of the Enol, La Ercina and El Bricial lakes, although the first two are the most famous and the third only has water during times of melting.
Lake Enol is the first to be found when you go up the road and it is the one that appears in the most famous images of the Lakes of Covadonga.
After passing Lake Enol, there is a car park where you have to leave your car to go to La Ercina, which can only be reached on foot. Getting around the area is very easy as it is very well indicated and the trails are very clear.
The path to La Ercina is very easy with a bit of unevenness.
Halfway between the two lakes are the Buferrera Mines and the Picos de Europa Interpretation Centre.
How to get to the Lakes of Covadonga
Going up the same road that takes you to the Basilica of Covadonga, 12 kilometers away are the famous Lakes of Covadonga. If you go by car you have to be extremely careful as it is very common to find cows or goats crossing the road. You will also share your walk with them around the lakes.
During the summer, Easter and other dates, due to the large influx of visitors, it is not possible to go up to the Covadonga Lakes in a private vehicle. Instead, there are a number of public buses that take you to the lakes from different stops between Cangas de Onís and Soto de Cangas.
These buses also make stops at other points of interest such as the Sanctuary and various viewpoints.