Hello dear pilgrims! Today we bring you the perfect plan to start 2021 on the right foot and burn those extra calories we have accumulated during the holidays: the route of the Xanas. This time we will take you to the Asturian council of Santo Adriano to discover one of the most beautiful routes in the Asturian mid-mountain.

The environment of the Xanas Gorge

This route is located in the council of Santo Adriano, specifically in the parish of Villanueva, only 25 kilometres from the city of Oviedo. The gorge of Las Xanas owes its name to the Asturian-Leonese mythology. Xanas are a mythological character of this area that lives in crystalline waters. Xana refers to different types of fairies and nymphs.

Geographically, it is located in the surroundings of the Sierra del Aramo, in the Cantabrian Mountain Range. The surroundings of the route are developed following a ravine that can be up to 90 metres deep. It should be noted that the entire Las Xanas Gorge has been declared a Natural Monument and therefore forms part of the network of protected landscapes.

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The route of the Xanas

This route is one of the most frequented in Asturias, since within the Cantabrian Mountains it is one of the most accessible areas for everyone. However, the route runs through a gorge on a limestone substrate, so we recommend not to run and walk with caution.

Itinerary

Once we have reached the car park of the Molín de las Xanas recreational area, we must walk up the road a few metres, until we reach a signpost on the right that gives access to the route. It is interesting to stop and read the information given about the origin of the path. The route is linear and its total distance is about 7 kilometres long, which can be done in two and a half hours, or three if you want to go more slowly.

In the first part of the route you will enter the gorge itself, walking along the left bank. The views and landscape are spectacular. The path is wide enough to go at ease, but even so, walk always close to the wall, as the substrate is rocky. After walking for about two kilometres, you will leave the gorge behind you to enter a densely wooded riverside landscape, which is very idyllic. In this part we find the Xanas River at the same height.

route of the Xanas

Afterwards, you cross the river and the road continues uphill, crossing rural and natural spots where you will often come across the typical blonde cows of the country. Once we leave the forest and find ourselves in a clearing, we are about to reach the end of the route, at the church of San Antonio de Pedroveya. Now all you have to do is go back the way you came.

In this link you will find more information, maps and topographic profiles about the route of the Xanas.

How to get to the starting point of the route of the Xanas?

The best way to get there is by private vehicle. From Oviedo you have two options. The first is to follow the A-66 motorway until exit 36 towards AS-322 and at La Arquera change to the AS-360 road towards Villanueva. Another option is to take the AS-63 from Oviedo and at Soto take the AS-228 to Villanueva. In both cases the distance is twenty and a few kilometres in half an hour.

It is also possible to get there by public transport, taking a bus from Oviedo to Teverga.

What physical preparation do I need?

To do this route it is not necessary to be in good physical shape, as the effort involved is very low and the route is short. Bear in mind that it’s just over 3 kilometres of “climbing” and once you’ve reached the end, you’ll be back where you came from with the slope in your favour.

route of the Xanas

What is the best time of year to do the route of the Xanas?

Any time of the year is good to go out to the mountains to walk. Anyway, as we always say, the most beautiful seasons to go to the forest are spring and autumn. The route of the Xanas is a route that can be done even during the winter. However, even though it often does not reach the snow level, bear in mind that if the temperatures are very low the ground can be frozen for some stretches. For this reason, we recommend that you take extreme precautions and walk during the central hours of the day, when temperatures are higher.

Tips

As we always tell you, it is necessary to wear suitable clothes for the sport practice appropriate for the time of the year in which we are. The shoes should be trekking shoes with a good grip sole to avoid slipping. Some trekking poles are recommended to feel more comfortable and safe when walking in the gorge. Of course, carry in your backpack snacks and enough water to keep you hydrated during the whole journey.

If you have any questions or wish to share something about this wonderful route with us, please do not hesitate to leave your comment. Have a good day, pilgrims!

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