The route to the Mirador de Ordiales is one of the essential things to do if you go to the Covadonga Lakes. This one will bring us closer to this spectacular natural balcony located to more than 1700 meters of height from which we will have a privileged view of the valley of Angón, Amieva and Ponga.
Don Pedro Pidal, Marquis of Villaviciosa, and Roberto Frassinelli, “The German of Corao” were the great promoters of this natural paradise of the Picos de Europa. Such was the love for her that Pidal asked to be buried in the Mirador de Ordiales, where the epitaph of his tomb reminds us of the sublime beauty before us.
Difficulty of the route of the viewpoint of Ordiales
The difficulty of the route of the Ordiales viewpoint is medium-high due to the fact that, among other things, the gradient to be overcome is more than 700 metres. There are two places we can get out from:
Departure from Buferrera: round trip distance 20.5 kilometres (about six and a half hours).
Leaving Pandecarmen: distance round trip 15.4 km (five hours and 45 minutes).
Can it be done with children?
Our advice is not to do it with children under 8 or 9 years of age as the climb is long and the terrain is rocky.
How do I get there?
When we access the Lakes of Covandonga we will see how the road to the left will border Lake Enol up to Lake Ercina, our route begins on the road to the right, where we will start the climb to the Mirador de Ordiales.
Follow the signs to Pandecarmen (if we have chosen this option) leaving the car in the car park and bearing in mind that at certain times of the year you can not access by car to this area, or follow the indications PR-PNPE-05 from Buferrera.
Description of the itinerary
As soon as we leave the Pandecarmen car park we will cross the bridge that crosses the Pomperi River, where we will see the German Well, in honour of Roberto Frassinelli. He enjoyed bathing in this small well of about four metres in diameter, and we will notice how the road goes uphill and gets narrower.
Soon we will find one of the most typical sheepfolds of the Picos de Europa. It called Vega la Piedra, located at about 1100 meters above sea level. Along the way we will see the cattle grazing or sleeping quietly in the fertile plains, such as Canraso, we will be accompanied by stones and green landscapes. Little by little we will reach the sheepfold of Rondiella and, little by little, we will come across from the Gamonal pass with the Vegarredonda refuge at 1450 meters of height. Until now, we have reached after almost 90 minutes of walking.
Behind the refuge of Vegarredonda, where we will find a fountain to recharge bottles and canteens. Follows the winding path that will take us to the Forcau pass through the channel of Cueñe Cerrada.
Past this area we will notice that the route becomes a little smoother, going down to a jou (hole) that takes us to cross the fields of the Torga and access the hill of Sierra Pelada. Here, we already see the meadows of Ordiales and the peak Cotalba with the Mirador de Ordiales in the lower part.
Before reaching the Mirador de Ordiales we will come across the refuge known as ICONA (the now defunct Institute for the Conservation of Nature). It has space for seven people and is in good condition in case the fog or other inclemency surprises us.
El Mirador de Ordiales
The Mirador de Ordiales is a natural balcony with a drop of 1750 meters. It shows exceptional views that well deserve the effort of the climb. There, we will find the tomb of Don Pedro Pidal y Bernaldo de Quirós who. Together with the shepherd Gregorio Pérez, ‘El Cainejo’, was the first to ascend the Pico Naranjo de Bulnes. They was also the great supporter of the creation of the Parque Natural de los Picos de Europa.
That is why, at the top of the Mirador de Ordiales, since 1949 lie the remains of Don Pedro Pidal. An epitaph carved in the same stone that has accompanied us all the way. Reminds us of the spectacularity of what we have before our eyes there:
“In love with the Covadonga Mountain National Park, we would like to live, die and rest eternally. But, the latter in Ordiales, in the enchanted kingdom of the chamois and eagles. Where I knew the happiness of Heaven and Earth. I spent hours of admiration, dreamy emotion and unforgettable transport. Where I adored God in his works of Supreme Art, where nature truly appeared to me as a temple.
8 tips for carrying out the route
- Organize the visit in advance. Find out about the days when you can’t take the car or if there is a sporting event, such as the Tour Cycling.
- Check the bus schedules to access the lakes by clicking here and book your hotel in advance if you are going to go in times of high influx of visitors.
- At any time of the year is convenient to carry a backpack with warm clothing and raincoat. This route of the Mirador de Ordiales takes us to more than 1700 meters of altitude and the wind blows strong. He also wears mountain boots and appropriate clothing.
- Bring water, some energy drink, and food (snacks, bars) especially if you go with children.
- This Ordiales Viewpoint Route is not suitable for children under 8 or 9 years old.
- If you are going to do the route alone, inform someone in case of an accident.
- If you go with animals, which we discourage due to the difficulty of the route, take them tied and controlled.
- Keep the environment clean and don’t forget to pick up the trash.