Asturias offers nature, mountain and hiking lovers an infinite number of places and routes to enjoy. Perhaps one of the most impressive places to visit in Asturias is the Somiedo Natural Park, where numerous routes and charming spots await us. One of the most visited routes is undoubtedly the circular route of the Saliencia Lakes, an itinerary that allows us to travel through this area of the natural park and discover the different lakes that await us there. Of glacial origin, the lake of the Cave, the Lake of the Mine or Almagrera, the Lake of Cerveriz or Cerveiriz and the Lake of Calabazosa or Black Lake form the Lakes of Saliencia, and together with the nearby Lake of the Valley they receive the name of the Lakes of Somiedo.
You can imagine that there are several routes through this natural landscape, although most of them start from the High of the Farrapona, which is the usual finish for one of the most popular stages of the Vuelta Ciclista to Spain. The best way to reach the High of the Farrapona is to follow the route taken by the cyclists to reach the top of the mountain pass. This mountain pass is the natural border between Asturias and León, but the León side is an unconditioned road that is not very suitable for cars, so we must be careful with navigators such as Google Maps as, depending on our point of origin, they can put us on this road, complicating our arrival. The best option is to head towards the town of Pola de Somiedo, as it is between this town and Castro where we will find the road that climbs up the Saliencia Valley, passing through the towns of Veigas, Villarín, Arbellales, Endriga and Saliencia itself. From there we will continue ascending until we reach the High of the Farrapona, the end of the asphalted road, where we will find a car park that tends to fill up quickly on the busiest days.
The High of the Farrapona parking is the starting point of our circular route of the Saliencia Lakes in Somiedo. As we have already mentioned, there are several routes that we can do in the Somiedo Lakes, allowing us to adapt the itinerary to our tastes and abilities. Most of them share part of the same route, each one being an extension of the previous one. Another option, the most demanding in terms of distance and slope, links the High of the Farrapona with the town of Valle de Lago, another of the starting points for visiting the Somiedo Natural Park. In any case, we leave the car park behind us to follow the signs and the path that descends the valley, parallel to the road we arrived on. The comfortable path makes us lose altitude flanked by the vertical walls of the mountains that hide the Somiedo Lakes. Almost without noticing it, the Lake of the Cave (0h 20min), the first of the lakes of Saliencia, appears in front of us.
We leave aside the path that descends to the Lake of the Cave, where we will return at the end of the route, to head towards the Viewpoint of the Peña la Cueva, where we will find an informative sign that will help us to better understand this magnificent spot and its peculiarities.
The path seems to make us say goodbye to this spot, but some stones that act as a barrier quickly cut it off, forcing us to turn almost round and face the ascent that will take us out of the natural pool where the lake is located. The tough ascent is an excuse to make the occasional stop to catch our breath and contemplate the remains of the old Santa Rita Mine. Almost at the end of the ascent we reach the lake of the Mine or Almagrera (1h 05min), the smallest of all the lakes of Somiedo and the one we are most likely to find without water in the middle of summer.
We continue the route, leaving the Lake of the Mine to our left, to go up the slope that separates us from the Vega or Meadow of Cerveriz. A green pasture to which we descend and where we can already contemplate the Cerveriz Lake. In the middle of the meadow the route forces us to decide between following the path to the left and approaching the Cerveriz Lake (1h 25min), or continuing straight on across the meadow towards the Lake of the Valley, a very interesting option that considerably increases the distance to be covered.
On this occasion attracted by the enchantment of the vertical walls of the Peaks Albos we head for the edge of the Cerveriz Lake to meet the head of the old glacial moraine that separates it from our next objective. There are several stony paths that allow us to overcome this ledge and descend to the edge of the lake of the Calabazosa (1h 40min), which we border leaving it to our left.
As you can imagine, once you have visited this last lake of Saliencia you can retrace your steps. In our case we border the lake almost completely. When the path seems to want to take us back towards the moraine, but on the other side of the lake, we will leave the path behind us to start the ascent that will take us out of the hole where the Black Lake is located, as it is also known. This lake is the deepest of all the lakes in Somiedo, a depth that obscures its waters, hence its second name.
All that remains is to follow the path that cuts through the mountainside and crosses one of the ravines that feed water to the lake. Once we have crossed it, we descend little by little without ever reaching the shore of the lake, and after passing through a rocky area we reach the huts that we left to one side at the beginning of the route when we first arrived at the lake. From here we only have to walk the path that separates us from the parking of High of the Farrapona (2h 45min), where we will put an end to this hiking route through the Natural Park of Somiedo.
|1-High of the Farrapano
|29T 736993 4771254
|2-Lake of the Cave
|29T 735936 4771139
|3-Lake of the Mine
|29T 735468 4770780
|4-Lake of Cerveriz
|29T 735176 4770415
|29T 735914 4769922
Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84
This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 77-31:25.000".
¿Did you know that...
The Santa Rita mine was active until 1978, being owned by the company Mines of Somiedo S.A. Here, oligist or hematite, the ore from which iron is extracted, was extracted.
Don't miss out...
The famous Cabanas de Teito of Somiedo, made of stone and with a broom roof, can be seen in a large part of the Saliencia valley. These are the typical constructions used by the "vaqueiros de alzada" who looked after the livestock in the mountains.
From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go.
Besides sharing with all of us your experience on the route we would be grateful if you could write to us to inform us of any erroneous or outdated information you may have found, or simply to let us know what you think at Thank you.
Route information updated on 06-06-2021. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.
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