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The Route of the Alba, something more than a well-known route

 

The Redes Natural Park, in Asturias, brings together true jewels of nature, often furrowed by historic routes that united, through spectacular landscapes, the people who inhabited the charming villages found within this natural paradise. Since time immemorial, the Route of the Alba has united the council of Sobrescobio with that of Aller through an impressive path of muleteers and shepherds that today is a reference point as well as being a Natural Monument.

The Route of the Alba

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The Route of the Alba along its 14,6 Km crosses narrow gorges not before saying goodbye to the careful locality of Soto de Agues, departure point for the great majority of people who nowadays transit the places that this senderista itinerary visits. Centenary hórreos, renovated laundry rooms or mansions with their coquettish balconies, give way to a pleasant walk that step by step brings us closer to the steep gorge through which we are about to pass. The spectacular scenery that is already intuited in front of us should not hide the other values that this route offers us and that have marked and mark part of its character. Factors such as the farmer or the industrialist, with the fish farm or the remains of the abandoned iron mine of El Carmen, have influenced and marked the current appearance and history of this land.

Waterfall of the Route of the Alba

The river Alba is undoubtedly another of the great protagonists of the route, offering the visitor an endless number of waterfalls of considerable height, which come to add to the torrents and pools of crystalline waters such as those of Calvu, les Lleroses or La Sapera. River that forced to the construction of bridges that facilitated to cross it to the shepherds and muleteers that crossed these ways, bridges like the one of the Pontona or the one of the Resquebra that unite both slopes of the narrow Gorges of Llamío. Vertical walls that mark out the route at all times, giving way, in some areas, to real porticos supported in delicate balance over our heads. All a natural monument unbeatable habitat for colossal oaks, beeches, lime trees that together with the nourished fauna composed among others by the Red Rocker, the Chova or the Alimoche, populate the slopes and the limestone and quartzite cliffs that form the well-known silhouette of this Route of the Alba, and that give way to the amplitude that characterizes the prairies in the Cross of the Rivers, point of return towards Soto de Agues, and from where the Praera Peak or the Retiñón they lean out curious to the narrow gorge.

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Gorges of Llamío

The Trick

 

Once back towards Soto de Agues, shortly before arriving at the locality, we can change the itinerary and return along the path that leads along the opposite bank of the river to the Saint Andrés neighbourhood, one of those that make up Soto de Agues and once there we go to the car park from which we leave. This variant is conditioned by the state of the bridge that we have to cross to start the route and it is probable that we will find ourselves with this pass cut off as a precaution.

 

 

How to get to

 

 

 

To get to Soto de Agues we have to do it first to Rioseco in the middle of the AS-117 road that departs from Langreo to cross from west to east all the Redes Natural Park passing through towns like Pola de Laviana, Rioseco or Campo de Caso. It is concretely in the same Rioseco where we will find the detour that leads towards La Polina and Villamorey, being in this last town where it is the beginning of the road that will approach us finally until Soto de Agues. Once there, just leave behind us a first detour that seems to introduce us into the village, we will find a large car park where we must park our vehicle to start the route.

 

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​​Pet area, hiking with my dog

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Unbeatable route for our dog, given its distance and relative low unevenness will undoubtedly be a good activity for both those who are accustomed and for those who are not. The regulation forces to take it tied up to avoid annoyances to the cattle and to the crowded number of people who usually visit this route. Attention also to the vehicles that also usually circulate on the track.

It is not advisable to underestimate this activity, so it is important to bring water and of course food but surely we can find some point where our friend can drink.

Finding the livestock and more pets than we think is normal in this visited route, more than enough reasons to be attentive to our friend.

 

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Description of the Route of the Alba

 

De Soto de Agues to San Andrés Neighborhood Detour 1.9 Km

 

The town of Soto de Agues (0h 00min) is the starting point for the busy Route of the Alba.

We leave from the car park in Soto de Agues

More specifically, the route starts from the large car park that we will find as soon as we arrive in the town.

Almost better for the top one.

It is only after leaving the car park to enter Soto de Agues, where we will find the first sign of the itinerary, which encourages us to follow the street to the left of the two that start from this point.

We cross the town

But in reality, the marks on the path that must accompany us during the route run along the street above, which, if you follow it, takes you directly to the town square.

We didn't deviate at any of the crossings.

In any case we have to cross Soto de Agues from end to end following without deviating, either the main street that passes through the square, or the one that indicates the sign that runs parallel to the other street.

We arrive at the real starting point of the Route of the Alba

Both options come together again on the outskirts of Soto de Agues, next to a well-kept hórreo, just before passing by the old washing place where the Route of the Alba begins.

We've got about five kilometers of asphalt road.

A few kilometres of cement track await us in front, which will guide us without any major complications along this part of the route.

The narrow gorge awaits us

We enter in this true monument of the Natural Park of Redes surrounded by the mountains that surround us.

The slope does not imply complications

The slope during almost all the route will not be demanding at all, except for some short ramp a little more remarkable than the rest.

We passed by the fish farm.

Almost without realizing it, we will pass by the fish farm that takes advantage of the quality of the waters that come down from the mountain.

We didn't leave the cement road at any time.

The route that we must follow, in addition to having its corresponding marks, is, in this section, conditioned, so it leaves no room for doubt in the few junctions that we have to find.

The valley closes with every step

The valley closes little by little giving less margin to the river Alba that runs through it.

We leave behind the detour of the San Andrés Neighborhood

As soon as we enter the first of the gorges that we have to cross, we will find the detour of the San Andrés neighbourhood (0h 35min) and the battered bridge that allows us to cross the river to follow this variant on our return, as long as the pass is not cut off.

 

From the detour from the San Andrés neighbourhood to the Bridge of the Vega 3,5 Km

 

We continue going up the river following the comfortable track embedded between the enormous cliffs that mark out this zone of the itinerary.

The landscape becomes more rugged

The spectacular landscape that surrounds us more than compensates the supposed monotony that is supposed to every layout that follows a conditioned way.

The route is still quite comfortable

The gorge widens and shortens giving more or less margin to the river and our path as if it were a game.

The cement track continues to guide us without complications

The vegetation allows us to contemplate the summits of the mountains that surround us, thus enlarging the beauty of the landscape.

We passed by another bridge

The Alba River, which gives us capricious waterfalls, is undoubtedly one of the great protagonists of this route.

Ojo is not a pedestrian walk, vehicles also circulate

There will not be many crossroads and paths that we will come across in this section of the route and in all of them it is very clear the direction to follow.

The walls hang over our heads

Above our heads hang huge carved stones to allow us to pass. We continue to gain height step by step without, except on a few occasions, noticing the slope we are gaining without realizing it.

We come to the end of the cement track.

After a while our cement track comes to an end, at the same time that we find the recreational area of the Bridge of the Vega (1h 35min).​

 

From San Andrés Bridge to the Cross of the Rivers 1,9 Km

 

From now on, the comfort we had enjoyed up to this point gives way to a generally wide mountain path that will guide us through the gorge we are about to cross.

We start the most spectacular area of the Route of the Alba

We unknowingly entered the wildest and most beautiful part of the route. The slope begins to be more evident, forcing us to advance more calmly, the perfect excuse to enjoy the landscape that surrounds us.

The walls imprison the river

The Gorges of Llaímo close in front of us, leaving an imposing picture of vertical walls at whose feet the river runs torrentially.

This last stretch of the route has quite slippery areas

After a few first ramps the wide trail narrows, we are before a short stretch whose greatest difficulty is marked by the slippery floor.

We reached one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the route.

After crossing this area, the first of the bridges we must cross awaits us.

It's time to go up a few stairs.

Just after, with our eyes set on the beautiful waterfall that the river gives us, we ascend a conditioned stretch that allows us to save the height of this waterfall.

We cross the Alba river again

Once again we are faced with a slippery area that quickly gives way to the second bridge that we must cross.

We continue to advance through the gorge

We continue with no more complications than those of gaining height little by little while enjoying the environment that surrounds us.

The landscape continues to be impressive

The narrow gorge continues to give us impressive areas and capricious waterfalls.

A short section repaired after a landslide

The footpath shows the wounds, some already repaired, of the landslides he has suffered.

The Route of the Alba comes to an end

Without hardly realizing it, the gorge comes to an end, leaving us with the desire to continue touring its gorgeous nooks and crannies.

We arrived at the Cross of the Rivers

A small bridge gives way to a wide landscape known as Cross of the River (2h 15min), where a well-deserved rest awaits us before returning.

We're back through the gorge again.

We will return following our footsteps, desandando lo andado, until arriving again to Soto de Agues (4h 00min), where this entertaining route really ends.

 

This route has been carried out on the ground by SENDITUR on 01-03-2017. The route can vary a lot depending on the time of year, the weather conditions and the terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered by the natural environment where it is located. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse or inadequate use of the comprehensive guides of its routes and/or publications, nor for the variations for the above-mentioned reasons that could exist in their descriptions and recommends that each person be responsible and prudent in the realization of the activity. Likewise, we invite you to get information from books and specialized guides to complement the information described. All times are approximate and are for guidance only. Stops, however small, have not been taken into account. All the information related to the route, texts, images, videos, maps, diagrams, tracks, towns and places of tourist interest are published as a guide and may not coincide with the current state of each place. Before carrying out any activity, value your technical knowledge, your physical form, inform yourself about the meteorology and the variations that the route could have suffered, equip correctly, be prudent and responsible at all times, not surpassing your capacities.

Technical data sheet of the route

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Total distance. 14,6 Km

 

Total time. 4h 00min

Without a doubt, the beauty of the many corners through which we will pass along the route will determine the total time we will use. It is also necessary to take into account how crowded this route usually is to adjust our schedule if we want to be less accompanied.

 

Time of year. To take into account the flow of the river

Of course we are before a route that has enough and varied attractions that make it highly recommended to visit throughout the year. The landscape and the flora, together with the river, are the great protagonists, but without a doubt it is the river that with its flow marks the pulse of the cascades and the torrents that mark a great part of the route.

 

Required equipment. Don't forget your lunch.

There are many people who take advantage of the different areas equipped with benches and tables or the green meadows to rest and spend a pleasant day, in addition to traveling a beautiful route. Don't forget that no matter how well equipped the route is, we have to equip ourselves correctly, adapting our clothes and footwear to the time of year and weather conditions, and accompanying our camera with a minimum hiking equipment essential whenever we go out to the natural environment. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.

 

Slope acumulate. 728 m   Slope positive. 364 m   Slope negative. 364 m

 

Difficulty. Moderate

 

Physical

Without a doubt, the total distance is the greatest physical condition of this route, although we should not forget the slope to overcome. With the exception of some short ramp, the slope that we must face is gentle and allows us to save it without major difficulties, thanks in part to the continuous false plains that we will pass along the route. 

 

Severity of the environment

The route is clearly divided into two distinct sections, the first fully conditioned and apparently without more danger than the vehicles that can get to furrow it and the second much wilder, with slippery sections and somewhat more exposed but without major complications. As in any route or situation we face, common sense and prudence are good companions, we do not have to forget that we are crossing a steep gorge, so it is not very advisable to leave the path or marked route, respecting the advice and recommendations. It is not uncommon for us to come across some rockslides, especially at the end of the route. We must also take into consideration the flow of the river, as there are areas that at certain times can become floodable and of course the presence of ice or snow that undoubtedly increase and condition the difficulty of this route.

 

Orientation

This is a perfectly signposted route with a clearly defined layout whose greatest complications can be found, curiously, in Soto de Agues to get to the beginning of the path on the outskirts of the town.

 

Important places to pass through

NAME PLACE OF PASS TIME TO HIM ALTITUDE DISTANCE COORDINATES UTM
1-Soto de Agues 0h 00min 430 m 0 Km 30T 299545 4786205
2-San Andrés Neighborhood Detour 0h 35min 495 m 1,9 Km 30T 298942 4784866
3-Recreational Area Bridge the Vega 1h 35min 637 m 5,4 Km 30T 298756 4782047
4-Cross of the Rivers 2h 15min 788 m 7,3 Km 30T 297767 4780975
5-Recreational Area Bridge the Vega 2h 40min 637 m 9,2 Km 30T 298756 4782047
6-San Andrés Neighborhood Detour 3h 30min 495 m 12,7 Km 30T 298942 4784866
7-Soto de Agues 4h 00min 430 m 14,6 Km 30T 299545 4786205

Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84

 

Profile of the route

Profile of the Route of the Alba

 

Cartography, maps and tracks

Route of the Alba Map

This sketch of the route is not made to scale nor does it contain all the information relating to the area, it is merely indicative.

Topographic map with the itinerary of the Route of the Alba

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This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional  "Cuadrante 054-3, 1:25.000"

 

Senditur has manipulated the tracks to correct the aberrant points that may exist, caused by problems with the reception of the GPS signal. In any case the tracks are always approximate.

 

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SENDITUR encourages you to use the new technologies within your reach, using them as support and consultation in your activity, not basing the realization and orientation of the same only and exclusively on them, since they may see their functioning altered by very diverse causes, not functioning correctly and their indications may not be precise. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse and/or operation of its electronic guides and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in its descriptions are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions that SENDITUR encountered on the specific day of the performance of the tour, referring to that specific day and always taking as reference trained and experienced people, with a high level of both physical and technical preparation, as well as correctly equipped, therefore all opinions, assessments and/or advice are for guidance only. 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.

FILE AND TRACKS
Alba River
Crossroads of Rivers
Gorge of the Route of the Allba
Route of the Alba
Waterfall of the Route of the Alba
Way of the Route of the Alba
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Ana Sanz
Created the 13-03-2017
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Hace ya unos años que la visite y me encanto, la recomiendo es muy bonita y no tiene complicaciones.

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¿Did you know that...

 

In this area there is a carnivorous plant, specifically the Tiraña, which grows along the Route of the Alba in the vertical rocky walls that mark it out, finding a humid and shady habitat ideal for it where it captures the small insects that stick to its leaves.

 

Don't miss out...

 

Soto de Agues, strolling through its streets and the neighbourhoods that make it up will allow you to discover hórreos more than 100 years old along with a network of streets with typical constructions, some of them full of history, or immerse yourself in their customs and traditions. 

 

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