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Route of The Xanas, in search of beings of legend

The Route of The Xanas is situated on horseback of the councils of Santo Adriano, Proaza and Quirós in the place where the stream of The Xanas or Viescas runs. The area in which the Gorge of The Xanas has been formed by the intense work of the water that together with the intense folds of the Paleozoic era have created an abrupt relief of high vertical walls and slopes of strong slopes, highlighting the singular contrast that create the varied vegetation and the white limestone rock.

Route of The Xanas


The route of The Xanas, with a total of 7.6 km, is a classic among the hiking routes in Asturias. It starts from the recreational area El Molín of the Xanas in Villanueva in the council of Santo Adriano. Following the course of the stream of The Xanas or Viescas, which over the years has formed a natural complex of great beauty, reaches the hermitage of San Antonio in Pedroveya, belonging to the council of Quirós. The path carved in the rock on the middle slope runs through several tunnels carved in the stone, through this fluvial gorge between vertiginous cuts where the holm oaks, yews and arbutus cling to the rock defying the force of gravity.

Hermitage of San Antonio

The gorge widens giving way to lush forests of hazelnuts, ashes, limes, maples and oaks, which hide the remains of an old mill, to go to the clarity of the wide fields of pastures from where we can contemplate a landscape of great beauty, a mixture of mountains, forests, villages and steep valleys.

One of the tunnels on the route


The Legend

The Xanas, small freshwater nymphs, long blond hair and spectacular beauty, leave the nights of San Juan in search of someone to break their enchantment. Dancing, washing and hanging out clothes, making balls of gold and silver that they give to the shepherds, they fill with treasures and riches to those who lend them some service or free them from their enchantment.

How to get to

To get to Villanueva we can do it following the AS-228 either from Trubia, near Oviedo, on the N-634, A-63 or in the other direction from the Natural Parks of Somiedo, Las Ubiñas and de la Mesa arriving to Caranga de Abajo and from there to Villanueva. We can also get there following a complex network of local roads that start from the N-630 and the A-66 that join Oviedo and León, and end up linking with the AS-360 between Villanueva and Las Caldas. Once there, shortly before arriving at Villanueva, if you come from Trubia, you will find a crossroads on the left and signs to the gorge. As soon as you take this detour, you will arrive at the car park where the route begins and you can leave your vehicle. If we continue along this road, the AS-360, we can access the other side of the route in Pedroveya.

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​​Pet area, hiking with my dog

Interesting route by paths in good condition and a short route by cement and loose stone, it is advisable to pay attention to the area of cuts to avoid accidents.

With fountains at the beginning as well as in the hermitage and crossing an easily accessible stream the water should not be a problem on hotter days.

It is usual that in the hermitage we find a large number of cows, horses and goats, the latter on the steep slopes of the gorge and along the route.



Description of the Route of The Xanas

From the Molín of The Xanas to the Hermitage of San Antonio

We begin the route in the parking lot of The Molín of The Xanas (0h 00min) ascending the stairs that run in search of the road.

The Molín of the Xana Recreational Area

When we reach it, we continue up the slope until we reach the height of an informative sign where the Route of The Xanas begins.

Road section


We leave the road to continue along a cobbled path that continues to climb the foothills of the mountain but now facing The Molin.

Detour and start of the path

This trail passes a first section protected by a wooden slope, heading towards the beginning of the gorge, into which we enter after passing a kind of train trench open in the rock.

Pebbled slope protected by a wooden slope

The throat that we will cross opens before us after overcoming a first obstacle thanks to a tunnel. Now the slope becomes less strong allowing us to enjoy the journey.

We went through the first tunnel

In the distance we can already sense the gorge where we will walk later, it is impressive to see the cuts where it passes. The itinerary crosses steep slopes where the goats are mixed with the rocks and tremendous cuts where the path is embedded in the wall allowing to avoid its verticality.

First and impressive cuts

After allowing us to enjoy a good number of corners, the gorge gains width and our route is introduced into a lush forest where you can already hear the rumor of the stream that ran many meters below us before.

We change the landscape

In this part of the route, the unevenness increases again in intensity, at first with a rise and fall. Shortly after crossing the stream by a wooden bridge, which is not for too many frills, we begin the ascent of greater intensity.

The trembling wooden bridge


We will find a trail that we will leave to our left to continue ascending by the wide path.

First crossroads, continue on the right

The route is conditioned with wooden steps in the ramps of greater unevenness, little by little we are gaining height until arriving to find us with another trail that we will leave again to our left to continue climbing stairs.

Second crossroads, indicators do not exist, in theory we can follow either of the two paths

This trail, according to those who know the area, would take us to the hermitage, avoiding the small detour that the main road makes. The route continues gaining height until arriving at the end of the stairs where it is with a wide cement track, that to our left, begins a rapid descent towards the stream.

Last junction, signs pointing to El Rebollá or a restaurant, which is the direction we should follow

At this point we have the possibility to continue along a steep trail that starts to the right of the crossroads and takes us to the village of La Rebollá.

The cement track will take us to our destination.

After crossing the bridge that crosses the stream, the path turns sharply to the left to begin the last ascent that will take us to the Hermitage of San Antonio (2h 00min), which we reach after leaving the dense forest to the clarity of the wide plateau of pasture fields where the hermitage is located.

Last stretch of ascent, we arrive at the hermitage of San Antonio

We will arrive again at The Molín of The Xanas (3h 15min) following the return journey that is made by the same route that brought us here, although there are several alternatives that would take us making a circular route to him.

Technical data sheet of the route

ico-distancia-totalTotal distance. 7.6Km

ico-tiempo-totalTotal time. 3:15h

Without stops, we can also approach the village of Pedroveya a short distance from the hermitage which would extend the time about 30 minutes.

ico-calendarioTime of year

The itinerary offers us beautiful panoramic views in any season of the year, in addition to being able to enjoy the life that hides in all the route. In the rainy season, the stretches of the forest can be very muddy and being very shady contributes to the duration of the mud. In winter we will have to inform ourselves of the state of the route to avoid encountering ice in the most exposed parts.

ico-materialRequired equipment

You can not miss the camera, we recommend binoculars, walking sticks are of great help especially for people with vertigo. Clothes and hiking shoes according to the period of the year and the weather conditions canteen with water, sun protection and sunglasses. Attention in winter to the state of the route to adapt our equipment to it. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.


ico-dificultadDifficulty. Medium


In the initial and final part of the route is where we are going to find the most demanding and constant ramps, the relative short distance of the route allows us to face these sections calmly. In the central part, the gorge, the slope is gentle allowing you to enjoy the spectacular nature of the route. The forest ramps are equipped with uncomfortable steps, which in some cases are a little high.

Severity of the environment

The route largely runs through exposed areas, but with enough width to not pose any problem, allowing us to avoid walking too close to the cut. As in all routes of this type we must be careful to avoid unnecessary stumbling, the path is well defined and with the surface compact. Special attention must be paid to stone falls, we will pass cobbled slopes protected from them by small wooden slopes, in addition the roof of the path carved into the rock protects us from possible stone falls. The areas of greater commitment are equipped with a rope to give a greater sense of security to people who suffer from vertigo or if the terrain was slippery. The path through the forest has no more complications than the usual ones of a humid soil.


Signalled his beginning we will not find too many places where to be able to confuse us, all the route is well defined we will cross a few ways where the main itinerary to follow is clear well for his width or for his state, with stairs or even encementado. The junctions we will have them in the final part leaving the first two, a couple of paths, to our left and arriving at the end of the stairs where it begins a cement track that will take us until the hermitage. Of course it is not advisable to leave the route.

Important places to pass through
1-The Molín of The Xanas 0:00h 178m 0Km 30T 257020 4795642
2-Church of San Antonio 2:00h 560m 3,8Km 30T 258955 4794711
3-The Molín of The Xanas 3:15h 178m 7,6Km 30T 257020 4795642

Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84

Profile of the route

Profile of the Route of The Xanas

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope acumulate: 1132m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope positive: 566m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope negative: 566m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 560m

ico-altitud-minima​Minimum altitude: 178m

Cartography, maps and tracks

Route of The Xanas 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 route of the Route of The Xanas


This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 0052-2 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. 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.

A wide trail that is appreciated
Contrast with the meadows next to the hermitage of San Antonio
Gorge of The Xanas
Impressive the cut made in the wall
The gorge continues
The trail is protected by the rock roof
Trees grow almost anywhere
Tunnel carved in the rock
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Listado de experiencias
Created the 13-01-2020

La hice hace algún tiempo y es un bonito y entretenido recorrido, sencillamente espectacular. Con ganas de volver

Cristina Sanz
Created the 13-12-2014

Precioso recorrido!!!

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¿Did you know that...

The Route of The Xanas was created in the early 30s as a result of the intention to build a road to connect the population centers of the interior with the valley. Failure to complete the project resulted in the narrow path where the route runs.

Don't miss out...

The hermitage of Nuestra Señora del Naranco, considered the masterpiece of Asturian Romanesque art, was built during the reign of Ramiro I on Monte del Naranco, near Oviedo.


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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.

This route has been carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 14-08-2015. 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.

All the times are approximate and take an orientative character, the stops have not been taken into account, no matter how small they are. 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 undertaking any activity, assess your technical knowledge, your physical condition, find out about the weather and the variations that the route may undergo, equip yourself correctly, be prudent and responsible at all times, and do not exceed your capabilities. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse or inappropriate use of the comprehensive guides of its routes and/or publications as well as its electronic guides, nor for any variations in their descriptions for the aforementioned reasons, and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. We also encourage you to read books and specialised guides to complement the information described above.

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