Northern Spain Road Trip – Day 14

Very fuzzy heads from last night’s drinking and dancing shenanigans and fuelled by donuts and chocolate milk we get our kit together and make the short 6km drive from Arenas de Cabrales to just past the village of Poncebas.

Today we’re going to walk the Cares Gorge trail. This magnificent 1km-deep, 10km-long gorge of the River Cares separates the Picos’ western massif from its central side. This dramatic canyon extends between the hamlets of Poncebos and Caín. People flock here year-round, but especially in summer, The trail is carved high into and through the rugged walls of the gorge, with limestone peaks soaring far above rising nearly 2,000 metres.

In 1916, a winding, precarious path began to be marked out so that workers belonging to the Electra de Viesgo electricity company could monitor and maintain a water canal. This canal carried part of the River Cares water supply to be used for hydroelectric generation at Camarmeña Power Plant. Subsequently, in the 1940s and 50s, the current path was built to provide better access for canal maintenance.

The hike commences with a steady climb, it’s a rough path that’s very narrow in places. As it’s a Sunday it’s very busy and we step in to let hikers walking the other way past us and vice versa. The trail is reminiscent of the Tugela Falls hike we undertook last last year in South Africa. It’s rough and rubble strewn you certainly have to have your wits about you. There’s no guard rails and one wrong move could see either of us tumbling down into the gorge below. On the upside however, the alpine scenery is just stunning and we have good weather to soak in the majesty of the soaring peaks as we walk.

We meet a number of photogenic goats en-route who are completely oblivious to the presence of hikers. The walk is fantastic but hard going and we turn round to return to Poncebas after about 2.5 hours. Our descent is slightly quicker but our knees are seriously not enjoying the return journey. It’s been a beautiful hike and the scenery is just wonderful.

We return to Arenas de Cabrales for a well needed shower and go off in search of dinner exhausted but all the better for experiencing this fantastic hike. We have to pack again tonight as we’re on the move again tomorrow. This trip is relentless but we wouldn’t have it any other way.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Website Built with

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: