In a spot where the surrounding mountains are always green, where perfect temperatures provide a refreshing break from the summer heat, where the winter landscape offers storybook scenes ... this is where you will find the Parador de Cangas de Onís.
Located just over three kilometers from the town of the same name, this Parador is a treasure in itself. An architectural jewel whose walls enclose centuries of history, a treasure whose attached abbey features capitals which tell the story of a land visitors are certain to remember forever.
Day 1 - Discovering the history of San Pedro de Villanueva Abbey
The first order of business is to explore the building where you will be staying. The Parador offers complimentary guided tours every day. You will discover how the abbey was created, hear stories about this jewel of the Romanesque style, and learn how the building was restored, converting it into what is today one of the chain's most delightful hotels. The abbey's stonework was laid in the 12th century. Inside, the carved capitals tell the story of King Favila, the second Astur monarch. We won't spoil the tale narrated by these magnificently restored carvings crafted centuries ago in this corner of Asturias. It is best heard live, following the plot of events as you walk from capital to capital.
Now that you are familiar with the Parador, we recommend stopping in the cloister for something to drink. You might also want to take the opportunity to snack on a few of the local culinary delights. But don't get too carried away ... you'll want to save room for dinner.
We encourage you to enjoy a lovely dining experience in one of the exclusive areas the Parador has to offer, perfect for anything from intimate meals to special occasions (birthdays, engagements, family celebrations, etc.). The menu created by the kitchen team (whose cuisine could easily provide the subject matter for an entire new post, we assure you) is prepared with exquisite care, offering a tour of the flavors and aromas of Asturias in a truly surprising culinary experience.
Day 2 - Mountains and peaks looking out over the horizon
On the second day, we recommend starting with a complete breakfast from the Parador's buffet. In addition to fresh coffee, fresh-squeezed orange juice, a variety of rolls, buns and pastries, charcuterie and seasonal fruit, be sure to sample one of the casadielles, local pastries made right here at the Parador.
Today we're going to be walking some of the local hiking trails. You can start by driving to Següencu, about 20 minutes from the Parador. Then you'll need to leave the car behind and climb up to the summit! The route will take about 45 minutes at a relaxed pace, stopping to admire the scenery on the way up. (We recommend comfortable footwear with non-slip soles. Always carry a bottle of water and some fruit or nuts for refreshment.) Once you reach the top, there are photo opportunities everywhere you look. You'll want to tell the world about your achievement!
For lunch, if you don't feel like returning to the Parador to sample its menu, you can visit one of the many restaurants found throughout the area. What to order? Local ingredients guarantee a tasty meal with many interesting flavors. And of course the best way to get your strength back is with a dish featuring broad beans, or if you're up for it, a cachopo (breaded veal stuffed with ham and cheese.
To walk off lunch and continue the outdoor theme of the day, why not follow the path to Olla de San Vicente? You'll want to keep an eye on the time, though. The route will take two hours out and two hours back. If you're going to do the whole thing, find out what time the sun sets before you leave. This is not the best trail for nighttime walking as some parts of it run right along the water. The walk is suitable for children. It's almost entirely flat and there aren't very many difficult areas: a short rocky section, a river crossing, etc. Aside from this caution (always carry a flashlight when hiking in the mountains, along with the water and fruit or nuts we recommended earlier), the route is extremely pleasant, accompanied at all times by the sound of the river along the first section of its course.
Day 3 - Journey back to the age of dinosaurs
We have reserved this day for one of the most enjoyable local attractions. (If you're traveling with children, they'll have a fantastic time. If you're not, the grown-ups are sure to feel like kids again.) Colunga is home to the Jurassic Museum of Asturias, known as MUJA. This museum combines entertainment with information about the history of these early inhabitants of the Earth, enormous creatures whose tracks have been preserved in the mud and whose fossils continue to fascinate us today.
If you've still got a bit of time, after your museum visit, why not head over to Llastres for a swim (or to just dip your feet in the Bay of Biscay). The coastline offers beach after beach, many of them largely unknown to travelers and guarded like a treasure by locals ... you will need to discover them for yourself!
Asturias offers a thousand and one possibilities. We hope this plan will be perfect for you.
Book your stay at the Parador de Cangas de Onís. Allow us to look after you and provide information about many more places of interest.
Here is a map for your reference. Bon voyage!