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The secrets of the Cantabrian Mountains – GR 109 Asturias Interior

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The secrets of the Cantabrian Mountains – GR 109 Asturias Interior

Hiking Collection by Sofía_Ibáñez

23-53

days

3-6 h

/ day

316 mi

62,025 ft

60,425 ft

The Cantabrian Mountains Nature Trail, also known as GR 109 Asturias Interior, offers you the chance to explore some of the most beautiful nature spots and rural villages in Asturias. The Asturias principality is the most mountainous autonomous community in Spain, and although its wild coastline and the Picos de Europa National Park are well known and loved by many hikers, the interior hides other areas that are equally worth exploring.

The route crosses the Cantabrian Mountains from east to west, revealing high peaks, verdant meadows, deep valleys, dense forests and crystal-clear rivers. Nestled in the mountains, small towns and villages preserve traditional architecture, with granaries, stone façades, slate roofs, hermitages and bridges that take you back in time. Life in these rural settlements is peaceful, and in many places the farming and handicraft techniques are carried out like yesteryear.

Although the route is officially divided into 27 stages, the shortage of accommodation and services in some places means some stages are combined whilst others include detours. This means, where possible, that all the stages end in villages with accommodation and I recommend booking in advance. Therefore, this Collection has 25 stages ranging from 10 to 30 kilometres (6.2 to 18 mi) in length. The difficulty of each day varies from moderate to demanding, according to distance and elevation gain. For this reason, you need to be fit and have some hiking experience.

The GR 109 starts in Panes, in the council of Peñamellera Baja. You can reach Panes by car or bus from Gijón. The Nature Trail ends in Santa Eulalia de Oscos, the capital of the council of the same name. This town also has a bus station that connects with Lugo, Oviedo and Gijón.

The best time to do this mountain hike is between late spring and early autumn. It’s best to avoid winter because of the snow and cold temperatures. Asturias has a rainy climate and fluctuating temperatures, even in summer, so bringing a good waterproof and warm clothing is essential in any season. As for water and food supplies, almost all villages along the route have drinking fountains, but you should still bring extra water. All the stages pass through a town or village with grocery shops or restaurants.

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GR 109 Asturias Interior — Ruta completa

307 mi

61,150 ft

59,450 ft

Last updated: November 2, 2022

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Stage 1: Panes to Alles – GR 109 Inland Asturias

    Difficult
    05:38
    11.5 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,350 ft
    1,550 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The first stage of the GR 109 starts from Panes, a town in the council of Peñamellera Baja. Along 18 kilometers you will enter the beautiful protected landscape of the Sierra del Cuera. You will cross the Deva and Cares rivers, as well as charming rural villages, lush forests and meadows.

    

    In the first

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  • Difficult
    05:06
    10.1 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,725 ft
    2,050 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today you are going to cross the south face of the mountainous massif of the Sierra del Cuera heading west. The first part of the stage runs through the valley of the river Janu, between forests of oak, hazel and chestnut trees.

    

    After a few kilometres, a long ascent begins through tracks until you reach

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  • Difficult
    05:40
    11.6 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,100 ft
    2,050 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The march at the foot of the Sierra del Cuera continues with this third stage of 18 kilometers. You will begin by retracing the path that brought you to Carreña, going up the La Ría stream, until you return to a track between meadows and wooded areas. After a slight ascent you will reach an impressive

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  • Difficult
    07:09
    15.1 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,125 ft
    2,550 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The GR 109 continues west with a stage that, although it is quite long, the difference in altitude is moderate and well distributed throughout the section. You will start by traveling along a paved road, crossing several population centers between pastures. Along the path you will find charming chapels

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  • Difficult
    06:40
    14.7 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,500 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The stage begins by following a dirt track along the Sella River, among ash, birch and poplar trees. Soon after, you will arrive at the town of Villanueva, where you cannot miss the San Pedro monastery. The construction is a beautiful example of Asturian Romanesque and has recently been restored and

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  • Intermediate
    04:23
    8.54 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,100 ft
    1,700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After a couple of long stages, this stretch gives your legs a break. Today the Route turns south and runs through beautiful landscapes of the region between the Sueve, Aves and Sellón mountain ranges. Along an almost continuous ascent, you will cross oak groves, meadows, small towns and old stone bridges

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  • Difficult
    07:42
    14.7 mi
    1.9 mph
    3,975 ft
    2,250 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This is a long stage and it accumulates a lot of positive unevenness. The truth is that I have combined stages seven and eight of the GR 109 into one, due to the impossibility of finding accommodation in El Fresnedal.

    

    The views of the Sierra del Sellón will accompany you most of the way. The Route begins

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  • Intermediate
    04:12
    8.43 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,000 ft
    2,575 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The GR 109 begins to head south with this stage in which the Sierra de Peñamayor is the absolute protagonist. As you enjoy the views of the different peaks in the distance, you will gently descend along a path between green mountains covered with heather and ferns.

    

    The descent becomes more pronounced

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  • Difficult
    06:41
    12.6 mi
    1.9 mph
    3,200 ft
    2,850 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This stage enters the spectacular protected landscape of the Mining Basins through the Peña Mea massif. It is a long day but with views that will reward your effort.

    

    Starting in the Nalón Valley, the Route begins to ascend rapidly and intensely through meadows and chestnut forests until it reaches the

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  • Difficult
    05:46
    10.6 mi
    1.8 mph
    3,150 ft
    2,225 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You will begin the day by retracing the almost three kilometers of detour from the GR 109 that took you to Cabañaquinta in the previous stage, again following the course of the Aller river. Returning to the official route, you will cross the town of Bello and then begin a steep ascent along a dirt track

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  • Difficult
    08:18
    16.0 mi
    1.9 mph
    3,225 ft
    4,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    For this stage you have to get up early, as it is one of the longest on the GR 109. The track begins to climb shortly after leaving Santibáñez, between meadows and forests, until it reaches the Puertos del Rasón. This is a landscape dominated by pastures dotted with shepherd's huts and peacefully ruminating

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  • Difficult
    08:14
    15.8 mi
    1.9 mph
    4,250 ft
    2,800 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The GR 109 continues relentlessly with another stage with quite a long mileage and considerable unevenness, but the fabulous views that accompany you during the route are worth the effort.

    

    The Route begins by following the course of the Huerna River and then begins to ascend along the margins of the Las

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  • Difficult
    05:34
    10.9 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,875 ft
    3,100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    After a couple of quite long and hard stages, this day offers you a break with an itinerary with more negative slope than positive. You will travel through an environment of great beauty, first through the protected landscape of the Sierra del Aramo and then through the Las Ubiñas-La Mesa natural park

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  • Difficult
    05:25
    11.4 mi
    2.1 mph
    725 ft
    1,675 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Shortly after leaving Bárzana, the GR 109 joins the route of the Senda del Oso greenway through a spectacular landscape sculpted by the river Trubia (also called Quirós). Going up the river along a track between riverbank forests and meadows, you reach the Valdemurio reservoir, an ideal place to cool

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  • Difficult
    08:02
    15.9 mi
    2.0 mph
    4,100 ft
    2,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Although this stage is hard due to its length and accumulated unevenness, the landscapes it covers are worth the effort, such as the Natural Monument of Puertos de Marabio and the Protected Landscape of Pico Caldoveiro.

    

    Although the ascent is not very pronounced, it is almost continuous. You will start

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  • Difficult
    07:24
    14.1 mi
    1.9 mph
    2,325 ft
    2,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    During the first half of this stage, you will travel along the northwestern edge of the Las Ubiñas-La Mesa Natural Park. Leaving Villamayor, the track ascends to the top of El Cumalón, and then enters an area of brañas and meadows. Enjoying the beautiful views of the massifs, mountains and rocks of the

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  • Intermediate
    03:58
    8.05 mi
    2.0 mph
    725 ft
    2,700 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This stage, much shorter and smoother than the previous ones, shares a route with the historic path of the Camino Real de la Mesa, an ancient Roman road that crossed the Cantabrian mountain range.

    

    The path first runs through the Sierra de Meruja, and then enters the valley of the Pigüeña River. After

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  • Difficult
    08:41
    16.9 mi
    1.9 mph
    3,675 ft
    3,575 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This long stage begins with a steep ascent just as you leave Belmonte through the Sierra de Arceyo. It continues between pastures with beautiful views of the Sierra de Begega and the El Castiellu rock. At kilometer 13 of the Route, there is a detour to the town of Boinás, where the stage officially ends

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  • Intermediate
    04:04
    7.96 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,525 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After having tested the legs with the previous stage, this section is much more peaceful. From Tuña the path starts uphill between pine forests and heaths. As you approach El Mouru, spectacular panoramic views of Pico Cazarnoso and Tineo will come your way.

    

    Although the stage officially ends in the town

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  • Difficult
    09:35
    19.1 mi
    2.0 mph
    3,250 ft
    4,950 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This is the longest stage of all, so it is advisable to start walking very early. Leaving Becerrales, you will have to travel six kilometers by road until you return to the GR 109. From this point, an ascent begins through the Sierra de Santa Flor through a dirt track.

    

    After descending briefly to the

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    25
  • Distance
    316 mi
  • Duration
    159:01 h
  • Elevation
    62,025 ft60,425 ft

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