THE SECRET TRAIL RUNNING PARADISE OF ASTURIAS

TRAIL RUNNERS SEEKING AMAZING ROUTES, STUNNING SCENERY AND AN AMAZING ADVENTURE WILL BE CAPTIVATED BY THE BREATHTAKING ROLLING GREEN VALLEYS AND COASTLINES OF ASTURIAS IN NORTH-WEST SPAIN.

Asturias

by Trail Running |

The UNESCO Biosphere Reserves of Asturias are considered one of the greatest tourist and cultural attractions of this blissful Spanish landscape. Across the UNESCO sites you’ll find numerous monuments, including five prehistoric caves with World Heritage status, just like the Camino de Santiago route. In the Kingdom of Asturias, the birth of this pilgrimage route, the Asturian king Alfonso II created an historical path that has become one of the most important cultural journeys of any adventurer. Asturias, well known in Spain as a natural paradise, is also a history lesson on the dawn of humanity that can provide you with such an incredible journey through time.

And for those looking to escape the crowds, cities and roads, this part of Spain has plenty to offer. The Picos de Europa National Park, Oscos-Eo, Fuentes del Narcea, Degaña and Ibias, the Somiedo, Ubiñas-La Mesa, Redes and Ponga are the seven sites that UNESCO declared a Biosphere Reserve. They are just 25% of the Asturias terrain. Some of these sites include incredible trail races. Although they have been postponed, the routes are still very much open for you to explore. Let’s take a look.

Asturias running

Photo: Pablo Villa

PUERTA DE MUNIELLOS TRAIL

UNESCO declared the whole of the Muniellos Nature Reserve a Biosphere Reserve in 2000. The designation was extended due to the creation of the Cangas del Narcea, Degaña and Ibias Biosphere Reserve. This natural reserve has a rich offering of fauna, being the natural habitat of much bird life and the Cantabrian brown bear. With much of the Reserve under conservation, the trails throughout Muniellos have a unique and exclusive environment. The Puerta de Muniellos Trail has been running for nearly 10 years. The race runs through the Asturian village of Moal, in the middle of the Reserve. The 20-mile route includes 1.4 miles of ascent, which although demanding will reward you with views of this wonderous natural landscape. Take the time to discover the secrets of the environment of the Reserve and one of the bigger and best preserved oak woods in Europe.

Puerta De Muniellos

Photo: Jose Ramon Garcia

TRAVESERA DE PICOS, PICOS DE EUROPA NATIONAL PARK

This tough route covers an awesome section of Asturias and begins in the very heart of the park – the legendary site of Covadonga – before taking runners over the three peaks of Los Picos del tirón (in one go) and finishing at Arenas de Cabrales. The Travesera de Picos race – one of the most famous in the region – uses this 46-mile route. The terrain varies greatly. Organisers of the Travesera de Picos recommend only experienced trail runners attempt to cover the whole route as icy climbs, fast flowing ravines and steep punishing trails await those who try. However, if technical routes are your thing, it’s well worth it. Chamois, eagles, vultures and even wolves could accompany your adventure. Where else can you get that?

Travesera de Picos

Photo: Luis Arguelles

DESAFÍO SOMIEDO , SOMIEDO BIOSPHERE RESERVE

The whole of Somiedo was classified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2000, primarily due to its use of traditional farming methods. Tradition and heritage can be appreciated throughout this spectacular route, and this beautiful high mountain ecosystem is characterised by beech woods, oak forests and streams in the meadows lining glacial valleys. The Ultra-Trail Desafio Somiedo is a two-lap race that takes places around the vicinity of this historic natural park. You’ll find yourself covering the mountainous sections surrounding the Valle del Lago. Tackling the frequently undulating valleys of the central Cantabrian Mountains, you’ll encounter a punishing yet rewarding 52 miles with six miles of climbing.

These are just 3 of the 7 biosphere reserves found in Asturias. You will find more information on all 7 and the events taking place in 2021 on the Turismo de Asturias website.

Asturias
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