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Puerto de la Mesa Royal Way

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  • Somiedo Nature Reserve © Turespaña

    Somiedo Nature Reserve © Turespaña

  

Amongst mountains, horses and bears

Asturias is a real natural paradise. The Puerto de la Mesa Royal Way (Camín Real de la Mesa in Asturian) is one of the many signposted paths and mountain traverses that we can enjoy in this land. We'll see sharp peaks, green meadows and mysterious forests.
 

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The route begins in Puerto de la Mesa, a boundary stone between Asturias and León, 1,768 metres above sea level, ends in the village of Grado (61 metres above sea level), and is 56.6 kilometres long. It will take about 17 hours and we recommend allowing three days. The best time of year is summer and we recommend wearing suitable clothing and footwear.

We'll get to Puerto de la Mesa by crossing the village of Torrestio, in León. A road with slopes climbs right up to the pass. The panoramic view from up there is fascinating: we'll be surrounded by endless peaks and mountains. In front of you the path goes down softly to Braña de la Mesa, crossing mountains pastures and traditional shepherd's constructions - corros and teitos.

The path continues along Cordal de La Mesa, which separates the nature reserves of Somiedo (declared Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO) and Las Ubiñas-La Mesa, which is about 1,500 metres above sea level. It is a natural garden with meadows, and beech and birch forests, where wild animals roam, such as grouses, wolves and brown bears, as well as farm animals such as cows and horses.

After crossing spots like Braña de la Corra, Xuegu la Bola and Peña Negra, the path starts to descend slightly and will take us to Venta de Piedraxueves farmhouse, and later on to Puerto de San Lorenzo (1,374 metres above sea level), on the country road that connects the districts of Teverga and Somiedo, which is the end of the first stretch (16.4 kilometres).

On the second day we'll cover about 18.5 kilometres and we'll get to the first village on the route: Dolía. We continue along the line of peaks, crossing meadows and forests. We'll go past spots such as Vega de Cueiro, Braña de la Forcada fountain or the old Venta de Porcabezas farmhouse. From there we'll begin to descend towards Venta de Corredoria farmhouse.

The third stretch, which leads to Grado (just over 20 kilometres away), is travelled mainly on asphalted roads. The road descends slightly because we'll still be travelling round the peaks that separate the districts of Belmonte de Miranda and Grado. We'll go past the villages of Las Cruces and Los Llodos, where legend has it that the Asturian king Alfonso II defeated the Moorish general Abd-al-Malik, in 794.

Further along we'll get to Venta de Moutas, one of the best preserved farmhouses along the way. Nearby, we'll find the village of Santa Cristina, where the path starts to descend towards the village of Grado, which is the end of the route.
 

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