Carretera · Stage 12 · 75 Kilometres See map
Starting out from the town hall in Pola de Lena, you pass through Muñon Fondero before facing the tough climb up to El Cordal Pass via La Soterraña. The mountain top offers a vista of the Riosa Valley down below, with La Gamonal guarding the legendary Angliru Peak, which plunges abruptly downhill. Meanwhile, Monsacro (the “Sacred Mount”) rises up between the Aramo range to your left (west) and Llusoriu peak to your right (east), closing off the valley with its white limestone walls, now in the lands of Morcín.
The trail now returns to the N-630 and the River Caudal as it passes through the narrow Peñamiel Gorge to then open onto the valley of Santolaya, the borough capital. Downriver the trail joins up with the River Nalón, which you cross in Soto, capital of Ribera de Arriba.
At the top of El Caleyu, you turn right to link up, in La Manjoya, with the former N-630, nowadays the AS-242. You then head downhill to La Tenderina and La Carisa (districts of Oviedo) before crossing the River Nora and passing through Lugones, a place name that maintains the name of the Astur tribe that Rome encountered in these territories.
This central plain of Asturias, known as the “Oviedo Basin”, makes up the lands of Llanera. Once past Lugo de Llanera, the route climbs up to the small ridge that separates the plain from the coastal plateau. From the top of the ridge, in line with the railway you will see a small promontory beyond the sea of tracks which has been cut away to allow trains to pass. This probably constitutes the traces of the hillfort of the Lugonni, the last bastion to stand against the Roman Empire and which has gone down in recorded history as “a place of Asturias” (lucus asturum).
Skirting Mount Areo, you reach its northern end, Cape Torres. What we nowadays call Campa Torres may have been Rome’s Oppidum Noega, the famed hill fort the Romans found here, whose subsequently Romanized inhabitants came down to settle what is nowadays Gijón in the 2nd century AD.
You now head down to Gijón. Once you reach the outlying districts of the city, follow the bike lane all the way to the Plaza Mayor (town square) and Campo Valdes. The latter esplanade stands over the Roman baths and is presided over by a statue of Octavius, who raised bronze arm gives you the imperial salute. Just as you started out in the Roman remains in Carmona, you end the trail at these equally Roman thermae on the southern shore of the Bay of Biscay.
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At the top of El Caleyu, turn right. If you turn left, you can stop off to visit the ethnographic site comprising the raised granaries-cum-storehouses (hórreos) in Bueño to then head back to the junction and continue along the route.
|Stage||Mountain bike||Road bike|
|0||Carmona - Sevilla||Mountain bike|
|1||Sevilla - El Real de la Jara||Mountain bike||Road bike|
|2||El Real de la Jara - Villafranca de los Barros||Mountain bike||Road bike|
|3||Villafranca de los Barros - Alcuéscar||Mountain bike||Road bike|
|4||Alcuéscar - Casar de Cáceres||Mountain bike||Road bike|
|5||Casar de Cáceres - Plasencia||Mountain bike||Road bike|
|6||Plasencia - Béjar||Mountain bike||Road bike|
|7||Béjar - San Pedro de Rozados||Mountain bike||Road bike|
|8||San Pedro de Rozados - Zamora||Mountain bike||Road bike|
|9||Zamora - Benavente||Mountain bike||Road bike|
|10||Benavente - León||Mountain bike||Road bike|
|11||León - Pola de Lena||Mountain bike||Road bike|
|12||Pola de Lena - Gijón||Mountain bike||Road bike|