Etapa 11 carretera | Ruta Vía de la Plata | La Ruta En Bici

León - Pola de Lena

Carretera · Stage 11 · 85 Kilometres See map


It is essential to use bicycle lights and reflectors for this stage, as you have to pass through several tunnels. You will also encounter heavy traffic, as the economic crisis has meant that lorries have returned to Pajares Pass to avoid the toll on the A-66 motorway.

The route starts out from León Cathedral after contemplating the outstanding stained glass windows that filter the morning light. The route runs behind the cathedral and the city walls along Calle de los Cubos to head downhill towards the modern district of Eras of Renueva, where the different government buildings are concentrated. Cross the River Bernesga over the bridge behind the Hostal San Marcos. Turn right and head north along the C-623. In Lorenzana, you turn right onto the LE-514 and head for La Robla. You will then come to the municipality of Cuadros, where the route runs through the villages of this borough with the river to your right. You cross the river in Cascantes de Alba and, if you enter the village, you can get water from the drinking fountain. 

You enter La Robla by turning right under the N-630 once you pass the bridge. You then return to that old friend, the N-630, which has a broad hard shoulder, a road you will now not leave until reaching Campomanes.

In La Pola de Gordón, you can pass through the village, turning left onto the old main road, nowadays Avenida de la Constitución, with its stately houses bearing coats of arms and all kinds of services and amenities. Once back on the N-630, you will pass through four tunnels, with no alternative route being available. The tunnels are lit, but it is advisable to take precautions.

The plateau is now behind you as you find yourself right in the heart of the Cantabrian mountain range with its narrow valleys, mountain meadows and woods. The peaks of this range rise upwards, competing in whiteness with the snow that often adorns them.

At the bottom of the gorge, you will come to two tunnels: La Gotera and El Tueiro. Both can be avoided via the old road, which has been newly paved.

To avoid La Gotera, take the detour to La Vid, to the right, opposite Ciñera railway station. Two kilometres further on, the road brings you back onto the N-630 past the tunnel. El Tueiro is easier: the detour is on the right at the mouth of the tunnel.

When you crown Pajares Pass, a deep valley opens up before you and Asturias greets you with Las Ubiñas Massif rising over 2,400 metres straight ahead. Do not be fooled by the gentle ascent, as the descent from the pass once you enter Asturias has slopes of up to 1 in 6 (17%), so you must take especial care as you head downhill. There has been a lot of heavy traffic lately and, if you are carrying paniers, you will easily gain inertia.

Once you have descended from the pass, you can cycle placidly on a good hard shoulder from Puente Los Fierros to Campomanes. There, you turn left, taking especial care when crossing the road, to follow the AS-242 to Pola de Lena, capital of the Borough of Lena, where the stage ends.


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