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Cangas de Onis and Covadonga


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Covadonga in January

Covadonga is a remarkable and beautiful place to visit, as can be seen by this collection of images. However, if you are visiting anytime from Easter onward do not expect to see it like this. Covadonga is one of the most visited sites in the whole of Spain with literally hundreds of thousands of visitors each year making the pilgrimage to the shrine of Pelayo, instigator of the reconquista.

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Covadonga in January

 There is no bad time to visit this unique land. As someone clever once wrote There is no such thing as the wrong weather, only the wrong clothes. Covadonga on a cold and sparkling January afternoon is almost magical, set against the snow capped peaks of the Picos. The sound of your own footsteps echoing around the grotto housing the deserted chapel. This is a very atmospheric place, though in August it become Disney World with coach loads of visitors filling up every corner of the place. Similarly, the journey up to the lakes becomes nightmarish and really not to be undertaken lightly. This is a road of dozens of hairpin bends and nothing between you and straight down. If you encounter a 52 seater coach coming from the opposite direction you have to deal with it.  

PICT0095.JPG The image of a solitary priest making his way from the church across the courtyard dominated by the solitary figure of Pelayo standing defiantly as if ever ready to lead the reconquest.Every angle offers a photo opportunity unhindered by the directionless meanderings of tourists on the move. For should you venture to Covadonga in Spring or Summer you will witness a very different scene and unless you are a devotee of the 52 seater coach or have a passion for queuing you may be disappointed. For Covadonga attracts many, many visitors mainly through the summer months so, like much of Asturias’s geography, history and culture Covadonga is better appreciated out of season. Ok the café s are closed, take a flask.Asturias is undoubtedly a marvel of natural beauty, to be honest this is mostly not in anyway enhanced by crowds of people .In my view, walking along a wind blasted Atlantic beach witnessing huge waves crash into each other is infinitely more pleasurable than sitting on the same beach several months later surrounded by sunbathers, just my opinion though.

PICT0115.JPG So think about doing yourself a favour and take a winter or autumn break in Asturias. Don your wellies and winter coat and surrender yourself to the seasons, After which, you can retire to a local cafe and sample a typical ‘Menu del dia’ which will probably set you back about 10 Euros for 3 courses with wine! It just doesn't get any better than that Anyway back to Covadonga....!