With the heat that hit almost the whole country this summer, leaving Madrid and traveling to Asturias was a real blessing. We had been told about the beauty of the Peloño Forest, with a large beech forest spectacular around the middle course of the famous river Sella, so as we are curious by nature, never rather, we decided to explore the area to discover for ourselves this forest with such a good reputation.
The route we propose to reach the Peloño forest it starts in Puente Vidosa. You can stay there, at the Puente Vidosa Hotel which also has some interesting multi-adventure facilities and is next to the beautiful Aguasaliu waterfall, or you can do it in the surrounding area, for example in Cangas de Onís which has many hotel places, 20 km away, or Precendi, where we were, 9.5 km away, less than 15 minutes by car.
We leave Pont Vidosa, km 0 of our route
The route we take is close to 40 km with 1650 m of positive gradient and is circular to facilitate logistics. We start from Puente Vidosa, where we can leave the car right in front of the hotel itself or a few meters above, in an area equipped for parking, and we start with an asphalt climb along the PO-2 road towards Viego, which although it is not the ideal terrain for mountain biking more than compensates for the enjoyment of the landscapes we ride, next to the Santa Gustia river, and the fact that there is practically zero traffic on this climb. At 5.1 km, just past the main center of Viego, we can take water, very fresh, at the Canales spring, next to the road itself.
Viego is the first town we cross on our route
The view lost on the horizon
After 8.3 km of ascent we will have gained 749 m of difference and we will be at the Collada Llomena where a sign on the left indicates the way to Les Bedules, along the Foz dels Andamis route through the PR AS- 181. If we continue along the straight road we will reach Beleño, but we will take the path on the left, leaving the asphalt.
The asphalt ends: we start to step on the ground in Collada Llomena, following the PR AS-181 path
This path continues to climb, with a very affordable gradient until you reach the Collada viewpoint (km 9.7/1077 m altitude). Obligatory stop to get your head out on both sides of the Collada itself, towards the area of the Bedules, to the left of our route, we will see the Picos d’Europa: Torre Santa d’Enol, above the lakes of Enol , and in the background, the highest cliff of all which is Peña Santa de Castilla, on the other side we would look towards the Tiatordos, the views are spectacular!
A wooden walkway takes us to the next viewpoint, Les Bedules, which can be reached by car, we are in the Ponga natural park and the view is lost in the endless succession of mountains that we can see from ‘there. We are enjoying it… a lot!
Through this footbridge we arrive at the Bedules viewpoint
Through the Peloño forest
It’s been a while since we entered the Peloño forest and we have to admit that everything we were told about its beauty and its lushness is more than fulfilled, it is a beautiful beech forest interspersed with some oak trees and in which we also be able to see the holly holly. As for the fauna in the forest you can find wolves, wild boars, chamois and even the famous brown bears.
From Les Bedules we will follow the main track until we reach the Granceno pass (km 14.8), and here begins the densest area of the spectacular Peloño forest, which will take us to the Guaranga pass, overcoming really uneven strong in the last sections.
From here, the Granceno pass, begins the densest area of the spectacular Peloño forest. In the densest areas of the forest, the feeling of peace is very special and the shade is appreciated if you go in the middle of summer
The Guaranga pass is the highest point of the route, at 1380 m high, after having traveled 22 km and at this point, where we will turn around, we find a series of bunkers from the civil war which you can access it
Arriving at the highest part of the Guaranga pass, from where we will turn around. In the photo, we were barely a few meters short of the crown.
let’s go back
From the Guaranga pass we retrace our steps or better say our pedaling, returning to the same place where we had climbed, with a fast and fun descent until km 26, where the route leaves the main track, leaving the road way to detour towards the Prada de Vegadona, a beautiful area, crossing the Bustiellos stream that we encounter with some mudflats.
Through the Vegadona meadow, a more closed area that we only recommend to the most technical with the gravel. Those who prefer not to risk having to get off the bike in a few steps can follow the same path as the first way without taking the turnoff on the right.
This part is one of the hardest of the route and also one of the most beautiful, with huge beech trees and lots of shade, the sun barely comes through, which we really appreciated this summer when we were walking the route.
Now it’s uphill, through the Bustiellos mountain, a climb that takes us back to the Granceno pass (km 28) through which we had passed almost 15 km before.
It is the second time that we pass through the Granceno pass, now in the opposite direction, and from here we follow the directions to Víboli
From the pass we take the path that goes to the right in a downward direction, towards the Suergu river. The descent leads us, at full speed on the track, to a narrow road in the vicinity of Víboli.
We go down a track to the vicinity of Víboli
You could go up to the town by turning left on the road, but we will go on the right, next to the Víboli river. Following the descent along this narrow road, practically without traffic, if we go with extra strength we can consider going up to Casielles, along a small road that goes off to the left and has no less than 19 zetas until we reach the population. If we have had enough, we will continue straight until we reach the N-625 road, and turning left (km 35.2), through the beautiful Beis gorge through which the Sella flows, we will reach our point in less than 4 km of departure
DISTANCE: 40 km. ROUTE TYPE: Circular. BEST TIME: Spring, summer and autumn. MAXIMUM ALTITUDE: 1380 m. ACCUMULATED DIFFERENCE: 1700 m. RECOMMENDATIONS: There are not many fountains, bring water. TECHNICAL/PHYSICAL LEVEL: Technical: low. Physique: average. INDISPENSABLE: Track GPS. CYCLING: 100%. START AND ARRIVAL POINT: Pont Vidosa. Asturias TYPE OF TERRAIN: Asphalt at the beginning and end, dirt tracks and some footpaths. NEARBY TOWNS/INHABITANTS: Precendi/13 hab. Viec/20 hab. Viboli/11 rooms Cabins/69 rooms
HOW TO ARRIVE: Puente Vidosa can be reached via the N-625. From Gijón it is 96 km, from Santander 156 km, from León 138 km, from Barcelona 850 km and from Madrid 450 km.
WHERE TO SLEEP: Hotel Puente Vidosa is right at the departure point https://puentevidosa.com/ Tel. 985 94 47 35. Hotel and Apartments La Llotja in Precendi www.hotelapartamentoslalonja.com Tel. 699 709 613. Alt Sella Hotel in Amieva. https://hoteldelaltosella.com/ Tel. 616 198 821.
FLORA AND FAUNA: Beech, oak, birch, ash, maple, holly, chestnut, heather, gorse and alder. Habitat for brown bear, wild boar, roe deer, deer, chamois, grouse, middle-whistle and black-whistle.
OTHER ACTIVITIES: Multi-adventure in the powerful facilities of the Puente Vidosa hotel with zip lines, Tibetan bridges, via ferrata, bungee jumping and climbing wall, hiking on the famous Ruta del Cares, canoeing on the Sella with one of the many rentals on the river. Wildlife observation.
+INFO: Tourism of Asturias www.turismoasturias.es
Download here the GPS TRACKin gpx format