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“Beautiful walk”
Review of La Ruta del Cares

Ranked #12 of 541 things to do in Asturias
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 6 August 2018

When starting at Poncebos bridge, prepare for about 45 mins of firm walking up the mountain; when reaching the peak you can descent on a kind of ‘highway’, nice wide track. Beautiful views.

3  Thank NLcycle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 July 2018 via mobile

You can start this route in either Poncebos or Cain, the latter end being the more beautiful but to get to Cain from Asturias takes a couple of hours by car or bus. Walking at a leisurely pace from one end to the other takes about 3 hours (so 6 hrs there and back).

We started from Poncebos, the first 2km being up a rocky path. From there the path levels off and it's an easy walk from then on provided you don't suffer from vertigo. Young kids need to be kept away from the edge as there are long sheer drops but it felt safe to me.

The views down and along the gorge are stunning. There are places to eat at both ends if you don't want to be weighed down by a picnic.

1  Thank Andy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2018

The views from the Ruta Cares are absolutely spectacular and so far as I know there is nothing else like it in the world. The River Cares carves an incredibly steep gorge through the limestone cliffs of Picos De Europa. Much of the trail is cut directly into the cliffs (some of it tunneled) as they plummet straight down never widening more than the width of the roaring water hundreds of meters below. Imagine the Grand Canyon where the canyon walls are only 100 feet apart and instead of red sandstone, rugged, jagged limestone lush with vegetation. I cannot imagine the determination or economic rationale behind building this trail. I understand 11 people died in its construction in the 1940s and 1950s. In fact the trail is so precariously perched that they needed to construct an aqueduct approximately 3 meters wide and 2 meters deep along the entire length of the trail just to channel away the water that would otherwise wash away the trail.

We hiked north from Cain to roughly the midpoint of the 12km trail marked by the portion of the trail where the it becomes a short span of bridge with an open grate through which you can look hundreds of meters down to the river. We understood from our hotel that that this southern half of the trail covered the steepest part of the gorge and had the most spectacular views. From Cain the trail starts at the level of the river and moves downstream with the trail staying fairly level and the river running ever further below. Being level, the hike is easy with many people doing it wearing running shoes, although it might be more comfortable with a stiffer sole as most of the trail is over broken rock. It took us a very leisurely 3.5 hours to do the roundtrip from Cain. Do bring water as there is no place to buy anything on the trail.

While the hike is easy it is not to say it is not dangerous. You need to be prudent and exercise some common sense. If anybody wants to compare the how litigatious Europeans are relative to Americans, one only needs to note that the Ruta Cares is a narrow National Park trail where a misstep off the gorge side of the trail means a long lethal plunge and there are no rails anywhere--not one. Because of the views you are sorely tempted to peer over the cliff edge and look down at the river. Be super careful and make sure there is no one moving behind you.

After the hike we had lunch at Casa Cuevas in Cain. They have a simple outdoor grill preparing good chicken, ribs and chorizos in addition to other kitchen items. It was a nice way to finish up the hike.

2  Thank Richard L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2018 via mobile

The most impressive part of the route is near Cain. This is also very easy to walk, so we started from Cain and walked 5km up and down the path. One word:very very impressive. After every corner you see a new scene from Lord of the rings. Cain is very easy going were you can have a drink or lunch. Also accommodation for the night is available as ample place to park your car. Tip: start early to avoid the crowds. Also the road up to Cain is very impressive,although sometimes steep and narrow but good quality asfalt. A must do!

Thank alex4777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 July 2018

We started the walk in Cain, this way you immediately get to the most spectacular part of the walk. Just walk de road down through the village and you automatically come onto the Ruta del Cares. You have to cross a bridge over the Cares river. A bit further there is a dam at the entrance of the gorge know as the Golden Gorge ( Garganta Divina), because of its spectacular beauty. The road here is hacked out of the mountain. This trail was originally made for the maintanance of the Dobresengos water canal between Cain and Poncebos that was built between 1915 and 1921. The canal still functions, and you will see the canal a bit further next to the road. The walk is quite flat. You cross the gorge three or four times by a bridge. The views of the gorge with the river down below are spectacular. At one point you come onto a wooden passerelle ( Martinez Passage) that hangs over the gorge. It was constructed to remplace a part of a tunnel that had collapsed. We walked half of the route (1,5 hour) and then turend back to Cain, so we walked about 3 hours, but made many stops to take pictures and enjoy the landscape. So we probably spend about 4,5 hours. The route is breathtaking, and is highly recommended. I would not take small kids though, the road is quite narrow in some places and on the side of the gorge there is no barrier. You often meet goats on the way. Take enough water with you.

Thank Neil-Vera W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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