The rugged and mountainous nature of the Asturian landscape lends itself perfectly to Rock Climbing and is becoming a destination of choice for serious climbers from all over the world who are looking for something a bit different. That said, Asturias as a climbing destination is still relativity unknown except for those in the know.
The local Spanish climbers have been very busy over the past few decades bolting and developing many of the crags and now there are literary hundreds of routes to choose from.
In terms of climbing grades, Asturias has it all. From easy learning grade climbs to the hair raising multi-pitch routes of Naranjo De Bulnes (Picu Urriellu) in the Picos de Europa which is now seen as one of the most difficult climbs in Europe if not the world. Every type of climbing is catered for and there are plenty of facilities on offer for climbers visiting the region. Asturias has a good network of “Refugios” which are mountain hostels that are normally situated at or close to most of the best climbing areas. These hostels are very reasonably priced which is a bonus in these times. If you are looking for more salubrious accommodation then you’ll never be short of places to stay as nearly all of the climbing areas in Asturias are situated in nature reserves and protected biospheres where tourism is already well developed.
A couple of important things to note about climbing in Asturias is that firstly, the local climbers are very easy going and very welcoming and provided language isn’t a barrier, they will be happy and in many ways quite proud to part with any information they might have about routes, weather etc. Secondly, you will never be competing with others to get access to the routes. There are now so many bolted routes that you’ll be guaranteed full days of uninterrupted climbing. It should also be mentioned that despite been Spain, the local weather is much more comfortable to climb in due to its northerly position…. Basically, you won’t be baked onto the rock like you would in the south of the country.
The beauty about climbing here in Asturias is that it’s not just about climbing. The adrenaline junkies amongst you will appreciate all the other extreme sports you can avail of like caving, pot holing, canoeing, white water rafting, surfing, paragliding etc. Asturias is a paradise for any activity you can think of.
You’ll also be well fed and watered. The food is wonderful and varied in Asturias and is also incredibly well priced. A three course lunch called “Menu del dia” (including wine) will start from about €10 upwards. At night, when you are relaxing from a full days climbing, then the local cider will refresh you and thankfully, doesn’t induce much of a hangover.
Getting to Asturias is now a relatively easy affair with regular flights from London Stansted to Oviedo and ferry services from the UK to Santander which is only two hours away from the Picos de Europa. There are also many internal flights from Madrid and Barcelona servicing the region. The motorway network is good and well signposted but it is recommended that if you are travelling by car then bring a GPS as signposts on secondary roads are more or less non-existent.
The video above is an overview of what to expect when planning your trip to Asturias. This is the first of many posts we’ll be putting up about climbing in Asturias and we intend to post more detailed information about established routes. If you wish to share your climbing experiences with us or if you want us to help you to organize your climbing trip to Asturias then send us an email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in contact with the right people.
Happy climbing and remember to adhere to the mountain safety code and please respect the environment as many of the areas you will be climbing in are highly protected.
Locations included in the Video are
Poo de Cabrales Crag. Cabrales District. Picos de Europa http://goo.gl/maps/SlwRO
Quiros Crag. Quiros District http://goo.gl/maps/IbGAJ
Cuevas del Mar Sea Cliffs. Llanes District http://goo.gl/maps/aePQ
Other impotant places in Asturias to Climb are:
Naranjo de Bulnes. Pico Urriellu. Cabrales District http://goo.gl/maps/fkvaV
Pelugano. Aller District http://goo.gl/maps/8wFwj
Cordal de Sobia, Pena Gradura and Villa del sub. Teverga District http://goo.gl/maps/nlS5W
Valle del Lago. Somiedo District http://goo.gl/maps/nFXI
Thank you very much to everyone who helped us produce this video, especially:
Nacho Jimenez from Urban Monkey
Irene Ribelles, Chechu and the Quiros Adventure Hostal
Victor Sanchez Martinez. Picos de Europa Guide
and to Julieta and Martin Filomena for all their help organizing this video