Cangas de Onís

te conquista todo el año

Acceso Covadonga y Lagos

Bienvenidos al portal de turismo de cangas de onís.

Enclavado a los pies de los Picos de Europa y en el valle que forman los ríos Sella y su afluente el Güeña , el municipio de Cangas de Onís es una puerta abierta a la naturaleza y a la historia. Un lugar de paso desde tiempos prehistóricos hasta nuestros días, en el que han tenido lugar algunas de las más sonadas gestas de la historia de Asturias .

El Santuario de Covadonga , los Lagos, el Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa , la pesca del salmón , el descenso del Sella en canoa , la subida ciclista a Los Lagos , el rey Pelayo , el queso de Gamonéu ..., todo esto y mucho más es Cangas de Onís.

Recorrer sus animadas calles, comprar en sus comercios  y disfrutar de la gastronomía asturiana. Para todos los gustos y en cualquier época del año,  Cangas de Onís siempre tiene algo que ofrecer. Te invitamos a comprobarlo.

Puente de Cangas de Onís

Alojamientos

Una excelente oferta hotelera con establecimiento de alto nivel y de todas las categorías

Fiestas en Cangas de Onís

Las fiestas de San Antonio, el patrón de la ciudad, del Pastor, de los quesos...

Monumentos en Cangas de Onís

La historia de Cangas de Onís en sus monumentos, símbolos del paso de la historia.

HIstoria de Cangas de Onís

Historia  

Nuestra apasionante historia, desde el paleolítico, al Reino de Asturias, Cangas de Onís ha sido protagonista de la historia de Asturias y de España.

Gastronomía

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La abundancia de excelentes materias primas, una rica y variada oferta y un alto nivel profesional, el éxito de la gastronomía en Cangas de Onís.

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Turismo de aventura

Montañas, ríos, bosques, barrancos y senderos, el escenario ideal para el disfrute de infinitas posibilidades para practicar el deporte de aventura...

Abierto en domingo

Abierto en domingo

Los domingos  todo esta abierto , comercios y tiendas tradicionales, restaurantes y sidrerías, todo gira alrededor de uno de los mejores mercados tradicionales , el de Cangas de Onís .

Corazón de Asturias

Queso Gamonéu

Solo un producto como el Gamonéu , elaborado de forma artesanal por nuestros ganaderos de la misma manera que hicieron sus antepasados, puede considerarse una joya gastronómica.

Agenda de eventos y actividades

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Cangas de Onís

Oficina de Turismo de Cangas de Onís.

Avenida de Covadonga, 1 33550, Cangas de Onís Principado de Asturias

Contacto [email protected] Teléfono: (+34) 985848005

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Visit Cangas de Onis, Spain; a travel guide to the town of Cangas de Onis

Photo of Cangas de Onis

Visit Cangas de Onis

Cangas de Onis is in the province of Asturias in the Asturias and Cantabria region of Spain. It lies to the south-west of Llanes and east of Oviedo on the edge of the Picos de Europa National Park.

Explore Cangas de Onis

Cangas de Onis makes a good base for exploring the Picos de Europa. It claims to be the "first capital of Christian Spain" and is where Pelayo, a Visigoth noble set up his court in the 8th century.

Cangas de Onis parador

The main sight at Cangas de Onis is its 'Roman' bridge which has the Picos de Europa mountain range as a splendid backdrop. It appears in much of the promotional litterature of the area and whilst it is very attractive it has been rebuilt on numerous occasions.

The bridge has five arches with the central arch much larger than the others and a copy of the Victoria Cross hangs from the middle. It was declared a Historic Artistic site in 1931.It is very pleasant to take a walk along the edge of the river especially on a hot day.

There is also a 15th century chapel, the Capilla de Santa Cruz which is built on a Celtic Bronze Age dolmen. The town hall, the Renaissance-style Cortes palace and the 16th century Chapel of San Antonio are the other main sites in Cangas de Onis.

These aside the town makes a pleasant base and has some reasonably priced hotels and restaurants. The main square is a good place to sit and enjoy a drink or a meal and it has a pleasant atmosphere.

It is also home to one of Spain's splendid paradors. The Parador Cangas de Onis is in a former 12th century monastery. Set in a loop of the river Sella the monastery has wonderful views over the Picos de Europa mountains.

Places to visit near Cangas de Onis

Whilst you are here take the opportunity to visit the Cueva del Buxu which is a cave containg engravings and rock paintings dating back 10,000 years. The Cueva del Buxu cave is 5km east of Cangas de Onis.

Covadonga , a popular tourist village, is 11km south-east of Cangas de Onis and has both a military and religious significance. It is at Covadonga that Pelayo and a small Visigoth force overcame the Moorish armies and started the Reconquest.

There is a cave here that is a religous shrine said to have been used by Pelayo whose sarcophagus is here. There are daily masses in the cave which has been converted into a chapel and occupies an attractive spot above a waterfall. A large 19th century pink basilica has also been built here as has the museum of Covadonga which contains various religious artefacts.

The lakes at Covadonga are very popular and it is easy to get a bus there from Cangas de Onis.

The beautiful village of Llanes is on the coast about 30km from Cangas de Onis.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Asturias and Cantabria guide .

Map of Cangas de Onis and places to visit

Cangas de onis places to visit.

Covadonga

Covadonga village and sanctuary are set in beautiful mountain scenery. The Battle of Covadonga is considered to be the start of the Reconquest of Spain.

Ribadesella

Ribadesella

Ribadesella is a charming seaside resort with an old town, a sandy beach and Modernista villas.

Llanes

Llanes is an excellent seaside town on a rugged stretch of coast and with the Picos de Europa providing a backdrop.

Mogrovejo

Mogrovejo is one of Spain's most beautiful villages. Mogrovejo is a mountain village in the Picos de Europa.

Potes

Take a step back in time as you wander around the lovely old town of Potes. An excellent base for visiting the Picos de Europa.

Gijon

Gijon is the largest city in the region and is surrounded by industry but once in the centre the city is pleasant and has good beaches and nightlife.

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Asturias and Cantabria

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  • Hotel Cerro La Nina
  • Hotel Los Lagos Nature
  • Mirador De La Cepada
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  • Restaurant El Molin de la Pedrera
  • Balbona Picos De Europa Restaurante
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The Picturesque Town of Cangas de Onis: A Must-Visit Destination

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  • Mónica Rodrigues Alves
  • January 25, 2024
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Ponte de Cangas de Onis.

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Cangas de Onis is a small town located in the heart of the Picos de Europa mountain range in northern Spain. It is known for its picturesque setting, with the Sella River running through the town and the rugged peaks of the mountain range serving as a backdrop.

The town is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with a range of activities available including hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

It is also home to a number of cultural and historical attractions, such as the Puente Romano (Roman Bridge), which dates back to the 1st century AD, and the Monasterio de San Pedro de Villanueva, a 10th-century monastery that is now a museum.

Cangas de Onis is a great destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty and cultural richness of the Picos de Europa.

Its charming streets, delicious cuisine, and friendly locals make it a must-visit destination for travelers. So, it is a perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of nature.

Best things to see and do in Cangas de Onis Spain

Cangas de Onis.

Some of the top things to do and see in Cangas de Onis include:

Hike in the Picos de Europa

Hiking in the Picos de Europa from Cangas de Onis is an experience that is sure to inspire and delight. The mountain range is home to a range of trails, from easy walks to more challenging routes, offering something for hikers of all abilities.

As you set out on your hike, the crisp, clean air fills your lungs, invigorating you and making you feel alive. The rugged peaks of the mountain range tower above you, providing a sense of awe and wonder. And as you make your way through the stunning landscape, you can’t help but be moved by the natural beauty that surrounds you.

Whether you are tackling a challenging route or simply taking a leisurely walk, the Picos de Europa from Cangas de Onis is a place that will inspire and delight. The sense of accomplishment you feel as you reach the summit is unmatched, and the memories you create will stay with you for a lifetime.

Visit the Puente Romano (Roman Bridge)

Ponte de Cangas de Onis.

The Puente Romano (Roman Bridge) is an ancient bridge located in Cangas de Onis, a small town in the heart of the Picos de Europa mountain range in northern Spain. It is one of the oldest bridges in Spain, dating back to the 1st century AD.

The bridge is a popular attraction in Cangas de Onis and is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the region. It is made of stone and is more than 80 meters long, with a single arch spanning the Sella River. It was originally built by the Romans to connect the towns of Cangas de Onis and Ponga, and has been in continuous use since its construction.

Visitors can walk across the bridge and take in the beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. There is also a small museum located nearby, which offers more information about the bridge and its history.

The Puente Romano is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in history or architecture, and is a great way to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of Cangas de Onis and the Picos de Europa.

Explore the Monasterio de San Pedro de Villanueva

The Monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva is a 10th-century monastery located in Cangas de Onis, a small town in the heart of the Picos de Europa mountain range in northern Spain. It is now a museum and is a great place to learn about the history and culture of the region.

The monastery was founded in the 10th century by the King of León, Alfonso III, and was originally built as a Benedictine monastery. It was later converted into a Cistercian monastery in the 12th century. The monastery is located on a hill overlooking the town and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Visitors can explore the monastery’s cloisters, chapel, and other buildings, which have been beautifully preserved and contain a number of interesting exhibits. There is also a museum on the grounds, which houses a collection of art and artifacts from the region.

The Monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in history or architecture, and is a great way to learn more about the rich cultural heritage of Cangas de Onis and the Picos de Europa.

Go rock climbing

Cangas de Onis is a great destination for rock climbing, with a range of routes suitable for climbers of all abilities. The Picos de Europa mountain range, which is located in northern Spain and is home to Cangas de Onis, offers a range of climbing opportunities, with both sport and traditional routes available.

If you are planning to go rock climbing in Cangas de Onis, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

Choose a suitable route: Picos de Europa is home to a range of climbing routes, from easy to more challenging. Make sure to choose a route that is appropriate for your ability level and experience.

Hire a guide: If you are not familiar with the area or are planning to tackle a more challenging route, it is a good idea to hire a local guide. They can provide valuable advice and help ensure your safety.

Pack appropriately: Make sure to bring all the necessary equipment, including a climbing harness, helmet, and climbing shoes. You should also bring plenty of water and snacks, as well as appropriate clothing and sunscreen.

Follow safety guidelines: Rock climbing can be a dangerous activity, so it is important to follow all safety guidelines and use proper techniques.

Enjoy the local cuisine

Cangas de Onis is a great destination for foodies, with a range of delicious local dishes on offer. The town is located in the region of Asturias, which is known for its rich culinary traditions. Some of the top dishes to try in Cangas de Onis include:

Fabada: This hearty bean stew is a traditional dish in Asturias and is made with beans, sausage, and other meats.

Cachopo: This breaded and fried stuffed veal or pork cutlet is a popular dish in Cangas de Onis and is often served with chips (fries) and a salad.

Tortilla de patatas: This Spanish potato omelette is a staple of Asturian cuisine and is often served as a tapa (small snack).

Queso de Cabrales: This blue cheese is a specialty of Asturias and is made from cow’s, sheep’s, and goat’s milk. It is often served with bread or crackers.

Asturian cider: Asturias is known for its cider, which is made from apples and is often served in traditional “txotx” style, with the cider being poured from a height into small glasses.

Visit the Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa

There is so much to see and do in Los Picos de Europa National Park that I have dedicated a whole article to it (see at the end of this article).

In any case, you probably arrived at Cangas de Onis while exploring the Picos de Europa, right?

Go mountain biking

Cangas de Onis is a great destination for mountain biking, with a range of trails suitable for riders of all abilities. The Picos de Europa mountain range, which is located in northern Spain and is home to Cangas de Onis, offers a range of biking opportunities, with both cross-country and downhill trails available.

If you are planning to go mountain biking in Cangas de Onis, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Choose a suitable trail: The Picos de Europa is home to a range of mountain biking trails, from easy to more challenging. Make sure to choose a trail that is appropriate for your ability level and experience.
  • Rent a bike: If you don’t have your own mountain bike, you can rent one in Cangas de Onis. There are a number of rental shops in the town that offer bikes for hire.
  • Pack appropriately: Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as well as appropriate clothing and a helmet. You should also bring a repair kit in case of any mechanical issues.
  • Follow safety guidelines: Mountain biking can be a dangerous activity, so it is important to follow all safety guidelines and use proper techniques.

Explore the local markets

The Sunday market in Cangas de Onis is particularly interesting, as it is the time when neighbors get together to go shopping.

Did you know that this market has been in the same place for about 200 years? Every Sunday people head to Palaciu Pintu, next to the church, to buy produce from the gardens and meadow.

In other words, it is a good place to buy cheese directly from the producers, sausages and seasonal vegetables.

Accomodation in Cangas de Onis Spain

Hotel & Spa Villa de Mestas.

We chose to stay at the Hotel & Spa Villa de Mestas , which is located about 11 km from Cangas de Onis, and we recommend it.

The hotel is very comfortable, has a large fireplace which is great in winter and is surrounded by farmland and mountains. In addition, it has a SPA… It really is a paradise!

But if you want to see other options for hotels in Cangas de Onis, see below.

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The council and town of Cangas de Onís

cangas de onis

Cangas de Onis was the first capital of the Kingdom of Asturias from which most of the important symbols of the Principality originate and it is also one of the favourite places for tourism in the region.

Based at the foot of the Picos de Europa and an entrance to the “ Royal Site of Covadonga « , Cangas de Onis is one of the main gateways into this mountainous region. From here you can also enjoy the beaches of the eastern coastline of Asturias as it is just a short journey away by car.

You can access Cangas de Onis from the Airport of Asturias or the Airport of Santander, the later being the closest.

Cangas de Onis is a lively town and there are lots of services to avail from. It is also quite an enchanting town with historic buildings, churches and palaces in very picturesque surroundings. At the entrance of Cangas de Onis you will see one of the most important symbols of the region, The Roman Style Bridge with the replica of the Victory Cross , which was declared a historic monument in 1931. Another place to visit is the Monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva which now functions as a luxury Parador hotel.

A short distance from Cangas de Onis is the religious sanctuary of Covadonga , which is considered to be one of the most important and historic locations when telling the story of Spain. It is here where King Pelayo managed to defeat the then ruling Moors (Circa 722AD) during the Battle of Covadonga and started the 770 year long campaign to recover the Iberian Peninsula back to Christian rule known as the “ Reconquista ”.

Nowadays Covadonga is a place of pilgrimage for the devotees of the Virgin of Covadonga , known locally as “La Santina ”. The statue of “la Santina” is housed in a Cave built into the rock surrounded by waterfalls. This together with the basilica which is a beautiful pink stone church makes this historic and religious site a place of peace, beauty and spirituality.

Covadonga is not only about religion or history; it is one of the main entrances to the stunning Picos de Europa. The Lakes of Covadonga and surrounding mountains where declared a National Park in 1918 which was one of the first dedicated national parks in Spain. The two lakes Enol and Ercina are great places for visitors to take in the wonderful landscapes of majestic mountains, valleys and meadows or, you can do a wide variety of sporting activities organized around this area. One of the most important peaks is the Peña Santa de Enol with a height of 2,476 metres . (8124 feet)

Due to it’s ideal location, Cangas de Onis is home to many outdoor pursuit companies who offer all kinds of sports and adventure activities such as trekking , mountaineering, climbing , mountain biking , quads, horses riding, canoeing , spelunking , etc….. basically everything to cater for even the most adventurous of spirits no matter the age.

Also, the rivers and mountains of this area are ideal for fishing and hunting. The Rivers Sella and Gueña are very popular and recognized internationally for the quality and quantity of salmon and trout, amongst other fish.

Other places to visit in Cangas de Onis is the area are The Cave of Buxu , with examples of Palaeolithic Art and many beautiful country towns.

From Cangas de Onis you can also drive to some of the most amazing places in Asturias such as The Beyos Route and the National Park of Ponga , or the very popular Cares Route . It is also recommended that you visit the towns of Onis or Cabrales where you will find good places to eat and relax. You can also travel from the Picos de Europa towards the coast and enjoy the amazing beaches of the eastern Asturias.

During the month of May the International Cycling Tour to the Lakes of Covadonga takes place with more than 3,000 participants cycling from Cangas de Onis to the Lakes of Covadonga.

The gastronomy of the area is a traditional fare of Asturian food with a lot of emphasis placed on local style casseroles , beef, fresh fish from the rivers, and organic vegetables. It is highly recommended to sample the local cheeses on offer such as Gamoneu cheese, Beyos Cheese or the most popular cheese in Asturias “Cabrales”, which is an intense and unique blue cheese of extraordinary quality.

More info: Cangas de Onis Tourist Office

If you want more information contact  Where is Asturias  at  [email protected]

Images supplied by  Tomás Fano  and Cangas de Onis Council .

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cangas de onis tourist information

CANGAS DE ONIS IN ASTURIAS: GATEWAY TO PICOS DE EUROPA

Cangas de Onís is a picturesque town located in the Asturias region of northern Spain. It is nestled in the foothills of the Picos de Europa National Park, offering stunning natural landscapes and a rich cultural heritage.

Cangas de Onís holds historical importance: it became the first capital of the Kingdom of Asturias in the 8th century.

Sidenote:  While it’s officially spelled “Cangas de Onís” with an accent over the “i” in Spain, American keyboards don’t typically have that option easily available. So please excuse the slight grammatical inaccuracy through this post!

Jared Dillingham at Covadonga

Tours of Cangas de Onis & Picos de Europa

If you’d rather have someone else do the planning, navigating, and driving, these are excellent tour options of Cangas de Onis and Picos de Europa, from other parts of Asturias and Bilbao:

➡️ PRIVATE TOUR from Oviedo or Gijon

➡️ TOUR: Santander to Picos de Europa

➡️ TOUR: Bilbao to Picos de Europa

Hiking near Cangas de Onis

Where to Stay: Hotels in Cangas de Onis

Cangas de Onis has many hotel options and rentals to choose from. You can use this interactive map to see what’s available for the dates of your visit.  

Keep in mind: there’s not much parking in the town. If you’re driving a rental car, make sure your hotel has a parking option available.

The hotels in Cangas de Onis are mostly no-frills. You can use this interactive map to search around for dates and rates. I’d advise staying right in town.

How to Get to Cangas de Onis

You’ll need to rent a car for the best experience in Northern Spain. I use Discover Cars , since they include the big international rental brands, in addition to the locally-based companies in Spain.

➡️ Click to Book: Rental Cars in Spain

The Closest Airports to Cangas de Onis

You can fly into Oviedo’s small airport, and rent a car for the hour-long drive to Cangas de Onis.

Or, Bilbao’s airport is a bit farther away. It’s a very pretty 230-kilometer, 2.5-hour drive from Bilbao to Cangas de Onis.

Madrid to Cangas de Onis

Madrid is the airport with the most options for Americans.  Several European airlines have quick, inexpensive flights from Madrid up to Oviedo.

If you choose to rent a car and drive, it’s a five-hour drive from Madrid to Cangas de Onis.

You can also take the ALSA bus line from Madrid to Cangas de Onis.  Their website will have their up-to-date schedules.

There’s no direct train between the cities.  You’ll have to take the train from Madrid to Oviedo or Arriondas, and then take a bus to Cangas de Onis.

Cangas de Onis: Gateway to Picos de Europa National Park

Picos de Europa National Park, or Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa in Spanish, is a stunning natural reserve located in Northern Spain.

Picos is of the country’s most renowned national parks, known for its rugged peaks, deep valleys, dramatic cliffs, and diverse flora and fauna.

Goats on the road in Picos de Europa

Bus / Shuttle from Cangas de Onis to Picos de Europa

During parts of the year, you cannot drive yourself into Picos de Europa from Cangas de Onis.  

You’ll have to park at either the bus station in Cangas, or up in one of the lots at Covadonga, and take the shuttle in.  

The gates up to the national park close by 7:30am.  If you’d like to drive your own car, get there before 7:30!

Gates to Picos de Europa

PRO TIP : Don’t drive yourself! I’m the first to admit: I did *not* want to take the bus to the national park.   In retrospect, it’s an excellent option, and the shuttle system is very-well organized!

I would suggest taking the shuttle bus from the bus station in Cangas de Onis all the way.  

The cost is 9 Euros (roundtrip!), and it will stop at both Covadonga and the visitor center parking lot near the lakes in the park (Lagos de Covadonga).  

Cangas de Onia Bus Station

The road itself through Picos de Europa National Park is essentially one-lane in parts, as it winds up through the mountains.  It runs right along the cliffs, reminding me of Glacier National Park’s “Going to the Sun Road” in Montana.

The road from Cangas de Onis to Picos de Europa

While it’s not overly-crowded, the combination of the narrow road, plus the cows and goats blocking the way will have you happy to have someone else behind the wheel!

The shuttle bus will take 15 minutes to get from Cangas de Onis to Covadonga, and another 30 minutes to get to the hiking trails at the lakes.  

A bus will hit each stop every 30 minutes.   Some allow dogs and bikes.

Bus to Picos de Europa

The final bus from the lakes runs at 8:00pm / 20:00 each night back to Cangas de Onis.

Geography of Picos de Europa

The national park encompasses the Cantabrian Mountains, specifically the Picos de Europa mountain range. The park covers an area of around 647 square kilometers (250 square miles).

You’ll find towering peaks, deep gorges, lush valleys, and pristine lakes.

Picos de Europa Lakes

Peaks in Picos de Europa

The highest peak in the range is Torre Cerredo, standing at 2,648 meters (8,688 feet). Other prominent peaks include Naranjo de Bulnes (Picu Urriellu) and Peña Santa de Castilla.

The glacially-carved Cares Gorge (Garganta del Cares) is a famous natural feature in the park, offering stunning hiking trails along its cliffs.

The trails around the lakes (where the shuttle bus from Cangas de Onis drops passengers off) are easily defined, marked, and well-maintained.

Hiking Trail in Picos de Europa

Picos de Europa Hikes

Picos de Europa offers a wide variety of hiking options for people with different abilities and schedules.  Here are a few hikes to consider:

  • Ruta del Cares : This is one of the most famous and popular trails in the park. It follows the Cares Gorge, a deep canyon with towering cliffs and a river running through it. The trail is about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) long and offers spectacular views. It is a relatively easy and well-marked route suitable for hikers of various levels of experience.
  • Urriellu (Naranjo de Bulnes): This trail leads to the iconic peak of Naranjo de Bulnes, also known as Picu Urriellu. It is a challenging and demanding hike, suitable for experienced and physically fit hikers.
  • Vega de Urriellu: This trail takes you to Vega de Urriellu, a picturesque meadow nestled in the heart of the park. The hike offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and is a great option for those seeking a moderately challenging trek.
  • Fuente Dé: The hike to Fuente Dé is a popular choice for visitors. It starts at the Fuente Dé cable car station, which takes you up to a viewpoint with panoramic views of the park.
  • Lakes of Covadonga: This trail takes you to the enchanting Lakes of Covadonga, a group of glacial lakes nestled amidst the mountains. The route offers beautiful scenery, including lush forests, waterfalls, and the serene lakes themselves. It is a moderate hike suitable for hikers of different levels.

Lakes of Covadonga Hike

Plants & Animals in Picos de Europa

You’ll find alpine meadows and forests at the lower elevations inside Picos de Europa, along with hardy cold-weather shrubs up higher toward the peaks.

Picos de Europa is home to several endangered and protected species, including the Cantabrian brown bear, Iberian wolf, chamois, and the golden eagle.

Jared Dillingham hiking in Picos de Europa near Cangas de Onis Spain

Mining History in Picos de Europa

In the past, various minerals were extracted from Picos de Europa, including iron, zinc, lead, and copper. The mining industry in the area dates back to Roman times.

Mine in Cangas de Onis

Today, as you hike near the Lakes of Covadonga, you’ll go through old mining areas, where you can read about the old operations and even walk through some of the mining tunnels.

Mining near Cangas de Onis

Covadonga is a small village inside Picos de Europa National Park. The village offers a range of amenities and facilities for tourists. The big draw is the sanctuary perched on the cliff.

Covadonga Sanctuary

How to Get From Cangas de Onis to Covadonga

You can easily drive yourself from Cangas de Onis up to Covadonga.  It’s only a 15-minute drive from town.  

There are several parking lots along the way, and if you arrive in the morning (before 11:00am) you should be able to find a parking spot without a problem.

Alternatively, you can take the shuttle bus from the bus station in Cangas de Onis to Covadonga.  They run every 30 minutes.

Covadonga Sanctuary

The most prominent building is the Basilica of Covadonga, which is a grand neo-Romanesque church on the cliff.

Covadonga Cathedral

Constructed between 1877 and 1901, it was designed by the Spanish architect Roberto Frassinelli. The basilica is dedicated to the Virgin of Covadonga, also known as La Santina, who is considered the patroness of Asturias.

Masses are said here frequently.

Chapel in the Cave of Covadonga

The Chapel in the Cave of Covadonga, also known as the Holy Cave or Santa Cueva, is closely associated with the Reconquista, a period in medieval Spanish history when Christian forces sought to reclaim the Iberian Peninsula from Muslim rule.

Covadonga Cave Church

According to legend, in the year 722, a small Christian army led by Don Pelayo took refuge in the mountainous terrain around Covadonga to escape the Moorish forces. Seeking divine assistance, Don Pelayo and his troops sought the protection of the Virgin Mary. It is said that during the battle, a hidden cave provided a sanctuary for the Christians, and with the Virgin’s intercession, they achieved an unlikely victory against the Moors.

Covadonga from Cangas de Onis

In commemoration of this event, a small chapel was constructed inside the cave. The original chapel was built in the 8th century, but over the centuries, it has undergone several modifications and renovations. The present-day chapel, which dates back to the 19th century, is a simple structure with a facade made of pink limestone.

You’re likely to see a mass being held on your visit, which you can hear echoing through the area.

Covadonga Monastery

The Monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva is a medieval monastery dating back to the 12th century. It is an architectural gem, showcasing Romanesque and Gothic elements.

Covadonga Monastery

Things to Do in Cangas de Onis

The Roman Bridge is the most famous landmark in Cangas de Onis, but there’s much more to see and do on a visit!

The Roman Bridge

The Roman Bridge in Cangas de Onis, known as the “Puente Romano,” is an iconic symbol of the region and one of the most significant Roman structures in northern Spain.

Roman Bridge in Cangas de Onis

The bridge spans the Sella River, and is believed to have been built by the Romans during the 1st or 2nd century AD.  The bridge is constructed of large stone blocks and features semicircular arches, a common architectural style used by the Romans in.

The bridge measures around 60 meters in length and stands about 10 meters above the river. It’s open to pedestrians to cross.

Roman Bridge Asturias Cross in Cangas de Onis

The “Cruz de la Victoria” (Cross of Victory) hangs from the center. This cross is a replica of the original, which is housed in the nearby Santa Cruz Chapel. The Cruz de la Victoria is a Christian relic associated with the victory of King Pelayo over the Moors in the Battle of Covadonga in 722 AD. It holds great religious and historical significance for the region.

Over the centuries, the Roman Bridge has undergone several restorations and repairs to maintain its structural integrity. It has survived various floods and natural disasters. Today, it stands as a remarkable testament to Roman engineering and serves as a popular tourist attraction, offering beautiful views of the surrounding landscape.

Off-Trail Adventures

There are horseback rides you can take through the river, and ATV/off-road adventures you can book, too in Cangas de Onis.

Cangas Aventura is widely considered to be the best to book from in the adventure department!

What to do in Cangas de Onis

Santa Cruz, or the Holy Cross, is a chapel which dates back to the 16th century, although some historical accounts suggest that an earlier chapel existed on the same site.  

Cangas de Onis Chapel

The “Cruz de la Victoria” (Cross of Victory) is inside the chapel. It’s a cross made of gold and gems, and is an important Christian relic. The cross represents the victory of King Pelayo and the Battle of Covadonga in 722 AD, and the triumph of Christianity over the Moorish invaders.

Santa Cruz Chapel in cangas de Onis

The original Cruz de la Victoria is considered a symbol of the Asturian monarchy and is now kept in the Museum of Covadonga. However, a replica of the cross is permanently displayed inside the Santa Cruz Chapel for visitors and pilgrims to see. 

Festivals in Cangas de Onis

Cangas de Onis celebrates several festivals through the year, including;

  • Fiesta del Pastor ( Shepherd’s Festival ): This festival takes place in July and pays tribute to the region’s agricultural and livestock heritage. The festivities include traditional music, dance performances, a livestock fair, and exhibitions showcasing local crafts and products. The highlight of the festival is the Desfile de Carrozas (Float Parade), featuring elaborately decorated floats representing different aspects of rural life.
  • Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de Covadonga : Held on September 8th, this festival honors the patron saint of Asturias, Our Lady of Covadonga. The celebrations include religious processions, traditional music performances, and cultural activities. The festival attracts both locals and visitors, and it is an important event in the region’s religious calendar.
  • Fiesta de San Antonio : Celebrated on June 13th, the Fiesta de San Antonio is dedicated to Saint Anthony, the patron saint of animals. It is a day when locals bring their pets and livestock to the church to be blessed by the priest.  
  • Semana Santa (Holy Week) : Like many other Spanish towns, Cangas de Onís observes the Semana Santa with processions and religious events during the week leading up to Easter. The processions feature elaborately decorated floats and religious statues.

Cangas de Onis

The Food in Cangas de Onis

Cangas de Onís is known for its Asturian cuisine. The town offers a wide array of restaurants featuring traditional dishes, including hearty stews, seafood, and locally produced cheeses, such as the famous Cabrales cheese.

Visitors can explore the local restaurants and sidrerías (cider houses) to sample the flavors of the region. The waiters are famous for pouring the cider over their backs into glasses, and they’re supposed to do it without looking!

Food in Cangas de Onis

Beaches Near Cangas de Onis

The northern coast of Spain is dotted with beautiful sandy beaches. The coves are often surrounded by rocky cliffs.  

For a beach-town experience, I’d recommend Llanes.  For a secluded rural beach without the crowd, I’d recommend Andrin.

Playa Andrin Beach

Andrin Beach in Asturias

Andrin is 50 kilometers from Cangas de Onis.  You’ll find a long stretch of golden sand, clear turquoise waters, and picturesque cliffs that provide a stunning backdrop.  You’ll follow a single-lane road through some farm fields to a dirt parking lot.

Andrin Beach has been awarded the Blue Flag designation, which is an international recognition for beaches that meet stringent criteria regarding water quality, environmental management, safety, and services. This makes it an ideal spot for swimming and surfing.  The waves are usually moderate, so it’s not overly dangerous for families.

Playa Andrin Beach in Asturias

Playa del Sablon in Llanes 

Llanes is one of the best beach towns in Asturias. It’s about 50 km from Cangas de Onis.

Playa del Sablon is a popular beach with both locals and tourists in Llanes. It features fine golden sand, clear waters, and is protected by cliffs on both sides. It offers a range of facilities, including showers, restrooms, and nearby cafes and restaurants.

Beach in Llanes Spain

Other Beaches Near Cangas de Onis

  • Playa de Vega : Located about 27 kilometers north of Cangas de Onís, Playa de Vega is a stunning sandy beach situated near the town of Ribadesella. It’s known for its natural beauty and is popular among surfers.
  • Playa de la Espasa : About 34 kilometers north of Cangas de Onís, Playa de la Espasa is another picturesque beach near Ribadesella. It offers a long stretch of golden sand and is ideal for relaxing walks and sunbathing.
  • Playa de Rodiles : Located around 40 kilometers northwest of Cangas de Onís, Playa de Rodiles is a large sandy beach near the town of Villaviciosa. It is a protected natural area and offers beautiful views of the estuary and surrounding countryside.
  • Playa de San Antolín : Situated about 43 kilometers west of Cangas de Onís, Playa de San Antolín is a scenic beach near the town of Llanes. It is known for its golden sand, cliffs, and stunning views.

Other Info on Cangas de Onis

History of cangas de onis.

Archaeological findings suggest humans were first in the area in the Paleolithic era, and the Astures, a Celtic people, prior to the Roman conquest.

The Romans established a settlement, and Cangas de Onis became a strategic connection between different parts of the Iberian Peninsula.

In the early 8th century, Cangas de Onis became the capital of the Kingdom of Asturias, until it was moved to Oviedo in the 9th century.

The town faced Viking invasions, conflicts with neighboring territories, and the effects of the Reconquista (reconquest) period.

The Sella River

The Sella River, known as the Río Sella in Spanish, flows through Asturias, originating in the Picos de Europa mountain range. It flows 66 kilometers (41 miles) into the Cantabrian Sea near the town of Ribadesella.

Sella River in Cangas de Onis

The Sella River gained fame as the host of the International Descent of the Sella (Descenso Internacional del Sella) canoe race. The first Saturday in August, thousands show up to race 20 kilometers from Arriondas to Ribadesella.

In general, the Sella River is known for its crystal-clear waters, fishing, kayaking, and rafting.  A variety of outfitters offer adventures along the river!

Significance of San Antonio

San Antonio, also known as Saint Anthony of Padua, holds religious and cultural significance in Cangas de Onis.  The Feast of San Antonio takes place on June 13th, and includes the “Roxada,” a religious procession where a statue of San Antonio is carried through the streets of the town.  

San Antoniu Festival in Cangas de Onis

During the Feast of San Antonio, it is customary for locals to bring their pets, particularly farm animals, to be blessed by the statue of the saint. This tradition is rooted in the belief that San Antonio is the patron saint of animals. Farmers bring their cows, horses, and sheep to the procession, where they are blessed by the priest, to ensure the well-being and prosperity of the animals.

The Weather in Cangas de Onis

In general, Asturias experiences a temperate coastal climate, with mild summers, cool winters, and rainfall throughout the year.

Here’s a breakdown of the weather in the different seasons:

  • Spring (March to May):  Spring in Cangas de Onís is characterized by cool temperatures, with average highs ranging from 14°C to 19°C (57°F to 66°F). Nights can still be chilly, with lows averaging between 7°C and 10°C (45°F to 50°F). Rainfall is common in the spring.
  • Summer  (June to August): Summers in Cangas de Onís are generally mild and pleasant. Average temperatures during this season range from 18°C to 24°C (64°F to 75°F). It can occasionally reach higher temperatures, but it is usually tempered by the sea breeze. Summer is the driest season in terms of rainfall, although you’ll still see showers and rainstorms.
  • Autumn  (September to November): Autumn brings cooler temperatures to Cangas de Onís. Average highs range from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F), while nighttime temperatures drop to around 8°C to 12°C (46°F to 54°F). Rainfall increases during this season, and misty mornings are common.  
  • Winter (December to February):  Winters in Cangas de Onís are relatively mild but cool. Average daytime temperatures range from 11°C to 15°C (52°F to 59°F), while nighttime temperatures can drop to around 5°C to 8°C (41°F to 46°F). Snowfall is infrequent, particularly at lower altitudes, but the nearby mountains can experience snow during this season. Rainfall is relatively high, and cloudy or overcast days are common.

Cangas de Onís FAQs

What’s the best time to visit cangas de onís.

Summer into fall are the best months to visit this area.  The summers are mild, but cool (unlike much of the rest of scorching Spain!).

What region of Spain is Cangas de Onís in?

Asturias is an autonomous community in the northwestern part of Spain, on the northern coast of the Iberian Peninsula.  It shares borders with Galicia to the west, Cantabria to the east, and Castile and León to the south. Asturias is known for its stunning natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and distinct regional identity.

What else is Asturias known for?

Asturias is known for its food, history, and natural beauty.

The capital city of Asturias is Oviedo, which is known for its medieval old town, impressive Gothic cathedral, and numerous pre-Romanesque churches and other buildings.

Oviedo Cathedral

Gijón, the largest city in Asturias, is a vibrant coastal city with a thriving cultural scene, beautiful beaches, and a lively waterfront.

What food is Cangas de Onís known for?

Some of the most famous dishes and food products associated with Asturias include:

  • Fabada Asturiana : Considered the region’s signature dish, fabada is a hearty bean stew made with large white beans known as fabes, cured meats such as chorizo, morcilla (blood sausage), and pork. It is slow-cooked to perfection, resulting in a flavorful and satisfying dish.
  • Sidra (Cider) : Asturias is known for its traditional cider production. Sidra Asturiana is a natural, slightly sparkling cider made from locally grown apples. The pouring technique, known as escanciar, where the cider is poured from a height into a glass, is an important part of the cider-drinking experience in Asturias.
  • Queso de Cabrales : Cabrales cheese is a famous blue cheese produced in Asturias. Made from cow’s milk and aged in limestone caves, it has a strong and distinctive flavor. Queso de Cabrales is often enjoyed on its own or incorporated into various dishes.
  • Pastel de Cabracho : This is a savory fish cake made with cabracho, a local fish similar to scorpionfish. It is typically mixed with breadcrumbs, eggs, and various seasonings, then baked to create a flavorful and textured dish.
  • Pote Asturiano : Similar to fabada, pote asturiano is another traditional Asturian stew. It features a combination of vegetables such as cabbage, potatoes, beans, and different types of pork, resulting in a comforting and filling dish.
  • Marañuelas : These traditional Asturian cookies are made from a simple dough of flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. They are often enjoyed with a cup of coffee or as a sweet treat throughout the day.
  • Casadielles : Casadielles are delicious pastries filled with a mixture of walnuts, sugar, and anise liquor. They are typically fried and sprinkled with sugar, making them a popular dessert during festive occasions in Asturias.
  • Chorizo a la Sidra : Chorizo sausage is cooked in cider, resulting in a flavorful dish with a balance of smokiness and sweetness. It is often served as a tapa, accompanied by crusty bread.

Wrap: Is Cangas de Onís Worth a Visit?

I wish we had much more time in this beautiful part of Northern Spain! Especially if you’re into outdoor activities, you could spend several days here hiking and exploring the natural beauty!

Covadonga

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    The main economic activities of this region are agriculture and cattle rearing along with rural tourism. The nearby Covadonga Sanctuary and its surrounding lakes are one of the main tourist destinations in Asturias. ... The capital of the municipality is the parish of Cangas de Onís. It is 27.22 km 2 (10.51 sq mi) in size with a population of ...

  11. The Picturesque Town of Cangas de Onis: A Must-Visit Destination

    2024-01-25. Cangas de Onis is a small town located in the heart of the Picos de Europa mountain range in northern Spain. It is known for its picturesque setting, with the Sella River running through the town and the rugged peaks of the mountain range serving as a backdrop. The town is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with a range ...

  12. Cangas de Onis Travel Guide

    Get information on Cangas de Onis Travel Guide - Expert Picks for your Vacation hotels, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, sightseeing, and activities. Read the Fodor's reviews, or post your own.

  13. Cangas de Onis

    Cangas de Onis. Accommodation info Cangas de Onís, rural houses Cangas de Onís, Covadonga and Lagos de Covadonga, the Picos de Europa, the Cares route. ... Enjoy rural tourism and rural nature as a family. Search for rural houses, restaurants, shops and active tourism companies in Asturias. Routes, excursions, museums and everything you need ...

  14. Bridge over the Sella River in Cangas de Onís

    Bridge over the Sella River. Known as the Roman Bridge of Cangas de Onís, the "Puente Vieyu" or "Puentón", this is one of the best-known symbols of the Principality of Asturias. Although this site may have been used in Roman times to cross the Sella River, and this may have been the reason for the foundation of Cangas de Onís, the ...

  15. THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Cangas de Onis (Updated 2024)

    The most popular things to do in Cangas de Onis with children according to Tripadvisor travellers are: Basilica de Santa Maria la Real de Covadonga; Puente Romano; Lagos de Covadonga; Rio Dobra; Mirador de la Reina; See all kid friendly things to do in Cangas de Onis on Tripadvisor

  16. Cangas de Onis council and town

    The council and town of Cangas de Onís. Cangas de Onis was the first capital of the Kingdom of Asturias from which most of the important symbols of the Principality originate and it is also one of the favourite places for tourism in the region. Based at the foot of the Picos de Europa and an entrance to the " Royal Site of Covadonga ...

  17. Cangas de Onis: Gateway to the National Park in Asturias

    The Closest Airports to Cangas de Onis. You can fly into Oviedo's small airport, and rent a car for the hour-long drive to Cangas de Onis. Or, Bilbao's airport is a bit farther away. It's a very pretty 230-kilometer, 2.5-hour drive from Bilbao to Cangas de Onis. Madrid to Cangas de Onis. Madrid is the airport with the most options for ...

  18. Plan Your Trip to Cangas de Onis: Best of Cangas de Onis Tourism

    2023. Vega Redonda. 385. $$ - $$$ • Mediterranean, Spanish, Gluten Free Options. Los Arcos Restaurante. 569. $$ - $$$ • Mediterranean, European, Spanish. Cangas de Onis Tourism: Tripadvisor has 51,749 reviews of Cangas de Onis Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Cangas de Onis travel resource.

  19. Oficina de Turismo de Cangas de Onís. Asturias

    We provide you with the email address, phone number and the location of Oficina de Turismo de Cangas de Onís, on Spain's official tourism website | spain.info

  20. Cangas de Onís

    7. Cangas de Onís: Lakes of Covadonga Guided Tour. You will know some information about this National Park as well as the wild animals that inhabit it. You will discover how the Lakes were created, you will be able to see Las Vegas where the shepherds make the famous Gamoneu del Puerto cheese during the summer.

  21. Plan Your Cangas de Onis Holiday: Best of Cangas de Onis

    570. ££ - £££ • Mediterranean, European, Spanish. Cangas de Onis Tourism: Tripadvisor has 51,823 reviews of Cangas de Onis Hotels, Attractions, and Restaurants making it your best Cangas de Onis resource.

  22. From Cangas de Onis: Lakes of Covadonga Guided Day Trip

    Admire the Covadonga Basilica which was built with stone cut from the mountains. Hear the story of the Santina that disappeared during the Spanish Civil War. Discover Asturian specialties at restaurants and cideries in Cangas de Onis. Full description. Combine history, cuisine, and natural splendor during this guided day trip in Asturias.

  23. Cangas de Onís travel information and video

    Cangas de Onís travel video and information about Cangas de Onís. Watch HD video about Cangas de Onís holiday guide. ... Cangas de Onis ligt op ongeveer 15 minuten van Arriondas (waar het huisje gelegen is) Het is een vrij grote en drukke stad. Heel toeristisch. 's Zondags is eer een fijn marktje met plaatselijke specialiteiten. Was wel ...