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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Diaz

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Covadonga, Spain

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Covadonga was a remarkably unique and fascinating destination I was fortunate enough to visit in Spain. It truly stands out as unparalleled compared to any other location I have experienced. Hence, it is undoubtedly worth the visit! Not only is it a breathtaking mountain village in the Picos de Europa, but it boasts a multitude of must-see attractions such as the Santuario de Covadonga Asturias, the Basilica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga, and the awe-inspiring Lakes of Covadonga. In addition to its spiritual significance and natural splendor, Covadonga also boasts a charming enclave of Celtic culture within Spain.

Getting to Covadonga, Spain

Covadonga is situated in the Asturias region and is conveniently located near major cities in the area. Driving is the most convenient mode of transportation to reach Covadonga, which is what I opted for. It is just a one-hour drive from Oviedo or Gijón. If driving is not an option, don't worry as there are also ALSA buses that depart from Oviedo and Gijón. Most bus routes will arrive in Cangas de Onís, which is the neighboring larger town. From there, you can take another local bus to reach Covadonga.

Things to Do in Covadonga, Spain

Lagos de Covadonga

The beauty of the Lakes of Covadonga may be hindered by fog, but if viewing them is a priority, it's important to monitor the weather conditions. This aspect of your trip should be planned with some flexibility, and you should be prepared to visit the lakes if visibility permits.

Santuario de Covadonga

Even though I'm not religious, I found it fascinating to visit a church situated in a cave. Covadonga takes its name from the holy sanctuary located in this natural cave, which in Latin translates to "cave of our lady." This has been translated into the modern name Covadonga. The Santuario de Covadonga is also the final resting place of Pelayo, a local hero and former Asturian king.

Basilica de Santa María la real de Covadonga Asturias (Covadonga Church)

The Basilica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga is a stunning example of neo-romanesque architecture. Built between 1877 and 1901 using only pink limestone, the basilica is located high in the mountains and offers breathtaking 360-degree views. The interior was just as beautiful as the exterior.

Jardines del Princípe

To the right of the Basilica, there are signs pointing the way to the Jardines del Principe. This peaceful trail is often overlooked by visitors and is usually quiet, even during peak season. The Jardines del Princípe is a tranquil natural area with wooden bridges, lush greenery, and a small waterfall. I highly recommend taking this path instead of the more popular paved road for a peaceful and scenic stroll through nature.

Where to Eat in Covadonga, Spain

Covadonga is a small village located in the Asturias region of northern Spain, known for its beautiful landscapes and historical significance. While the village itself may not have a wide variety of dining options, there are several restaurants in the surrounding area that offer delicious Asturian cuisine. Here are a few places where you can enjoy a meal in Covadonga:

Mesón El Repelao

Located just outside of Covadonga, Mesón El Repelao is a traditional Asturian restaurant that serves hearty regional dishes. They are known for their grilled meats, fabada asturiana (a rich bean stew), and local seafood. The restaurant has a cozy and rustic ambiance, and it's a great place to savor authentic Asturian flavors.

Casa Marcial

Situated in the nearby village of La Salgar, Casa Marcial is a Michelin-starred restaurant run by renowned chef Nacho Manzano. This upscale dining establishment offers a unique gastronomic experience, combining traditional Asturian cuisine with innovative culinary techniques. The menu features seasonal ingredients sourced from the region, and the restaurant provides an elegant and refined atmosphere.

Sidrería Casa Pío

If you're looking to try Asturias' famous cider (sidra), Sidrería Casa Pío is a fantastic choice. Located in Cangas de Onís, which is close to Covadonga, this traditional cider house serves a variety of ciders alongside typical Asturian dishes. You can enjoy sidra poured in the traditional way, as well as delicious tapas such as Asturian cheeses, tortos (cornmeal pancakes), and grilled meats.

El Casín

Situated in the picturesque village of Benia de Onís, El Casín is a family-owned restaurant that specializes in Asturian cuisine. They offer a menu that highlights the local produce and flavors, including dishes like cachopo (breaded and stuffed veal), fisherman's stew, and arroz con leche (rice pudding). The restaurant has a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, and it's a great place to enjoy a traditional meal.

Sidrería El Cenador de los Canónigos

Located in Cangas de Onís, Sidrería El Cenador de los Canónigos is another excellent choice for experiencing Asturian cuisine. The restaurant offers a menu that showcases the region's culinary traditions, with dishes like pitu de caleya (free-range chicken), roasted suckling pig, and a variety of seafood options. In addition to the delicious food, the restaurant boasts a scenic terrace with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

These are just a few suggestions for dining in and around Covadonga. As always, it's a good idea to check the opening hours and make a reservation in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons. Enjoy your culinary exploration of this beautiful region!

Cafes + Bakeries in Covadonga, Spain

Covadonga is a small village in northern Spain, known primarily for its natural beauty and historical significance. While the village itself may not have a wide range of cafes and bakeries, there are a few places where you can enjoy a cup of coffee or indulge in delicious baked goods nearby. Here are some suggestions:

Café Pelayo

Located in the heart of Covadonga, Café Pelayo is a charming café that offers a cozy atmosphere and a selection of hot beverages. You can enjoy a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate while taking in the views of the village. They also serve pastries and cakes, making it a great spot for a light snack.

Panadería Covadonga

This local bakery in Covadonga is known for its freshly baked bread and pastries. You can find a variety of traditional Spanish baked goods, such as croissants, empanadas, and sweet treats like pastelitos. It's a great place to grab a quick breakfast or a snack before exploring the area.

La Fonda del Puente

Situated in the nearby town of Cangas de Onís, La Fonda del Puente is a café and bakery that offers a cozy setting by the Sella River. They serve a range of beverages, including coffee, tea, and hot chocolate, along with a selection of pastries and cakes. It's a popular spot among locals and tourists alike.

Panadería Río Güeña

Located in Cangas de Onís, Panadería Río Güeña is a bakery that offers a variety of freshly baked goods. From bread and rolls to pastries and cakes, you'll find a wide selection of treats to satisfy your cravings. They also serve coffee and other beverages, making it a great place to relax and enjoy a delicious snack.

Pastelería Teatinos

Situated in Cangas de Onís, Pastelería Teatinos is a pastry shop that specializes in traditional Asturian pastries and desserts. They offer a range of treats, including casadielles (Asturian fried pastries filled with nuts and sugar), frixuelos (Asturian-style crepes), and tarta de queso (cheesecake). It's a wonderful place to indulge in Asturian sweets and pastries.

While Covadonga itself may have limited options, these cafes and bakeries in nearby Cangas de Onís provide excellent choices to enjoy coffee and baked goods. Remember to check their opening hours as they may vary.

Where to Stay in Covadonga, Spain

Covadonga is a small village in northern Spain that attracts visitors primarily for its natural beauty and historical sites. While the village itself does not have a wide range of accommodation options, there are a few places where you can stay nearby. Here are a couple of suggestions:

Gran Hotel Pelayo

Located in the heart of Covadonga, Gran Hotel Pelayo is a historic hotel that offers comfortable rooms with traditional decor. The hotel provides a convenient base for exploring the surrounding area, including the Covadonga Sanctuary and Picos de Europa National Park. It offers amenities such as a restaurant, bar, and free Wi-Fi.

Hotel Rural - El Rexacu

Situated in the nearby town of Cangas de Onís, Hotel Rural - El Rexacu is a charming countryside hotel that provides a peaceful retreat. The hotel offers cozy rooms with rustic decor and views of the surrounding mountains. It features amenities like a restaurant, bar, garden, and free Wi-Fi. Cangas de Onís is just a short drive away from Covadonga.

These are a couple of accommodation options near Covadonga that provide comfortable stays while allowing easy access to the village's attractions. As always, it's recommended to check the availability and make reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons.

Best Time to Visit Covadonga, Spain

When should you visit Covadonga, Spain? Well, it depends on what kind of experience you're looking for and your preferences. Let me break it down for you:

If you love the sight of blooming flowers and mild temperatures, spring is your best bet. From April to June, Covadonga is a picture-perfect paradise with lush landscapes and pleasant weather. Just keep in mind that there might be occasional showers during this season. If you're all about warm sunshine and outdoor activities, summer is the time to go. From July to August, Covadonga is buzzing with tourists enjoying the beautiful weather. However, be prepared for larger crowds and higher accommodation prices. It's wise to book in advance and plan your visits to popular attractions to avoid long queues. If you prefer quieter surroundings and stunning autumn colors, September to November is the sweet spot. The landscapes transform into a breathtaking palette of orange and gold. The weather remains pleasant, and the tourist crowds start to dwindle compared to summer. September, in particular, offers warm temperatures and lower chances of rainfall.

Winter brings colder temperatures and the chance of snowfall in Covadonga. If you don't mind the chilly weather and want a peaceful visit, this is a great time to go. Just be aware that some attractions may have limited opening hours, and outdoor activities might be more challenging due to the weather conditions. It's a good idea to check the forecast and road conditions beforehand.

In a nutshell, the ideal times to visit Covadonga are generally April to June and September to November. These seasons offer favorable weather, fewer crowds, and the chance to soak in the region's natural beauty. However, Covadonga's charm and historical significance can be appreciated year-round, so don't hesitate to plan a trip whenever it suits you best!

Covadonga is a must-visit destination in Asturias, Spain. With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and several noteworthy attractions, you are sure to have a memorable experience. The Santuario de Covadonga and the Basilica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga are two religious landmarks not to be missed. If the weather allows, be sure to take the scenic path to the Jardines del Principe for a peaceful and tranquil experience in nature. And if you are visiting Asturias, be sure to explore other notable destinations such as Gijón and Oviedo for an even more comprehensive Asturian experience. Whether you're looking for religious significance, natural beauty, or a bit of cultural immersion, Covadonga has something to offer for everyone.


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I'm Samantha! A photographer and I believe that every picture has a story. As a blogger, I share my travel stories with everyone. I think it's important to document my travels and share my experiences with others. I've been to some amazing places and I've seen some incredible things. I want to share my stories and photos with the world.

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