If you read this blog, you probably know that exploring random places is one of our favorite things to do. During our time in Asturias, we did a lot of that, from villages to mountains to the seaside and beyond.
Having friends in town, on and off during our few months staying in Oviedo, we had lots of extra opportunities to see what the region of Asturias has to offer. Looking at a map and random pictures on the interwebs, we ran into a natural park to the southwest of Oviedo called Somiedo.
The Somiedo area is part of the Cantabrian Mountains, the same chain that runs across the north of Spain and includes the more well-known area of the Picos de Europa.
We didn’t have a ton of time to explore some of the super-high back roads of the park, where old shepherds’ huts and other historic intricacies are located, but we did manage to weave our way up and down and around some mountains and lakes, and we made a pit stop in the village of Pola de Somiedo as well.
Besides the winding and narrow roads that lead into the park – which took seemingly forever to navigate despite my love of a good, winding and narrow road – we also ran into a big race that was going on in the area.
A 5k or 10K, or something else that’s definitely too much running for my taste.
This kind of stifled our desire to laze around the villages, having us crisscross back and forth and up and down the mountains in order to simply stop and get a cup of coffee.
This also made it nearly impossible to park in the village of Somiedo, but we eventually managed it and spent some time walking around and getting some delicious eats.
While we do enjoy quiet time in small towns, it was nice to see so many people getting together on a Sunday for some hanging out and relaxation, and to watch people sit by – or in – the river to catch some rays and cool off.
There’s a very old church here as well, and we were digging the literal writing on the wall.
After walking around and being properly slow and lazy for a while, we hopped in the car and headed up, up, up in elevation to see some mountains and natural beauty in the area.
This entire region is quite spectacular, and despite the rare chance of a big crowd in Somiedo, it was rather quiet further up in the park. It’s nice to just stand around and stare at nature for a while.
We eventually spat ourselves out on the south end of the park, stopping in another tiny village for a coffee and some chitchat with a woman who seemed very confused as to why and how these three guiris ended up in what appeared to be her house-cum-bar.
She eventually luke-warmed up to us, but I didn’t have the courage to ask for a photo as she still kind of seemed a bit suspect of our appearance, even after a nice little discussion. Such is life!
All in all, a good day wandering around a beautiful natural park. I think, if we went back or had any suggestions, it’d be to give ourselves (or yourselves) more time to explore this area.
We barely touched on it, as there are many winding (and dirt) roads that spit out in every direction, more scenery, and more history. And, when you’re just wandering around, you don’t always take the correct turn.
We definitely missed a lot, but we’ll tackle it once more if and when we ever get back!
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Have you ever been to Somiedo or Asturias? If so, what’d you think? If not, what say ye? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!