Hiking in Asturias – Ruta de las Xanas: Spain Road Trip

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Hiking in Spain is great. Hiking in Asturias is even better, especially in the summer, when much of the country feels like an oven.

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

Hiking in Asturias — Ruta de las Xanas

With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Spain’s Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we’re talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it.

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Hiking in Asturias- Ruta de las Xanas: Spain Road Trip

Ruta de las Xanas means “route of the Xanas” in Spanish, and the word Xana comes from the local Asturian mythology. Similar to a witch, faery or Roman water nymph, Xanas are described as slender, supernatural young women who live in caves near the river. If this trail runs through their neighborhood, then I understand why they chose to live here.

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

The trail hugs the mountain wall so close in places that it’s often carved into the wall itself.


Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

Warning: Steep drops

For families with little ones, you should know that there is no guardrail on this trail, and there are some steep drops. Most of the walk is over flat and fairly-even ground, but there are many ups and downs, and no room for forgiveness if you get too close to the edge. Only you know best if your kids can handle this — the trail is great and spectacularly beautiful, but if your child is overly impulsive or daring, take heed.

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

This was our first experience hiking in Asturias, and it couldn’t have been a better choice. Clear air, wide vistas, and the occasional sound of goats and cows in the distance.

The first hour of the path winds through majestic gray mountains — the scenery as much blue and gray as it was green. Then suddenly — seemingly around just one turn in the trail — the landscape changes into a lush forest.

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain width=
Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

We didn’t see much wildlife, but there were these HUGE black slugs near the path. Some were larger than my index finger.

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

Where to eat when hiking in Asturias on the Ruta de las Xanas

Our goal was not only to walk the trail but also to have a late lunch at Casa Generosa, a family-run restaurant in a small village near the top of the mountain trail. The restaurant was recommended to us by the owners of Albergue Juvenil Bustiello, the youth hostel where we were staying that week (we recommend them highly).

We worked up a powerful appetite. And it turns out we needed it.

Once through the forest, civilization began to reappear. We thought we were deep in the woods, but on the contrary, we had now returned to Spanish village life.

Once we broke through the forest, the path to the village became apparent. Before that, we asked hikers going the other way if this was indeed the way to Casa Generosa. We asked more than once, actually.

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain
Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

Casa Generosa in Pedroveya

At last! The village where the food is! The owners of Albergue Juvenil Bustiello had been kind enough to make a reservation for us at the not-unusual-at-all lunchtime of 3 pm. When did we make it? 3:05! Perfect! That’s when we found out that our reservation was to ensure a seat from 3 pm, not at 3 pm….

The place was packed: hikers, families, and others who arrived by car from some road we didn’t know existed. Others were waiting around like us, chatting and drinking sidre (hard cider). We feared that we would get a table for another hour or more  — reservation or not. The kids were hungry. Hell, I was, too, and the food smelled amazing.

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

A late lunch

About 15 stomach-growling minutes later, we were seated. Was it worth the wait? Oohh yes. Casa Generosa doesn’t have a large menu, but what it lacks in variety it makes up for in flavor…and volume. Essentially, it’s a set menu and a fixed price. You eat until you can’t eat anymore. The starters are a variety of chorizo and blood sausages, a hearty potato dish with greens and fabada Asturiana, a white bean stew that hits your stomach like a ton of bricks.

I mean that in a good way (“a ton of flavorful bricks?”). It was all so good that I made a huge tactical dining error: I ate too much of the first course.

Afterwards came heaps of beef and lamb with chips and paprika. The girls were pretty full by then. So was I to be honest, but I refused to let that delicious food sit there and not enter my belly.

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain
Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

Was I washing all this down with some of the local cider? You bet I was.

 

Homemade #cider in #asturias now #thisisspain #spain #hiking #familytravel

A video posted by Jason Andrew Jenkins (@anepicedu) on

And for the final course, a huge dessert plate for the table. All of it was delectable, but the family favorite was the Asturian-style arroz con leche (rice pudding), which went heavy on the cinnamon.

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

All-Inclusive Meal

The bill was 52 euros even: 16 per adult, 10 euro per child. Apparently drinks, desserts and additional orders of this or that were included. We got our money’s worth, for sure. By the time I lifted myself from the table, I could barely walk, much less hike another 90 minutes down the mountain again. Hiking in Asturias is fantastic, but I considered hiking after a meal like that to be ridiculous.

So instead…I took a nap. It’s times like this that I totally embrace the idea of a siesta, whether I do it like the Spaniards or not. I sprawled out in a field nearby and drifted off to the sound of cowbells while the kids read their Kindles in the grass nearby. Unfortunately, after 15 minutes, Keiko nudged me. There was a rain cloud in the distance, and she wanted to get to the bottom of the trail before the rain arrived.

Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain
Hiking in Asturias is great, especially in the summer, when much of Spain feels like an oven. With its cool breezes and lush green landscapes, a summer day in Asturias region is a day well spent. Out of all of the hiking in Asturias that we did, the Ruta de las Xanas was undoubtedly our favorite route. It might be a long hike for some families — we're talking a leisurely 1.5 hours one way — but I can say with confidence that the views are worth it. | Family Travel Spain | Family Hike in Spain

Going back was much easier, now, of course. Rain never arrived and the view was twice as beautiful going downhill.  The slightly overcast sky made the air cooler and the breeze even more refreshing.

HAVE YOU BEEN HIKING IN ASTURIAS WITH KIDS?

What trails would you recommend? Where did you eat? Where did you stay? We are definitely planning to go back to the Asturias region of Spain, so any help and advice are appreciated. Tell us what you think in the comments below, or contact me directly.

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Hiking in Asturias- Ruta de las Xanas: Spain Road Trip

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. This means, at no extra cost to you,  we might receive a small commission if you make a purchase or book using those links. My opinions are my own and I only recommend places/services that I believe will genuinely help your travel and hiking in the Asturias. 

Comments

  1. I’m glad I found your post as we’re making plans to travel to this area. How long did it take you to walk the whole route? Many thanks.

    • One way is about 3.7km so it’s not a long hike, but with all the gorgeous views, we stopped a lot along the way. Then, we ate a very long, leisurely lunch at the end of the trail before heading back the same direction. Overall, if I remember correctly, it took about 6+ hours for us. However, if you just hike without stopping (and without slow-walking with kids after stuffing yourself), I’d guess one way would be about 1.5 – 2 hrs so it’d be 4hrs max.

  2. Tom Curteman says

    Thank you so much for posting about this amazing hike. My family and I visited Asturias this August, and thanks to your post we made sure to add this hike to our itinerary. Out of 2.5 weeks in Spain, we all agreed that our experience hiking up the trail, eating at Casa Generosa, and having back was the most spectacular thing we did on a trip already filled with superlatives. Thank you so very much for highlighting this gem of a trail!

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