Lakes of Covadonga, Hiking in the Picos de Europa – Spain Road Trip

This post may contain affiliate links. Please visit our Disclosure page for details.

Like a cow pasture in heaven, the Lakes of Covadonga are like a cloud-kissed pastoral…Wait that came out wrong. Or did it? The Lakes of Covadonga are beautiful, and an easy walk for little feet. And cows! There are cows!

Hiking to Lakes of Covadonga are easy and beautiful. Little kids can do it. Old people can do it. But be ready for cloud cover - like in the clouds kind of cloud cover. The Asturias region of northern Spain has one of the continent's most beautiful mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa. Being from the other side of the Atlantic, I didn't expect Spain to look like this, but the Lakes of Covadonga and the area surrounding them gave us an almost alpine feel, without the frigid temperatures.

Ok so here’s the takeaway: hiking to Lakes of Covadonga are easy and beautiful. Little kids can do it. Old people can do it. But be ready for cloud cover — like in the clouds kind of cloud cover. The Asturias region of northern Spain has one of the continent’s most beautiful mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa. Being from the other side of the Atlantic, I didn’t expect Spain to look like this, but the Lakes of Covadonga and the area surrounding them gave us an almost alpine feel, without the frigid temperatures.

Save to Pinterest!

Spain Road Trip: Hiking to Picos de Europa's Lakes of Covadonga Cow, hiking, mountains

Keiko and I wanted to hike as much as possible, but after our days at Xurbeo Waterfall and then Ruta de las Xanas the day before, the kids were a little less than keen. So instead of going for another day-hike, we chose to walk around the lakes of Covadonga (Lagos de Covadonga), which is an easy walk for just about any age.

At our hotel, Apartamentos La Pontiga, the owner had suggested that it’s best to go when the sky is clear. That might have been ideal, but with our time limited we decided to head to the Lakes of Covadonga the first chance we had. I am really glad we did.

Hiking to Lakes of Covadonga are easy and beautiful. Little kids can do it. Old people can do it. But be ready for cloud cover - like in the clouds kind of cloud cover. The Asturias region of northern Spain has one of the continent's most beautiful mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa. Being from the other side of the Atlantic, I didn't expect Spain to look like this, but the Lakes of Covadonga and the area surrounding them gave us an almost alpine feel, without the frigid temperatures.

THE LAKES OF COVADONGA

The Lakes of Covadonga are located north-west of Picos de Europa. There are two lakes, Lake Enol and Lake Ercina. There is little vegetation along the path and the trail, which means that you can see wandering kids hundreds of meters in front of you. The trails and paths we took were either paved or rather flat. Unlike the Ruta de las Xanas, which we loved, the path to the Lakes of Covadonga is pretty safe throughout.

This is a glacial lake located in the Picos de Europa National park, and it’s postcard-beautiful. Some people walk the entire circular trail, but we basically went to the lake, had lunch and went back. There is a small museum off the path that explains the flora and fauna of the area in detail, including a cheese map. That’s right: a cheese map, mapping out the different cheeses of the region.

Hiking to Lakes of Covadonga are easy and beautiful. Little kids can do it. Old people can do it. But be ready for cloud cover - like in the clouds kind of cloud cover. The Asturias region of northern Spain has one of the continent's most beautiful mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa. Being from the other side of the Atlantic, I didn't expect Spain to look like this, but the Lakes of Covadonga and the area surrounding them gave us an almost alpine feel, without the frigid temperatures.

VISITING THE LAKES OF COVADONGA

During the high seasons (summer and Easter), you can not access the area by a private car. Instead, we parked our car by the bus station in Congas de Onis for 2 € and took a public bus.

How to get to the Lakes of Covadonga

A round-trip ticket costs 8 € per adult, 3.50 € for kids under 12 y/o, and free for kids under 3. On the way back from the lakes of Covadonga, you can get off at the town of Covadonga for a visit if you want. We opted out since we wanted to go for a wild swimming south of Congas de Onis after the hike.

The bus snakes up and down the mountain switchbacks with only a few stops. Keiko was really glad NOT to be on the wheel. The switchback itself is not that bad, but with bicyclists around every corner, big buses coming and going, and a herd of cows crossing by, it would have been a challenge for anyone who’s not used to driving a stick shift uphill. Some people find the ride a little scary, as the bus makes many sharp turns on a road with no guardrail, but we didn’t feel antsy.

**PIN THIS! **

Spain Road Trip: Hiking to Picos de Europa's Lakes of Covadonga, hiking, mountains, family travel

What to bring

Be ready for mountain weather. Make sure to pack jackets or something else to keep you warm and dry. A small fold-up umbrella wouldn’t be unreasonable to carry. We were there in the end of July and it was still chilly and damp. No wonder really: we were literally in the clouds.

Of course, when the sun is out there is almost zero shade up there: no trees and few buildings. Have a hat or sunscreen if you need them in sunny situations.

Hiking to Lakes of Covadonga are easy and beautiful. Little kids can do it. Old people can do it. But be ready for cloud cover - like in the clouds kind of cloud cover. The Asturias region of northern Spain has one of the continent's most beautiful mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa. Being from the other side of the Atlantic, I didn't expect Spain to look like this, but the Lakes of Covadonga and the area surrounding them gave us an almost alpine feel, without the frigid temperatures.

Of course, most people hope that it’s sunny and clear when they go, but we quite enjoyed seeing the area covered in dew.

Hiking to Lakes of Covadonga are easy and beautiful. Little kids can do it. Old people can do it. But be ready for cloud cover - like in the clouds kind of cloud cover. The Asturias region of northern Spain has one of the continent's most beautiful mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa. Being from the other side of the Atlantic, I didn't expect Spain to look like this, but the Lakes of Covadonga and the area surrounding them gave us an almost alpine feel, without the frigid temperatures.

Hiking to Lakes of Covadonga are easy and beautiful. Little kids can do it. Old people can do it. But be ready for cloud cover - like in the clouds kind of cloud cover. The Asturias region of northern Spain has one of the continent's most beautiful mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa. Being from the other side of the Atlantic, I didn't expect Spain to look like this, but the Lakes of Covadonga and the area surrounding them gave us an almost alpine feel, without the frigid temperatures.

Most of the path is paved and an easy walk. That said, there are stairs, and at one point you are literally walking through a cow pasture (no paved path here), so strollers and wheelchairs beware.

Hiking to Lakes of Covadonga are easy and beautiful. Little kids can do it. Old people can do it. But be ready for cloud cover - like in the clouds kind of cloud cover. The Asturias region of northern Spain has one of the continent's most beautiful mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa. Being from the other side of the Atlantic, I didn't expect Spain to look like this, but the Lakes of Covadonga and the area surrounding them gave us an almost alpine feel, without the frigid temperatures.

Hiking to Lakes of Covadonga are easy and beautiful. Little kids can do it. Old people can do it. But be ready for cloud cover - like in the clouds kind of cloud cover. The Asturias region of northern Spain has one of the continent's most beautiful mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa. Being from the other side of the Atlantic, I didn't expect Spain to look like this, but the Lakes of Covadonga and the area surrounding them gave us an almost alpine feel, without the frigid temperatures.

Few food options

Consider bringing a picnic lunch. We saw one restaurant, but no other opportunities for food at the top. Instead, we brought sandwiches and ate by the pond just as the sun began to show.

Hiking to Lakes of Covadonga are easy and beautiful. Little kids can do it. Old people can do it. But be ready for cloud cover - like in the clouds kind of cloud cover. The Asturias region of northern Spain has one of the continent's most beautiful mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa. Being from the other side of the Atlantic, I didn't expect Spain to look like this, but the Lakes of Covadonga and the area surrounding them gave us an almost alpine feel, without the frigid temperatures.

Hiking to Lakes of Covadonga are easy and beautiful. Little kids can do it. Old people can do it. But be ready for cloud cover - like in the clouds kind of cloud cover. The Asturias region of northern Spain has one of the continent's most beautiful mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa. Being from the other side of the Atlantic, I didn't expect Spain to look like this, but the Lakes of Covadonga and the area surrounding them gave us an almost alpine feel, without the frigid temperatures.

Buses back down the mountain leave from the same station every 10-15 minutes, so if you miss one, don’t worry. Another bus will be along shortly.

Hiking to Lakes of Covadonga are easy and beautiful. Little kids can do it. Old people can do it. But be ready for cloud cover - like in the clouds kind of cloud cover. The Asturias region of northern Spain has one of the continent's most beautiful mountain ranges: the Picos de Europa. Being from the other side of the Atlantic, I didn't expect Spain to look like this, but the Lakes of Covadonga and the area surrounding them gave us an almost alpine feel, without the frigid temperatures.

Have you been to Picos de Europa’s Lakes of Covadonga?

We only walked parts of the trail and would love to know more about it. When did you go to the lakes of Covadonga? Would you go again?

Spain Road Trip: Hiking to Picos de Europa's Lakes of Covadonga, hiking, mountains, family travel

Comments

  1. We just visited the 2 lakes and it was fantastic. We were lucky with incredible weather. Restaurant open. Cows friendly. Worth a visit and of course to stand at the top and look down on both sides. Not to be missed

  2. Pam Thomas says:

    Hi,

    We recently did the circular route of the lakes and most of this is definitely not flat and definitely not paved. While it is blessedly wide open and you don’t have to worry about a kid falling off a cliff, there is also quite a bit of up and down picking through the trails on the non-lake side of the route. There is no way a stroller or a wheelchair would make it through 85 percent of this trail! I think this hike is too often described as a Sunday afternoon stroll, when it takes a few hours to do the whole thing and it most definitely involves work (especially the initial steep
    Ascent). Views are great most of the time tho; no tedious forested portions to slog through.

  3. We will be in Northern Spain soon and are debating between hiking/walking in the Picos and Covadonga or doing the Ruta de las Xanas. We will be closer to Xanas but wonder if the Picos are more spectacular. We will have kids ages 3-7 with us. Suggestions?

    • Hi Yvette. Personally, I liked the Xanas trail more, but you should keep in mind that large parts of the trail are close to sheer cliffs with no guardrail. My kids were 10 and 13 at the time — I don’t know if I would walk this trail with them when one of them was 3. The route we chose for the Picos/Covadonga was much tamer but still very beautiful. We parked in one place then took a bus to a trailhead. The trail was partially paved and near the entrance to a museum on the area, which would be fun for kids as a stopover. You know your kids best so consider that when choosing which trail. And let us know how it goes!

      • Jason, thank you so much for your blog! We used so much of it for our 2 1/2 week trip in Asturias. We did end up on Xanas and had a great time. I had to hold on to my 3-year old’s hand the whole time, but that was not a problem. My 6-year old did great on his own. We took it very slow and didn’t make it all the way to Cafe Generosa (the trail got realllllly muddy in the forested area), but we really enjoyed it nonetheless. I think the Xanas trail would be great for almost any age, provided you don’t have a child who’s a runner. We really wanted to do the Lakes of Covadonga, but we didn’t get out there until the week before Easter and it was more crowded than we expected. We saw the town and the cave-cathedral (which was pretty fantastic), but didn’t make it up to the lakes. Thanks again for a really fantastic blog.

        • So glad to help, Yvette. And thrilled to hear about your Xanas hike and time in Asturias! The Asturias region made a big impression on us. Very happy to hear you enjoyed as much as we did!

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

css.php