Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cycling in Asturias: El Fito viewing platform

Ribadesella with the Sueve Mountains in the background
Cycling in Asturias is a great way to discover this beautiful part of the country although it presents some challenges: being a mountainous region. You need a certain level of fitness to be able to face the challenge that some hills present.

You are never too far from a hill even when you choose the coastal routes.
When you cycle off road, the paths tend to be poorly signed and at times you need to carry your bicycle as some of the paths are not very well maintained.

Mountain biking really applies to off road cycling in Asturias but in spite of the challenges it presents, it is a great activity as you are never too far from magnificent views. Personally I tend to cycle along the roads as they never get busy with traffic and I tend not to get lost as easily.

This particular ride up el Fito viewing platform takes me to the Sueve Mountains which we see in the distance from La Pasera and it is a circular route along the coastal road after leaving behind Ribadesella.

After passing several villages and small towns dotted across beautiful valleys I turn towards the mountains until I see a road sign indicating El Fito viewing platform where main challenge of this route starts, a 600 m ascent over a 4 Km distance along a very windy road used as part of an international car rally and favoured by many car and motorbike drivers.

On this occasion, I came across about 200 motorbikes and the photo opportunity was a good excuse to catch my breath and have a sip of water.

The viewing platform is a very popular tourist attraction because on a clear day it affords incredible views across the valleys with the Picos National Park in the distance and golden sandy beaches below. This viewing platform is within a protected natural space when the semi-wild Asturcon horse can frequently be spotted. Unfortunately, this time they were on higher ground according to one of the farmers I spoke with.

View towards Ribadesella from El Fito viewing platform.
After reaching the top, one of my favourite parts is the free ride you are rewarded with down the rather steep and windy road. The fastest I have managed coming dawn is close to 60 Km per hour. I am sure many will be happy gaining a greater speed but for me, the possibility of a car coming in the opposite direction is a good reason not to come down any faster.

The coastal views with La Isla beach and Lastres town in the background.

The Picos National Park from El Fito
At the end of the free ride the town of Arriondas is a good place to refill the water bottle if needed just before joining the road that runs along the river Sella and after 17 Km you reach Ribadesella and a further 5 Km before reaching La Pasera once more. I often take a few minute's break over one of the few pedestrian bridges over the river where I can enjoy the surrounding scenery and on a warm day wave to the tourists enjoying a day out, doing the river descent by canoe, a popular outdoor activity with those visiting the region and as the weather remains very warm a good way to spend a day close to nature..

The river Sella as it reaches Ribadesella.

1 comment:

  1. How beautiful! Thanks for taking us with you.


Click link to read more.