In part one of our guide to the Cares Gorge walk we covered the journey to Poncebos from Panes along the AS-114 (click here to read it) and in part two we covered the gear you’ll need for a safe day hiking in the mountains (click here to read the checklist).
Assuming you’re au fait with the route and have read the checklist to make sure you’re packed for safety and rehydration we can look at Poncebos in Asturias which forms the gateway for several hikes in the area.
A 2km stretch of road winds south from a large car park into the centre of Poncebos. That car park is generally the last resort for visitors as it adds another 4km onto your hike, so if you arrive and see it filling up you can bet your bottom euro that the road is chocker with cars. Arrive early to avoid extra walking.
Passing the dam on the right as you head into the village there is the Hotel Arcea Mirador de Cabrales which offers tourists a bed, food and for a price of course.
Walking further south you’ll pass beneath an arch in the rock and on the left you’ll find another car park, tourist information office and the stairs to the funicular which for around 7 euros will whisk you off to Bulnes.
Ignoring the funicular and walking straight on you’ll pass another bar on the right. This is your last chance saloon for water and food if you haven’t packed enough. Take advantage of their facilities before continuing south until you reach a little wooden building on the left. A path winds down the gorge beside that hut and this takes you to Bulnes. Opposite the hut is the start of the Cares gorge walk (Ruta de Cares) and it is here that our adventure begins.
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