Route of the Navia viewpoints
Route of the Navia viewpoints

A very ethnographic river route

The bed of the Navia River flows canyoned through dream landscapes that this route turns into real ones. We look out at several natural balconies to check it out. Jumping from viewpoint to viewpoint, the itinerary crosses villages with slate roofs, remains of rural centers and traditional agricultural buildings, a reservoir intended for the production of hydroelectric energy, old historical buildings of these facilities...

But in addition to giving us panoramic views, ethnography and industrial archaeology, the route offers us a complete cosmology of wild flowers, mosses, green hills and forests with oaks, hazelnuts, pines, yews and cork oaks. A little explored territory that also hides otters, salmon and birds of prey. The excursion exceeds all expectations.

Latitude: 43.3945618 Length: -6.7992959
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The Navia River is one of the largest in the entire Cantabrian Sea, begins in the Ancares de Lugo and flows into western Asturias, in the town and estuary that bears the same name. Filled with water, it passes through three reservoirs with their corresponding waterfalls: Salime, Doiras and Arbón. On the way to the sea, its undulating meanders take on an extraordinary beauty at the height of Boal, a municipality loaded to the brim with ethnographic and environmental wealth.

Viesgo Route to the Navia River Viewpoints

This is the full name of the route, approved as Short Route: PR.AS-299.

It has a low-medium difficulty, With 12 kilometers long (round trip) well signposted and on comfortable terrain.

It can be done in a few 4 hours at a good pace, although it is preferable to spend more time to calmly enjoy everything that the route can offer us.

Despite being short and having limited slopes, the ups and downs are constant and can be moderate for some people, since in the end The accumulated difference is 475 meters.

A circular route, with beginning and end in Castriyón Bridge Recreational Area, located in the final stretch of the Roxíos River and its mouth at the Arbón Reservoir. here exists ample parking and a recreation area, with a bathing area and a pier. Before we get going, the great environmental quality that surrounds us is clearly appreciated.

Route of the Navia viewpoints

As it is a circular route, we can begin the path in two possible meanings, but an informative sign recommends us to do so in a specific sense. It's better to pay attention to it.

We start like this from the side of the bridge opposite the picnic area., crossing the AS-35 Villayón-Boal highway bridge over the reservoir (a very interesting engineering work due to the parabolic direction of its concrete structure). We continue for about 350 meters along the road and at the first bend we take an ascending forest track to the right, passing through the Voltas de Coucelín, a promontory with spectacular views of the reservoir. We continue uphill until El Rebollal, an uninhabited town, wrongly called a ghost, since it is easy to discover its ethnographic pulse in old agricultural holdings, with housing, hórreo and cabazo (barn).

We advance with more ups and downs. First we descend to cross the Fontescavadas stream and then we regain altitude to the highest point of our excursion: the town of Silvón. This one is inhabited and at the entrance there is a water source to supply us with supplies. The Asturian cabazos and hórreos take on a special charm here. Also two specimens of botanical interest, a yew and a centuries-old cork oak. And the chapel of San Juan, with a wonderful decorated vault. We have to go around this chapel to follow the route to the right, descending towards the Doiras reservoir along a wild path about 400 meters long until connecting with the road that leads to the dam.

In front of us, on the other side of the river, is the popular Cuckoo Peak and very close to him Cova do Demo (cave with rock art, protected with a fence, in which several anthropomorphic figures stand out).

We reach the Doiras Dam when we have been traveling for two hours in total. It is a splendid work of engineering built in the upper part of the Navia River, between 1929 and 1934. It was expanded in 1958. It has an impressive 90-meter-high jump. The reservoir reaches a capacity of 119 hm³.

Route of the Navia viewpoints

We continue climbing, we approach the homes of the employees of the development company, Electra of Viesgo. This is a prominent industrial settlement that shows us the importance of the dam's activity as an economic engine of the region. In fact, this circular route of the viewpoints, designed by the Society of Friends of Boal, had financial support from the electricity company itself for its conditioning.

Shortly after having joined the AS-12 road, we arrived at the village of Doiras, the most populated town on the route with nearly a hundred inhabitants. A beautiful town, with well-made homes, including the Verdín Palace; 18th century rural mansion with splendid patio and hallway. From this town we continue enjoying spectacular views of valleys and mountains.

On the same AS-12 road that we took to reach Doiras, but shortly before entering the town, there is a concrete branch on the right that then continues along a dirt track. to Piñeira. A village of a dozen inhabitants belonging to the parish of Doiras in the municipality of Boal, a council that we have not abandoned throughout the journey.

We cross the village of Piñeira in search of a new indication that will return us to the path (PR.AS-299), and once there we walk downhill to the Castriyón Bridge Recreational Area, where we begin the route. This last section It is just as beautiful or more beautiful than the rest of the ones we have left behind. We enter a beautiful forest of oaks, alders and hazelnuts, dotted with vestiges of traditional agricultural culture. We border the Mount Montice, descending along the right bank of the Roxíos River that rushes with beautiful jumps towards its mouth. Soon we will reach a natural balcony over the Roxíos valley, from which we can again contemplate the course of the Navia river and the end of the route: the Castriyón area.

Text: © Ramón Molleda for Copyright Ramón Molleda