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Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa

Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa

Last stop: Bulnes

  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa
  • Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa

Last stop: Bulnes

Until recently Bulnes was only reached by a serpentine path, carved between rocks of extraordinary beauty. There used to be a scarce traffic of humans and mules with provisions and equipment, also the mail usually traveled this route. A route that hardly had any function in winter, when it was hidden in the snow and needed a helicopter for some other urgency or local need.

Funicular to Bulnes. Now, what was the last village without road access in Asturias can be accessed underground in just seven minutes. This is possible thanks to the services of a funicular that moves at about 22 kilometers per hour by a cable traction system on track.

Bulnes has been only two kilometers away from the town of Poncebos, linked by an underground tunnel that crosses the Peña Maín.


What to see in and around Bulnes?

Bulnes deserves a visit for many reasons, be it by funicular or on foot. We propose, for scenic beauty and enjoy hiking, the classic mountain road that your neighbors used throughout their lives and that carries little risk or unexpected shocks. The road, yes, appears before us steep at the first change. In the village there is an unusual atmosphere, a rustic reality in which barely a dozen neighbors are seen, and a good number of Asturian houses, many in ruins, including its parish. The town that now sees its tourist services reinforced has a popular bar, which is not populous where to eat a good stew and some other accommodation to spend the night.

A long time ago there was a camping place in the vicinity where nature lovers and also those of risk used to go, because Bulnes serves as a prelude to the famous Urriellu Peak (Naranjo de Bulnes), a classic challenge for mountaineers from all over the peninsula. The village is perched on an affordable Meters 649, but surrounded by powerful peaks of 1.600 meters of altitude. The new possibilities of accommodation, and some extra comfort now predispose to other types of more comfortable stays to which we are not going to remove either merits or reasons here. It is simply the desire of Desdeasturias.com, like that of many other Asturian lovers of the area, that the use and enjoyment of this natural enclave entails respect at all times for its inhabitants and the existing habitat. It should not be overlooked that this village, in which more than 50 people lived, was founded by shepherds who one fine day decided to live permanently in this place, giving up too many things. In this way, you cannot reach Bulnes in a disrespectful way, breaking a way of life assumed by the mountaineers, or mistreating a landscape that they cared for for decades.

Route Bulnes Majada de Arnández

Route Bulnes Majada de Arnández

A short distance from the town of Bulnes there is a charming and bucolic corner with excellent views over the Picu Urriellu ...

Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa

How long does it take to walk up to Bulnes?

The road continues four kilometers, an hour and a half walk or two hours, it depends on our physical form. We have parked our vehicle in the town of Poncebos, just seven kilometers from Arenas de Cabrales. The mountain track that begins here has nothing to envy to other classic routes of the Asturian mountain such as the well-known Ruta del Cares which also starts in Poncebos. The journey to Bulnes is much shorter, but hardly flat and has just enough hardness to go and return, feeling a bit tired and very satisfied with the journey. It is suitable for all ages and does not require a particularly athletic physical condition.

From the Jaya bridge, next to the Poncebos crossing, and up to the town of Bulnes we will have ascended more than 400 meters of unevenness, with slopes that reach 18 percent. The ascent is almost continuous along a path lined with old stones, harmoniously polished by the weather and walkers over many decades. In some sections the rock comes to form custom-made steps patiently built by erosion, without fillings or other material than the rock itself. Opposite we see what is popularly known as the Amuesa Murallón. Just as vertical and surprising as the Peña Maín that we are skirting, through a steep and spectacular gorge above the Texu river, a channel that carries the same name of the river and that separates both natural moles.

Bulnes, heart of the Picos de Europa

At the end the road becomes flat and ends in a kind of cute and tiny valley in which it is inscribed Bulnes, as a minor landing to continue climbing the giant staircase that climbs towards the highest mountains.

To one side we see, on a small hill, Bulnes de Arriba, later: Bulnes de Abajo, united by the same path. Are two neighborhoods that are also known as the Castle and the Villa. During the winter they live on cattle and in summer on tourism and the love of the mountains. We enter the town through its cemetery and the ruined parsonage, possibly the most noble building in the town. On one side of the cemetery we find the chapel that keeps the Virgen de las Nieves, the patron saint of the town to whom the quintessential festival of the town is dedicated, at the beginning of August.

A stream leaves two symmetrical parts of the village on both sides: houses, shelters, some shops, bars, farms that still keep food for livestock and stables. The alleys have a natural firm, they are limestone like the mountain, the same as the masonry of the walls that surround the meadows. Once here, the only thing left to do is enjoy good company or dedicate the rest of the day to contemplation, which is a lot. It may also be that we encourage ourselves to sleep to start some of the several high mountain routes that proposes us, almost incites, the place.

The Funicular to Bulnes

The fastest and most comfortable way to get there, without a doubt, we go up in Poncebos and in 7 minutes we are up in Bulnes. You have all the info in the link.

Funicular of Bulnes

Funicular of Bulnes

The fastest way to get to the Cabraliega town of Bulnes is by taking the funicular, operating since 2001, ...

Cabrales cheese

Cabrales cheese is one of the signs of identity and the ambassador par excellence of Asturias in the rest of the world. this cheese matures for two to five months in natural cavesInside there is a cool temperature and high humidity (relative humidity of 90% and a temperature of between 8º and 12º C.), and the smell of the cheese in an internal curing process always floods the environment.

Sleeping in and around Bulnes

Although Bulnes is a very small village, it has some rural houses and in the nearby towns we also find hotels, apartments, hostels, hostels ... a wide variety of establishments to sleep in the Picos de Europa. In our link we offer offers and direct contact with the owners, without intermediaries or commissions.

Accommodations Picos de Europa

Accommodations Picos de Europa

The best rural houses, apartments and hotels in the Picos de Europa. Offers to enjoy in a unique environment. #TurismoAsturias

Information:

To get to Poncebos we will take a detour on the AS-114 as it passes through Arenas de Cabrales. There is a clear signaling.
Arenas de Cabrales Tourist Office (Summer and bridges) Tel.:985 84 64 84.
City of Carreña de Cabrales. Tel .: 985 84 50 21.

Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com


Total distance: 8441 m
Maximum height: 645 m
Minimum height: 211 m
Ascent slope: 813 m
Descent slope: -817 m
Time spent: 03:36:27
Travel: Round trip
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