Vega Pociellu Route

The hidden sheepfold

The great “Vega de Pociellu” countryside is a mountainous, livestock-raising and pure territory. And it is also the goal of one of the most beautiful and unknown excursions in the Redes Natural Park, located in the southern confines of the municipality of Caso. Before reaching it we will encounter more scenic rewards along the way: such as the Ablanosa sheepfold, with its small cabins bordering the foliage, or the Fabucao beech forest itself that we must cross to reach our destination.

Pociellu is a hidden corner, away from the world, where horses and cows graze, and where only the relaxing cadence of cowbells can be heard.

Photographs: © Roberto Molero on Flickr

Latitude: 43.0914574 Length: -5.2878571
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Its entire perimeter is idyllic and unique, picturesque, of great ethnographic value, which makes it one of the most charming brañas of this Biosphere Reserve. Taking into account that the brañas of Redes exceed one hundred, the merit of La Vega de Pociellu and its beauty is double. The peaks frame it in such a way that they make it the main protagonist of the tremendous panoramic view that assails us. The mountain circus seems like a stage set up expressly to give more "softness" to the braña, sandwiched between the Sierra de Pries (dominated by the emblematic silhouette of the Cantu del Oso) and the Sierra de Mongayo, bordering the province of León. It is like an imagined arcadia: beautiful, extensive, with captivating horizons, with enviable pastures, cabins and livestock in sight. A large plain of glacial origin just like the neighbor Brañagallons. A little smaller but wilder and more isolated, since it is not possible to get here by off-road vehicle.

Route to Brañagallones

Route to Brañagallones

La Vega de Brañagallones is a chimerical place, a dream landscape of glacial origin in the heart of the Park…

Route to Vega Pociellu

The flocks They have roamed freely since time immemorial. The cabins of the cowboys remind us of the livestock function of this place, frequented in the summer for its excellent pastures. The shepherds slept in these cabins, watching over their cattle and feeding a small llar with firewood, often enjoying the full moon and the starry sky that illuminated the braña.

Route to the Vega de Pociellu

We begin this beautiful route through the Redes Natural Park, in the place known as L'Armadiella, located on the road AS-117 that goes up to port and village of Tarna. The starting point is about 2 kilometers before reaching this town, at kilometer point 56. At this specific point there is very little space to park (two cars at most) so it is preferable to leave the car in a slightly larger previous parking lot and ascend a stretch of road until you find the forest track where the route begins (which has a sign prohibiting the passage of unauthorized vehicles).

Route to Vega Pociellu

We descend along the aforementioned track, staying to the right at all times and without taking any of the branches that leave to the left. At times the imposing silhouette of the Black Cuetu, a mass that guards the entrance to the La Ablanosa valley and its neighbor Mongayu. We soon arrived at Corral bridge, which will allow us to cross the largest river in Asturias, the Nalon, although here it is barely a stream, as close as it is to its source in the Fuente La Nalona. We cross it and then begin the ascent to the Ablanosa mayada. The first slopes run through terrain dominated by oak trees. Little by little the track gets a little steeper and meanders while the forest turns into a beech forest; The silhouette of the Cuetu Negru looming ever more powerful and closer. We can also appreciate in the distance the beautiful Tabayón del Mongallu waterfall.

Route to the Tabayón waterfall

Route to the Tabayón waterfall

To reach this waterfall in the middle of the mountain you just have to put on good footwear that grips well...

The pyramidal profile of Cantu l'Osu It intimidates us with its greatness as we approach the Ablanosa braña (1805 m). Soon we will reach the main nucleus of this "mayá", with its fountain and drinking fountain and its well-kept cabins, and its extraordinary panoramic views to the east. We clearly see the peaks of Peña Ten and Pileñes, behind the La Bolera ridge. This is a must stop to take a break and drink water from the local fountain. We have been walking for 3 kilometers.

From La Ablanosa, we skirt the valley on a false plain, and cross a stream to enter a shadier area. At the height of the area known as the Carrascosu, the forest track gives way to a small path that starts to our right, we enter fully into the fabulous Fabucao forest. The trend of the road is once again upward. We gain altitude crossing one of the most beautiful beech forests in the Parque de Redes. The trees do not allow us to see the surroundings, but some clearings allow us to see the Cantu l'Osu or the Cuetu Negru. We follow the rustically marked path, ending up leaving the forest towards an area of ​​brooms that we cross to step directly on the carpet of the fabulous Vega de Pociellu.

We can go to the small group of cabins that remain standing near the southwestern end of the meadow, or walk towards the back of the countryside, where we find the slope of the Los Abedulosos peak; leafy hillside that is beautiful during the fall. From this site we can admire the mythical Thiatordos, known as "the perfect mountain." A very beautiful summit close to two thousand meters of altitude.

Route to Tiatordos

Route to Tiatordos

We propose a route to one of the outstanding mountains of Asturias that is outlined, in a way…

It is a good idea to stop to rest without any rush, and enjoy this landscape that has no waste, before turning back along the same path.

Information of interest

Distance: 12,7 km (round trip)
Duration: 4 hours and a half.
Difficulty: easy.

Although the usual thing is to return along the same path, we can take an alternative return route and get closer to the Cerréu sheepfold, a promontory of great ethnographic wealth and, surely, one of the best viewpoints in Redes.

To take this alternative route we will retrace our steps from the meadow to the beech forest of Fabucao, but in this case we will take a different path that is signposted as Collau Arenas. We then walk through the beech forest in its highest part, near the limestone cliffs of the Sierra de Pries. After reaching the Cerréu sheepfold, we will descend to the Ablanosa sheepfold and from there to the parking lot. This alternative route increases the linear round trip route by about 4 extra kilometers.

© Text: © Ramón Molleda for
Photographs: © Roberto Molero on Flickr

Total distance: 12845m
Maximum height: 1288m
Minimum height: 850m
Ascent slope: 538m
Descent slope: -558 m
Time spent: 04:10:32