The place where a virgin emerges from the waters
In Asturias they like to repeat that their land is a natural paradise. One example that works better than any slogan is that of the views that can be enjoyed at the lakes that are part of the park of Covadonga, where peace reigns before an omnipresent virgin, submerged under the water.
Let time stop, let’s allow the roundness of the landscape makes us feel somewhat smaller before the majesty of the Picos de Europa. From the Basilica de la Virgen as the park is named, a climb of about fourteen kilometres begins along a winding road leading to the Enol and La Ercina lakes. A third lagoon, El Bricial, forms when the snows melt.
This unit, which forms part of the Picos de Europa National Park and is located in the town of Cangas de Onis, invites us to breathe fresh air and forget what noise is all about more than 1,000 metres up. The only things capable of breaking the tranquillity of the nearby meadows are the cows grazing freely among the visitors.
For hikers there are several specific routes from which you can have different views. The place is also a reference point for cyclists, as it is the location of the most iconic last stages of the Spanish Vuelta cycle race.
Every September 8th, the day of Asturias’s autonomic festival, a peculiar celebration takes place on Enol Lake. There is an image of the Virgin of Covadonga, the patroness of the region and known as "Santina" in reference to its small size, sunk in the waters of the lake. On this day, a team of divers plunge into the icy waters to rescue the statue and bring it out in procession. At the end of the religious ritual, the "Santina" is returned to its place, where it will wait patiently until the following year.
Photos: Sociedad Regional de Turismo de Asturias.
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