The lakes of Covadonga are one of the most visited natural treasures in Asturias. Getting there is an adventure that will leave you in complete awe of the beauty of nature. If you fancy visiting these lakes, we’re going to tell you all about them so you start planning your visit.
A unique place that always offers something different
This natural enclave, located in the Picos de Europa National Park, receives thousands of visitors from around the world each year.
It’s especially noteworthy that many of the tourists who come to this area aren’t first-timers. This landscape truly wins over anyone who comes to see it. The lakes of Covadonga are a must-see at some point in our lives. And rest assured, if you visit once, you'll end up coming back.
Its appeal lies not only in the beauty of the landscape, but also in its changeability. This is because the environment surrounding the lakes, including the appearance of the bodies of water themselves, changes throughout the year.
Spring and summer are perfect times to visit, coinciding with the busiest period at the lakes. However, we encourage you to discover this almost magical, peaceful location in autumn and winter.
Plan your visit to the lakes of Covadonga
Basilica and Cueva de la Señora
When you arrive to Asturias, you can rent a car to allow you to explore at your own pace. Buckle up and set off for Covadonga, just 8 kilometres from Cangas de Onís, one of the most popular and most beautiful towns in the region.
When you arrive in Covadonga you’ll come across the basilica: a true spectacle! Don't hesitate - make a stop and visit it at your own pace. You can take a short walk to the Santa Cueva from here.
Mirador de los Canónigos viewpoint
After your visit to these religious monuments located in the heart of nature, it’s time to go back to the car and begin the ascent to the lakes of Covadonga. But first, it’s worth making a stop to enjoy more of the beauty of the landscape and even take some pictures.
About two kilometres from the Santa Cueva you’ll reach the Los Canónigos viewpoint, just on the left hand side as you go up the road.
A little further on, about eight kilometres from Covadonga, you’ll come across the Mirador de la Reina viewpoint, which offers great views of the northern mountain ranges of the Picos de Europa and Las Vegas. If you look carefully you can make out Cangas de Onís and even Ribadesella.
How to get to the lakes of Covadonga
The lakes are about 12 kilometres from the basilica, but the road is steep and narrow, so we’d recommend you take your time and go carefully.
The first lake you’ll come to is Lake Enol, located at an altitude of 1,070 metres, with water that reaches 23 metres deep in its southern part. The water is pretty much cold as it’s of glacial origin, and the lake remains surrounded by snow for several months of the year.
If you continue up the road for a couple of kilometres, you’ll reach the second of the lakes of Covadonga. Lake Ercina is located at an altitude of 1,108 metres and is slightly smaller than Lake Enol. Being at a higher latitude, you’ll get an even better view of the mountains from here.
If you’re a wildlife lover, keep your eyes peeled during your visit. At ground level you can see communities of birds such as teals or coots, especially at Lake Ercina, and if you look up at the sky you’re sure to see birds of prey such as buzzards or Egyptian vultures.
The hidden secret: the third lake
Did you know that there are actually three lakes not two? There’s a third lake, El Bricial. This is a temporary lagoon that can only be accessed by walking along the shepherds' paths. It takes about an hour if you go from the hermitage of Santiago in Vale do Enol. If you then fancy continuing the walk, just in front you you’ll see the beech forest of Monte Palomberu.
A visit to the lakes of Covadonga is a unique and unforgettable experience. You’ll definitely want to come back. Make the experience even better by going up in a safe, top quality car. Do you want to rent a car in Asturias for your trip? We’re here to help!.