We have three full days based near Potes, May 2013. There isn't much information in the guide books and I am finding some of the websites imprenetrable.
We enjoy pottering and stopping off to explore small villages and go into the churches. Husband enjoys photographing the architecture. We'd also like to do some easier walking.
We are planning on a full day round Potes and Fuente Dé including Santo Toribio de Liébana and a trip on the cable car.
Another day we are planning to drive north, stopping to look at the church of Santa Maria in Lebeña, then through the Hermida gorge and then west, heading for the funicular up to Bulnes, possibly driving as far as Treviso at the end of the road. If time allows we'll also visit Covadonga and Lagos Enol and Ercina.
The last day I was thinking of heading south east and exploring the villages off the CA184. This will include Aniezo (mills), Piasca (church of Santa Maria la Real), Ermita de Santa Teressa in San Felices de Castilleria (murals). If time allows we'd like to get as far as Cevera de Pisuerga before heading back to Potes.
I'd discounted going up to Cain for the Cares Gorge walk, because of the road. It looks very narrow and I don't think husband would be very happy driving it....
Is there any other 'must see' places during the three days that I've not found and which we ought to add to the list?
It's been almost ten years, but our family spent three nights in Cosgaya at Hotel del Oso. Our three children were quite small at the time, so our itinerary wasn't as ambitious as yours. But I can say that we loved the area and were wowed by the natural beauty and local culture.
The teleferico at Fuente De is a must. The landscape is spectacular and quite unusual. Hiking from the top can be as easy or arduous as you like. Even with three kids, we walked to the "refugio"(there's a small restaurant) and back. It was pretty windy and chilly (in June) on the mountain so dress accordingly.
My husband and eldest daughter went horseback riding, which can be found throughout the area.
The market in Potes was interesting - definitely local and not geared to tourists. I believe its held on Mondays.
I can highly recommend the restaurant at the Hotel del Oso. It offers huge portions of hearty, traditional cuisine. I'm assuming the hotel is still run by three sisters who were among the warmest, most accommodating hoteliers I've ever encountered. They had a new litter of St. Bernard puppies, and they showed my children where they kept the key to the barn so the kids could play with the puppies whenever they liked.
hi Eleanor. You have already planned to do many of the things we did. Check the opening times of Santa Maria in Lebeña right when you get there and make a plan. I think they only let people in at certain times and not very many people at once. Something like that. We kept missing the time by 5 minutes until we took a picnic there and hung out for a while (there are some picnic tables there, if you want to have a picnic.)
Santo Toribio de Liébana has a great gift shop. It is worth checking out when you are up there. I bought a set of postcards with reproductions of the Commentary on the Apocalypse by St. Beatus (you can also see reproductions in one of the rooms of the monastery.)
If you make it as far as Cervera de Pisuerga, go for a drink on the terrace of the parador. It has a gorgeous view. In Potes, we had a great tapas lunch at El Bodegon on the main drag - really nice waiter, and some of the best jamon I have ever had in Spain.
I second the recommendation for the Monday market if you will be there on a Monday.
Thank you for the information. According to the website, the church of Church of Santa Maria in Lebeña is open 10-1.30 4-7. I'll bear your comments in mind and be prepared to wait. Hopefully in early May it shouldn't get too busy.
It sounds as if the gift shop in Santo Toribio de Liébana will solve buying presents.
Unfortunately we're not going to be there on a Monday, however I'll make a note of your other suggestions.
I went on a daytrip a few years ago from Santander to Potes and Santo Toribio de Liebana, we also did the cable car at Fuente Dé. In Potes I remember going for lunch to Casa Cayo. There I had the cocido lebaniego, very yummy.
For sure, try to do the trip to Covadonga and the lakes of Enol and Ercina. I did that in another trip and really enjoyed it. There are several hiking opportunities there.
Santander is a beautiful resort city and is not that far, you could also spend a day or part of the day there. Also Santillana del Mar, a very well preserved medieval city.
There is so much to do and see and we only have three days so difficult decisions need to be made what to include or leave out. I'm alreeady beginning to think we wil need to go back for a longer trip in 2014. My intention this time was to concentrate on the area around Potes and leave the coast for another holiday.