Covadonga Spain: the Spiritual Heart of Asturias! Visit the Lakes

Basílica de Covadonga (Galiza).
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Covadonga Spain, a small village located in the heart of the Picos de Europa mountain range in Asturias, is home to the Basilica of Covadonga and the Covadonga Lakes.

The Basilica of Covadonga is a popular pilgrimage site and is known for its beautiful architecture and spiritual significance. The Covadonga Lakes, a series of beautiful mountain lakes, are popular for swimming and picnicking.

Visiting the Basilica of Covadonga and the Covadonga Lakes is an enriching and spiritual experience. The Basilica, which dates back to the 10th century, is a testament to the rich cultural and religious history of Asturias. The Lakes, surrounded by stunning mountain scenery, provide a peaceful and serene setting for relaxation and contemplation.

Whether you are seeking spiritual inspiration or simply want to experience the beauty of Asturias, a visit to Covadonga is sure to be a memorable and rewarding experience.

Best things to see and do in Covadonga Spain

Santuário da Virgem de Covadonga.
Sanctuary of the Virgin of Covadonga.

The Basilica of Covadonga Spain

The Basilica of Covadonga is a beautiful and important religious site located in the village of Covadonga in the province of Asturias, Spain. It is known as the “Cradle of the Spanish Nation” and is considered a symbol of the country’s rich cultural and religious history.

The basilica was built in the 10th century on the site of a small cave where, according to legend, the Virgin Mary appeared to a shepherd in the 8th century. The cave, known as the “Cave of Covadonga,” became a popular place of pilgrimage, and over time, a small chapel was built on the site.

In the 10th century, King Alfonso III of Asturias ordered the construction of the Basilica of Covadonga to honor the Virgin Mary and the memory of the Spanish hero Pelagius, who defeated the Moors in the Battle of Covadonga in the 8th century and helped establish the kingdom of Asturias. The basilica was consecrated in the year 1010 and has been a place of pilgrimage ever since.

The basilica has undergone several renovations and additions over the centuries, and today it is a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture. It is a popular tourist destination and an important site of religious significance in Spain.

Covadonga Lakes

Lago Ercina no inverno.
Lake Ercina in winter.

The two big lakes in Covadonga are Lake Ernol and Lake Ercina. Due to the growing demand from visitors, it was necessary to control access to this region of the Picos de Europa National Park.

Therefore, at this time, access by private car to lakes Ernol and Ercina, also known as Lakes of Covadonga, is prohibited during the summer, Easter and holidays. That is, at that time, to see the lakes, you need to leave your car in the parking lot and get on a bus to the lakes.

In any case, the fact is that the lakes are very beautiful! We’ve been there in the winter, and, of course, we’ve got snow!

It was freezing cold, but the scenery made up for it!

Where to sleep

Hotel & Spa Villa de Mestas.
Hotel & Spa Villa Mestas.

On this roadtrip we chose to stay at the Hotel & Spa Villa de Mestas, which is just 12 km from Covadonga and is an inspiring place.

However, if you want to explore other accommodation options in Covadonga, see the suggestions below.

What was the significance of the battle of Covadonga Spain

Escadaria para a Virgem de Covadonga.
Stairway to the Virgin of Covadonga.

The Battle of Covadonga was a significant military conflict that took place in the year 722 in the region of Asturias, in northern Spain. It was fought between the forces of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania, led by King Rodrigo, and the Moors, who had recently invaded and occupied much of the Iberian Peninsula.

The Battle of Covadonga is considered the first major victory for the Christian forces in the Reconquista, the long and bloody process of reconquering the Iberian Peninsula from Muslim rule. It marked the beginning of the Christian kingdom of Asturias, which eventually expanded to include much of northern Spain and Portugal.

The hero of the Battle of Covadonga was a Christian nobleman named Pelagius, who led the Christian forces to victory against the Moors. Pelagius is considered a national hero in Spain and is known as the “Father of the Spanish Nation.”

The Battle of Covadonga is an important event in Spanish history and is remembered and celebrated to this day. The site of the battle, located in the village of Covadonga, is now a popular place of pilgrimage and is home to the Basilica of Covadonga, which was built to honor the Virgin Mary and the memory of Pelagius.

How to get to Covadonga from Porto

Lago Enol nos Picos da Europa.
Lake Enol in Picos da Europa.

To get to Covadonga from Porto by car, you will need to take the following route:

  1. From Porto, take the A-55 south towards Vigo.
  2. In Vigo, continue on the AP-9 towards Pontevedra.
  3. In Pontevedra, take the AP-9 towards Santiago de Compostela.
  4. In Santiago de Compostela, take the AP-9 towards Oviedo.
  5. In Oviedo, take the AS-II towards Cangas de Onis.
  6. Follow the AS-II to Cangas de Onis and then take the CO-1 towards Covadonga.

The journey from Porto to Covadonga by car takes about 6 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions. It is a long drive, so it is a good idea to plan for breaks and rest stops along the way. You will also need to pay tolls on some sections of the route.

Note: The above route is just one possible option. There may be other routes that you can take, depending on your specific starting location in Porto and your preferences. It is a good idea to use a mapping website or app to plan your route and get real-time traffic updates.

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