THE COUNCIL AND TOWN OF CANGAS DEL NARCEA
The Council and surrounding area of Cangas Del Narcea is a part of the Fuentes Del Narcea Region located in the south west of Asturias. This region is one of the largest protected areas in Asturias and a member of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves which include Fuentes Del Narcea, Degaña and Ibias Natural Park, the Integral Natural Reserve of Muniellos and the Cueto Arbas Partial Natural Park.
The area is historically connected to the gold mining industry starting during Roman times and also the production of wine which was introduced by the Benedictine Monks in the medieval times.
The more southerly location of this area bordering with Leon and Galicia make the terrain ideal for the production of wine and is still one of their main industries. Also, it is the only winemaking region in Asturias. The beautiful landscapes are full of grapevines that produce young light wines with a big personality that have been awarded with protected geographical status and stamped with the origin denomination “Vino de Calidad de Cangas” (Quality Wine from the land of Cangas). These wines are highly regarded and go perfectly with the region’s gastronomy.
Other interesting and historic remnants are the religious and nobility architecture of Palaces and large stately homes highlighting the wealth of this area throughout the ages.
The council of Cangas de Narcea is surrounded by the magical forest of Muniellos which was declared UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for its vast ecological value. Here you will find a mixture of European Beech and Oak trees intermingled with Silver-Birch, Hazel, Ash, ancient Yew and Holly and offering a wonderful palette of colour and beauty throughout the seasons. The area is boasts to six glacial lakes and is home to wildlife like bears and capercaillies (A Type of Grouse) as well as Wolfs, Roe deer, Wild Boar, Chamois and Otters. Due to the importance of this forest and the controls surrounding the ecosystem there are only 20 visitors allowed to enter the area a day so if you want to visit you will have to ask for permit……. well in advance.
Around the area of Cangas del Narcea you will also find the Natural Park of Fuentes Del Narcea, which has one of the most diverse areas for fauna in the North of Spain and the Partial Natural Reserve of El Cuetu d’Arbas which is also home to the highest mountain peak in the council reaching 2,007m.
Cangas del Narcea has a rich cultural heritage. In the town with the same name, Cangas Del Narcea, you will find the impressive Monastery of San Juan Bautista de Corias, founded by the Benedictines in 1022, declared National Historic-Artistic Monument and now operating as a luxury hotel. Also, the town of Cangas del Narcea has a wealth of Noble architecture, Palaces and Large Estates such as the Uria Palace, Peñalba Palace, Omaña Palace or Toreno Palace. It is also of Cultural Interest to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Magdalena and the Chapel of Carmen just beside a medieval bridge.
Close to the village you will find the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora Del Acebo from the 16th century with amazing views over the valley of Narcea and it is a very popular Marian Pilgrimage. Other interesting places to visit are the Palaces Llamas del Mouru, Xarcelei, San Pedru de Arbas, L’Ardali, Carbachu and the Romanic and gothic churches of San Pedro Culiema, San Mames de Tubongu, Santa Maria de Carceda and Santa Maria de Xarcelei among others…..
It is also worth to mention the fine ethnographic examples in the area like rural Asturian houses, Asturian food stores, mills, and other buildings designed to store chestnuts and protect the beehives from fire or from the pesky bears : )
A very nice example of this in in Bisuyu, a rural complex related to the dramatist Alejandro Casona and the traditional iron industry, where you will find the Centre of Reception for Visitors of Alejandro Casona, dedicated to these resources.
Another interesting place to visit in Cangas del Narcea is the Wine Museum of Cangas. There is also the Gold mining Interpretation Centre, although is currently closed to the public.
You can enjoy many walking routes in the area like the Ruta Del Oro (Route of the Gold), La Ruta del Bosque de Mual (Route of the Forest of Mual), Ruta Pumar (Pumar Route), Las Montañas (The Mountains Route), Route Cuetu d’Arbas and Route El Cabril. There are also some routes to do by car such as Ruta de los Puertos (Mountain Passes Route), Route of Sierra y Route of L’Acebu.
The Gastronomy of Cangas del Narcea is typically Asturian offering stews (especially the popular cabbage stew), Asturian reared beef; fish from their rivers, local cold meats like the traditional “chosco”, crusty country bread and classical Asturian desserts. Cangas Del Narcea this area is famous for fruits of the forest: dried nuts in winter and plump berries in summer. It is also famous for its local cheese called Xinestosu which you can only find in the town with the same name, it has very limited production and mainly for local consumption. Of course, everything should be washed down with the fantastic Wine, Vino de Calidad de Cangas. The area is also a paradise for fishing and hunting.
You should also look out for the very traditional black pottery that’s made in the town of Llamas Del Mouro.
The most popular party of Cangas del Narcea is the festival of Carmen which is very popular in Spain because to its extensive use of firecrackers and rockets.
From the 11th to the 14th of October is the “The Wine Harvesting Festival in Cangas del Narcea” where you can enjoy traditional music, popular wine tastings, craft exhibitions and market of local products and local wines.
If you want more information contact Where is Asturias at email@example.com
Images supplied by Tomás Fano, Ayto de Cangas Del Narcea, Fuentes Del Narcea Region and Turismo Asturias: Ana Muller and Camilo Alonso.