Four days at the Albergue de Maraña
Arriving at the village on the small dead end road one is greeted by absurdly green pastures sprinkled with a few cows and horses, the view of the main peaks of the Mampodre to the left and a steep wall of rock towering over part of the village on the right.
Most likely you will go through the village to the Albergue de Maraña (for what I can tell the only place to stay…) - A small refuge right at the edge of town and surrounded by huge boulders. The first to greet you here will be Aless, the resident friendly dog, and shortly after by Anselmo, who is equally as welcoming and running the Albergue.
For our visit we stayed in our van at a designated place right next to the refuge, which allows you to use the Albergues facilities. Either this setup or staying in the refuge is a great basecamp to explore the area and the many things one can do here.
Maybe climbing is what most people come here for. There are several sport climbing areas that can be reached on foot from the refuge. The closest being the before mentioned boulders that have many short routes from easy to very hard on them. The refuge website has a great overview of all the climbs available.
Once a year the refuge runs a climbing festival that combines music, climbing and education called Roka & Rock.
We were here in late September but in Winter the area also lends itself to alpine style climbing.
Hiking / Trail running
There are tons of possibilities for day hikes starting from Maraña, from a casual walk among the cows and horses, to a nice hike up to the Laguna de Mampodre or more ambitious outings like the Mampodre integral covering the seven main peaks (many of them visible from the refuge).
By coincidence the yearly trail running race was held on the weekend we were there. However the area is a great hunting ground for mountain runners at any time (and in winter should also be good for cross country skiing or ski touring).
I „only“ had a road bike with me and honestly the area is good for a few rides but not a top notch road cycling area - still riding the Tarna pass or through Valdeón is really worth it.
On a MTB the area would be dreamy and the refuge has bikes for rent too.
So after raving about how beautiful and fun this place is, are there any downsides? Well maybe the remoteness - Getting here from the Northern coast is a two hour drive over a pass. However we see this more of a feature than a bug as this makes everything just that bit more quiet and casual. My suggestion would be to combine a visit here with a bigger loop around the area. We for example also stayed a few days in Riaño, Potes, Cangas de Onis and La Hermida.
A final word: We will keep this place in very good memory and plan to visit again some time (maybe for the Roka & Rock?)!
Adventurers: Brigitte and Bengt