Practical guide: Discovering the Senda del Oso by bicycle
The Bear Valleys, located in the towns of Proaza, Quirós, Santo Adriano and Teverga in the Asturias region of Spain, have a history deeply marked by mining activity.
For years, these valleys witnessed the intense tillage of their rich mineral deposits, which led to the construction of extensive railway networks to facilitate the transport and exit of mining production.
However, the mining crisis that affected the region in more recent times resulted in the closure of many mines and the interruption of the railways that connected them. These valleys, once bustling and full of industrial activity, found themselves plunged into a period of decline and neglect.
However, in recent years, these old railway lines have experienced a new life thanks to their recovery and transformation into a Vía Verde known as Senda del Oso. This route invites visitors to embark on a journey through the most natural essence of Asturias, both on foot and by bicycle, discovering the rustic singularity of the places full of authenticity found in these valleys.
The Senda del Oso is a Nature Trail that has been developed in part thanks to the Nature Trails Program of the Ministry of the Environment. This program aims to recover old infrastructure, such as disused train tracks, and turn them into trails and cycling routes that allow people to enjoy the nature, culture and history of each region.
The Senda del Oso offers hikers and cyclists the opportunity to explore the scenic beauty of the Bear Valleys, traversing lush forests, rivers and rugged gorges. Throughout the route, vestiges of past mining activity can be seen, such as old mining constructions and railway bridges.
In addition, the route offers the chance to visit the nearby Parque de la Prehistoria, where you can learn about life in prehistory and admire rock paintings in a cave. You can also enjoy the local fauna, since the Bear valleys are home to a population of brown bears, hence its name.
Here we bring you a practical guide with everything you need to know about this Vía Verde.
Where is the Senda del Oso located?
La Senda del Oso is a cycling route located in the central area of Asturias, in northern Spain. It is a popular route among cyclists due to its natural beauty and easy access. It runs between Tuñón (Santo Adriano) and Caranga de Abajo (Proaza), and also has forks towards Entrago (Teverga) and through the Valdemurio reservoir to Santa Marina (Quirós). The cycle route passes through the councils of Proaza, Santo Adriano, Teverga, Quirós and Oviedo, and is suitable for cyclists of all levels.
Regarding its natural environment, the Senda del Oso passes through:
- Mountain valleys.
- Atlantic forests.
- Trubia, Teverga and Quirós river valleys.
- Valdemurio Gorge and Valdemurio Reservoir.
- Valdecerezales Gorge on the Teverga River.
- Peñas Juntas Gorge on the Trubia River.
- Protected Landscape of the Serra do Aramo and Pico Caldoveiro.
- Ubiñas La Mesa Natural Park.
- Natural Monuments of the Millennial Yew and the Bermiego Oak.
- Natural monument of Las Xanas Gorge.
- Natural monument of Las Xanas Gorge.
Why is it called Senda del Oso?
In 1996, the name Senda del Oso was adopted when a bear enclosure was established on Mount Fernanchín, using the conservation of Paca and Tola as a pretext.
How many kilometers is the Senda del Oso?
The Senda del Oso Greenway is 22 kilometers long, with about 300 meters of positive elevation gain, although if we consider the branch from Camarga de Abajo to Santa Marina, we would have to add another 14 kilometers.
What to see on the Senda del Oso in Asturias?
La Senda del Oso is a popular destination in the world of cycling tourism, and is ideal for those cyclists looking for an easy and accessible route in an impressive natural and cultural environment. The route is well signposted and has rest and picnic areas along the way. In addition, there are numerous services for cyclists, such as bike shops and accommodation for cyclists.
In addition to its natural beauty, Senda del Oso is also known for its cultural and historical heritage.
This would be a list of the main tourist points that you can find along its route:
- Pre-Romanesque churches of La Plaza and Tuñón.
- The late medieval rural complex with 32 granaries and bread bins in Bermiego.
- The medieval town of Bandujo, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC).
- The coal laundries, the Alesga Castle and the Museum of Prehistory in San Salvador.
- Casa solar de Quirós.
- Romanesque church of San Pedro.
- Ethnographic Museum of Quirós and Region.
- Megalithic area of Alto de La Cobertoria.
- The medieval bridge of Santa Marina.
- Cueva Huerta, in Teverga.
- Collegiate Church of San Pedro.
- Church of Santa Maria de Villanueva.
And of course, the Cercado Osero de Proaza, a truly unique place when it comes to observing the Cantabrian bear. This space is fenced and covers an area of more than 4 hectares around the mountain. In this special environment, Paca and Tola reside, the two famous female Cantabrian Brown Bears that are often seen among visitors, filling both children and adults with astonishment and smiles.
Right next to this fence is “La Casa del Oso”, which houses the headquarters of the Fundación Oso de Asturias (FOA). This foundation is a non-profit entity dedicated to promoting and developing the conservation of the Cantabrian brown bear in its natural habitat.
“La Casa del Oso” not only serves as an information center on the life and conservation of bears, but also offers various educational and environmental awareness activities. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the biology and behavior of bears, as well as the efforts made to protect and preserve this emblematic species.
In addition, the center provides information on nearby cycling routes and trails that allow visitors to delve into the bears’ natural environment. These routes provide the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Asturian landscape while observing the native flora and fauna, all in harmony with conservation efforts and respect for Cantabrian brown bears.
Where can you eat on Senda del Oso?
If you are looking for options to eat in the Senda del Oso during your cycling route, it is important to bear in mind that as it is a greenway, it passes mainly through rural areas and there is not a wide range of restaurants or populated places along the route. . However, there are some options available to enjoy a good meal.
The town of Proaza, which is located about 16 kilometers from the path, has several restaurants where you can taste the local gastronomy. There you will find a variety of typical Asturian dishes, such as the famous Asturian fabada, the tasty cachopo, the traditional rice pudding and the refreshing natural cider.
In addition, both in Buyera and in the Valdemurio Reservoir, there is a cafeteria where you can find mixed dishes and sandwiches. However, it is important to note that these establishments may not always be open, so it is advisable to check their hours of operation before visiting them.
Another recommended option is to bring your own picnic and enjoy a meal outdoors during your cycling tour. Along the path, you will find recreational areas in Buyera and in the Valdemurio Reservoir, where you can make a stop and enjoy your meal in a natural environment.
We recommend that you bring hydration and sports nutrition with you, so that you can meet your needs during the bike tour.
What is the best time of year to do the Senda del Oso?
The Senda del Oso offers the possibility of being visited throughout the year, and the choice of the best time depends on the interests and preferences of each traveler. Next, we detail some outstanding characteristics of each station:
During this season the area tends to be busier as it is a popular time for tourism and you can find more walkers and cyclists. The temperatures are warmer, which is ideal for completing your route with water activities, such as swimming in rivers and reservoirs. It is a propitious time to fully enjoy the landscapes and the various attractions of the path.
Autumn transforms the landscapes of Senda del Oso into a fascinating color palette. The forests are covered in warm tones and the fauna and flora prepare for the season. This season is perfect for cycling lovers, since the weather conditions are generally pleasant and conducive to exploring the paths surrounded by nature. In addition, it is an opportunity to observe the varied fauna and enjoy the tranquility that the environment offers.
During the winter, Senda del Oso is dressed in white with the arrival of snow. This time is ideal for those who enjoy winter sports, such as cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, but you should be extremely careful if you want to go cycling and bring warm and thermal clothing. The weather can be harsher during this season.
Spring in Senda del Oso is characterized by the explosion of colors and aromas as nature awakens. The fields and forests are filled with flowers and the climate is milder, making it a pleasant time for outdoor activities, such as family bike rides or simply relaxing and enjoying the natural beauty. In addition, it is an ideal time to observe migratory birds and appreciate the renewal of life in the region.
Tips for planning your cycling trip to Senda del Oso
If you have decided to do the Senda del Oso by bike, here you will find all the information you need to plan your cycling trip to this Greenway.
Where can I download the GPX track of Senda del Oso?
Where can I rent a bicycle in Senda del Oso?
Bicycle rental on Senda del Oso is in great demand, so we advise you to rent your bike well in advance. Its star product is the “descent” of this path, where most companies will offer you the possibility of picking you up or taking you to the starting point of the Senda del Oso Greenway.
Here we provide different alternatives for your rental:
- https://sendadelosoenbicicleta.com/ you will find them at the Vales del Oso BTT Center. They offer, in addition to bicycles for rent, a very interesting transfer option to the beginning of the Senda del Oso. They have hybrid, mountain, tandem or e-bikes.
- https://www.bicisendadeloso.es/ Entrago is one of the locations with the most offer. Bici Senda del Oso has a wide range of services and information, with transfers, roadside assistance and high-end bikes.
- https://www.maquilaventura.com/ located in the Entrago parking lot, in Teverga, you can find trekking or mountain bikes.
- Tever Astur: also in Entrago, this company offers constant shuttle buses to move from one part of the Senda del Oso to another. They have mountain bikes of various ranges and many accessories to take children.
- https://buendiatours.com/ In Tuñón you will find Buendía Tours, where you can rent your bike or also request a transfer.
- Greedy Bear: located in Proaza, they also offer a wide variety of bicycles for rent, paying close attention to the offer for children.
- https://www.deporventura.es/ : they are in the Buyera Recreational Area, and offer, in addition to the rental, an interesting route assistance in case of punctures.
- Greedy Bear: located in Proaza, they also offer a wide variety of bicycles for rent, paying close attention to the offer for children. With custom rentals.
Where can I find accommodation with my bicycle in Senda del Oso?
To look for accommodation on the Senda del Oso, you will have to look at the offer of the councils that it crosses, such as Proaza, Quirós, Santo Adriano and Teverga.
In general, we are talking about small hotels, Asturian mansions, rural houses, apartments, hostels or villas.
On the Turismo de Asturias website you can find the list of accommodation in:
- Accommodations of the Proaza Council.
- Accommodation of the Council of Quirós.
- Lodgings of the Council of Santo Adriano.
- Accommodation of the Council of Teverga.
All of them are used to hosting cyclists, and you can find some Asturian mansion with a bike station, hangers and bicycle repair tools.