Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The Sueve Mountains

The Sueve Mountains are a coastal mountains range with the highest point “Pico Pienzo” at 1050 m altitude and only 3 kms from the coast. This is the mountains range which can be seen behind the hotel.
The famous Mirador del Fito considered by many as the most amazing viewing point in Asturias on the Eastern edge of the Sueve range and about 4 kms from the hotel.

View from the Mirador del Fito (Fito viewing point)

Of all the walks which can de done from the hotel with out using the car the most spectacular with out doubt must be the walk from the Mirador del Fitó to the Pico Pienzo. There are a many variations on this walk; from a gentle stroll from the Mirador del Fito to a demanding circular walk starting from the Hotel taking in both the Mirador del Fito and the Pico Pienzo summit. One of the most popular options for this walk is taking a taxi from the hotel to the Mirador del Fitó and walking back to the hotel along the mountains and down the valley, with the possiblity of taking in the 500m ascent to the Pico pienzo summit.

Walking and admiring the views in the Sueve mountains.

The Sueve Mountains were the home to the last remaining population of Asturcon Ponies. Due to their small size these indigenous ponies unappreciated by many of the local farmers were on the verge of extinction. In the 1970’s a small group of naturalist started an association with the object of maintaining and increasing the population of these ponies. Today the association continues and the ponies are no longer considered on the verge of extinction. Various types of horses including Asturcon ponies can easily be seen roaming semi wild on the Sueve Mountains.

Asturcon ponies on pastures in the Sueve Mountains

The Sueve Mountain forms an important physical barrier to the coast, and the predominant north westerly winds coming across the sea. This often gives rise to very specific microclimates around the range and interesting meteorological conditions. Thermal inversion quite often occurs on the southern side of the range producing the very spectacular “sea of clouds” which can quite often be seen lower down in the valleys in the morning

Winter dawn from the Sueve mountains with snow and a sea of cloud over the valleys

There is an important yew forest on the northern side of the range with over 2000 trees many of which are over 500 years old. Unfortunately there has been no regeneration of the forest due to overgrazing by cattle and deer. The importance of this forest is slowly becoming recognised and measures for its protection are being discussed.
An Ancient yew tree growing out of the limestone on the north side of the Sueve mountains.

The hotel with the Sueve Mountains in the background.

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Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.