Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación
Buscador principal

Stage 15: Bárzana - Villanueva


Etapa 15: Bárzana - Villanueva

On the Bear Trail

From Bárzana, in Quirós County, the Nature Trail converges with the Bear Trail, along the River Trubia. This spectacular route heads to Proaza, home to Paca and Tola, two bears that live in a fenced habitat. From there it continues to Villanueva, in Santo Adriano County, where this section ends.

After leaving the village of Bárzana, the route continues along the AS-229, next to the start-end panel. Leaving San Salvador to the right, and immediately after the Quirós Ethnographic Museum, the route turns onto a paved trail that runs parallel to the left side of the road. The Bear Nature Trail overlaps with this section until the village of Villanueva, where it ends.

La Senda del Oso cruza varias veces el río Trubia por puentes de madera

Before reaching the Bear Trail, the traveller can visit the Quirós County Ethnographic Museum, located in the village of La Fábrica, which provides insight into the customs and traditions of the highland villages of Trubia Valley. The museum recreates a traditional "quirosana" village house, with its various rooms and home furnishings. It also has on display different local traditional crafts, such wooden shoemakers, coopers and weavers.

Once the route has joined the Bear Trail, a paved path, the route continues along the Trubia River, leaving behind the villages of Arrojo (Arroxu) and Veiga, where it crosses a wooden bridge over the river. The path crosses the river by wooden bridges at various points along the route.

La senda cruza el embalse de Valdemurio por un largo puente de madera

It now continues along the bottom of the valley, bounded by limestone and quartzite slopes. It traverses through highly diverse vegetation, including riparian forests of ash (Fraxinus angustifolia), alder (Alnus glutinosa) and hazel (Corylus avellana)trees; copses of common oak (Quercus robur), and chestnut (Castanea sativa), and a few meadows. Most of the route is protected by a wood fence.

In due time, it arrives at Valdemurio Reservoir in the town of Las Regueras, where the path crosses a long wooden bridge, skirts the reservoir and climbs through a tunnel. At various points, the route also passes through stone tunnels carved out of the rock.

Área de descanso en el embalse de Valdemurio

After leaving behind Valdemurio Reservoir, the route runs parallel to the AS-229, past the towns of Caranga de Arriba or Santullano and Caranga de Abajo. It then continues along Peñas Xuntas gorge, where it once again runs along the riverbank, through a landscape populated by holm oaks (Quercus ilex), until Proaza.

After leaving Proaza, and before reaching Buyera recreation area, there is a fenced bear habitat where the bears Paca and Tola live in semi-freedom. Looking back, Pico Forcada can be seen from the route. Buyera recreation area is equipped with a playground, a sports field and a pool. Located close to the fenced enclosure is the Casa del Oso, from where the bears can be easily seen. There is also a permanent exhibition on the Cantabrian brown bear.

El camino pasa por túneles horadados en la roca

The final stretch of the route passes first behind El Sabil Lodge, descend slightly, and cross the AS-229. Caution should be exercised when crossing the road. The route reaches the village of Villanueva, and continues to the start-end panel located immediately after the town hall. Just ahead is Villanueva's, perfectly preserved, Roman bridge, and a small rest area next to a stone basin, with wooden tables and benches.



Perfil MIDE de la Etapa Bárzana-Villanueva

MIDE (Method for the Information of Excursions)

(Calculated according to the MIDE criteria for an average excursionist with a light load)


Further information

The Bear Trail

The Bear Trail is a Nature Trail that partially travels along the old railway line that once ran through Trubia Valley. This railroad linked the iron ore and coal mines of Quirós Valley and Teverga with the Entrago mining site. A 40-km railway line that, for nearly a century, from 1874-1964, carried small locomotives and wagons loaded with ore through an area of outstanding natural beauty inhabited by endangered Asturian wildlife species, such as brown bears (Ursus arctos), otters (Lutra lutra) and golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos).

Church of San Pedro de Arrojo

The Romanesque church of San Pedro de Arrojo is a small temple, probably built in the first third of the 13th century. It is one of the most interesting architectural structures in Quirós County. The church, recently restored, has been altered throughout its history. It has an atypical distribution for an Asturian church. It has a single nave, divided into four sections by pilasters that correspond to the external buttresses. The single nave has a semicircular apse in the east end with remains of frescoes, probably from the fifteenth century. The Palace of Arrojo, owned by the Quirós family, is located very near the church of San Pedro.

The history of Paca and Tola

After successive relocations throughout Spain, Paca and Tola, two Cantabrian sister bears over 20 years of age, were released in Mount Fernanchín, in Santo Adriano County, where an enclosure was built to demarcate the lower edge of the Bear Trail. The bear habitat, which extends over a large swath of the mountain, donated by the town council, has a feeding area and is surrounded by a security fence.

Paca and Tola were orphaned after poachers killed their mother and hid the two cubs. They were recovered months later by the Nature Protection Service of the Guardia Civil (SEPRONA). Initially, the sisters remained on the premises of the Asturian Fund for the Protection of Wildlife (FAPAS) in Llanes (Asturias). They were later relocated to Vic (Barcelona) and, subsequently, to Hosquillo (Cuenca). They were transferred to their permanent home, the fenced bear habitat at Santo Adriano, on May 26, 1996.

A large number of visitors from across Spain come expressly to see the bears, especially in the summer. Except during hibernation (late November to early March), Paca and Tola come down every day, at noon, to the feeding area to be fed by their caretaker. This is when the tourists get to see the bears up close and watch them bathe in the pond. It is unlikely that the bears will be seen during the rest of the day, as they remain amongst the trees in the upper reaches of the enclosure. Since 2008, Paca and Tola have a guest, Furaco, a Cantabrian male bear brought in from Cabárceno (Cantabria) to attempt the breeding of the sisters.


Introducción general al uso de cookies en

Las cookies son archivos que se pueden descargar en su equipo a través de las páginas web. Son herramientas que tienen un papel esencial para la prestación de numerosos servicios de la sociedad de la información. Entre otros, permiten a una página web almacenar y recuperar información sobre los hábitos de navegación de un usuario o de su equipo y, dependiendo de la información obtenida, se pueden utilizar para reconocer al usuario y mejorar el servicio ofrecido.

Tipos de cookies

Según quien sea la entidad que gestione el dominio desde donde se envían las cookies y trate los datos que se obtengan se pueden distinguir dos tipos: cookies propias y cookies de terceros.

Existe también una segunda clasificación según el plazo de tiempo que permanecen almacenadas en el navegador del cliente, pudiendo tratarse de cookies de sesión o cookies persistentes.

Por último, existe otra clasificación con cinco tipos de cookies según la finalidad para la que se traten los datos obtenidos: cookies técnicas, cookies de personalización, cookies de análisis, cookies publicitarias y cookies de publicidad comportamental.

Para más información a este respecto puede consultar la Guía sobre el uso de las cookies de la Agencia Española de Protección de Datos.

Cookies utilizadas en la web

El portal web del Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación utiliza Google Analytics, esta es una herramienta de analítica que ayuda a los sitios web y a los propietarios de aplicaciones a entender el modo en que sus visitantes interactúan con sus propiedades. Se utilizan un conjunto de cookies para recopilar información e informar de las estadísticas de uso de los sitios web sin identificar personalmente a los visitantes de Google. Más información sobre las cookies de Google Analytics e información sobre la privacidad. Estas cookies se pueden rechazar o aceptar ya que no interfieren en el funcionamiento de la página web pero sirven de gran ayuda aportando información que posibilita un mejor y más apropiado servicio por parte de este portal.

Por último, se descarga una cookie de tipo técnico denominada cookie-compliance, propia, de tipo técnico y de sesión. Gestiona el consentimiento del usuario ante el uso de las cookies en la página web, con el objeto de recordar aquellos usuarios que las han aceptado y aquellos que no, de modo que a los primeros no se les muestre información en la parte superior de la página al respecto. Esta cookie es de obligada utilización para el funcionamiento correcto del portal.

Aceptación / Rechazo de la Política de cookies

El Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación permite la aceptación o rechazo de las cookies no esenciales para el funcionamiento del portal. Para ello una vez que el usuario acceda al portal se mostrará un mensaje en la parte central con información de la política de cookies y las siguientes opciones: 

  • Aceptar cookies: Si el usuario pulsa este botón, se aceptarán los cookies no obligatorias y no se volverá a visualizar este aviso al acceder a cualquier página del portal.
  • Configurar cookies: Si el usuario pulsa sobre el botón de configurar, se accederá a una segunda ventana modal donde se podrá configurar que cookies aceptar. Esta segunda ventana explica las cookies utilizadas en la actualidad y permite la selección o rechazo de las cookies no obligatorias. Una vez finalizada la selección se deberá presionar al botón Guardar configuración.

Cómo modificar la configuración de las cookies

Usted puede restringir, bloquear o borrar las cookies del Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación o cualquier otra página web, utilizando su navegador. En cada navegador la operativa es diferente, la función de "Ayuda" le mostrará cómo hacerlo.