The Coastal Way
Stage 10: Muros de Nalón - Soto de Luiña
Short stage, 15.47 kilometers long, which runs through the municipalities of Muros de Nalón and Cudillero, along the western coast of Asturias, approaching the sea only occasionally, in the vicinity of La Concha de Artedo beach. This is an eminently rural route, in which the two largest towns are located at the beginning and end of the stage: Muros de Nalón and Soto de Luiña. In the middle, wide spaces of typical Asturian rural settlement, in which towns and villages of widely scattered hamlets coexist coexisting with pastures and wooded areas. For all this, there is a great presence, in terms of cultural heritage, of traditional architecture, the Camino running between quintanas, traditional mansions, granaries and paneras. However, you will also have the opportunity to run through one of the Asturian towns where the influence of quality architecture promoted by the bourgeoisie in the transition from the 19th to the 20th century is most marked: El Pitu, a town in the council of Cudillero where sits one of the great palace complexes of Asturias, that of the Selgas, sometimes labeled as the Asturian Versailles for the magnificence of the artistic collection that is treasured inside and for the extension and care of its gardens. At the beginning and at the end of the stage, the Jacobean route will flank two other great landmarks of the Asturian heritage legacy: the Renaissance portal of the Valdecarzana palace, in Muros de Nalón, and the Baroque church of Santa María de Soto de Luiña, included in 2015 on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a monument of exceptional value linked to the coastal Camino de Santiago.
The stage is followed by ascents and descents of a not very pronounced character, the most notable incidence being the continuous and steep descent from Rellayu to the Uncín river, in the vicinity of the Concha de Artedo beach, which forces to save, in two and a half kilometers a descent of about two hundred meters.
There is historical documentation that confirms the passage of pilgrims through this section of the Jacobean route in medieval and, above all, modern times, with several allusions found to the death of foreign pilgrims in the lands of Muros de Nalón and Cudillero, in the case of the collected in the books of the dead of the parish of Muros in 1661, relating to a Flemish pilgrim, or that in 1669 was related to a French pilgrim. Likewise, testimonies of the pilgrimage throughout these lands of illustrious travelers have been preserved, in the case of the Venetian Bartolomé Fontana, around 1538, or the French Guillermo Manier in 1726. There is evidence of the existence of hospitals for pilgrims or sales in the town of Cudillero (today away from the official Camino), in La Magdalena and, above all, in Soto de Luiña, whose first hostel (called del Lugar) dates back at least to 1516, and a new center was also founded in 1713 on the initiative of Antonio de Bances and under the invocation of Our Lady of the Rosary. This hospital, whose building is still preserved next to the parish church, is one of the great testimonies of late foundations of pilgrim support centers throughout the Spanish Coastal Way, which is why it was included, together with the church, in the World Heritage List in 2015.
The stage begins in the Plaza del Marqués de Muros, in front of the church, and next to the municipal House of Culture building. The Jacobean route continues along Calle Gerardo González, which starts with its back to the main facade of the temple, which in its first meters has a public space with two rows of trees, in front of a set of two-story houses with colorful galleries and balconies, built between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
- Related item: Casa del indiano Francisco Grande
- Related item: Casa de Cultura
- Related item: Conjunto de edificios en el paseo parque
You continue straight on along this street until you come out onto Avenida de Galicia, in a green space in which the entrance door to the old Valdecarzana palace stands out, the only element that remains of this outstanding construction.
- Related item: Palacio de Valdecarzana
After passing the portal of the palace, continue along the green area that surrounds the old perimeter wall of the palace plot, passing by a fountain and leaving a detour to Aguilar beach on the right. You cross the train tracks by an overpass and just after that you continue to the right, along Francisco Cabal Street, parallel to the train tracks, already in the Villar neighborhood. After a few meters, take the deviation to the left, along the Camino de El Escorial, without reaching the Muros railway station, located a little further ahead.
The El Escorial path leads to some housing blocks, promoted by the vertical unions in 1957-58, then continuing to the right, along this road-highway, through the houses of the El Escorial neighborhood, among which stands some granary and bread basket. To the left, a little deviated from the Camino, there is a fountain. Further on you will come to a crossroads, having to continue straight ahead, along the El Salgueiro road. At some points, when the vegetation closures of the plots that border the Camino allow it, it is possible to see to the left, in the distance, some of the main buildings of the town of Somao, famous for its Indian mansions, such as La Tower, which is possible to appreciate from this point.
After the previous crossing, and after passing a last house, the path becomes a dirt track that crosses a bridge over the railroad tracks and enters a wooded area, between eucalyptus trees, with sections where the road is bounded by a vertical cut of the land, next to the Remuelas stream.
This path descends, leaving a first detour to the right, until it reaches, after passing a very sharp curve, the Santa Olaya stream, a riverbed next to which there is a water reservoir. The river is crossed by a stone bridge with a single span, and an ascent begins between eucalyptus and ¿??, by a dirt and stone track, which we continue without taking any of the detours that appear on the right. At this point there is the passage from the council of Muros de Nalón to that of Cudillero.
After leveling for just over 600 meters, you reach an underpass under the train tracks, through a concrete bridge with a span, continuing along a dirt road, which soon connects with another, continuing to the right, between meadows and eucalyptus trees, until it ends on an asphalt road. At this point the route continues to the right, soon arriving at the first houses in the Aronces neighborhood, in the Piñera parish, the first town in the Cudillero council that crosses the coastal Camino de Santiago.
- Related item: Piñera
Continue straight on along this road, between single-family houses, some granary and plot closings, without taking any detour to the right, until you come to the local road CU-2, already in the town of El Pitu.
- Related item: El Pitu
Continue to the right, in the direction of Cudillero, through an area where there is a sidewalk. Shortly after the crossroads, on the right hand side, the large building of the Selgas Schools appears, with a green space in front presided over by the monument to the Selgas family, the work of the sculptor Víctor Hevia.
A little further on, the Selgas palace is located. From the monumental door open in the closing wall of the plot, you can see an excellent panoramic view of the French garden, with statues, which precedes the palace building.
- Related item: Palacio de los Selgas
Continuing along the sidewalk of the local road, and after passing several catering establishments, you will reach the parish church of El Pitu, with its two tall towers flanking the main facade. This temple is located within a large plot delimited by a stone wall and iron railings, flanked on the slope that overlooks the Camino de Santiago by a high row of eucalyptus trees. The entrance to the green space that precedes the church is through a space flanked by two marble angels. The church building is surrounded by a garden, bounded at its northern end by the Civil Guard barracks building. On the right, on the other side of the road, is the main entrance to the Selgas Palace.
After leaving the Civil Guard barracks behind, the Camino deviates to the left, along a local road that descends between houses, some very old and ascribable to the Casa Vidíu typology.
- Related item: Casa estilo Vidíu
At a curve, the path continues to the left, between two houses, descending between high stone walls along an asphalt path, which soon gives way to a dirt track between trees. After 300 meters driving along this track, you come to a paved road, in a curve, continuing to the left. You go up to a single-family house and you come to another road junction, continuing along the road that continues straight ahead, along a straight that, after passing an area of slums, reaches an underpass of the train tracks, resolved with a stone bridge. This railway line arrives shortly at the San Juan de Piñera railway station, to the left of the Camino.
After crossing the train lines, you go up between extensive meadows to a height dominated by a single recently built house that, on the right, rises like a lighthouse, a shape reminiscent of the circular tower attached to it. After passing this house, take the first detour to the right, along a concrete path that runs perpendicular to the road you were coming from (and that leads straight to the nucleus of San Juan de Piñera, to which the Camino does not get to access).
The route continues to the left towards the Belandres neighborhood, after a first crossroads, between meadows, some single-family houses and farm closings (some with hedgerows and others with wooden stakes). Leave a detour on the left and go up between meadows, being able to see a bread basket of exceptional dimensions on the right.
- Related item: Belandres
Further on you continue straight on at another crossroads and you come to a road. Continue to the right, until a few meters later you turn left and cross the N632 national road.
Continue straight ahead along an asphalt road sandwiched between earth slopes on both sides, on the slopes of Mount Arés or Montarés. This road goes up to the El Manto neighborhood, with single-family buildings and some granaries, until later, at a crossroads, you continue to the left, leaving behind a fountain attached to a stone wall. Continue along the asphalt road, ascending, leaving on both sides several sets of buildings, with some granary between them, until arriving (after leaving a detour on the right) to circulate parallel to the Cantabrian highway for just over 200 meters.
- Related item: El Manto
Next, you cross an underpass of the highway, then turn the route to the right, along a gravel track that enters a eucalyptus forest, parallel to the highway, at a higher altitude. This track is traveled for more than 900 meters, until it comes to a new underpass of the highway, which after crossing it gives way to a concrete track that continues, to the left, next to a large esplanade, to then run between eucalyptus and other trees and lead to a paved road between single-family houses, in the town of Rellayu.
- Related item: Rellayu
After passing these houses, you come to a stone laundry, built in 1948 according to the inscription that presides over it. This washhouse faces away from the Camino, which continues to the left, along a concrete track flanked on the right by a high wall. A few meters later, at a fork in the road, you continue to the right, along a dirt track that runs, in a steep downward slope, between a mass of eucalyptus trees. At a new road junction, continue to the right, until you reach a pass next to one of the 16 pillars that support the imposing viaduct (106 meters high) that at this point allows the highway to cross the valley of the Shell of Artedo.
After passing this viaduct for the first time, continue along a narrow dirt and stone track, which soon after turns to the right in a very sharp curve, starting a steep descent, passing next to another pillar of the viaduct, and ending in a pass bottom of the national highway, through a rectangular concrete tunnel. Crossing it, you reach the national road N632a. You cross and pass in front of the facilities of a hotel and next to the railway station, already in the center of La Magdalena.
- Related item: La Magdalena
The descent begins, along a concrete track, towards the Concha de Artedo beach. After a very pronounced curve to the left, you reach the La Magdalena housing complex, passing between houses, granaries, the building of the old schools from the 1950s, the so-called Casona and a covered laundry room and a 1958 fountain. The next crossroads continue to the right, going down a steep slope that ends at a crossroads that, to the left, leads a few meters to the chapel of La Magdalena.
The Way continues straight ahead, along a dirt road between meadows, which after a few meters reveals, on the right, the esplanade of the beach car park. Shortly afterwards, you cross the Uncín river by a bridge and continue along a dirt track to the left, parallel to that riverbed and leaving the beach behind.
This track ascends between trees on the right and meadows on the left, with a view of the highway viaducts at the bottom. You go up to some houses and granaries in the El Ribete neighborhood, passing the surface to be made of concrete, and arriving at the local road CU-6 in a curve.
- Related item: El Ribete
Follow this local road for a few meters until you cross it and continue along a gravel track that opens to the left, passing under the highway viaducts and then continuing its route between eucalyptus trees, parallel to the highway for more than 600 meters , until after that distance, it turns left, and with a surface of earth and stone, it enters a thick patch of eucalyptus trees that leads, after a little more than half a kilometer, to the first buildings of the town of Mumayor, which is Always go west, leaving up to three detours on the left.
- Related item: Mumayor
The passage between the houses, granaries and bread baskets of Mumayor, lasts for about 800 meters, allowing to contemplate not only very interesting examples of traditional Asturian architecture and ethnographic elements such as haystacks, but also wide perspectives to the left, towards the valleys of Luiñas and the towns that cross this territory.
After leaving the last houses behind, a brief ascent begins that allows us to contemplate a view of the entire valley that has just been left behind, to reach the nucleus of Campubaxu houses, arranged in a row on the right bank of the Camino.
- Related item: Campubaxu
Towards the left, it is possible to contemplate a wide panoramic view of the Luiñas valley, with the town of San Martín de Luiña being perfectly visible, presided over by the high tower of its parish church, declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1996.
After passing this strip of houses, the Camino turns left in Campucima along a dirt track sandwiched between high slopes, all surrounded by eucalyptus and other species of trees on the slope of Mount San Andrés. This path ends up leading, after more than 1,300 meters without deviating towards any of the tracks that open on its two sides, on the N632 road, continuing to the right, along the shoulder of a road that already after a very short distance leads to the town of Soto de Luiña.
We pass a large house with palm trees on the right, passing a little later and the route runs along a gravel track parallel to the national highway, which it joins again at a bridge over the Esqueiro river. After crossing it, you will arrive at the center of the town, running along a sidewalk arranged next to the shoulder of the road, next to a strip of houses of two and three stories, which after a short distance leads to the central square of the town, presided over by the church of Santa María de Soto de Luiña, declared a World Heritage Site in 2015, as an outstanding monument linked to the coastal Camino de Santiago, and the end of this stage.