The Coastal Way
Stage 7: Casquita - Gijón/Xixón
Long stage of 26.7 kilometers that connects Casquita with Gijón/Xixón, through the councils of Villaviciosa and Gijón/Xixón. On its way, the Camino de Santiago crosses two important mountain ranges, that of Pión and that of El Curbiellu, which determines that this is a stage of steep slopes in its first half, especially between Niévares and Alto de Pión, when in barely two kilometers an ascent of more than 300 meters is saved. Once the El Curbiellu peak, which is much less prominent, begins, a second part of the much smoother stage begins, slightly descending towards the city of Gijón/Xixón and the sea.
It circulates predominantly on an asphalt road, with only 6 kilometers having a dirt or gravel floor. Despite this, the environment through which one passes in this stage is clearly rural, from the beginning in the small village of Casquita, passing through small towns such as El Mayorazu, Niévares, Pión, El Curbiellu or La Olla, as well as the Gijón/Xixón parishes of Deva, Cabueñes and Somió, already in the vicinity of the great coastal city, whose urban center runs from East to West through Avenida de la Costa (whose itinerary coincides with the old Camino Real de Vizcaya a Galicia ), to end the stage in the central Plaza de Europa, a traditional access point to the historic city of Gijón/Xixón, where the so-called Puerta de la Villa was located for a long time.
The cultural heritage of an ethnological nature is very rich at this stage, the Camino passing through towns where good examples of traditional farmhouses or quintanas are preserved, as well as abundant granaries and bread baskets and some mills. Nobility architecture, with outstanding examples such as the Niévares Palace, is also represented on this tour. As the route gets closer to Gijón/Xixón, more heritage typologies will appear, among which the Indian-style mansions stand out, entertainment buildings such as the El Bibio bullring or outstanding examples of 20th century architecture, among the which highlights the complex of the old Labor University of Gijón/Xixón, today Labor City of Culture, located a few meters from the Camino de Santiago. On its route from Gijón/Xixón, the route will pass by several museum centers of notable interest, such as the Evaristo Valle Museum Foundation in Somió, the Museum of the People of Asturias and the Nicanor Piñole Museum, located at the end point of the route.
Throughout Jacobean history, especially in the Middle Ages, this route played a secondary role with respect to the link that from Casquita linked the coastal road with Oviedo, since the Asturian capital was per se a very important center of attraction for pilgrims, given the wealth of relics that his Holy Chamber treasured. However, there are documentary references that prove the passage of pilgrims on this path, especially in modern centuries. Gijón/Xixón also had a pilgrims’ hospital, known since the 18th century as Hospital de los Remedios, of which its chapel is still preserved, in the upper neighborhood of Cimavilla.
The stage begins next to the chapel of San Blas de Casquita, at the point where the Camino forks to continue towards Oviedo (on the left) or Gijón/Xixón (straight ahead). In this case, we continue straight ahead, along the local road VV10, along which the route continues for a little less than 400 meters, between increasingly isolated houses and meadows, in slight descent. You pass in front of some old construction, developed between stone walls and with galleries or corridors on the upper floor.
After that distance, you leave the local road and take a detour to the left, along a dirt road that borders the ruins of an old butter churn.
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After the factory, you cross a bridge over the river Grases (also called Valdediós) and continue through a totally natural environment, next to the river and progressively gaining height along the slope of Mount El Castillo, which allows you to contemplate, on the right , broad perspectives of the valleys of Grases and Las Vallinas and of the various towns that are settling in this area (such as Maoxu, Grases de Abajo and Grases de Arriba). A route is carried out in part parallel to that of the local road, which is on the right.
The first construction that is on the side of the Camino will be, after more than 1,200 meters of travel (in which it continues straight, without taking a detour that appears on the right), a mill, configured as a two-story construction preserves the mouth of hell and the canal.
See file: Mill
A little further on, also on the right-hand side, there is an isolated house with a granary on the back plot, and a large quintana can be seen in the distance at the top of a steep slope, with two palm trees and a small chapel at the end of the complex.
Less than half a kilometer after the first mill, you will come to a set of buildings in the El Mayorazu site, continuing the Camino along a footbridge that crosses the Cumbre stream, in front of the mill building.
See file: Complex with mill in El Mayorazu
Continue straight on after that junction, leaving a detour to the right, the road running parallel to the Valdediós river, which later crosses over a concrete pass, ascending slightly, between wide perspectives of meadows and mountains in the background. You come to the vicinity of a large agricultural warehouse and end up on a concrete track parallel to the route of the Cantabrian highway, leaving on the left, in the place called Siana, an agricultural complex made up of a house, several agricultural warehouses and a bread basket.
Continue along this concrete track for just over half a kilometer, after which it joins a local road, turning right along it and passing under two viaducts of the Cantabrian highway. An ascent then begins on the shoulder of the road, leaving in a first curve, to the left, a house and several cattle sheds, in the area known as Casares. This ascent continues, between meadows and some trees flanking the Path. After another curve to the left, you continue until you reach the small residential area of La Erbella, with plots surrounded by stone walls and a green hedge, until you come to the local road, along which you continue to the right, in the direction of to Villaviciosa, continuing uphill until reaching a flyover over the highway.
You cross the highway, leaving a detour to La Llana on your left, continuing up the shoulder of the road, leaving a house (known as Casa’l Roxu) on your left later, until you come to a crossroads with the road local VV9, which you take, turning left towards El Pedrosu and Peón.
The Camino de Santiago continues along the shoulder of the road, steeply ascending. On the right you can see the whole of the Niévares palace, while on the left the road flanks an old semi-ruinous building and a village house with a corridor.
In a curve the route deviates to the left, along a paved road that climbs a slope and that is abandoned a few meters further up, at the first crossroads to the right, connecting with a concrete track that crosses the town of Niévares, formed by a small nucleus of single-family houses, cattle farms, orchards and some granaries, the church of Santolaya being located in the lower part of the town.
At the exit of the town, after leaving the last houses of Niévares behind, continue along a concrete track, beginning a long ascent through Mount La Parexana, between eucalyptus trees and meadows. After a curve to the left, you come to an isolated house, with a granary, in the area called La Piñera, at which point the track becomes dirt, with a specific stretch of outcrops of rock on the ground, between bushes and trees.
You ascend like this, along the Pión mountain range, until after approximately half a kilometer you reach a row of buildings, where the Camino once again becomes a concrete track. Leaving these constructions behind, the ascent continues among eucalyptus trees that sometimes reveal wide perspectives of the Niévares valley.
You finally come out onto the VV8 road, leaving at that point a detour to the left along a dirt track. Continue along the road until you reach the top of the Peón mountain range, called Altu la Cruz, continuing down the shoulder of the local road for almost two and a half kilometers, with good views of the Pión valley and the mountains that surround it. surround.
The descent is done along the road, between meadows and with occasional views to the left of the Cantabrian highway. After leaving the first isolated house that appears on this route on the right, take a detour to the left, along a dirt track that descends sharply between trees and dirt slopes on both sides of the route in the first meters, which ends after just over 300 meters on a concrete path, which continues to descend, between houses and some granary and bread basket, until it converges with another path, which continues to the right.
- Related item: Pión
The route now runs between stone walls (in some concrete section), isolated houses, orchards and some pumarada, and the parish church building can soon be seen on the left. Continue straight on, leaving on both sides junctions with other roads and accesses to private farms, until you come to the local road VV8, which continues to the left, descending. At the next crossroads it is possible to take a detour to the left that, after just 170 meters, leads to the parish church and the Peón cemetery, preceded by the school building.
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Continuing along the shoulder of the local road, and after crossing a stream and leaving on the right hand side a large elongated building belonging to a hotel establishment, it ends up connecting with the autonomous road AS-331 in the direction of Infanzón and Gijón/Xixón, in the neighborhood of Bárcena from Pión where there are many houses arranged on both sides of the road. Some of these constructions stand out for their antiquity and heritage interest, between stone walls and a corridor on the upper floor, and some granary at the foot of the Camino is also located.
After a journey of about 360 meters through this neighborhood of Peón, and after having left behind the junction towards Candanal and La Pola Siero, you leave the road to continue along a dirt track that you take on the right hand side of the road just after a modern two-storey house that has attached, next to the track, a single-level construction, built with stone masonry (and before a curve that makes the local road to the right, leaving a granary on the left, in a meadow).
Continue along this track, perpendicular to the road, crossing a stream and reaching a crossroads where you continue to the left along a concrete track. Shortly after, at another crossroads where several houses and a granary rise to the left, and which in front is delimited by a stone wall, we continue to the right, bordering the plot of the School of Agriculture of Peón, already in the neighborhood of Requexu.
- Related item: Escuela de Agricultura de Pión
We go up a paved track, leaving a little higher on the left hand side a small building corresponding to a water tank and the entrance way to a house and a dirt road parallel to it. The ascent continues through the estate, leaving another access to a house on the left in another curve, the path running between stone walls, eucalyptus trees and some apple tree plantations. A solitary bread basket, in a meadow, on top of a high retaining wall, dominates the landscape in this area, with wide panoramic views over the Peón valley. We continue straight on, leaving an isolated house on the left and shortly afterwards a path that descends towards the valley.
The ascent continues, with stone block walls on the right, until reaching a small group of buildings, on the right hand side of the Camino, after which, at a crossroads, it continues along the one on the right, ascending , passing shortly after in front of a house and, after a sharp curve to the right (through which the access to a house follows), turning the asphalt road into a dirt and stone path.
You ascend this track, between eucalyptus and bushes, leaving some access to plots on both sides. At a first crossroads, continue to the right, going up a narrow path of stone and earth, between eucalyptus trees, which after it ends up connecting with a local road that will soon connect with the autonomous AS331, in the center of El Curbiellu, ending here the ascent to the mountain range of the same name and beginning, along the shoulder of this road, the descent towards the council of Gijón/Xixón. Soon you will be able to see a first view of Gijón/Xixón and the coast.
- Related item: El Curbiellu
Continue the route on the AS331 road for about 800 meters. Some isolated houses, several of them with granaries (generally very transformed) appear in this course, until reaching a large building with a chapel corresponding to a restoration establishment, which is on the left hand side of the Camino, at a higher elevation. The road borders this establishment and as soon as you pass a curve that is drawn at the foot of it, you abandon this road and continue to the right along a dirt and stone track that continues downwards, already in the council of Gijón/Xixón, in the parish of Deva.
- Related item: Deva
Soon the first single-family houses and some granaries appear. When you reach the first crossroads between the Camino and the Castañera highway, the route becomes asphalted, continuing along the road on the left, called the San Miguel highway. It runs between single-family homes from the end of the 20th century for the most part, among which some granary persists, until reaching a detour to the left, which is taken. It is the so-called Camín del Charco that will continue from now on, crossing practically the entire parish of Deva, until reaching the neighboring Cabueñes. At first, the Camín del Charco descends steeply, between meadows and with the Lloreda stream on the left, running parallel to the road, still concreted. After crossing a passage over some tunnels on the A8 motorway, you ascend, continuing straight on without taking separate detours to the right and left that appear shortly after crossing the road. Once past the second detour, the path is once again a dirt and gravel track. Some recently built single-family houses are left behind and the Way continues through meadows, flanked by sebes of scrub and some trees.
You come to a crossroads with the El Colate road in the area known as El Mirador, continuing along the El Charco road, with a strip of houses in the space that separates both roads. A few meters further on, the Camín del Charco ends at the AS331 road, continuing to the left, along the hard shoulder. Continue for a few meters and in front of a modern building for a restaurant, take the first detour to the right, next to some recently built single-family houses, along a dirt and stone path that descends. It is the so-called Old Path of Pión, which a few meters from its route enters the parish of Cabueñes, passing through the interior of an authentic eucalyptus forest, following a forest track without taking any of the detours that arise . After almost 1,200 meters, it ends up converging, in a curve, on the national road N-632, leaving the municipal Deva campsite on the left (which, despite its name, is already located in Cabueñes).
- Related item: Cabueñes
Continue to the left along the shoulder of the national highway and after a few meters, after passing a strip of abandoned houses, take the road on the right, the so-called Camín del Estanco, along which the route continues, between the closures of isolated single-family houses, with views to the left of the great monumental complex of the Labor University of Gijón/Xixón.
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You pass La Mangada park on your right, with a children’s and rest area, where a fountain is located. A little further on, at a crossroads with a central vegetal island where there is a tree, continue straight ahead, continuing along the Camín del Estanco. A few meters later, an exceptionally well-preserved example of Casa Mariñana will be left on the right hand side, which belonged to Nicanor Piñole, a famous Asturian painter from the early 20th century, a statue of which appears in front of the Casa Mariñana, within its plot.
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The route through Cabueñes continues along Calle del Cuadrante, leaving two detours on the right and always keeping in mind on the left the complex of the Universidad Laboral and the Hospital Universitario de Cabueñes. The Jacobean route runs between chalets and an older building, as well as some granaries and bread baskets, some of which are large and richly decorated, typical of the Carreño style. It also passes by a house converted by its owner in a tribute to Asturian mythology, with different scenes and characters carved in stone, around a fountain. After this house you come to a crossroads where you continue to the left, still along Calle del Cuadrante, in the direction of the Somió parish. Soon he passes a row of ?? And a modern white building, built with square modules, which houses the center of the Aspace organization in Gijón/Xixón. It also passes by modern urbanizations, already in the La Pontica neighborhood, in Cabueñes. After that building, in a curve, you continue to the right, leaving Calle del Cuadrante, which continues straight on towards the parish church of Cabueñes, just 150 meters away from the official route of the Camino de Santiago.
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You continue straight ahead through the so-called Caleya del Conde, between plot closings and entrances to urbanizations and you arrive at the Rubiera square, a crossroads with a vegetable island in the middle. Take the path to the left, the Camino de la Frontera, which ends up leading to the parish of Somió, after having passed between large villas and single-family chalets, such as Villa Concha, Los Cerezos, Los Mirabeles or Quinta Pola.
The route through the Somió parish continues along the Cabueñes path, in an area of meadows in the Piquero area, with good views of the Labor University, which later leads to a concentration area of recent urbanizations (such as La Quintana , Los Agapantos or Las Campanas), among which there are also two mythical picnic areas of rural Gijón/Xixón, La Fontaine and Casa Suncia.
After passing this last picnic area, you come to the Candanal carbayera, which is flanked, leaving this green space on the left, as well as a small shopping center. Continue along the path of the Azaleas, between single-family homes and green spaces, along a road that partly has a sidewalk and that leads to the large building of a residence for the elderly, already on the path of the Carnations. It continues between houses, some of them of great size and interest, continuing along the Camino de Fojanes, which leads to the Plaza de Villamanín, the nerve center of the parish of Somió, in the center of which is a statue dedicated to ¿?. and on one of whose flanks the Evaristo Valle Museum is located.
Continue straight ahead, along Professor Pérez Pimentel street, leaving a small green space with a fountain on the right, and you come to a crossroads where there is another green area with a sacramental altar attached to the high stone wall that flanks this space. The Camino continues to the left, locating the church of San Julián de Somió 150 meters to the right of this point.
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Continue along the sidewalk of Calle Pérez Pimentel, soon appearing on the left the imposing Villa María.
Continue straight ahead between large properties of different styles (modernist, rationalist and also traditional Asturian style) until you reach the Plazuela de La Guía, leaving on the right hand side a small recently built chapel and several chalets from the beginning of the 20th century of great interest patrimonial.
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Continue straight ahead and cross the existing roundabout on the Piles riverbed, in the area formerly known as the Puentín del Piles. To the right at this point you can turn off to visit the Museum of the People of Asturias.
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After crossing the river, the El Molinón football stadium appears on the right.
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Continue straight ahead along Avenida de La Costa, which allows you to cross the urban area of Gijón/Xixón from the East to the center, along its almost 2.5 kilometers of route, coinciding with the official route of the Camino de Santiago in this locality.
Transit through Avenida de la Costa will allow you to pass by modern neighborhoods of the city, such as Vieques, El Bibio, L’Arena or Los Campos, as well as monuments and buildings of interest, such as the Colegio de la Asunción with its Neo-Gothic church, on the left hand side, the El Bibio bullring, the chalets of Manuel del Busto, the modern church of the Capuchins and the park of Begoña. This stage ends in the Plaza de Europa, one of the central spaces of Gijón/Xixón, which is reached after having left the building of the old Pola asylum, today the headquarters of the Nicanor Piñole Museum, on the right. On the other side of the gardens stands the historic Mercado del Sur building, built in 1899.
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