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ASTURIAS: ART, NATURE AND GOOD REPAST (4 DAYS OR MORE)

DAY 1 MADRID – LEÓN

Departure from Madrid in coach for León. Arrival to this ancient city founded by the Romans, that flourished between the 10th and 12th centuries and which features the only Spanish Gothic monument completely French in influence: the Cathedral, called the Pulcra Leónina, masterpiece of stone and cristal, of great fragility. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 2 LEÓN – OVIEDO – GIJÓN -  OVIEDO

Breakfast and departure for Oviedo, where we will visit Santa María del Naranco, former palace of Ramiro I, today converted into church; the Cathedral, dominating Alfonso II Square, its high facade crowned by a single tower that dates essentially from the Gothic period. The central entrance opens to an ample nave that ends facing the proud Renaissance altarpiece in the High Altar. We will also see the Cámara Santa, attached to the Cathedral, that was founded by the first Asturian soverigns to protect the treasures of the visigothic crwrr at th­e beginning of the Muslim occupation of the penninsula. Lunch in the Gran Taverna Restaurant, with fabes con almejas, etc. In the afternoon, excursion to Gijón, where we will visit the Museum of the Ferrocarril, which brings together more than 1300 pieces in its collection, including steam engines, electric, traveler’s coahces, freight wagons. We will also visit the Museum of Roman Baths, constructed over an Historic Grouping, unique on the Cantabrian Coast and that figures among the most important.  It allows us to appreciate the importance of the thermal baths in Roman culture, the construction techiniques, its decoration and different aspects of daily life. Return to Oviedo. Dinner “espicha” in the Llagar Herminio. Lodging.

DAY 3 OVIEDO – NAVAS – COVAD­ONGA AND LAKES – CANGAS DE ONIS – OVIEDO

Breakfast and departure for Nava, to visit the Sidra (cider) Museum, that occupies a new construction in the Prince of Asturias Square, called that in appreciation of the visit that the Prince made to the town of Nava in 1996 to deliver the title of “Exemplary Town of Asturias” for its defense of the most representative regional drink, taking advantage of the occasion to inaugurate the Museum. Continuation to Covadonga and in the region of the Lakes, an Historic Grouping of incomparable beauty, with the Lakes of Covadonga, Enol and Ercina, framed by the Peñas Santas. Continuation to Cangas de Onís, first capital, according to tradition, that the kingdom of Asturias had after Don Pelayo conquered the Muslims in the Battle of Covadonga in the year 722. Lunch. Return to Oviedo through Ribadesella, in the estuary of the Sella, lobster port and seaside resort endowed with a grand beach in the form of a cove, and Villa Viciosa, at the end of a beautiful and long ría, that conserves along with its old mansiones and its stately houses, the lovely appearance of an Asturian city of the Renaissance. Dinner and lodging.

DAY 4 OVIEDO – ASTORGA – BENAVENTE – RUEDA – MADRID

Breakfast and departure for Astorga, “Asturica Augusta”, capital of the small and original region of the Maragatería. Tour of the Episcopal Palace, constructed by Gaudí at the end of the 19th century in Neogothic style.  Astorga is a museum of the Roman viae, St. James’ Way, and the travels of the Maragatos. Continuation to Benavente. Situated on the Roman Silver Route, and later, in the Middle Ages, on St. James’ Way, it conserves some testimonies to its past as a city of commerce and as capital of a small region elevated, first, into earldom, and, later, into a duchy. Lunch and Continuation to Rueda, where we will visit a wine cellar. After the visit, we will continue our trip to Madrid. Arrival and   END OF TRIP