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Photo of Cangas de Onis

Visit Cangas de Onis

Cangas de Onis is in the province of Asturias in the Asturias and Cantabria region of Spain. It lies to the south-west of Llanes and east of Oviedo on the edge of the Picos de Europa National Park.

Explore Cangas de Onis

Cangas de Onis makes a good base for exploring the Picos de Europa. It claims to be the "first capital of Christian Spain" and is where Pelayo, a Visigoth noble set up his court in the 8th century.

Cangas de Onis parador

The main sight at Cangas de Onis is its 'Roman' bridge which has the Picos de Europa as a splendid backdrop. It appears in much of the promotional litterature of the area and whilst it is very attractive it has been rebuilt on numerous occasions.

The bridge has five arches with the central arch much larger than the others and a copy of the Victoria Cross hangs from the middle. It was declared a Historic Artistic site in 1931.It is very pleasant to take a walk along the edge of the river especially on a hot day.

There is also a 15th century chapel, the Capilla de Santa Cruz which is built on a Celtic Bronze Age dolmen. The town hall,  the Renaissance-style Cortes palace and the 16th century Chapel of San Antonio are the other main sites in Cangas de Onis.

These aside the town makes a pleasant base and has some reasonably priced hotels and restaurants. The main square is a good place to sit and enjoy a drink or a meal and it has a pleasant atmosphere.


It is also home to one of Spain's splendid Paradors. The Parador Cangas de Onis is in a former 12th century monastery. Set in a loop of the river Sella the monastery has wonderful views over the Picos de Europa mountains.

Places to Visit near Cangas de Onis

Whilst you are here take the opportunity to visit the Cueva del Buxu which is a cave containg engravings and rock paintings dating back 10,000 years. The Cueva del Buxu cave is 5km east of Cangas de Onis.

Covadonga, a popular tourist village,  is 11km south-east of Cangas de Onis and has both a military and religious significance. It is at Covadonga that Pelayo and a small Visigoth force overcame the Moorish armies and started the Reconquest.

There is a cave here that is a religous shrine said to have been used by Pelayo whose sarcophagus is here. There are daily masses in the cave which has been converted into a chapel and occupies an attractive spot above a waterfall. A large 19th century pink basilica has also been built here as has the museum of Covadonga which contains various religious artefacts.

The lakes at Covadonga are very popular and it is easy to get a bus there from Cangas de Onis.

The beautiful village of Llanes is on the coast about 30km from Cangas de Onis.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Asturias and Cantabria guide.

See also: 

Map of Cangas de Onis and places to visit


Cangas de Onis places to visit



Covadonga village and sanctuary are set in beautiful mountain scenery. The Battle of Covadonga is considered to be the start of the Reconquest of Spain.

Covadonga guide


Llanes is an excellent seaside town on a rugged stretch of coast and with the Picos de Europa providing a backdrop.

Llanes guide


Mogrovejo is one of Spain's most beautiful villages. Mogrovejo is a mountain village in the Picos de Europa.

Mogrovejo guide


Take a step back in time as you wander around this lovely old town. An excellent base for visiting the Picos.

Potes guide


Gijon is the largest city in the region and is surrounded by industry but once in the centre the city is pleasant and has good beaches and nightlife.

Gijon guide


Oviedo is the cultural capital of Asturias and has a medieval centre and lots of examples of Pre-Romanesque architecture.

Oviedo guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Asturias and Cantabria

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