One of the gentler walks in Redes, and in our opinion, one of the most enjoyable. A 14km / 4-5 hour walk that follows the River Alba, through a gorge that opens up into a mountain meadow, and back. The easiness of the climb makes it a good walk for children as well as adults. One of our friends described it as a better version of the Cheddar Gorge, without all the tourists and without the entrance fee.
The route starts in the idyllic village of Soto de Agues, 2 km from Rioseco. (You can stop off here on the way at the 'Casa de Agua' tourist office for more information, there are also details on all the walks in Redes in Los Robles.) Soto de Agues is worth a tour in itself. Stone built Asturian houses with wooden balconies and galleries fill the village as well as 'horreos'- traditional wooden Asturian graneries, raised on four legs. There are also a couple of good bars/restauarants in the village where you can stop for drinks, tapas or a heartier 'menu del dia' lunch. The villagers are very friendly and will often try and strike up a conversation with visitors.
The walk starts on the far side of the village, just past an old communal washhouse that still houses the original stone laundry trough. It follows the river Alba, along the old route used by shepherds on their way up into the mountains. At the start of the walk the path is surrounded by trees and rolling hills. These are replaced by the impressive walls of the gorge later on. On the way to the meadow at the end of the walk you also pass over old stone bridges, and by numerous waterfalls reaching up to 10m in height. In hotter weather you can also take a dip in one of the many pools that form along the river's course, it's ideal for cooling off in the summer months.
The meadow at the top of the walk is perfect for a lunchtime rest. However, if you want to carry on walking there are several smaller paths that start from the end of the Ruta del Alba and that take you further into the mountains.
Infomrtion on this walk and Redes Park in general is available to guests in El Castano and La Cuadra