Although the authentic Cares route begins or ends, depending on how you look at it, in Posada de Valdeón (León), it is now more popular to start it from Caín, as we will save a few kilometres.
Caín de Valdeón, possibly the most beautiful village in Picos de Europa, is located in a pot surrounded by mountains. Although it may seem the opposite, Caín is one of the lowest altitude villages in the province of León and the lowest of all in Picos de Europa, at only 460 metres above sea level.
If you come from Asturias, from Cangas de Onís take the road N-625 to Riaño and then the detour to Posada de Valdeón. To get to Caín from Posada de Valdeón is simple, just follow the road that leaves the street Travesía de los Llanos and continue along it until you reach Caín.
The journey by car from Posada to Caín is by mountain road so you have to be quite careful. The road is quite narrow, winding and two-way. So, in order to let the cars coming in the opposite direction pass, there are several bends where you can stop the car and give way.
Before reaching Caín, there are several areas worth seeing along the way, so if you like you can stop to contemplate the Tombo Viewpoint, the Ermita de Corona and the Chorco de los Lobos.
Once arrived at the village, where there are bars and hostel, we will be able to park for the zone (in high season private lands are enabled for around 3€ the day) and after contemplating the beauty of the place, we go towards the east that is where the Route of the Cares begins. There is no problem to find it as it is well signposted.
The Route from Caín is simple, there are no great unevenness and it is undoubtedly the most impressive part of the whole route. As soon as we begin we find the Pinteros Bridge and after this we can see a small dam and a bridge that takes us to cross the river Cares. From there part of the way will be through tunnels and terraces excavated in the mountain.
Once past this, the view will be opening and rising in altitude. Passing the Puente de Bolín and later the Puente de los Rebecos, we will be able to enjoy the beautiful landscape of high mountains and the nature that surrounds it. Where it is not strange to find goats that graze in the area and some animal that lives there.
As we advance and once in Asturian territory, the road will go down and we will have one last obstacle to solve, a great unevenness that will take us to the end of the route in Poncebos.
Map of the route: