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A day trip by rented bus or minibus to the Bear Trail ending in Oviedo old city. It is perfect for families with children and nature lovers. Mountains and City in a single day. Meet Paca &Tola Bears and visit the Old Oviedo.
I suggest you a very diverse day trip. First, to the Bear Trail in Proaza, where you can see Paca and Tola the bears at feeding, and to end the visit, a walk in Oviedo, a city full of shops and restaurants where you can eat like a bear and shop till you drop.
The Asturian highway network takes you to Oviedo from anywhere in less than half an hour. From Oviedo, merge onto A-63, (Grado / La Espina) and take exit 9 to Trubia. There you take the regional road AS-228 (Trubia / Puerto Ventana) until Tuñón Recreation Area.
Paca and Tola are two sister bears living in a large enclosed space in Proaza. They were found in 1989, when five months old and orphaned, and since then they live in Santo Adriano fence. It is difficult to see them through the woods, but they go down every day to eat at noon to a fixed point and it is in that moment when you can see them and talk with their caregivers.
Paca & Tola Bears
Credit Photo: lamamapachama
I recommend you to do the stretch Tuñón-Proaza, a 6 kilometer route ready in one and half hour that ends very close to the place where the bears eat. It's an easy walk to do without much effort, by walking or renting a bike. Do not be afraid to meet a bear on your way, as Paca and Tola live in an enclosure from which they cannot escape, and the rest of Asturian wild bears live in the deep forest, very far from humans.
Right there, around the feeding place you can find The House of the Bear (La Casa del Oso), a museum where you can buy some souvenirs and see exhibitions on the Cantabrian grizzly bears.
Do not forget your own camera!
Ideally you arrive on the bus about 10 AM at the beginning of the route, at the Tuñón Recreation Area. The bus could wait for you at end of the itinerary, in the Buyera Recreation Area. That way some of you can walk around and some can follow up the road on the rented bus. The destination area has a large parking area, playground and pool in summer. There is also an informal Snack Bar, but you can also bring your own pie or sandwiches and eat them in the picnic outdoors.
The Bear Trail is a public and free greenway, but if you want to take a bike ride, the opening hours of the rental company are from 10:30am to 19:30pm. The company also offers several outdoor activities. You better take a look before you go on www.deporventura.es
Important: Paca & Tola bears hibernate from December to February. During that time you cannot see them.
Don’t you worry if you are exhausted after The Bear Trial as the old town of Oviedo is very small and can be crossed in a hour.
Your driver may leave you at the Benedictine Monastery of San Pelayo (Ask for “Las Pelayas") and from there you can walk into the old town. You will notice the cathedral of Oviedo is unfinished and lacks a tower… after more than three centuries building!!
I recommend you to miss yourself around the small pedestrian streets. When you get to the Town Hall Square you will see the Church of San Isidoro el Real, which also lacks a tower ( could it be a tradition in Oviedo?) And behind, the Fontan Square, formerly the popular market.
To finish the visit, you can walk along Fruela Street up to Campoamor Theatre, where every year is held the Prince of Asturias awards.
Close by you find Gascona Street and its Cider Boulevard (El Bulevar de la Sidra). 200 meters plenty of cafés, typical Asturian food and lots of cider. If this is your first time in Asturias, you cannot miss our traditional drink and its special way of pouring. If you want to eat yummy and homemade food, nothing better than “Tortos con picadillo” (corn cakes with chopped peppered meat, exactly the way my grandmother used to cook!!) in Tierra Astur (€ 25,-) at the beginning of the street. And if it's seafood season, I recommend Sidrería Villaviciosa (€ 20,-), a few meters down the street.
In the old town, the bus can stop exclusively for drop off and pick up passengers at Jovellanos Street, opposite the Monasterio de Las Pelayas. We recommend the passengers wait for the driver and not the reverse. To park longer, there are free zones in the Palace of Sports (Palacio de los Deportes) or the Soccer Field (Campo de Fútbol). (Oviedo Mobility Center Tel: 985 11 34 77)
After dinner, you can ask the bus driver to pick you up at the same place in Jovellanos Street, near the Boulevard of Cider. This street takes you directly to the highways to Gijón or Avilés in 20 minutes and also to Ribadesella, Llanes and Santander, it will take just an hour and a half, just a time for a nap!
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