Donkey walks

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Doing a donkey trek allows our guests to experience what it was like to travel along the Asturian trade routes and the trails in between as an "arriero" (a person who transports goods using pack animals) while your donkey transported goods for you. The donkey is a reliable means of transport for this. Calmer than a horse. Cleaner and more flexible than a cart or, nowadays, a car.

Near Fontebona there are two important historical routes that people used to walk with pack animals. The Ruta del Sellón (GR102) is an old trade route that runs along the mountain ridges from León via Lozana (1 km from Fontebona) to the Costa Verde.

Another historic route nearby is the variant of the Way of St. James that follows the Costa Verde and goes inland at the height of the Picos de Europa, thus avoiding the crossing of the wide coastal rivers. This variant passes by the parish church of San Juan de Berbío (from 1005, 2 km from Fontebona).

Almost all donkey treks include one or more sections of these historical routes.

It is important that the arrieros (muleteers) have a good relationship with the donkey. If a donkey does not agree with your plans, he can be as stubborn as a... donkey indeed. Our donkeys Lulu and Pili fortunately love to go for walks with people.

During the journey you experience the obstacles, but also how such a journey with donkeys enriches you. Along the way you gain a lot of impressions and meet people. At the resting places you get to know the local people and their stories.

Before we let you go out with the donkeys, we tell you what to be aware of. We have also prepared an instruction booklet with some basic knowledge about donkeys and the best way to walk with them. Once you have received the theory, you do a 6 kilometre practice walk in the area with the donkeys and their packs, before setting off on a possible multi-day trek. This way you learn what goes well and what part of your donkey technique you should polish. If you choose a multi-day donkey trek, you will only leave the next day for your first stop.

  • A maximum of 15 kilometres per day, as the donkeys need to eat along the way
  • A maximum of 50 kg of luggage divided between our two donkeys, their pack saddles and bags
  • We do not have riding saddles, only packsaddles. These saddles are meant for your luggage, not for people
  • Children must be over 6 years of age, able to walk independently and used to long walks
  • For the 1-day walk, the child may be a little younger and/or a less experienced walker
  • Two (almost) adults are needed to guide the donkeys
  • Lulu and Pili are social animals, so they always go together
  • In case of 5 persons or more in consultation (except for the 1-day circular walk)
  • In high season it can be more difficult to organise an excursion with donkeys

A donkey walk with our former donkeys Añes and Lola near the parish church San Juan de Berbío in Asturias A donkey walk with our former donkeys Añes and Lola near the parish church San Juan de Berbío in Asturias

From Fontebona you have the possibility to do several smaller and bigger one day hikes. Our donkeys Pili and Lulu would love to join you. They transport your luggage. A route description, extensive instructions, bags and packsaddles for your hand-luggage are included.

Donkey trek à la carte Donkey trek à la carte

This option gives you the possibility to design your own trekking route in close consultation with us. You choose:

  • the number of days,
  • overnight stay in your own little hiking tent or (sometimes) in an inn, in a hotel or in a holiday home,
  • full board or self-catering,
  • luggage transport yes or no,
  • etc.

Not everything is possible, but feel free to contact us to discuss the possibilities. We will be happy to design a route that suits your preferences as much as possible.

Would you like to know more, go on a donkey trek or make a reservation? Don't hesitate to contact us via the contact form. Please note that in high season it can be difficult to set up a good route.