Each of the three massifs has its own subtle
character. The western massif covers the greatest area of the three,
climbing relatively gently from the hills of the Covadonga area,
becoming an almost lunar landscape across its high rocky plateau,
centred on the wide depression of Hou Santu, and peaking at the 2596m of
Torre Santa de Castilla, before plunging 1500m into the narrow Cares
The central massif is the most abrupt of the three, being
surrounded by deep gorges to the north, west and east; it is home to the
highest peak in the whole Cordillera Cantabrica - Torre Cerredo, at
2648m - amongst several others over 2600m; plus the most famous of all,
Picu Urriellu, the Naranjo de Bulnes, at 2519m.
eastern massif is the smallest and lowest of the three, centred on the
old zinc and lead mines of Ándara, peaking at the 2444m of Morra de
Lechugales, and dropping to green valleys to the north, east and south
(the drop to the south-east being 1500m and almost vertical).