Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The La Iglesiona Cave of the Cabo Vidío cliff (Asturias)

 This time we travelled to the coast of Asturias, to Cabo Vidío, some 35 km west of Avilés (by road), one of the three big cities of Asturias. At the cape there is a lighthouse where you can park the car.

 Just below this lighthouse, right at the base of the cliff, there is a spectacular cave, the La Iglesiona Cave. The cave can be reached descending, very carefully, a narrow trail, which ends in a steep jump of several meters. In 2017 there was a rope, but I don´t know the actual situation. To climb down this jump, you need to have a certain skill.

 The jump ends on a ramp, a few meters above the sea (depending on the tides), and directly to its south there is a large opening in the rock, one of the four entrances to the cave.


The great mouth of the southwest gallery. It's right next to the rope.


The same entrance seen from inside.


A raw map of the cave.

 We turn our backs to this entrance to approach a wall located to the north. At its base there are two parallel cracks. We use the closest one to enter the cave, because in the other there is a large pool.  


The wall at the north end of the ramp, at its base are two parallel cracks.

The two parallel entrances at the base of the wall. The one closest to the wall has a permanent pool. Who wants to enter the cave dry must take the other one.

The entrance with the pool.


By far the easiest entrance.

 Soon these two galleries join to form a chamber, which narrows to a gallery leading towards the northeast. After about 30 meters we enter the Great Room of the Dome.

The Great Room of the Dome, in the middle the entrance where we have entered the cave. To the right the sea invades the cave through a big gallery which opens up directly to the sea.

This is the most impressive part of the cave and certainly worth its name: looking up you can see a huge dome, with a height of about 25 meters.

The huge dome which names the room.

To the north a very big gallery leads directly to the sea, the entrance for vitors by kayak or stand-up paddle. The sound of the waves adds a lot to the overwhelming impression of this place. A possible continuation to the east is blocked with cobbles and boulders, but to the southwest the daylight can be seen, entering by a wide gallery.

The big sea entrance.

Exploring this gallery, we have to climb a barrier of cobbles (at least, there was one in October 2017), formed by the latest storm events. Behind is an almost 40 meter long gallery which opens up to the sea, just beside the jump with the rope.

The cobble barrier with the entrance behind.

The entrance of the southwest gallery, looking cave inwards. The light at the end comes from the big sea entrance. The cobble barrier is in the middle.

The length of the southwest gallery is about 60 metres, and the total length of the cave is around 150 meters.

At the base of the jump, we have a last look of the bottom of the cliff towards the south.