Nacimiento del Rio Ason

near Ramales de la Victoria / Los Collados del Ason Nature Park, Cantabria, Spain

Rating: 2.5     Difficulty: 1.5
Nacimiento del Río Asón

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

The Nacimiento del Rio Ason (or more accurately el Nacimiento del Río Asón with the accents) was a dramatic waterfall attraction where an impressively tall waterfall framed the Asón Valley. It was probably one of the most beautifully-situated waterfalls in Spain, as far as we were concerned. And even given the subdued flow upon our visit (apparently we came too late in the season to see this waterfall gush), it was still a dramatic sight. The amazing thing about this waterfall was that this was literally where the Asón river began as its name would suggest (nacimiento means "birth" in Spanish). The river was said to empty out into the Cantabrican Sea (Mar Cantábrico) near the town of Colindres. Anyways, we would've given this waterfall a substantially higher score with better flow, but I guess that gives us hope that we might return one day to see this place under better conditions.

We were able to experience this falls in a couple of ways. The first method was the obvious way, which was to view the valley and the Nacimiento del Rio Ason from the mirador (lookout) at the end of one of the hairpin turns on the CA-265 road. From this vantage point, we were able to see the waterfall and the valley below, but for more direct valley shots with the falls off to the side (including a red-roofed farm which was a nice photo subject in this landscape), we needed to walk up or down the road towards the center of the length of the switchback (provided the trees didn't get in the way).

The second method was to get right down to the base of the waterfall. We were able to do this by hiking from one of the switchbacks on the CA-265 road (see directions below) towards a driveway leading down from the main road itself (ultimately leading to the farm at the bottom of the valley). There were small brown arrow signs pointing the way to help guide us down the right path. A short distance down this driveway, we then followed another arrowed sign pointing right into heavily vegetated terrain. This trail involved a short creek crossing before hugging the base of the cliffs supporting the Nacimiento del Rio Ason. The trail was a little on the rough and rocky side, but it was pretty well-defined and short enough for me to ease up on the difficulty rating. Once at the bottom of the falls, the waterflow looked more substantial from close up than it did from further away at the mirador during our visit in June 2015.

It appeared the trail kept going along the valley, which suggested that there might have been even more ways to experience this falls, but I was pretty content with my view as I headed back up to the car. Like with the other waterfalls we had seen in this part of Northern Spain, it seemed like its best waterflow was during the Winter and early Spring months. That said, we also might have been a little unlucky with the lack of rainfall for much of the Spring season prior to our visit.




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PHOTO JOURNAL

We visited Nacimiento del Río Asón as part of an out-and-back excursion from the Basque city of Bilbao, which was famous for the Guggenheim Museum symbolizing the transformation of the city's imageWe visited Nacimiento del Río Asón as part of an out-and-back excursion from the Basque city of Bilbao, which was famous for the Guggenheim Museum symbolizing the transformation of the city's image
At the end of the day that we visited Nacimiento del Río Asón, we stayed at the city of San Sebastián (a culinary capital; also called Donostia in Euskaran) and its pleasant beach Playa de la ConchaAt the end of the day that we visited Nacimiento del Río Asón, we stayed at the city of San Sebastián (a culinary capital; also called Donostia in Euskaran) and its pleasant beach Playa de la Concha
To the south of Nacimiento del Río Asón was the intriguing natural bridge and town of Puentedey, which as you can see was unique as it had the old town built on top of this natural featureTo the south of Nacimiento del Río Asón was the intriguing natural bridge and town of Puentedey, which as you can see was unique as it had the old town built on top of this natural feature
Looking down into the Asón Valley from a mirador at the top of the cliff before the CA-265 road made its descent into the valley itselfLooking down into the Asón Valley from a mirador at the top of the cliff before the CA-265 road made its descent into the valley itself

We noticed cattle grazing at the top of the Asón Valley, which kind of took away from what could have been a real surreal landscape, but this place was still beautiful nonethelessWe noticed cattle grazing at the top of the Asón Valley, which kind of took away from what could have been a real surreal landscape, but this place was still beautiful nonetheless

About to descend down the switchbacks of the Trollstigen-like road as it dove into the head of the Valle de AsónAbout to descend down the switchbacks of the Trollstigen-like road as it dove into the head of the Valle de Asón

Looking over a farm in the Asón Valley towards the Nacimiento del Río Asón from its miradorLooking over a farm in the Asón Valley towards the Nacimiento del Río Asón from its mirador

Broad view of the Nacimiento del Río Asón from its miradorBroad view of the Nacimiento del Río Asón from its mirador

Looking down at the farm, the driveway, and the CA-265 road from the Mirador del Nacimiento del Río AsónLooking down at the farm, the driveway, and the CA-265 road from the Mirador del Nacimiento del Río Asón

The Mirador del Nacimiento del Río Asón, which was right at the end of a hairpin turn. There didn't seem to be official parking spots by this mirador so we actually parked as much as we could on the shoulderThe Mirador del Nacimiento del Río Asón, which was right at the end of a hairpin turn. There didn't seem to be official parking spots by this mirador so we actually parked as much as we could on the shoulder

View of Nacimiento del Río Asón from further down the road near the next switchback after the one with the miradorView of Nacimiento del Río Asón from further down the road near the next switchback after the one with the mirador

Direct look at just the Nacimiento del Río Asón and the picturesque cliffs framing itDirect look at just the Nacimiento del Río Asón and the picturesque cliffs framing it

Here was where a driveway branched off the CA-265 roadHere was where a driveway branched off the CA-265 road

Descending the driveway leading to the farm down below at the head of the Asón ValleyDescending the driveway leading to the farm down below at the head of the Asón Valley

Shortly after descending on the driveway, we then saw this arrowed sign leading us into the bush trail leading to the base of the Nacimiento del Río AsónShortly after descending on the driveway, we then saw this arrowed sign leading us into the bush trail leading to the base of the Nacimiento del Río Asón

Here's a look at the rough and rocky trail leading to the base of the Nacimiento del Río AsónHere's a look at the rough and rocky trail leading to the base of the Nacimiento del Río Asón

The trail hugging the base of the cliffs responsible for the drop of the Nacimiento del Río AsónThe trail hugging the base of the cliffs responsible for the drop of the Nacimiento del Río Asón

Looking up towards the top of the drop of the Nacimiento del Río AsónLooking up towards the top of the drop of the waterfall

Looking across the base of the Nacimiento del Río AsónLooking across the base of the waterfall

Right by the base of the Nacimiento del Río Asón was another arrowed sign suggesting that the trail kept goingRight by the base of the Nacimiento del Río Asón was another arrowed sign suggesting that the trail kept going

This was probably the best I could do in terms of trying to capture both the farm and the Nacimiento del Río Asón in one frameThis was probably the best I could do in terms of trying to capture both the farm and the Nacimiento del Río Asón in one frame


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Checking out the falls and picturesque valley from three different vantage points including the mirador itself


Examining the falls from its base


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

We visited the Nacimiento del Rio Ason shortly after visiting the Cascadas del Rio Gandara. For directions on getting to the Cascadas del Río Gándara, see that page's directions. This was part of a long loop drive that began and ended in Bilbao.

From the Cascada del Río Gándara, we continued driving on the CA-256 road due south (then curving west to north as it became CA-265) for 3km to a mirador at the head of the valley. The road then descended a series of switchbacks, where at about 2km beyond the first mirador, we reached the third switchback, where there was the Mirador del Nacimiento del Río Asón. There didn't seem to be any official spots to park the car here, but the switchback was wide enough that we parked on the shoulder as much as we could to stay out of the way of traffic.

Continuing another 330m, we encountered the next switchback (the last one). Here, we once again parked the car as much off the flow of traffic as we could. There didn't seem to be an officially sanctioned place to leave the car. Once we left the car, we then walked downhill for a few paces to get onto the driveway that would ultimately lead us to the trail for the base of the Nacimiento del Río Asón.

Note that if you're going in the reverse direction from what I'm describing (i.e. via Ramales de la Victoria, then south on the CA-265), the first switchback would be the closest one to access the base of the falls. And the next switchback would be where the signposted mirador would be.

Finally, for some geographical context, Bilbao was 101km (over an hour drive) west of San Sebastián, 159km (over 1.5 hours drive) northeast of Burgos, 336km (over 3 hours drive) east of León, and 402km (4 hours drive) north of Madrid.




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES






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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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