Driving from Panes up into the Picos de Europa, you follow the course of the Rio Cares, up through a deep and dramatic gorge which winds on towards some of the most stupendous views to be found in these mountains. La Tahona is tucked away behind the tiny village of Besnes, at the end of a cobbled track, beside a stream which runs down through beech woods. It is a peaceful and simple base for walking, horseriding, down-river canoeing or mountain-biking. The bar by the entrance hall is used by a few local farmers who drop in for a quiet coffee and brandy on their way up and down the valley; beyond is the rustic restaurant, all bare stone, exposed beams, whitewashed rough plaster and red tiles. Bedrooms have recently been redecorated and they are rustic but stylish, each different in style and colour. Some have wooden furnishings, others have leather details and rustic stone walls, and many have impressive views over the woods.
The stream runs past the restaurant, the terrace and the windows of the bedrooms – the soothing sound of water and birdsong will be your only distractions while contemplating the choice between salmon with cider, trout from the river or Asturian hotpot. ‘A fabulous little place’; ‘good value’; ‘excellent (huge) packed lunches’, says a recent reporter.