I give the Villasana de Mena option a 5***** rating. Not because the Hotel Foramonteros is so great, though it is fine. But because from Villasana, there is a marked off-road path, frequently alongside a pretty stream, to visit two wonderful Romanesque churches — San Lorenzo (in Vallejo) and Santa María (in Siones). The first is in a little hamlet, and the second stands alone, with a house nearby. Neighbors have the keys — best to call so they know you are coming. These are the phone numbers that worked for me in 2014!
San Lorenzo de Vallejo: Miguel Ángel: 947 126 427 OR 660 23 37 98
Santa María de Siones: Angelines, 947 126 132
Both churches have extremely beautiful apses, capitals, arches, doorways, they are really special. It would have been about a 10 km walk in total, but after visiting the second church in Siones, the skies opened and it began to pour. The “señora with the keys” called a neighbor and he drove me back into town, so I cut the kms in half. However you do it (there are local taxis), it is a real treat.
Day 3. Villasana de Mena to Espinosa de los Monteros (28 km) OR Nava de Ordunte to Espinosa (33 km).
From Nava de Ordunte (aka, Adolfo’s garage), it is 33 km to Espinosa de los Monteros. From Villasana de Mena, it is 28. The two “branches” join up at the Taranco chapel right outside Ordejón de Mena. If you leave directly from Villasana de Mena, you will miss the reservoir, which is pretty and shaded, but not something to re-work your schedule around.