Christian refugees, fleeing to Liébana from Muslim-occupied Spain in the 8th century, brought with them the Lígnum Crucis, purportedly the single biggest chunk of Christ’s cross. Santo Toribio Monastery, 3km west of Potes, has housed this holy relic ever since, making it an important pilgrimage destination. Many pilgrims still arrive by walking the 73km Camino Lebaniego from San Vicente de la Barquera.
The monastery is also famous as the home of the 8th-century monk and theologian Beato de Liébana, celebrated across Europe for his Commentary on the Apocalypse. To learn more about Beato, visit Potes' Torre del Infantado and/or the Centro de Visitantes Sotama.
You can continue 500m past the monastery to the tiny 13th-century Ermita de San Miguel, a chapel with great valley and Picos views, or follow a dirt path 600m uphill to the Ermita de Santa Catalina, which has further fantastic panoramas.