Asturias is the colour green and blue: where the green of nature meets the blue of the sea. It’s an area you’ll never want to leave and one that you’ll always long to return to. A quintessential natural paradise that everyone is recommending. Asturias makes for a great short escape or for a more extended stay, it always has something different on offer. It’s not all about the stunning village of Covadonga, Oviedo or Gijón. So, thought you knew it all about the so-called Beloved Motherland? Carry on reading and be sure to surprise yourself.
Tazones is a small seaside village of around 300 inhabitants. It’s a quiet corner of the globe, close to the town of Villaviciosa, where the aroma of cider, fishing and charm fill the air. It once had fame as a port for whaling, a reputation that has since been forgotten over time. What has not been forgotten, however, is that here the would-be Emperor of Spain, Carlos V, docked his ship on 19th September 1517, or so the story goes. His intention had been to land in Santander from where he would begin his journey to the Spanish crown, but storms forced him to set foot on the solid ground belonging to this tiny village, which would cherish this event forever.
2. Cuevona de Cuevas del Agua
Can you imagine a village that can only be accessed by passing through a cave? The “Cuevona de Cuevas del Agua” is a natural cavity that you must pass through if you intend to reach Cuevas del Agua, the village that awaits you on the other side. Along the way, you’ll pass through 300 metres of stunningly beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. Of course, if you spot a bat or a toad, don’t be frightened, I mean, you’ve stepped into their home!
3. Cuevas del Mar
And speaking of caves, one of Northern Spain’s prettiest beaches is located in Llanes. Its name is Cuevas del Mar, owing to the landscape that gifted its formation to us from the mouth of the River Nueva and the swell of the waves on the cliff walls that surround it. You’ll find all the amenities you need here, parking, showers, a beach bar, waste bins, but you will have to pay close attention to not damaging the natural environment. The beach is part of the eastern coast of Asturias’ Protected Landscape.
4. La Senda del Oso
This 22 km route made of asphalt follows the track of an old mining railway and is ideal for those who love hiking, cycling and nature. The railway ceased operations in the mid-20th century and during the mid-90s the decision was made to turn the tracks into one of Spain’s most spectacular green trails. The route is both low in difficulty and well sign-posted and has wooden fences to protect the surrounding area, making it suitable for all ages.
5. Cangas de Onís
If you have yet to visit this small village in the Picos de Europa, you’ll most certainly have seen it in your school textbooks. Its famous Roman bridge was built in the year 1300AD and from it hangs the symbol of Asturias, the Victory Cross. However, with the area’s outstanding natural beauty and uniqueness, you’ll soon realise the bridge is all but one of its highlights. It’s undoubtedly a magical open space amid the mountains that is waiting to be visited.
Cudillero is a picturesque fishing village that is unlike anything you’ve seen before. Hidden between the land and the sea, its backdrop of valleys, rivers, cliffs, beaches and waterfalls is what makes it truly unique. Its air of fishermen and cuisine are sure to captivate you, should the magnificent scenery somehow fail to do so! Did you know that the villagers even have their own language, “Pixueto”!
7. Mirador del Fito
If you’re in search of taking in one of the best views of Asturias’ natural landscape, this is your spot. In the village of Arriondas, you’ll find this 360 degree viewpoint, whose shape resembles a small UFO. It was opened around 90 years ago and has since been loveably referred to as “Cazu”. In the wake of so much beauty, you’re sure to be hypnotised!
Espinaréu is a small village of 75 inhabitants, known for having the largest number of raised granaries, or “Hórreos”, in Asturias. These old “refrigerators” made of wood or stone were used to preserve food and keep out moisture and animals. Some of the structures that can be seen here are so old they date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The most famous Hórreo of all however is “Horru La Capilla”, whose name relates to its use as a chapel (capilla in Spanish) to officiate Mass before the current church was built. If you enjoy being transported back in time and admiring their way of life, this village is sure to enchant you.