I visited Asturias first time in October-November 2007, combined with my first-time visits to Galicia and Cantabria.
The area is known as Green Spain. It is a beautiful mountainous region overlooking a wonderfully verdant countryside with its mountains crossed by countless river valleys. To the North, the Atlantic sea breaks onto beautiful sandy beaches lying just a few kilometers from the mountain peaks, and the whole area is free from mass tourism. Green Spain is breathtakingly beautiful
An hórreo is a typical granary from the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula (mainly Galicia, Asturias, and Northern Portugal) There are several types of Asturian hórreos, according to the characteristics of the roof (thatched, tiled, slate, pitched or double pitched) and the materials used for the pillars or the decoration. The oldest still standing dates from the 15th century. There are an estimated 18,000 in Asturias.
Cider – Sidra
Cider is more than just a drink in Asturias, it is truly a culture and a way of life that begins in the apple orchards. Villaviciosa is said to be the birthplace of cider, and it is there, along with neighboring Nava, Siero, and Gijón, that most of the province’s cider is produced. The film/video by Shifting Sands Production is about the Asturias tradition of homemade apple cider being bottled in true fashion.
Asturias my first visit
Overall I spent 10 days on the road after arriving at Aviles Airport in Asturias to my return from Vigo Airport, Galicia.
From Aviles to Luarca (west of Aviles Airport) less than 40 minutes on (Autopista) A-8.
is a small fishing village at the mouth of the Rio Negro with white-painted houses that surround the picturesque harbour, and a hilltop chapel in honour of the Virgen Blanca that overlooks the town below. The river Negro ends its course in this village where it finally joins the sea. The population here is near 5,000.
I left Luarca on the smaller coastal road A634 – A632 via Cadavedo, another small village with a quaint fishing port. Castaneras with a Mirador viewpoint overlooking the impressive beach-coastal area of Playa de Silencio (if the weather is great, it`s worth a stop). Plenty of beaches and rocky coast beyond Playa de Silencio – take your pick.
From Luarca to Cudillero 30 minutes drive on A-8
Allegedly this is the most picturesque fishing village in Asturia, and it is stunning. Located 53km from the city of Gijón, on the Asturias western coast. Cudillero is famous for its multicolored houses clinging onto the hillside all the way down to its port. Near the ports seafront area, a popular meeting place is a square with many bars and restaurants. A legend says that Cudillero was founded by the Vikings.
Every June 29, residents observe the feast of L’Amuravela, is when a speaker delivers a ‘pregón’ summing up the main events of the year with a humorous perspective. The speaker uses pixueto language, a local dialect of the Asturian language still spoken in parts of northern Spain. Playa de Aguilar is the nearest beach. Population just over 5,000
From Cudillero to Lastres around 1 hour on A-8
From the west coast of Gijon to the east coast. A-8 passes on the outskirt of…
The largest city in Asturias. This industrial town has during the last 15 years taken some trouble to make itself attractive for the locals and visitors alike and one should spend some time here. The creation of waterside promenades, pedestrianised old street, new interesting museums, and new parks have improved the city immensely. The success of presenting a summertime entertainment program helps further to market “the new” Gijon and towards late August they hold the Fiesta de La Sidra, Festival. It’s a lively place, cafes, bars, restaurants, and Sidrerias. A nice town beach, Playa de San Lorenzo.
Gijon is located on the Bay of Biscay, approximately 24 km north-east of Oviedo the capital of Asturias.
Driving further along the A-8, you can also visit Villaviciosa alledegly the birthplace of cider
is a port village attached to the municipality of Colunga that is home to just under 1,200 people. Many travel writers regard Lastres (officially named Llastres in Asturia) as one of the best looking village location in Asturia, Lastres is closely connected to the sea. Traditional houses are built into the cliffs overlooking the water and it still features a whaling quarter that dates back to the 16th century.
Lastres 43km drive from Gijon, use A-8
From Lastres to Ribadesella, approximately 25km on A-8
An low key resort. Busy at the end of July and August. Rio Sella canoe festival, the first weekend after the 2nd of August, very, very busy. In July free jazz concerts are held at night in the Plaza Christina.
Classical music concerts are performed in August, in Cuevona. They take place in an auditorium where the amazing and natural Ardines cave is located.
Ribadesella town is split into two halves by Sella’s estuary, joined by a bridge. Playa de Santa Marina on the west side and the old town and fishing harbour are on the east side. The population here is nearly 6,000.
It’s home to the Tito Bustillo Cave, which contains Paleolithic rock art. The Rock Art Center of Tito Bustillo details the cave’s history and displays prehistoric relics, (about 12,000 years old). More info here.
Less than one hour drive from the city of Gijon 62km if you choose to drive the shortest way, use A-8.
When leaving Ribadesella on A-8 along the east coast of Asturia, you will experience some fantastic views, on one side the Atlantic ocean and on the other side the Picos de Europa.
My finish line today, the town of San Vicente de La Barquera, Cantabria. A journey of approximately 62-63km
La Asturiana Surf Camp
Within 20 minutes drive, is Surf en Lanes – La Asturiana surf Camp, more info here, well signed. Great beach Playa de San Antolin. Beach Bar/restaurant.
For the next hour, continue driving on A-8 and take the opportunity to use any of the many exit roads for any of the many campsites available and/or any of the spectacular beaches in Asturias.