Immerse yourself in the
coast and in its fishing villages

401. These stretch out along the coastline of the Principality, bordering the Cantabrian Sea. The best-preserved coast in Spain is the land of fishermen and ship owners experienced in the battle against the sea, who have known how to build their villages vertically on quays, protected from the worst tides. They are heirs to the whale hunters of the Middle Ages who fought against giant whales using the most rudimentary gear. The lighthouses that guided them still pepper the cliffs and the estuaries that contributed to forging of the character of the shellfish gatherers are now nature reserves. The region's idiosyncrasies are reflected in traditional crafts, maritime rites, extraordinary folklore and a gastronomy based on its natural larder. Each one has its own singularity and charisma.
Fishing village of Llastres/Lastres

We recommend...

Don't miss...
  • The Pría blowholes.
  • Cudillero.
  • Gulpiyuri beach.
  • Cabo Peñas.
  • The Dinosaur Coast and the Jurassic Museum of Asturias.
  • The Partial Nature Reserve of Barayo.

Asturias has 18 fishing villages immersed with rich ancestral culture and scenic beauty with their ports, markets, cobblestone streets and great fishing tradition.

There the charming terraced houses in Cudillero and Lastres that stand daringly on the hillsides. The colourful Llanes' pier is protected by huge breakwater concrete blocks; these are the foundations of one of the most ambitious works of Basque artist Agustín Ibarrola, `The Memory Cubes'.

The small urban centre of Viavélez looks out onto the Cantabrian Sea and Figueras onto the Eo Estuary. The town act like natural borders, as happens with Bustio or Castropol and offer a perfect view of the mouth of the fast-flowing rivers, such as in San Esteban de Pravia and San Juan de la Arena, on the banks of the River Nalón. The white town of Luarca with Modernist and Indiano architecture.

Fishing village of L.Luarca/Luarca
Colonial architecture is also typical of Ortiguera, a nucleus located 20 metres above sea level. Tazones is where Carlos V first arrived in Spain from Flanders. The Watchtower of Tapia de Casariego, the only lighthouse in Asturias built on an island. Candás and Luanco were already important ports in the Middle Ages. They organise gastronomy events based on products which make up an integral part of their cuisine, such as sardines or albacore tuna. One of the oldest settlements in the West is Puerto de Vega, where seaside houses and mansions are built side by side. Palaces, mansions and walls delineate the urban centre of Navia, one of the less steep and biggest fishing villages of Asturias, together with Ribadesella, which was a focal point of maritime trade in the 19th century.
Ribadesella Beach

Wild nature beaches

White and golden sand beaches are hidden along the coastline. Gulpiyuri and El Cobijeru are inland beaches. Located at a distance from the seafront, the water seeps through the porous cliffs and during high tide, forms salt water pools. This porous rock formation also opens in the east into blowholes, chimneys excavated in the rock through which you can hear the rumbling sound of the sea and even see foam rising when there are sea storms. The evocatively named beach El Silencio has gained protected are status under several categories, as well as the beaches of Vega, El Espartal, Penarronda, Frexulfe, Barayo, Rodiles and Bayas.
El Silencio Beach in Cudillero

The Senda Costera (coastal path) is an excellent way to enjoy the different elements that make up the 401 kilometres of coastline.

Traces of a whaling past

A document dated 1232 tells of how the brave Asturian fishermen set out to sea in search of whales. This fishing art reached its peak in the 15th and 16th century and later disappeared in the 18th century. You get a real sense of this whaling past in Llanes, Ribadesella, Lastres, Gijón, Candás, Luanco, Cudillero, Puerto de Vega, Ortiguera, Viavélez, Tapia de Casariego and Figueras. It can be seen in the lookout of Riba, in Puerto de Vega; the Balleneros neighbourhood, in Lastres; in the medieval port of Cadavedo or in the recreational area La Mofosa, in Luanco. If you look closely at the sea from the central coast, you might be able to spot a jet of water blown by a whale crossing the Cantabrian Sea.

The beaches are for the summer, but can also be enjoyed in the winter while taking a stroll. City lovers have a wide range of choices with Gijón, Ribadesella or Salinas. Nature lovers, on the other hand, can enjoy towns that are secluded and wild, coves and large open sandbanks. Two of the nature reserves open onto stunning sandbanks. There are Villaviciosa, with Rodiles, and Barayo (between Navia and Valdés), an ecosystem that contains a mix of dunes, cliffs and unique botanical species.
The coastal path is made up of different sections of varying lengths, difficulties and charm. The lookouts of Muros de Nalón offer different views, as well as the section between Frejulfe and Puerto de Vega, where you can go from the cliffs down to paths located at sea level.

Cue Beach in Llanes

From lighthouse to lighthouse

A tour around Asturias's lighthouses is blended with landscape, sea, cliffs and sea birds. From Cabo Busto to Cabo Lastres, with a stop in Cabo Peñas in the northernmost point of Asturias, with an interpretation centre located at the bottom of the tower. You have the most extraordinary watchtowers in the lighthouses of Tapia de Casariego, Ortiguera, Candás, Tazones, Lastres, Ribadesella, Llanes and Bustio.

Avilés Lighthouse or San Juan Lighthouse
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