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Comarca de la Sidra
Comarca de la Sidra
Comarca de la Sidra
Comarca de la Sidra
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    • Radio House and Mills Route in Bimenes.
    • Country School Museum and Village of Torazu in Cabranes.
    • Fishing Harbour in Lastres and Jurassic Museum in Colunga.
    • Cider Museum and Peñamayor Range in Nava.
    • "Touching the Sky" Hiking Trail and Romanesque Church of Santa María de Narzana in Sariego.
    • Fishing Harbour in Tazones and Valdediós Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque Monumental Site in Villaviciosa.

Land of apple blossoms and orchards, home to centuries-old cider mills, dinosaur coast, mining villages and fishing towns, one of the most biologically diverse estuaries in Asturias, majestic mountain ranges such as the Peñamayor and Sueve Ranges, the Way of St James, exemplary towns and the best rice pudding... that's the Cider Shire

Cider, "sikera" in Greek. That is what it was called by Strabo, whose journeys as a geographer brought him to taste the superior quality of Asturian cider, describing it as a brew for heroes... More than two thousand years have passed from the year 60 BC to today and the world has undergone major changes, but one certainty remains: Asturian cider is still a brew for the "brave" that everyone loves... a brew which in Asturias gives a tourist name to an entire territory, the one with the most links to the culture that has surrounded this drink for hundreds of years.

If there is one word that sums up the essence of this territory, that is the word "natural", because this is a land located in the central-eastern part of the region with a predominantly rural culture and a humanized, well-conserved landscape, characterized by the presence of forests, mountains, rivers and apple orchards... and there is no doubt that one of the great natural wonders offered by this area is the blooming of the apple trees, which occurs in spring.

In fact, in the Cider Shire you can follow the entire natural and social cycle of this beverage. This cycle covers the apple first forming on the tree right up until it is transformed into cider through the entire process of cider-making in the llagar (cider mill) and includes all the unique sociology associated with this culture, from the escanciado - a way of pouring the cider from a height so that it hits the side of the glass - to the Asturian chigre (cider tavern), the music and the songs heard there and the typical gastro party focusing on cider known as an espicha, an informal buffet usually held in the cider mill itself. This is all documented and exhibited, of course, at the Cider Museum in Nava, although it can also be enjoyed "live" in any of the cider taverns, restaurants and cider mills in the shire. Or in the festivities and festivals held throughout the year, especially the Cider Festival in Nava and the Apple Festival in Villaviciosa. Both events are listed Tourist Interest Festivities, and include, among other activities, cider-pouring championships (another great social spectacle occurring in Asturias that is unique worldwide).

The land that Strabo dreamed of is a great organic pantry in every sense: good market garden produce, cheeses, homemade cider, quality white beans for making the typical Asturian dish par excellence (fabadaand good fish and seafood, as it also has a coastline. All this results in excellent cuisine, made patent in recipes, menus and festivals such as Cabranes Rice Pudding Festival, to name just one among dozens more.

Speaking of the coast, there are very characteristic villages, some quite frequently used as settings for TV programmes, such as Lastres, filmed and photographed incessantly, where dishes and recipes made with Bay of Biscay produce can be savoured. The same can be said of Tazones, a small fishing harbour with a romantic touch where you can eat excellent shellfish. The village is also widely known for being where Emperor Carlos I of Spain disembarked when he was Charles V of Germany. From Tazones he went on to spend the night at Villaviciosa, sailing up the largest estuary in Asturias, a veritable paradise for migratory bird species, and therefore also for birdwatchers.

Continuing along the coastline, the landscape is dotted with beaches and cliffs of scenic, geological and sporting interest, with the tour coming to an end in Colunga, with its Jurassic Museum and La Griega Beach, where you can see natural dinosaur footprints right on the coast.

In the heart of the Shire, there are boroughs as charismatic as: Bimenes, home to miners and farmers, with its Mills Route and Radio House, and its support of the Asturian language; Nava, with its cider mills, mansions and Peñamayor Range, where on the first days of autumn you can enjoy the spectacle of the bellowing of mating stags; and Sariego, a welcoming land traversed by thousands of pilgrims following the Way of St James to Santiago de Compostela, who have marvelled at a landscape strewn with history like that perceived at the Romanesque Church of Santa María de Narzana...

Before culminating this journey through the "Cider Shire", special mention must be made of the indelible signs of centuries of history, embodied in the Pre-Romanesque and Romanesque churches dotted around its towns and villages. Outstanding among these is Valdediós Convent, an exquisite example of this unique art form in Asturias.

Not even Strabo himself could have imagined that his Asturian "sikera" would provide for so much!

Six boroughs make up the Comarca de la Sidra: Bimenes, Cabranes, Colunga, Nava, Sariego and Villaviciosa... where Asturias smells of apples.

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