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Oriente de Asturias
Oriente de Asturias
Oriente de Asturias
    • Royal Site of Covadonga and the Lakes.
    • Tito Bustillo and El Pinal Caves.
    • Ribadesella.
    • Llanes.
    • Asiego and Bulnes.
    • Ponga Nature Park (Peloño Forest).
This part of Asturias is the first to see the sun. It has the highest mountains in the Cantabrian Range, the Picos de Europa, a National Park and Biosphere Reserve where the Reconquista (the retaking of Spain from the Moors by the Christians) started in Covadonga.

It is where the sun rises first, the true land of the Asturian "rising sun". Deep contrasts and steep slopes sculpt its shape, making it a land of great altitudes leading ever so gently down to the sea, forming enchanting scenery, where the outlines of imposing mountains become softened and merge with the coastal strip in the form of spectacular cliffs and extensive sands or small coves and rocky beaches.

The land of the "rising sun" sketches a sixty-kilometre-long coastal strip in which the greenery of its meadows and mountains blend with the blue of the sea and the white of the surf. Its beaches can be enjoyed all year round for practising sports like surfing, paddle surfing, swimming, kayaking and sailing, among others, or for walking and totally relaxing. The karstic nature of its geology, particularly striking on the coast of Ribadesellas, Llanes and Ribadedeva, creates the phenomenon of what are known as "bufones" or blowholes: when the tides are very strong, the sea is forced through the rock cavities and produces an impressively loud sound, together with a kind of seawater geyser effect resulting in a striking natural spectacle. Also impressive are the dinosaur footprints on Tereñes Cliffs, in Ribadesella.

Prehistory was generous to the region, which boasts four World Heritage Site caves: Covaciella (Cabrales), Tito Bustillo (Ribadesella) Llonín (Peñamellera Alta) and El Pinal (Ribadedeva), all located in beautiful natural settings. And its charismatic fishing towns, Ribasedella and Llanes, have interesting old quarters and coastal surroundings.

Slopes are intimately related to river basins, so there are several watercourses with a character of their own bordering the territory: the Piloña-Sella, home to Asturias' most international festivity, the canoe race known as Las Piragüas, the Cares and the Tinamayor, among others. These all make up a landscape of unparalleled beauty, where you can practice different sports like canoeing, rafting, fishing, etc.

The highest peaks of the Cantabrian Mountain Range are found in the Picos de Europa, a National Park and Biosphere Reserve, most of which belongs to Asturias, including the highest and most legendary summits like Torrecerredo and Urriellu. With three massifs, the Picos de Europa is a unique ecosystem where there are dozens of hiking routes and summits to conquer, considering that it is the second largest limestone massif in the world after the Himalayas and the one with the most explored potholes of a thousand metres or more in depth in the entire planet. There are many mountains and mountain ranges surrounding the Picos - Peña Maín, the Cuera Range, the Sueve Range, etc. -, visible from both the sea, being a source of solace and guidance to sailors, and from land, for those who prefer to keep their feet on the ground. From spots like El Fitu Scenic Balcony, in Parres, you can see just how near this symphony of vertiginous heights actually is to the blue vastness of the sea, creating a contrast that accentuates the beauty of the setting as a whole as well as making it a question of mere minutes to travel in Asturias from sea to mountain and back!

So many mountains also means strong, fibrous mountain cattle, stabled in winter and pasturing in the mountain passes in summer, leading to an entire culture related to herding and grazing in the Picos that has virtually disappeared, but which still gives an idea of a way of life that also entails the making of artisanal cheeses, including two of the best in the world: Cabrales and Gamonedo. It is a territory in which cheese is central to the economy, diet and cooking, in terms of both quality and quantity, and which is instrumental to Asturias being considered Europe's leading cheese-producing region. With the added extra that these cheese, herding and mountain routes lead the visitor to villages like Sotres, Bulnes, Tielve, Gamonedo and Bobia, among others, all references of a habitat made up of celebrated summits and impossible feats that have marked the life of a territory and devoted fans, who can find all they seek - sea, mountains, sports, history, gastronomy - within minutes, just a "stone's throw away".

Thirteen boroughs comprise the easternmost region of Asturias: Amieva, Cabrales, Cangas de Onis, Caravia, Llanes, Onís, Parres, Peñamellera Alta, Peñamellera Baja, Piloña, Ponga, Ribadedeva and Ribadesella.

See location of the región