Visitors are charmed by the people, fascinated by the landscapes and surprised by traditional arts. The hospitality draws you in and the quality captivates you. Asturias is the seed of rural tourism in Spain, a way of travelling that is strongly based on the authenticity of the towns.
This rural tourism that emerged in the 80s has become widespread with the turn of the century. A wide range of accommodation is available, from hostels to hotels and houses. The Principality has two identifiable quality marks, "Casonas Asturianas", for boutique hotels of extraordinary architecture and "Aldeas" -Asturias Calidad Rural- for rural houses and apartments, a reference for unforgettable stays.
Rural tourism accommodation.
Taramundi and Os Teixois Ethnographic Site.
Grandas de Salime Ethnographic Museum.
A walk through the Somiedo Brañas (high mountain pastures) with their emblematic teitos, thatched roof cottages.
Hórreos (raised granaries) in Bueño (Ribera de Arriba).
The Plains of Picos de Europa.
Charming rural accommodation: listed under the quality marks "Casonas Asturianas" and "Aldeas". Asturias Calidad Rural-.
Museums and ethnographic centres are a perfect way to begin to get to know the essence of Asturias, which can also be felt in the everyday life in the towns, in the people who make an effort to maintain official traditions, in livestock and agriculture farming activity, vital to understanding the economy of this territory. Including in this network of collections are the Museum of the Asturian People (Gijón), Grandas de Salime Ethnographic Museum, Ethnographic Museum of Eastern Asturias (Llanes), Somiedo Ethnographic Ecomuseum (Somiedo), Mazonovo Ethnographic Site (Santa Eulalia de Oscos), Vaqueiro (Cattle Herders') Museum (MUVAS) (Tineo), Quirós and Comarca Ethnographic Museum (Quirós), Rural School Museum (Cabranes), Wood and Beekeeping Museum (Caso) and the Grado Ethnographic Museum (Grado).
Ethnographic Museum (Grado).
The Taramundi and Los Oscos steel blade
Master cutlers continue to hand forge the prestigious knives and Taramundi and Los Oscos. The Museum of Cutlery is intended to give you an initial introduction, as well as the visit to extraordinary ethnographic sites and hydraulic factories unique in Spain. Many artisans open their doors to visitors to allow them to get to see first-hand what their work involves.
Mazonovo Ethnographic Site (Santa Eulalia de Oscos).
Another exciting way to explore the region is to take part in one of the festivals of tourist interest celebrated throughout the year. There are gastronomy, sports, cultural and religious festivals and those linked to agriculture and some recreate historic events. You can find the complete list, allowing you to go from celebration to celebration all year round, on our agenda.
Valdesoto d'Antañu (Siero).
Two easily identifiable constructions that are an essential part of the countryside are the two types of granaries, hórreos and paneras.
Hórreo, a granary in Anayo (Piloña).
These traditional granaries raised on high stone pillars, called pegoyos, are not only useful to Asturians, visitors also find them very attractive. You can walk amongst them in Espinaredo (Piloña), a town with one of the best-preserved sites of hórreos and paneras. They dot the landscape from east to west and you can also do some research into the different varieties and sizes and take a journey in search of the most interesting.
In Asturian, a party is called folixa. As firmly rooted in culture as the term itself are the festivities and traditions of Asturias, which has a long list of Festivals of Tourist Interest. In the Volley of Cangas del Narcea, coinciding with the Fiesta El Carmen in July, the whole of the southwest shakes with rocket fireworks and tonnes of gunpowder fill the air. The Güevos Pintos or Painted Easter Egg Festival in Pola de Siero takes place on the Tuesday after Holy Week. Children and artists decorate and sell eggs of many different sizes and with various drawings ranging from the traditional to contemporary. The Shepherd Fiesta is a tribute to livestock farming. Every 25 July, traditional sports and religious pilgrims fill the town of Los Lagos. In August, Luarca holds the festival in honour of San Timoteo.
The Volley (Cangas del Narcea).
A wedding without an invitation
The Fiesta Vaqueirada in Aristébano is a very popular traditional wedding that commemorates the life and traditions of the vaqueiros, a cultural ethnic group of nomadic shepherds. The brides arrive in a procession, dressed in traditional attire led by a carriage carrying the dowry. The ceremony is followed by a communal meal.
The Fiesta Vaqueira in Aristébano (Valdés).
Ecotourism and agrotourism are two ways to enjoy a rural experience. Accommodation that combines touristic activities with livestock farming or traditional food production, establishments that are sustainable and respectful of the environment are new options available to the traveller.
San Román (Candamo).
The cradle of rural tourism
Taramundi is real tourism hotspot. It is here in this small western municipality, home to artisan cutlers, spelt wheat bread, looms and leather, where Spanish rural tourism started. Its people, supported by local institutions and business owners, new how to turn its subsistence economy and towns on the brink of becoming abandoned into a real attraction for tourists who are drawn by its authenticity. The transformation of the old rectory house into an exclusive hotel was only the starting point. A whole economy based on natural resources has been built up around it, traditional crafts have been brought back. All of this has breathed new life into communities who up until then had no expectations for the future, becoming an example for the whole world. You must visit Taramundi with an open mind, remembering it past and enjoying its present.