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North Spain: Asturias Beach Towns, Cliffs & Cider

North Spain: Asturias Beach Towns, Cliffs & Cider

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I’m just going to say outright – I think Asturias is my favorite place in Spain thus far.

It’s the one I’d go back to in a heartbeat to explore more and I could even picture myself even basing here in the future (if I can make up my mind where I’m basing next year!)

I really don’t need much to make me happy. Just give me some mountains, rolling hills, a few beaches, and some sunshine, and I’d be the happiest person on earth. Granted, the weather here is a bit colder than other parts of Spain, but I’m pretty sure I’d deal with it alright with a few sidras (ciders) in me.

Speaking of sidra, why can’t I stop thinking about it? Cider isn’t even my thing and I am seriously having some withdrawals. I want more cider, please! More on that in sec.

One of the first things you’ll notice about some of the architecture around northern Spain, including the Asturias, is the splash of central and southern American looking homes and palaces.

Not palaces like you may see in a Disney movie, of course, but large and luxe looking homes.

Many of the homes (many are now public buildings, schools, museums, or tourist attractions) were built by the Indianos. The Indianos were people from the north of Spain who went overseas to make their money in Argentina, Cuba, Mexico and Puerto Rico. They returned home with their riches and built these properties as their trophy for all to witness.

So what are the things to do in Asturias? Should you plan to go here on your northern Spain itinerary? (YES!) Let’s dig into this delightfully significant and gorgeous region of Spain…

Asturias’ Beach Towns

The blissful beachy coastal towns are sprinkled with stone facades or drenched in bright paint and most of them have some hills or cliffsides to dangle your feet off of or at least to get that birds-eye view.

Hanging out in these towns are the best things to do in Asturias. The vibes were laid back, the food incredible, and the cider… I can’t wait to tell you about this cider…

Llanes

llanes asturias northern spain beaches

What a sweet and adorable town! I feel in love quite quickly. The Walk of San Pedro was essentially the best part as it provided a beautiful view of the town and one of Asturias’ beaches, Sablon beach.

llanes asturias beach town. things to do in asturias

Strolling along the pathways, the sun warms your skin and your hair blows in the wind. I sat up here for a while and simply just let the beautiful views of the Bay of Biscay wash over me.

llanes asturias is a nice spot to visit in northern spain

While in the summertime it’s super packed, if you go to Asturias during shoulder season, you’ll get nearly the entire beach to yourself.

Ribadesella

Ribadesella asturias is a nice spot to visit in northern spain

Another incredibly beautiful town that I fell for was Ribadesella.

Surrounded by bold and dramatic cliffside, this charming fishing and beach town sits at the base. Here you can uncover over 200 beaches and coves that snake through the town and spill out into the Bay of Biscay.

Ribadesella asturias is a nice spot to visit in northern spain

While I got to check out the town and the views a bit, I would have LOVED to do some of the adventure activities like hiking Ruta del Cares (essentially hiking along a cliffside!) or go canoeing or canyoning. Ribadesella, Asturias looks like a place I’d love to go back to and adventure around.

Cudillero

Cudillero asturias should be on your northern spain itinerary

Do towns get any cuter? I’m thinking probably not… I’m in love with the splashes of color this seaside town boasts.

Cudillero asturias should be on your northern spain itinerary

Grab a coffee, climb up the hillsides for a view, and watch the fisherman earn their cash for the day. That’s about all there is to do unless you go to another nearby beach but we’re totally OK with that.

Cudillero is perhaps the most beautiful of all the towns I got to see in my Nothern Spain travels. Here, less is more.

Luarca

I’m running out of adjectives… All of these places are so incredibly adorable! Here’s another… Essentially all of these places on the list so far provide awesome views, nice beaches, and are generally pretty chill spots. Luarca is no exception.

asturias luarca is a quaint spain town

Walking around here and feeling the laid-back vibes of everyday Spain is a stark contrast to what you’d get walking around touristy Barcelona or the like.

The whitewashed town of Luarca is another charming fishing village to get lost in. Wander up to the lighthouse where you’ll find a cemetery and some striking views of the town.

More beaches, more coastal views, more Asturias, please! What’s there not to love?

Oviñana

ovinana should be on your northern spain itinerary

Oh, my. Oviñana, how beautiful you are! These cliffs are pretty damn impressive and I’d highly suggest coming out here to get some nice viewpoint shots.

The seas are rough making the cliffs more rugged and wrenched with every wave and the views from the lighthouse and beyond will take your breath away. I’d suggest coming at golden hour and enjoying a nice sunset.

What to Eat and Drink While in Asturias

Fabes de la Granja

Sad face. I absolutely LOVE beans but I don’t eat meat. They have this delicious looking stew that I probably would have loved but there were massive chunks of pork floating in it. The bean is a typical long white bean but is a big part of this regional dish. Everyone said it was amazing. I’ll need to find a veggie version next time.

apple dessert in asturias

Apple Anything

Apple anything is also a huge deal. They love their apples in this region. I had a ridiculously tasty dessert one night that was made of apple everything. There was a delightful apple sorbet, a moist apple cake, crispy apple chips and more all made of fresh apples which grow around the region! Which bring me to….

Sidra – Cider

Finally! The cider! The cider is ridiculously amazing here. It’s one of the best things to do in Asturias as it’s actually an experience. It may have been, dare I say, better than the wine? Ah, nah, I can’t compare the two. I’ve never had cider so good, so fresh, so crisp!

The way they pour it is quite cool. They hold the bottle up high and let the cider fall a foot or two in the glass; it’s quite the spectacle and may or may not be a big part of the reason why I love it.

The way they pour it isn’t for entertainment purposes though, it’s to create the bubbles. You must drink your cider immediately so you don’t lose the bubbles which is why they are poured one gulp at a time. And yes, cider gets everywhere and it’s totally OK.

I loved it so much, I forgot to take a proper picture. No joke. I have zero good photos of the cider, I was too busy having fun watching it being poured and drinking it. (Hence the crappy screenshots I posted above)

The coolest place we got to drink cider (and we drank it numerous times a day) was at the Sidra Crespo facility. We literally drank it out of the tap of a massive barrel!

north spain travels to asturias

To get an idea of where this Asturias northern Spain itinerary will take you, I mapped it out on Google maps.

I wish I could have stayed longer than just one week in Spain and more than two days in Asturias. There are some incredible mountains and cliffs you can hike in this region that I HAVE to go back for.

Is visiting Asturias, Spain on your list? It should be!


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This article is written in partnership with Spain Tourism Board and the local tourism board of Asturias, and in cooperation with The Travel Mob, for the #InGreenSpain campaign. As always, all opinions are my own and it will always be that way. 

 

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Faith

Tuesday 30th of April 2019

Do you have any tips on where to stay while making your way through Asturias and Galacia?

We are spending 7 days once we depart San Sebastian touring the north.

Any recommendations are helpful - worth noting is we do not speak spanish.

George

Thursday 5th of July 2018

awesome photos and journaling Nina !! Love the tone and liveliness of your posts. I will be watching and commenting thanks for the good vibes!

Nina Ragusa

Thursday 5th of July 2018

Thank you!

Laura

Thursday 21st of December 2017

I generally only think of wine when I think of Spain, so I would love to try this cider! It looks so incredibly lovely and it's kind of awesome that it's a bit off the radar for tourism. I've yet to visit Spain, but I'll definitely keep this place in mind!

Nina Ragusa

Thursday 21st of December 2017

These were my thoughts as well! I think everyone flocks to the south or the big cities. But the north is something I'd love to explore even more now that I got a taste!

Shem Hooda

Thursday 21st of December 2017

This sounds like such an amazing place! I'm OBSESSED with apples so I know I would especially enjoy the "apple everything". The cider tasting also sounds temping :)

Nina Ragusa

Thursday 21st of December 2017

The cider is out of this world. I love the presentation and way of drinking it too, it's awesome!

Mark

Thursday 21st of December 2017

You had me at the Cider lol. Looks like an amazing region to explore and an unheralded region of Spain at that. The cliffs and town architecture looks amazing

Nina Ragusa

Thursday 21st of December 2017

It really is special! :)