Asturias is one of the 17 autonomous regions and a province of Spain, situated in the North West of Spain, in between Galicia and Cantabria and with Castilla Leon in the South. Capital of the province Asturias is Oviedo, with Gijón at the seaside as biggest city in the region.
Asturias was the only Spanish region which have never been conquired by the Moors in the Middle Ages, the flag of Asturias remembers us of that.
Do I start to bore you?
Ok, that is it. Do I start to bore you with these facts. Just let me say that Asturias, situated in the North of Spain, cannot be compared with the rest of Spain. I will give you 4 good reasons, if you want to know why. Maybe you already know Asturias, in this case maybe you should continue reading as well, as you may discover more about this paradise. Let me focus mainly on the East part (Oriente) of Asturias where Llanes is located.
Asturias, a natural beauty
The “Peaks of Europe” is how the sailors called the mountains when they approached Oriente de Asturias by sea. Today those “Picos de Europa” are visited by about a million tourists each year and was Spains very first National Park.
Yet, there is more natural beauty. The whole coastline of Llanes is protected and beside more than 30 beaches, it has as well several natural monuments, such as the bufones (huge water columns), the caves Cobijeru and the inland beach of Gulpiyuri. While along the coast of Ribadesella many sites with dinosaur foot prints can be found.
These are just a few examples as the list of natural parks, nature reserves, natural monuments, protected landscapes with beaches, rivers, mountains, forests, caves, valleys, … is very large and waiting for you to visit.
That several of those caves is decorated with prehistoric paintings from over more than ten thousands year old, is just one example that Asturias is gifted with a rich culture.
From almost every period later on in history remains are to be found. Beside that, the Oriente de Asturias has never been really occupied by the Moors, as such Spains oldest Christian monument (737 A.C.) is to be found in Cangas de Onis, where the Asturian Kingdom had its court. Spread all over many villages, more palaces from the medieval times up till the mansions (Casa Indianos) of the immigrants who came back rich from South-America at the end of the 18th century, are to be found.
Especially Llanes with its many palaces within the medieval wall and tower is worth a visit. While you are in Asturias, do not forget to search for a Hórreo, this is a typical granary built in wood, supported by 4 pillars each with a flat stone on top, so that rats can’t reach the food. The Hórreo is one of the symbols of Asturias and only to be found in Asturias.
Traditions & gastronomy
Thanks to its uniqueness an Asturian is proud of its heritage and honor its traditions at one of the many “fiestas”, where young and old dress themselves traditionally and hold folkloric dances accompanied by the Asturian gaita (bagpipe).
It would not be a surprise that also in the gastronomy they have their own unique traditions. Paella and sangria is not typical for Asturias, this is reserved for fabada, a bean stew with meat, accompanied with a glass of sidra which waiters pour in very small quantities from a height into a wide glass.
And let us not forget that the sea offers a lot of fresh sea food and the forests are rich of wild boar, stag, … An Asturian is not only proud but they are known for their hospitality as well, so with pleasure they would like to offer you a glass of sidra at an espicha at their fiestas.
For many tourists Spain is equal to sun and beach, something that Asturias as well offers you , especially as not one beach is the same. You can choose from wide open beaches or small ones closed by high cliffs. Or are you more an adventurous traveler then you have plenty of choose between : hiking, golf, surf, climbing, horse riding, skiing, canoeing, …
With other words, a holiday in Asturias should not be missed.
Llaniscu de Corazón
Usefull information …
Official channel Turismo Asturias … www.turismoasturias.es