Llanes, located at the Eastern part of Asturias, is one of the most visited towns of Asturias. And considered as one of the most beautifull ones in Spain as well. Which is no wonder as beside the medieval city center of the town Llanes, the municipality Llanes can count on numerous natural treasures. Treasures such as the Gulpiyuri beach, the Cobijeru complex, the Bufones, and so much more surround Llanes. A major part of the 30 kilometers long coast line of Llanes is protected and can count on no more than 32 beaches.
Llanes, where mountain and sea meet is no understatement. It is Llanes which divide the magnificent mountains of Picos De Europa from the sea. Average there is only 5 or 7 kilometers of land between both. The high ridge of the Sierra del Cuera forms the boundary of Llanes. This ridge can rise up to about 740 meters high and is part of the Cordillera Cantábrica, which runs across most of the north and northwest of Spain.
But let me focus on a small introduction of the town Llanes, the capital of the municipality.
Llanes the medieval town …
Walking through the center of the town you clearly notice that the town had its origine in medieval times. The historic center is surrounded by a medieval defensive wall build in the first decade of the thirteenth century. The defensive tower defended once one of the four entrances to the city. Within these walls numerous monuments from various periods tells a story of a large and rich history. We have for example the pre-romanesque basilica and if you watch carefully you will find a few other buildings with clearly medieval elements.
Plaza Santa Anna for example is dominated by a hughe palace which have been modified through the centuries. Once the Saint Nicolas gate divided the center of the village with area where the fishermen lived. The gate is long gone, as well as the fishermen village. But the square created after destruction of the gate is one of the most beautiful in Llanes.
The house of the whales, located as well at the square, remembers us of the days when fishermen went hunting whales on the sea. The whales are long gone, but reminders of this past are still there, such as the port.
Llanes the fishers port …
In ancient times boats came more inland. Boats sailed straight up too the wall of the village, and goods were carried straight into the village. The fishing port was so important that Alfonso IX gave Llanes the rights to become a city and construct the wall. A little fort with connans defended the port in later times against pirates and other enemies.
But through the ages man made the inland waterfront more shallow and builded docks. Today you can make walks along the marina, up to the new and modern harbour. The new fishing port is more towards the sea, and protected from the sea by a hughe dike. There you can see the work of art from the Basque artist Augustín Ibarrola. painted on the big cubes which protect the harbour from the waves. This work of art is called Los Cubos De La Memoria and tells the history of Asturias and the town.
From the port it is not far to the beach el Sablón. From this shell shaped beach you have a beautiful view on the medieval wall on one side. On the other side you can take the stairs to walk up the cliff too the Paseo de San Pedro. This is a walk along the seaside. A walk nobody should miss, even when you only pass Llanes on your way to Santiago De Compostela. As high above the beach you have a magnificent view on the old town, the mountains and on the coastline of Llanes.
… and more
I am completely aware that this is a very brief view on Llanes. There is so much to say and it is impossible to name all the monuments and beautiful spots of Lanes. Llanes is packed with beauties from every period in history. To name them all will take just too long, so let me write about that in later articles.
But let me finish by telling that Llanes has 3 major fiestas. In July we have La Magdalena, in August San Roque and in September La Guía. Each one organised by its ver own Banda and each one in a spirit of competition to organise the best festivities. That is just another reason to visit Llanes.
Llaniscu de Corazón
www.llanes.es … Official Tourism Website of Llanes.
Header photograph © Roberto Tolín Sommer, made available by the City of Llanes.