History, tradition, architecture ... the fishing villages that dot the Asturian coast are a must visit. Here´s a list with some of the most beautiful.

The fishing villages in Asturias keep an important part of the history of this region alive: the one of the sailors who went to the sea to fish and provide food for their families and the one of small villages that became the port of many ships arrived from afar. Many of these towns, still today, keep that attractive marine atmosphere with many curious stories that are worth knowing.

If you happen to be staying at ARTIEM Asturias, be sure to visit the 5 most attractive towns on the coast of Asturias:


1. Tazones

tazones asturias

Source: www.turismoasturias.es

This small town with only 300 inhabitants is located in the borough of Villaviciosa, a land of cider makers and fishermen. Tazones is just half an hour by car from Gijón and is a must-see if you are in Asturias. 

It was declared a Historic-Artistic Site and was the first place in Spain where the young Prince Charles of Ghent, the future Emperor Charles I of Spain, landed during a trip from Flanders 500 years ago. Every August, the town commemorates the Landing of Charles I with a pageant and a festivity of Regional Tourist Interest. 

Discovering Tazones is taking a trip back in time, not only because of the singular architecture of the neighbourhoods of San Roque and San Miguel, which you should not miss, but also because it has a fossil footprint site (dinosaur prints) dating from the Jurassic Era. You will have to wait for the low tide to see these sites, but the wait is well worth it. If you are interested in Palaeontology, there are other fossil footprint sites near the town, such as the Jurassic Site of the Lighthouse of Tazones.

The lighthouse is another interesting site in this town. It was built in 1864 and is one of the best-preserved lighthouses on the Asturian coast. Of course, the Port of Tazones is not to be missed either. The port has been operative since the Middle Ages and its heyday was in the 15th-16th century, when it received a constant stream of private and commercial vessels carrying linen, wax, tar and other products.


2. Llanes

llanes pueblo pesquero asturias

Llanes is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Asturias. So much so that many films have been shot here: “El Orfanato”, “El abuelo“ by Garci and the TV series “La Señora”. To give you a clearer idea of its location, Llanes is one hour away by car from Oviedo and 50 min from our hotel ARTIEM Asturias.

So, what is worth seeing in Llanes that makes it so special? 

Llanes has some of the best beaches in Asturias, a picturesque old town that is also declared a Historic-Artistic Site, unbelievable natural sites, a delightful port and a lot of history. 

If you are a person who loves the sea, then you should visit the beaches of Sablón, Puerto Chico and Toró. Sablón is easy to get to, as it is close to the old town. Its white sands, crystal clear waters and the surrounding countryside make it unique. Puerto Chico and Toró are also sandy beaches that are exceptional due to being unspoilt and located in natural beauty spots. 

Another emblematic site in Llanes is the “Memory Cubes” by Ibarrola, which are situated in the town’s port. These are large concrete blocks that were designed to contain the force of the sea, but the Basque artist Agustín Ibarrola decided to decorate them in bright colours.

If you wander through the town centre, you will see the remains of this town that date back to immemorial times, thanks to the preservation of some of its most important monuments: its 13th century medieval wall and watch tower, the Church of Santa María del Concejo which was built in the 16th century, the chapel of Santa Ana, dating from the 17th century and the Palace of Duque de Estrada, which was built in the 19th century. As we said earlier, Llanes has a lot of history. 


3. Ribadesella


Ribadesella is just half an hour away from Llanes and it takes its name from the estuary of the Sella River, which is one of the most important rivers in Asturias, famous for its salmon and for the International Descent of the River Sella.

This event, which attracts 1,500 participants every year, is held on the first Saturday in August, and is a canoeing and kayaking race between Arriondas and Ribadesella. The route is not suitable for beginners, as there are rapids, bends and changes in level over a distance of 20 km. It is ideal for those who are fond of canoeing and popular festivities, as there are live music sessions, street bars and many other activities. 

Another site of interest in Ribadesella, apart from its fantastic natural beauty, is the Historic Route of Paseo de la Grúa. An authentic open-air museum which has both stunning views and 6 enormous ceramic murals in blue and sepia. These murals were created by the famous cartoonist Antonio Mingote, with scripts by the local author Toni Silva. You will enjoy every moment you spend here. 

To end the visit, we recommend you stroll through the old town and admire architectural jewels like Casa de los Ardines, Palacio Pietro Cutre and Casona del Escudo. In 1997, the town was declared a Tourism Destination of Excellence.


4. Luarca


Another charming fishing town in Asturias that is one hour by car from Gijón is: Luarca. 

Its fishing port is delightful due to its colourful appearance. The town is located in a natural inlet and historically speaking, it was one of the most important fishing ports in Asturias. Close to the port is the pedestrian street of Párroco Camino, one of the busiest streets in the town. This street has one of the most famous sites of interest there: the Church of Santa Eulalia. 

If you want to see some impressive views, we recommend you visit the neighbourhood of Cambaral from which you can walk up to the 19th century lighthouse of Luarca and the Chapel of Atalaya, also known as Ermita de la Virgen de la Blanca which dates from the 18th century. Due to its privileged site, perched on the edge of a cliff, it is well worth the visit.

That said, perhaps the most famous site is the cemetery, which contains surprising Modernist pantheons and the graves of many important names in Spanish history, such as: Severo Ochoa, the most illustrious inhabitant of Luarca who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1959. These impressive mausoleums were built by the “Indianos” (emigrants who made their fortune in the New World) who returned to the town at the beginning of the 19th century and wanted to rest in peace surrounded by luxury.

Finally, we’d like to share with you a small legend about this place. The Bridge of the Kiss near the port. Legend has it that a pirate from Cambaral was arrested by the authorities and during his time in captivity, he fell in love with the daughter of the Governor of Luarca. When her father found out, he decided to murder the lovers on the bridge. Instead of begging for mercy, the couple kissed each other just before they died. 


5. Puerto de Vega

Puerto de Vega

Source: www.turismoasturias.es

The last town on our list of fishing villages in Asturias is Puerto de Vega. It is famous for having been visited by Melchor Gaspar de Jovellanos, a well-known Asturian illustrator who found shelter here after a shipwreck. He died in the town in 1811.

The strategic location of this fishing port made it a key port for the transport of goods by sea between the 17th and the 19th centuries. Its role as a trading port was so important that in 1992 a mock-up of an ancient Table of Seamen was erected at the Vantage Point of La Riva. There you will also see a harpooner from 1854, a mural depicting scenes of ancient whale hunting practices carried out in the Cantabrian Sea, two enormous lower jaws belonging to specimens weighing about 30 tons and the oldest whale hunting contract on record.

For those who love the sea and fish, another interesting site is the attractive two-coloured fish market, which looks like a church from the outside with an inscription dedicated to the Virgin Mary on its door. It was built in 1928 and is still used as a fish market today. 

There are also two churches that play an important role in the essence of Puerto de Vega: the Church of Nuestra Señora de La Atalaya, founded by the Fishing and Trade Guild at the beginning of the 18th century after a carving of the Virgin was found floating in the water, and the Church of Santa Marina, declared a Historic-Artistic Monument in 1982, and known by locals as “the rural baroque cathedral of west Asturias".


Asturias certainly has a lot to offer. If you happen to be staying at ARTIEM Asturias, you can easily visit these 5 towns thanks to its location. And if you are looking for a gastronomic route, we can also give you a list of our favourite places to eat in Asturias