Some places in Asturias are true paradises for getting away, losing yourself and disappearing without a trace for a few hours. Make the most of that time to connect with nature, feel the force of the Cantabrian Sea and be seduced by the local cuisine. Llanes, Ribadesella and Villaviciosa offer you that release that you need.
These three towns are in the northern part of Asturias, near to the sea and not far from ARTIEM Asturias, which makes them an excellent option for a small day trip. A very complete route that will enable you to visit some of the prettiest areas of what the Asturians describe as “la tierruca” (homeland).
If you also enjoy practising conscious tourism; visiting natural beauty spots without harming the environment, learning about the places you visit and their history, culture, people and their culinary traditions... If you are a fan of sports and active leisure and are aware of the importance of caring for body and soul… Your next break in Asturias may be memorable, since ARTIEM Asturias offers you all this and much more, such as this experience we’ve created for you, in which we provide you with a customised plan for discovering Asturias.
Asturias is green and has the scent of the sea. Summers with mild temperatures, natural beauty spots for your eyes alone, narrow cobbled streets that have many stories to tell, delicious food washed down with a glass of cider…
Here we propose a route through these three incredible places in Asturias, with special nooks that you won’t want to miss. Shall we begin?
This historic town that overlooks the Cantabrian Sea is a fishing village, one of the prettiest coastal towns in Asturias. It has the charm that only a few select seaside towns in Asturias have and for this reason, it is a place not to be missed on the route. Ancient walls, turrets and mediaeval palaces, promenades and balconies with endless views, cliffs and dreamy beaches... We’re now in Llanes! Start planning and living your trip.
Walk along Paseo de San Pedro
Built in 1847, it was used for centuries as a vantage point for sighting whales, fish or the ships of enemies. This attractive high seafront has always stood out for its unrivalled views of the coast and the mountains. It’s the perfect balcony for admiring the beautiful cliffs, the Cantabrian Sea and the boats that cross the port.
What’s more, the entire path is formed by grass so you can take off your shoes if you want. Feel the soft green grass of Asturias under your feet, gaze at the immensity of the sea, commune with nature and breathe in peace and quiet.
Visit to the port
The port of Llanes is a typical traditional fishing port where many vintage vessels are moored. Centuries ago, it was the most important whale fishing port in northern Spain. It’s a fine example of the seafaring nature of this town, which has always been linked to fishing and is, today, the third most important port for catching fish in Asturias, with sales of more than one million kilos of fish species.
Beaches of Llanes
If you want to visit the attractive beaches close to Llanes, the town itself has several which, although busy, have many services that will make your stay more pleasant.
Playa Sablón, between Paseo de San Pedro and the Old Quarter of Llanes, is a charming urban beach with crystal clear waters. It is suitable for safe bathing and has many facilities such as a car park, a ramp for strollers and wheelchairs, showers, etc. Playa de Toró is only a short distance from the centre of Llanes. It’s one of the most attractive and spectacular beaches in the area because of its sharp rocks that dot the beach and the sea. It is classified as a seminatural beach and is a feast for the eyes and for photographers. With its moderately high waves, it is also suitable for bathing and has services for bathers.
Visit to Los Cubos de la Memoria (the Cubes of Memory)
On the breakwater of the port, you will see the Cubos de la Memoria by the sculptor Agustín Ibarrola. The huge concrete blocks were decorated by the artist to express his own experiences, the memory of art and also of the land. They are harmoniously combined to create volumes and an attractive mosaic of colours that change continuously with the tide, the light and over time, taking on a life of their own. It is without a doubt one of the most surprising areas of Asturias.
Stroll through the Old Quarter
Last but no less impressive, is a stroll through the Old Quarter. Declared a Historic-Artistic Monument and a Cultural Interest Site, many of the buildings you will see on this attractive route are mediaeval and their excellent state of conservation despite the years is truly surprising. On your visit to Llanes, make sure you see its impressive monumental heritage and the 13th century city walls, the Old Town Gates, the Defence Tower, the Church of Santa María del Conceyu or the Palace of Gastañaga. Take a walk through its eight centuries of history and feel part of it on a special journey through time.
And now for a last glimpse on your retina and the next stage on our route: from Llanes to Ribadesella.
Continue your route through these delightful towns of Asturias and set out for Ribadesella. It’s only half an hour by car from Llanes and is the capital of canoeing as this town is famous for the event known as the descent of the River Sella which takes place every summer. Hundreds of people canoe down the river and take part in a great popular festival.
But this pretty fishing town has much more to offer. It has many natural and architectural treasures, and charming nooks that you will come across with every step and which you will never forget. If you want to know what to see in Ribadesella, here are some of the places you won’t want to miss:
Walk along the Santa Marina seafront
If you’re not convinced about taking part in the descent, we advise you to take a walk along the seafront of Ribadesella. It passes close to the ancient palaces and mansions of the “Indianos” who emigrated and built these luxurious mansions that overlook the sea on their return. On the western end of the beach, the remains of dinosaur footprints have been found, which you may also like to visit.
Lunch at Restaurante El Texu
Feeling hungry? At lunchtime, we suggest you visit Restaurante El Texu and try some genuine Asturian cuisine. Order their famous “cachopos” (breaded veal fillets stuffed with ham and cheese) along with the typical “tortos” (corn tortillas). You’ll love them!
Visit to Cueva Tito Bustillo (Tito Bustillo Cave)
Another sight to see in Asturias is Tito Bustillo Cave, declared a World Heritage Site for its extraordinary Palaeolithic rock art. It was discovered by two young people from the town in 1968. Tito Bustillo Cave is formed by twelve units distributed along the entire cave, with a length of about 700 metres and adjoining galleries that are more than 25,000 years old. Paintings, carved signs, animals, and anthropomorphic figures make up a collection that is practically the only one of its kind in the world. It is important to mention that the cave can only be visited at certain times and it is necessary to book in advance. You can also visit the Cave Art Centre.
Well, let’s say goodbye to Ribadesella and continue our journey. After our pleasant visit to this historical fishing town, we will go on to another site that leaves a lasting impression close to Ribadesella. Let’s discover what to see in Villaviciosa.
On our way back to the hotel, we come to Villaviciosa, which is only half an hour from Ribadesella. Our last stop today will be at one of the most picturesque towns of Asturias that is most associated with cider.
Its fertile lands, bathed by the largest river in Asturias, is the paradise of apple cider, “llagares” (cider mills where cider is made) and “chigres” (cider houses, where it is drunk). So much so that the Apple Festival is held here every year, declared a Regional Tourist Interest event. If you are a cider lover, here are the best sidrerías in Gijón that you won’t want to miss in order to enjoy the best of the land.
Walk around Villaviciosa estuary
We recommend a walk around Villaviciosa estuary, which as we have already mentioned, is the largest in Asturias. It is one of the best preserved estuaries and the one with the most environmental value on the Cantabrian coast, and for that reason, it is also a protected area. You can admire its beaches, dunes, cliffs and its fauna. A natural beauty spot where bird-watching and biodiversity observation activities are organised. Nature in its purest state.
Stroll through the Old Quarter
Our route continues through the Old Quarter of Villaviciosa where you can lose yourself in its cobbled streets, admire the mansions, palaces and emblazoned façades and the beautiful Romanesque church of Santa María de la Oliva. Enjoy strolling aimlessly and let your mind travel back to the Middle Ages.
Visit to the Monastery of Valdediós
Our last stop is at the Monastery of Santa María de Valdediós which is only 8 kilometres from the town and is the most relevant monument preserved from the last period of the Kingdom of Asturias.
A Cultural Interest Monumental Site where past and present come together. Set in a lush valley with idyllic scenery, the monks gave this beautiful Carmelite monastery the name Valdediós (Valley of God). Its church, devoted to San Salvador de Valdediós, was consecrated in 893 by seven bishops, as stated on the tombstone located in the chapel on the south side. To learn more about its history, take a guided tour.
Visit to El Gaitero cider mill
Another important attraction in Villaviciosa is a visit to the famous El Gaitero cider mill, which, in one hour, explains how the product is made as well as the tradition and customs associated with it. And, of course, all the above ends with a tasting session. Admission is free and it is advisable to book in advance.
And if, after the route, you are ready for more, you can return to the Old Quarter of Villaviciosa and enjoy a glass of cider at Lena Gastronomic Cider Mill. But only a couple, to enable you to return to the hotel in high spirits and talk about your day of disconnection in Asturias.
The best way to relax: at ARTIEM Asturias
After returning to the hotel, start to relax amidst the bubbles of our spa circuit. Our SPA & Wellness circuit offers a wide range of relaxing treatments; jet pools, water beds, steam baths under a starry sky, soothing massages and heated loungers. Do you fancy it?
And, as the ending to a perfect day, we’ll be waiting for you at The Green: Restaurante Lounge, with a delicious supper that includes dishes such as Cantabrian anchovies with Vidiago cheese and roasted red peppers, or our Anglerfish fillet with beetroot and apple textures. We offer you the most delicious local produce and vegetables from our organic orchard, a fusion of tradition and experimentation that will excite your palate.
If after simply imagining it, you can’t wait to try it, then what are you waiting for? The doors of ARTIEM Asturias are always open for you. And our Freshpeople are waiting to welcome you with the best tips and service to make your break in Asturias unique and memorable.
Select your dates and come and discover the best of Asturias with ARTIEM Asturias!