During our summer based in Oviedo, Spain, we had the opportunity to take a lot of day trips to explore various areas of the gorgeous province of Asturias, whose apt motto is Paraíso Natural. If you’ve been reading our posts, then you’ll know we also had a lot of guests during the summer as well.
They had to see things, we had to see things, rental car party time. The coast of Asturias is full of drop-dead gorgeous scenery that a lot of people wouldn’t even know exists in Spain.
Because we took many different trips to many different villages and beaches, we’re breaking it all up into a few posts for you. Hence, the “Part 1” in the title. Here’s a map of the region for you to get your bearings.
In this post, we’ll cover three seaside towns that we spent the day in while my parents were here for a stay. We were delighted to be able to experience all of these new-to-us places with them, as we always enjoy a to-and-fro with this fine couple.
As most of our visit was all about walking around and being curious – and eating or drinking coffee, naturally – I’m going to let pictures do most of the talking. First up…
This historically bustling fishing port was a glorious sight to the eyes when we landed, as the sun was out and the heat was happy to spend some time with us on this wonderful day.
While it’s still a fishing village, it bustles with tourists and summering vacationers in the high season. We were here before all that began, so it was a bit more low-key than I’d imagine it is in July and August.
As this was the first coastal stop for us during our stay in Asturias, we were seriously awestruck at how beautiful both the town and the coastline are here. Mountains on one side, the sea on the other, and quite a pretty and kept-up village in between.
Along the seawall are breakers, as is typical for this region, but they’ve been painted by Basque artist Agustín Ibarrola. It appears it was done quite a long time ago, and while it looks good, we think a reboot is in order as the paint has faded and cracked and suffered from the sun and the sea.
Still, though, pretty freaking cool to look at and nice to see instead of a bunch of gray concrete blocks.
The architecture in Llanes isn’t afraid to be quirky. While most of it is traditional for the region, we’re digging this office – or whatever it is – at the docks.
After a hearty lunch, we headed into the center and checked out the church and other historic buildings, some of which are ruins and some of which are kept in a state of near-perfection. And of course, more beautiful coastline.
Phew! We could have stayed in Llanes for more than one day, easy. We didn’t even visit any of its famed beaches besides the one in the village (pictured earlier), not to mention all of its winding streets and more of its certainly delicious restaurants. A lot of people who don’t rent vacation flats here probably stay for just one day, but we think it deserves more than that. Especially if you want to explore all the nooks and crannies of the municipality.
And while we didn’t explore all of the aforementioned nooks and crannies, we did make it to this little village. I saw a picture of it while looking at places nearby, and decided that we must go there, immediately after leaving Llanes.
And so we went, following the winding back roads and ending up in the middle of this aldea, with not a clue in the world. The road actually blocked us off, as Cue was preparing for its St. John the Baptist holiday festivities.
And the same, bearded fellow who was at our restaurant in Llanes, pictured way up there. Someone was following someone. Hmmm…
After a stroll around those brilliant, colored streets, we hopped in the car and went looking for the beach. Fortunately for us, someone had painted a sign on their garage that told us where it was. Small-town directions, check.
And lo and behold…
Quite a sight at first glance, no? Of course, we had to get down there, waving to the herd of cattle and all of the jingling bells around their necks. Imagine that view being your pasture, eh?
We made our way all the way down, to find a very small and secluded beach being enjoyed by a few small groups of visitors.
And as the sun lowered in the sky, we of course ran into a horse family (technical term, you know), just hanging out, eating a snack at this possibly perfect place.
And off we went, heading west down the coastline for another stop before we made our way back to Oviedo.
As it was getting late and we didn’t want to be on the road at night, we only planned for a stop at the Mirador de San Roque (lookout point) in the village of Lastres. Our pal, Trevor, had advised us not to enter the city if we had no intention of going into town, given its nearly impossible-to-maneuver streets.
We followed his advice, and skirted the side of town before making our way up to a high cliff to view the sea and the town below.
We actually ended up in Lastres on two occsasions, also visiting when a friend was in town later in the summer. This was good for us, given how dark it was getting during our first trip with my parents.
There’s a chapel and a restaurant at the top, as well as a park and someone’s totally insane house. Just imagine the view every day.
I love seeing how the Cantabrian Mountains start to rise up just inland from the coast.
Quite a memorable experience, to say the least. Not only did we get to see some of the most beautiful places in existence, but we got to do so with friends and family. If you’re ever in Spain, head off the beaten path of typical tourist spots and go explore some places like this.
The appreciation we have for these areas, and for being blessed with the ability to visit, cannot be quantified.
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Have you ever been to Llanes or the surrounding area? If so, what’d you think? If not, what say ye? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!