Discover Asturias: The Most Charming Fishing Villages

"Asturias, Natural Paradise" These words from the Asturias tourism organisation couldn't do more to encapsulate the majesty of this lush region in northern Spain. Asturias truly is a paradise with stunning mountain peaks hiding prehistorically painted caves, natural parks dotted with dinosaur tracks, magnificent sandy beaches, and villages exuding the ancient and magical essence of the region.

Many of the treasures found here are located along the northern border, formed by the Bay of Biscay in the Atlantic Ocean. Popularly known as Costa Verde, it is home to an impressive array of landscapes and picturesque maritime villages.

Boats in Cudillero

In this article, we explore Asturias' most charming fishing villages.

Cudillero

Imagine a place by the sea, surrounded by forested cliffs, with slopes leading down to a harbour, where colourful houses reside in tasteful contrast with lush green hillsides. That would be Cudillero, the most famous of all Asturias' coastal villages.

Cudillero


Here, all roads lead to the port. Any wanderer who embarks upon one of the countless winding streets will inevitably end up there, where terraced restaurants serve an ample supply of fresh seafood from the Bay of Biscay. Cudillero is synonymous with tranquillity, amazing food and fresh ocean water. For all its wonder, it's an absolute necessity in any Asturian travel itinerary.

Castropol

Another gem along the Costa Verde is the enchanting village of Castropol. This small fishing village is in a unique position in the heights and is flanked by the Eo River which forms the border between Asturias and Galicia.

Castropol


Most of the monuments in this small village date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. A stroll through its streets during twilight hours is often complimented with a rich violet sky creating an indescribable splendour. Not far from Castropol, in neighbouring Galicia, is another must-see for visitors to the area: an incredible work of natural architecture properly referred to as the Beach of Cathedrals.

Lastres

Settled along the slopes of a natural amphitheatre, Lastres easily lives up to the inscription on its welcome banner: "One of the Prettiest Villages in Spain". Maritime roots run deep here, but the village also offers a dazzling array of impressive vantage points from which to take in panoramic views of the sea and surrounding coastline.

Lastres


Exploring the countless cobbled streets, the lure of quaint little squares can encourage many travellers to meander all the way down to the harbour below. Arriving at the edge of the sea will undoubtedly be a rewarding experience, but it should be remembered that, during the return journey, the slanted streets leading back to town may present somewhat of a challenge.

Luckily, there are plenty of possibilities for rest along the way. For an extra nice break, step into one of the many bars or restaurants and be sure to sample the catch of the day.

Ribadesella

Nowhere else is there a landscape quite like the one you'll find in Ribadesella. This unique fishing village makes its home in the centre of an estuary shaped by the convergence of the Sella River and a small tributary called Arroyo de San Pedro. Here, the finest in Asturian nature can be seen and experienced all around. The nearby mountain range, Picos de Europa, keeps a watchful eye over the coastal zone. Also not far away, is the famous Cave of Tito Bustillo,known for the prehistoric painting covering its walls. Additionally, the world-class beaches here are a perfect place to soak up the sun.

Panorama of Ribadesella

A natural fortification, the Picos de Europa resemble an immense canvas on which Ribadesella has been painted as an expression of Asturias' profound splendor.

River in Ribadesella


If the beauty alone were not enough, there is also an incredible wealth of worthwhile sights to see around the town and surrounding area. Dinosaur footprints are scattered throughout the surrounding hills, a wide promenade has views overlooking the port, centuries-old historic houses proudly display their impressive style, and numerous cider bars and restaurants welcome you in to sample the local fare.

Llanes

Near the eastern end of the Asturian coast we find this little fishing village, bustling with tourist activity during summer months. Llanes is notable for the numerous historical monuments which date back to various time periods. A tour around the city will take you to a 13th century tower, the 15th century Palace of Gastañaga, and the small historical centre where remnants of the ancient walls can still be seen.

Despite its rich and varied past, a more modern feature of the village is perhaps its most emblematic: the multi-coloured blocks decorating the entrance to the port.

Llanes Port


A lovely addition to the cultural attractions of Llanes is undoubtedly its proximity to some of the best beaches of Asturias. The stunning beach of Cuevas de Mar is a landscape where the sea has sculpted a truly cinematic atmosphere. Found 100 metres inland, Playa de Gulpiyuria is a 40 metre wide beach formed at the mouth of a sinkhole connected by a series of underground tunnels to the Bay of Biscay and is a natural monument worth adding to the itinerary.

Luarca

The green coast's white village, or "villa blanca de la costa verde" as it is commonly referred to, is another captivating town along the Asturian coast. Well-deserving of a spot on this list, it's not easy to decide which feature is most alluring here. Of equal interest to travellers will be the historic old town, the period-style cafés, the impressive Indian-style houses in the Villar neighbourhood, and the panoramic views from atop the surrounding cliffs.

Luarca


An obligatory stop in Luarca is the chapel of Atalaya. Steeped in legend, locals say that on nights with a full moon, whispers of long passed lovers can be heard blowing in the sea breeze.

Climbing up the winding alleyways and sets of stairs leading beyond the pavement is an experience to be had. Locals here will no doubt be impressed and amused by the effort. It's highly recommended to walk the slanted streets all the way to the top to catch the sunset in the Bay of Biscay and enjoy the best views of this small Asturian town.

Luarca


Think you'd like to visit the villages on our list? The truth is, that in deciding which ones to discuss here, we weren't able to include some of the lesser known, but very authentic places. Because each of these amazing destinations are notable for their own unique charm, we recommend going to the Asturian coast to discover them for yourself.

If you're dreaming about a holiday along the Costa Verde, or any other area around Spain, and want some help with accommodations, be sure to check out our wide selection of holiday rentals.

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