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9 panoramic views to fall in love with Asturias

It’s easy to fall in love with Asturias. Every step along its varied terrain, with continuous contrasts from mountains to valleys, going up the mountain peaks or enjoying the view over the coast, leaves us speechless.

This little guide includes some of the best panoramic views in the wide variety of landscapes in Asturias. Get your binoculars and prepare your camera to not miss a single detail of what you’ll be able to see.

Divine views at Santa María del Naranco.

By the mountainside of Santa María del Naranco there is a church named the same with an intense past that goes as far as the Middle Ages. The combination of a Pre-Roman church and the landscape of Asturias create a unique combination.

Oviedo and its Pre-Roman spots are nearby and at quick glance you can see the mythical Monsacro, knows for the old relics and the history of the monarchy in Asturias, or the stunning mountain range in Aramo.

The flow takes us by the Sella River.

Here is where one of the most famous sport events in the world takes place: the International Descent of the river Sella. But the rest of the year, Sella gifts us unique panoramic views, already along the national roadway that passes next to the river.

The setting by the river is great, with people practising kayak or walking by the forest. Going to the Sella riverside means spending a great day with your family or friends, surrounded by nature, which invites to have both a relaxed day but also having great fun.

Villaviciosa estuary. A land of dreams.

The natural estuary created by Villaviciosa river gifts us stunning panoramic views. At this beautiful natural spot, with a high ecological value, elements from the sea and the river get together offering a shelter to aquatic birds on migration. The place is perfect to practice many sports, take a swim or a relaxed walk by the riverside.

A path to enjoy all the marine atmosphere, with the flutter of birds, the fish and the sight of boats floating in the sea, and the feeling of delicious smells and flavours from fresh fish cooked and served in restaurants and cider houses in the area.

In Sariego, views over the valley.

From the viewpoint of Perriellos you can enjoy the immense beauty of Sariego valley. If the day is clear, it’s possible even to see the mountain ranges at Sueve or Peñamayor and the greatness of the Cantabian mountain range.

At the recreational area of Perriellos you can have a great day, organizing a picnic after a long walk and with a beautiful landscape all around.

A gift for the senses at Teixadal Lagoons.

At different highs around the Rabo de Asno peak, there are the lagoons of high pastures of Teixedal. These are hidden spots where the bears live that give great surprises for the senses.

At the natural park of Fuentes del Narcea, Degaña and Ibias we will discover all the lively nature of Asturias, in lagoons between beech and oak forests, with a rich animal and vegetal life.

The most photographed: Enol lake.

Photographers and travellers from all over the world have captured on images the Covadonga lakes. Enol and Ercina lakes, have the greatest view, both on spring or winter – when the snow is on the peaks, reflected in the freezing water – or the thousand different tones on fall. Anytime on the year the lakes are great and ready to be portrayed. From the viewpoint of Reina you’ll get stunning views of the area.

La Regalina, a watchtower overlooking the west coast

The chapel and the granary of Regalina create a lovely setting. For its excellent location, from here you can enjoy the best views of the west coast in Asturias as the look takes you from Cadavedo beach, at your feet, passing by many beaches, cliffs and coves, and to the oceanic ocean.

This is, undoubtedly, a great location to see the sunset.

Panoramic Quirós

With a long mountaineer and climber tradition, Quirós is one of the main mountain spots in Asturias. For the lovers of nature there are many possibilities in the route to discover high mountain meadows and lagoons in Canchongo, around the area Bárzana. This is a route that people at any level can follow and you’ll be surprised by the panoramic views along the way.

The Eo’s estuary at bird’s viewpoint

High places like Castropol or Figueras offer a unique view with all the beauty of the Eo’s estuary, an area catalogued as a Biosphere reserve.

The most adventurous that go into the mountains - at the Louteiro area – receive their reward: seeing panoramic views over the valley, with the town of Vegadeo at the back, and a stretch of the river to its mouth, with a view over the horizon to the Puente de los Santos.

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You will find more proposals to discover Asturias's natural paradise in its tourism web site.

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A Natural Hike Through Asturias – From Reserve to Reserve

If there’s one striking thing about Asturias it is the beauty of its landscape – the power of nature here. Asturias is, above all, nature in its pure state, but imbued with a deep-rooted awareness of environmental conservation, making it emblematic and pioneering in its drive to preserve its natural surroundings. This is why a third of its surface area is protected by one or other legal conservation provision, making it a veritable nature paradise, as proclaimed by the slogan which has now been running for thirty years.

Asturias is one great open-air nature park, unique in the world. Not for nothing does it boast six Biosphere Reserves, as listed by UNESCO, making it one of the world’s privileged territories in terms of natural spaces. These are the spaces to be hiked and enjoyed in your leisure time.

The Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa, set in the Cordillera Cantábrica mountain range: this vast territory encompasses the areas of Amieva, Cangas de Onís, Onís, Cabrales, Peñamellera Alta and Peñamellera Baja. Its uniqueness, beauty and scenic, natural and geological interest led this territory to be declared the Picos de Europa National Park by King Alfonso XIII in 1918, while its western reaches once formed the first national park in Spain, that of Montaña de Covadonga. The Picos de Europa are the largest limestone formation on Europe’s Atlantic seaboard, featuring major karst processes – a type of relief set up by chemical meteorisation of certain rocks, notably limestone, dolomite and gypsum – chasms over 1,000 metres deep, pronounced glacial erosion and the presence of lakes. Here, chamois roam the crags, while the dense forest is home to roe deer, wolves and the occasional bear. The Park also boasts over a thousand bird species, prominent among which are the black woodpecker and capercaillie, with the griffon vulture and golden eagle as the major birds of prey. But, here you will find more than just nature, as centuries of history have been written in the villages, valleys and churches, in the mountain pass shelters and trails.

The Parque Natural de Somiedo is a distinct example of coexistence between man and nature, where the former has come to understand nature and preserve it virtually intact over the centuries. Noteworthy landmarks here are the beautiful lakes, the rugged landscape, with drops of up to 2,200 metres, and the karst formations. Significant, too, are the brañas, fertile pasturelands where you might just get a glimpse of the famous cabanas de teito – stone dwellings with thatched straw or broom roofs used by thevaqueiros or mountain cowherds and stock breeders as shelters.

The environmental wealth of the Parque Natural de Redes is attested by a host of different landscapes, from formations of glacial origin such as moraine and cirques to broad pasturelands, hills and lush forests. In effect, 40% of the surface area of Redes is wooded, although it is also graced by lofty peaks, notably Pico Torres, Retriñón, Peña del Viento and Tiatordos. However, the most striking feature of Redes is its stunning meadows hemmed in by mountain buttresses, its gorges and its forests, where beech and white oak prevail.

The Parque Natural de Las Ubiñas-La Mesa, situated in southern and central Asturias, harbours priceless natural and cultural wealth. It includes mountain relief with marked contrasts which, hard by the border with León, rises to the Peña Ubiña massif, the second highest mountain range in the region after the Picos de Europa, with altitudes of over 2,400 metres. The Park takes in the municipalities of Lena, Quirós and Teverga which form part of the Somiedo Regional Hunting Preserve.

The Reserva Natural Integral de Muniellos lies within the Parque Natural de las Fuentes del Narcea y del Ibias. Muniellos is a sparsely populated territory, with one of the lowest population densities in Asturias. Its three valleys of Muniellos, La Viliella and Valdebois boast Spain’s largest oak forest and one of the best preserved in Europe. Ever-changing, it epitomises the Asturian landscape throughout the seasons of the year – various species of oak, up to six metres in diameter, beech and birch forest, dotted with holly and yew trees, the evergreen kings of autumn in Muniellos. The ascent to its lakes is one of the most popular trails among hiking enthusiasts.

The Oscos-Eo District, where the river Eo is the great protagonist as landscape-builder and articulator of the territory. A land of beaches, cliffs, forests and enormous ethnographic wealth, a landscape which has suffered the consequences of centuries-long isolation but has nevertheless provided the bedrock for sustainability and rural tourism projects in which preservation of the local heritage is uppermost in their development.

Asturias, from Biosphere Reserve to Biosphere Reserve, is a great option for a relaxing getaway. You can also make the most of its boundless nature by participating in dozens of open-air activities: canoeing, horse-riding, mountain bike trails, caving, canyoning and trekking, just some of the ways of immersing yourself in this paradise.

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Text and images by Turismo Asturias


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5 deliciosos 5 delicious moments in Asturiasen Asturias

Copious meals at Picos de Europa

It’s not a secret that Picos de Europa is a great place to eat. Only in the area of Cabrales, over 40 types of cheese are prepared, being the region in Europe with a greater variety.

It was clear that, before we feast on great food, we needed to make some kind of effort, first. The most common route to follow in the area is at Cares, uphill at the beginning but nice and relaxed the rest of the way. Is almost like a baptism to trekking, much frequented on the weekends.

We opt to follow the route from Poncebos to Bulnes, an uphill and amusing where we meet mountain goats several times. Bulnes is a small village, the only place in Asturias that is not accessible by car. There are many houses here but most of them are bars, inns and restaurants where you can eat very well. We tried delicious fabes and other specialties from the province, like a pot of octopus and potatoes, the small chorizos with cider and the scorpion fish cake.

Trying the best fabada in the world (and a great cachopo)

By chance, right next to the hotel where we were staying in Villaviciosa there is Bedriñana cider bar, which was awarded in 2014 for the ‘best fabada in the world’. That is something very remarkable in Asturias!

The fabada, obviously, was delicious and, to top it off, as a second course we ordered a cachopo to share. Cachopo (or cachopu) is a very typical dish from Asturian cuisine, only suitable to resistant stomachs. It is made of two veal filets that can be filled with cheese, ham or other ingredients. Furthermore, wine plus a side dish of potatoes, pepper and mushrooms. The two of us couldn’t even finish the half of the dish.

Then is when we realised that you have to be very careful when you order a dish. If an Asturian waiter tells you that you’re not ordering enough, be prepared. A big feeding feast is awaiting you.

For the great seafood, go to Tazones

Close to Villaviciosa, Tazones has the essence of a fishermen town, with pretty cobblestone streets and low-lying houses with colourful balconies, and is the place to go to eat great seafood and fish. The choices and quality are immense, any of the restaurants in town is provided by local fisheries.

Delicious cocktails in Gijón

We took advantage of a quick visit to Gijón to try some cocktails at one of the most frequented places in town. Its name is Varsovia and can be located by San Lorenzo avenue, exactly at Cabrales, 18, in an iconic historical building with an interior of eclectic decoration and a great variety of furniture, from Chester sofas to old wooden furniture. The large windows provide the best views over Gijón beach.

The menu includes a great variety of cocktails, provided in an unbeatable atmosphere and with a great music selection to enjoy.

The cider: customs & practices

A different matter is cider, the Asturian drink by excellence, and how it must be served. Cider in Asturias usually costs no more than 3€ each bottle, with a dark green colour and usually purchased to be shared. It has low alcohol content so you can order many and still remain not too much drunk.

The technique to pour cider usually leads to funny moments, especially among beginners who waste more cider than what is served. It is necessary to pour the cider right in the border of the glass, to enhance the flavour and smell when it mixes with the oxygen from the glass. When the cider is served you should ask ¿quién bebe? (“who drinks?”) and the glass must be empty in one sip or two, not more. It can be considered impolite to keep the cider for too long in the glass, because it loses the properties.

If you are not good at pouring cider, you better ask the waiter to serve you a “culín” or “culete”. If you dare to pour it yourself, you should know that the stream should be as high as possible and break right at the border of the glass. You don’t want to shower the rest of the diners.

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New routes from London to Spain with Vueling

Gatwick Airport now has direct flights to Malaga (Costa del Sol, Andalusia), Seville (Andalusia), Granada (Andalusia), Almería (Andalusia), Cádiz (Jerez, Andalusia), Menorca (Balearic Islands), Oviedo (Asturias) and A Coruña (Galicia).

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