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Finally, We Visit Llanes

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During our three months in Asturias, we’ve seen a lot of wonderful towns. Just check out our Day Trips Map! But none of them have impressed us as much as Llanes, an absolutely gorgeous city in the east of the Principality. A perfect melding of tradition and modernity, Llanes is full of beautifully restored buildings, and boasts an expansive ancient center separated from the day-to-day village life by medieval walls.

Llanes Cubes

Walking around the streets of Llanes was a treat; practically every building screamed for attention, and each narrow alley seemed to be showing off. Even the town’s tourist office is a highlight, inside a small circular tower along the old city wall. The people we encountered were friendly, and despite the rainy weather, everyone was in good spirits, tourists and locals alike.

And there were a lot of tourists. Llanes is a popular vacation destination and in the summer, the population quintuples up to 20,000. Tourists (mostly Spanish) choose Llanes for its beaches, the plentiful surrounding sights, the proximity of the Picos de Europa and of course the beauty and excellent reputation of the town itself.

We spent a long time admiring ancient palaces like the 14th century Palacio de Gastañaga, and modern structures such as the Casino de los Indiano, which is today the city hall. Perhaps most impressive was the San Pedro Walk, a long and entirely green park which stretches endlessly along the coast, offering tremendous views of both the ocean and the town.

This was one of the last excursions from Oviedo which we embarked on. We shouldn’t have waited so long.

Location of Llanes on our Day Trips Map

Igleasia en Llanes
llanes Puerta
Llanes Iglesia
Melted Architecture
Llanes Asturias
Llanes Bush
Llanes Flores
Llanes Oldtown
Llanes Alley
Llanes Architecture
Llanes Construction
Llanes Bebe
Casino Llanes
Tourist Office Llanes
Llanes Faro
Llanes Pop Art
Fishing Net
Redes Llanes
Splash Boat
Boats Llanes
Llanes Beach
Llanes Playa
Walking Llanes
San Pedro Llanes
Sexy Curves
Cliffs Llanes
Llanes Rain
Llanisco
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October 19, 2010 at 7:16 pm Comments (0)

Driving around the Cabo Peñas

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Hotels in Luanco

Jutting out into the Cantabrian sea, Cabo Peñas (the Cape of Rocks) is the most northern point in Asturias and an area of incredible natural beauty. We spent the day driving around the coast, from Luanco to the Lighthouse of San Juan de Nieva.

Asturien

Cabo Peñas is a short drive from Oviedo. The seaside village of Luanco on the eastern side of the cape is the district’s largest town and a great place to prepare excursions; the tourist office was really friendly, and helped us plan a great itinerary for the day. There’s a lot to see in Luanco, including the beach, an odd clock tower, and the gorgeous Iglesia de Santa María, which has been declared an artistic historic monument. Luanco is famous for an annual Beach Tennis Tournament, which draws the most famous stars in the country.

Heading northwest from Luanco along the coast, our first stop was at the beach and mines of Llumeres. The iron mines have long been abandoned, but the sand, water and stones on the beach are forever tainted with a bright red hue. The fear of contamination doesn’t deter all Asturians; about 4 fishermen had their lines in the unnaturally colored water.

Next, we drove up to the lighthouse of Cabo Peñas, which has been guarding the coast since 1852. The first floor of the lighthouse has been converted into a Maritime Museum, which costs just a euro and introduces visitors to life on the Cantabrian sea. The museum is okay, but the real highlight is walking along the cliffs, behind the lighthouse. We were there on a windy, rainy day, which lent dramatic weight to the landscape.

After our cliff-side stroll, we were starving, and so headed out in search of food. Not the easiest prospect on an off-season Tuesday, but we found an excellent meal at Bar Linares on the expansive Playa de Xagó. €8 for a huge plate of beans with ham, fried hake, bread, wine and arroz con leche for dessert. Three years in Spain, and I still can’t get over the value of lunchtime menus. This restaurant was great; though it doesn’t look like much, both the food and the proximity to the beach were excellent.

The final stop on our journey was the Lighthouse of San Juan de Nieva, on the easternmost tip of the cape. Huge barges passed close by, into the port of Avilés. By now the rain had picked up and we were getting soaked, but this was another impressive sight.

There was a lot more to Cabo Peñas which we didn’t get a chance to explore, but it was a full day and we were exhausted by the time we got back home. If you’ve got an extra time during your stay in Asturias, definitely consider it for an excellent day trip.

Cabo Peñas on our Asturias Day Trip Map

Luanco
Iglesia del Santa Maria
Spanish Flirt
Rain in Spain
Rain Twig
Rain Scream
Sidra Table
Bar La Rula
Blue Boat
Porto Luanco
Water Beast
Surfing Asturias
Iron Mine
red Rain
Red Wave
Playa Asturias
Fog Horn
Lighthouse Cabo Peñas
Spanish Pussy
rain cloud
Cabo Peñas
Costa Verde
Atlantic
Asturias
Barca
Steam Boat
Black and White Beach
Waves Asturias

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October 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm Comments (2)

Plaza del Paraguas – The Umbrella Plaza

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Our first two months in Asturias were marked by incredibly sunny weather. People kept warning us that this wasn’t normal, and to prepare ourselves for rain in October.

They were right. The entire month of October was grey and rainy. One particularly miserable Saturday night, we got caught in a downpour on our way home from the bars. The streets were full of young party people, and all of them were wielding umbrellas. I found that amusing; it would never occur to me to bring my umbrella clubbing, but such precaution is second-nature to Asturians.

Rain is a part of life here, and the Plaza del Paraguas is a cute wink to Oviedo’s dreary weather. Found at the end of Calle San Isidro, the “Umbrella Plaza” is popular with the city’s youth as an evening hang-out spot. It was developed in the 1920s as a milk market, and the large concrete umbrella in the center provided cover for the milk ladies.

Location on our Oviedo Map

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October 11, 2010 at 3:21 pm Comments (0)
Finally, We Visit Llanes During our three months in Asturias, we've seen a lot of wonderful towns. Just check out our Day Trips Map! But none of them have impressed us as much as Llanes, an absolutely gorgeous city in the east of the Principality. A perfect melding of tradition and modernity, Llanes is full of beautifully restored buildings, and boasts an expansive ancient center separated from the day-to-day village life by medieval walls.
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