Asturias is a natural paradise, I would say supernatural, because it is difficult to find so much beauty per square kilometer. Today I am going to talk to you about my favorite towns in the Principality.
Asturias is the cradle of rural tourism in Spain, it has all the ingredients and advantages that a natural environment can offer you. But you also have one of the best coasts in all of Spain to throw in the towel and ride the waves. I will tell you in this post which are the most beautiful towns in Asturias to visit on your vacations, both fishing villages and inland towns.
You will find the Most Beautiful Villages to see in Asturias on this map.
There are five Asturian towns included in the list of “The most beautiful towns in Spain” : Bulnes, Cudillero, Torazo, Tazones and Lastres; five jewels that are worth knowing. But there more, as you will see a few lines below. Since 1990, the Princess of Asturias Foundation annually awards the “Exemplary Town of Asturias” award ; Since then, every year we have another opportunity to discover some of those hidden treasures that are hidden among its mountains, valleys and cliffs. I believe that this is one of the reasons why its towns, villages, larger and smaller, are so cared for and look so cute.
Most beautiful villages in Asturias
I think that you are also clear that Asturias is one of the most beautiful corners of our geography, with a large number of charming towns. It does not matter if we talk about seaside or mountain populations, they are all unique! Here is a list of ten Asturian jewels that you cannot miss:
Cudillero is different from any other fishing village you can imagine, so much so that it even has its own language: pixueto. Surely you have seen many photos of this town on social networks, hanging in houses of many and varied colors, which give shape to its well-known amphitheater.
It is a place to stroll and enjoy. You cannot miss the route of the viewpoints, the Plaza de la Marina (known as the amphitheater due to its shape), the lighthouse and the fishing port, without forgetting, of course, to taste some dish of the delicious Asturian gastronomy. Its entrance through El Pito is impressive, with the succession of Indian houses that there are, in addition to the Selgas Palace, a splendid 19th century complex known as the “Asturian Versailles”.
- Where is it: located on the west coast of Asturias, 25 kilometers from Avilés.
- What you cannot miss in Cudillero: route of the viewpoints, Cimadevilla is our favourite.
Cangas de Onis
“Cangas de Onís, history for your eyes, nature for your steps”, this is the slogan that this Council defends and that perfectly describes its rich historical past and the beauty of its surroundings. Located in the eastern interior of Asturias, it is marked by three geographical factors: the Picos de Europa, the Sella river and its proximity to the coast (25 km).
The mythical Roman Bridge —the Bridge for the Cangueses—, with its hanging Victoria Cross, is one of the most photographed monuments in Asturias. This construction is the symbol of the beginning of the Kingdom of Asturias —thanks to the famous battle of Covadonga in which Pelayo won—, of which this town was the capital at the beginning.
- Where is it: eastern Asturian interior, 25 kilometers from Ribadesella.
- What you cannot miss in Cangas de Onís: the bridge and the church of Santa Cruz.
If you are going to take a tour of the best beaches in Asturias, you will surely pass through here to get to Toranda and Torimbia, two of my favorites. It is worth starting your route with a little more time to make a stop here. We were so surprised when we met it that we decided to include it in this list of the 10 most beautiful towns in Asturias.
In Niembru the estuary is the great protagonist. Her church looks great when it is surrounded by water and also when the tide is out and you can walk around it. It seemed to me a place with a special magic. Here the Cantabrian Sea and the Camino de Santiago converge. I have written down in my travel book to come back here to see a sunset.
- Where is it: 33595 Llanes, Asturias.
- What you cannot miss in: its cemetery at the foot of the estuary.
Another postcard fishing village. I advise you to start your visit at the top; that you go up to the viewpoint and calmly savor the views. Next to it is the church. Look at the park right next door; there the sailors met in “concellu abiertu” to decide when the “coastal” began: fishing for bonito, chicharru…
The houses and streets of Llastres are built on terraces, facing east. This is the reason why its relief is so beautiful from above, and also from below. In the 16th century it had a great commercial splendor that continued in the 19th century with the construction of a hospital for pilgrims, a luminary and various charitable foundations. It is a very touristy town with a good range of bars and restaurants.
- Where it is: Barrio la Atalaya, 1, 33330 Lastres, Asturias.
- What you can’t miss: San Roque and Atalaya viewpoints, and the clock.
Somao is a theme park of Indian architecture. It was recognized as an exemplary town in 2020, highlighting its “commitment to uniting tradition and modernity”. It is close to Pravia and the Monte Agudo viewpoint from which you can see the entire Nalón river basin.
This is not the typical town with a large central street where all the monuments around it are concentrated. In Somao the points of interest are scattered. I advise you to park in the square where the schools are, and then take the Indian route : you will find several signs in the surroundings.
- Where it is: AS-352, 33139 Pravia, Asturias.
- What you cannot miss in Somao: El Marciel (Palacio de Solís), Panteón de la Casona, Casa de la Torre and Casa de las Columnas.
Ribadesella has it all: it is a council of sea and mountains, it smells of Cantabrian Sea and Picos de Europa, and also of fresh water from the Sella river. Its urban charm can be seen from the top of the Ermita de Guía. The view is lost along the Paseo de la Grúa, the historic route of the port, the Paseo Princesa Letizia and the Paseo de los Vencedores del Sella. Although your eyes will be fixed on the immense beach of Santa Marina, and on the promenade that covers it, full of 20th century Indian constructions.
Here is also the prehistoric Cueva de Tito Bustillo, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for the importance of the paintings, engravings and other manifestations of rock art.
- Where is it: located on the eastern coast of Asturias, halfway between Llanes and Gijón and very close to Cangas de Onís.
- What you cannot miss in Ribadesella: Promenade and Tito Bustillo Cave.
Bowls taste like the sea. It is another one of those towns that is not lacking in a roadtrip along the Asturian coast. You will immediately verify that you are not the only person who pointed it out on his route. It is always very crowded. For this reason you have a dissuasive parking, so you can make your visit on foot. Bars and restaurants will not be missing here.
Tazones is famous because it was here that a young prince first landed in Spain—at first he was mistaken for a pirate—who would later become Charles I of Spain and V of Germany. The emperor had not included this town in his tour, but he had to disembark in this town forced by the bad conditions of the sea. The place had no rooms for the King and his entourage who had to go to Villaviciosa to stay. The Festival of the Landing of Carlos V is celebrated in the second fortnight of August.
- Where is it: between Ribadesella and Gijón.
- What you cannot miss in Tazones : the port area.
Luarca is a peaceful fishing village that was an important fishing port since the Middle Ages, and that preserves many vestiges of that glorious past: old neighborhoods, remains of a fortress, the Seafarers and Navigators Table, bridges with legends and palaces and emblazoned houses.. In addition, it saw the birth of the Spanish Nobel Prize in Medicine, Severo Ochoa.
According to a very popular and deep-rooted saying, Luarca is the white town of the green coast, and the first thing that will catch your attention is that color is predominant in its profile. The town of Luarca is the only one in all of Asturias flanked by two viewpoints and two chapels: the white one, to the east, and the San Roque one to the west, and the one with the most beautiful cemetery in all of the Bay of Biscay, with permission from Avilés.
- Where is it: located on the west coast of Asturias, about 30 kilometers from Cudillero
- What you cannot miss in Luarca: the Mesa de Mareantes cemetery and the Forest-Garden of La Fonte Baxa
Salas is said to be the Gateway to the West and one of the best preserved medieval towns in Asturias. It offers the visitor a rich historical heritage, which is why it was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1994. In Salas you have to take a walk around Malleza —Little Havana— and Mallecina, and visit the Collegiate Church of Santa María la Mayor and the Cistercian Monastery of San Salvador. The Indian families amassed fortunes doing the Americas and built luxurious mansions with large gardens that you can see today.
In Salas, the famous sweets known as “Teacher’s Carajitos”, their afuega’l pitu cheeses and their products from the garden are highly coveted. I ate the best bean stew I’ve ever tasted here, at the Castillo Valdés Salas restaurant.
- Where is it: central Asturias, about 30 minutes by car from Oviedo.
- What you cannot miss in Salas: Malleza and Palacio de Valdés Salas.
Bulnes is one of the tourist jewels of the Picos de Europa. It is located in the council of Cabrales, in the heart of the central massif of the Picos de Europa and, despite being a small village, it is divided into two areas: Bulnes de Arriba or Barrio del Castillo and Bulnes de Abajo or La Villa.
Bulnes is the only Asturian town that does not have a road, so it is surely one of the most remote villages in Spain. To access it you have two options: on the funicular that leaves the town of Poncebos or on foot, following the Canal del Texu route. We went up in the funicular and down doing the route. I encourage you to do one of the two routes on foot; the views are just as spectacular as on the famous Cares route.
- Where is it: central massif of the Picos de Europa.
- What you cannot miss in Bulnes: walk to see their houses, go to the Urriellu viewpoint if the day is clear.
Other 5 beautiful towns in Asturias that you should know
Have you been wanting more? I do. And also so that there are no arguments: I have included another five more in the list of the 10 most beautiful towns in Asturias. I’m sure you can still tell me some more. Note:
- Torazo. This beautiful town in the mountains of Asturias —about 50 kilometers from Oviedo and halfway between Gijón and Cangas de Onís— stands out for its rural architecture, you cannot miss its hórreos. Torazo is part of “The Most Beautiful Towns in Spain” and in 2008 it was awarded the “Exemplary Town of Asturias” award.
- Olloniego. Located a few kilometers from Oviedo, and near Mieres. The town itself is not pretty. Its great value is the historical complex —formed by two chapels, an old bridge, the Torre de Muñiz and the Palacio de los Quirós— declared a Site of Cultural Interest of medieval origin located next to the Nalón River.
- Sotres. What surprised me the most about this place is how well cared for it is and the great hotel infrastructure it has. Many people who come to Picos stay here. The views you have of the mountains from the top of Sotres are like something out of a movie.
- Luanco. The capital of the municipality of Gozón stands out for the image of its port, which in the past was a whaling port. This fishing village is close to the magnificent complex of Cabo de Peñas. You cannot miss its promenade and the Clock Tower.
- Puerto de Vega. In its surroundings there are a good number of mansions and Indian Palaces. The photo you are going to take of the fleet moored in the port is one of the best of your Asturian vacations. In Puerto de Vega, one of the most illustrious sons of the Principality, Jovellanos, passed away. A good idea is to enter the “Historias del mar” Interpretation Center.