The Natural Attractions of Asturias and Cantabria 21


When most people think about taking a vacation in Spain, then the first thing to come to their mind will be the beaches of the islands and the south coast, but the truth is that the north coast has just as much to offer visitors. Asturias and Cantabria are two of the most popular areas of this part of Spain, and it is hard not to fall in love with the wonderful scenery and the great welcome on offer here. Here are a few suggestions on what to do to explore the stunning natural surroundings during your time in Asturias and Cantabria.

Photo via FLIKR by Jose Luis Cernadas Iglesias

The Beautiful Northern Coastline of Spain

While not having the hot climate of the Spanish Islands and parts of the South Coast, Asturias and Cantabria’s coast is a wonderful place to explore, with the vibrant cities interspersed with charming fishing villages and nice beaches.
The Playa del Silencio is one of the most dramatic parts of the coastline, with the sand squeezed between lovely blue waters and high cliffs covered in lush greenery making for a lovely natural spot to relax.
For a taste of traditional life in this part of Spain, villages such as San Vicente de la Barquera are dotted along the coast, and are great for enjoying the local cuisine.

The Picos de Europa National Park

While the coast certainly is one attractive part of this region, there is no doubt that the region as a whole is significantly influenced by the imposing mountain range called the Picos de Europa.
This is a great area for those who love the outdoors, with climbing and hiking opportunities in abundance in this mountainous region. However, for those who love caving then this is a real destination, with some of the world’s deepest caves to be found here in these mountains, and some wonderful underground sights to enjoy here.

Traveling To Asturias And Cantabria

The region has good transport links, with the cities of Santander and Oviedo both having airports with regular links to several countries across Europe. However, if you are traveling from the UK and would rather a more relaxed journey, then taking the ferry to Spain from Portsmouth or Plymouth to Santander or Bilbao in Northern Spain is a great way to get across, and if you are planning to take a driving holiday then you can take the car with you. It’s worth visiting Brittany Ferries as they offer holidays to Spain with ferry travel and accommodation including cases, hotels and apartments.

The Spanish train network is also quite good, and very affordable, so trains traveling to Barcelona and Madrid are easy to locate.

Other Attractions To Enjoy In The Region

If you are a foodie then you’ll love Asturias and Cantabria which have some great dishes to try. The seafood in these areas are excellent while the Cocido Montanes (Mountain Stew) is a hearty and warming dish worth trying. The natural beauty here is great, but it is an area that also has a long history, with some of the first signs of human inhabitation in Europe found in the area.
The Altamira caves are a short drive from Santander, and are worth visiting to see the cave paintings, some of which are believed to be over 35,000 years old.
There is certainly no doubt that Asturias and Cantabria have plenty to do for visitors.


About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.


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