Asturias, Spain: Iberia’s best-kept secret

Why go there?

The Asturias region is Spain’s best kept secret. Find it by driving west from the ferry ports along the dramatic north coast road. Warm but not roasting, at this time of year there are dozens of quiet beaches and unspoilt fishing villages backed by rolling green hills and soaring mountains where bears, wolves and eagles (but few tourists) roam.

What to do

Enjoy exploring this largely undiscovered region, from tackling outdoor adventures in the famed Picos de Europa National Park to investigating seafood tapas bars along the beaches. In Oviedo’s narrow streets, potter around churches, monasteries and museums. And everywhere you’ll find distinctive rustic food… usually washed down with local cider.

Asturias, Spain

Where to stay and eat

The 18th-century home of a church organist, Casa del Organista is now the prettiest hotel in what is often called Spain’s ‘prettiest village’, Santillana del Mar. The rustic Palacio Mijares restaurant in an old stone farmhouse just outside the village serves fine local seafood.

How to get there

Head west from the ferry ports. This spectacular coast road is quiet in spring. Stop for snacks at coastal towns, such as Llanes, with its beaches and harbours, or San Vicente de la Barquera, on its impressive natural inlet. Turn inland onto winding roads for even wilder mountain scenery.

The route