Cuddling up to the Bay of Biscay in the middle of Spain’s northern coast is a region that locals claim is the last bastion of true Spanish culture. Its mountains tower watchfully over rugged coastlines that are punctuated by colourful fishing ports and hundreds of pristine beaches. In contrast to the parched plains of the south, the green land, mountain streams and ocean views he re are a tonic. Hiking trails wend their way to an altitude of 2,500 metres, passing through rich vegetation and forests inhabited by beguiling wildlife. This is the essence of Asturias: arguably Spain’s most diverse destination, with a characterful landscape that has remained unchanged across the centuries.
Rustic villages and pre-Romanesque architecture sit side-by-side with the contemporary culture that characterises the capital, Oviedo; and the meditative hush of the valleys is occasionally broken by the zealous clamour of local fiestas. Yet this region remains a secret hideaway in comparison to more touristy locations beside the Mediterranean. A trip to Spain’s coastal flipside will convince you there’s much more on offer than just sun and sand.