It has a climate and landscape that makes Asturias the kind of place you can spend the morning in snow-capped mountains, the afternoon in lush valleys and the evening on the beach. But the best thing about striking out into the province’s hinterlands is getting to meet the friendly locals, exploring little-known villages and experiencing the thrill of the wild.
Off the beaten track
New roads interconnect villages, coastlines and mountains while old footpaths range from well-trodden to barely touched, ideal for hikers in search of discovery. The Camm Real de la Mesa follows the old Roman road that linked Asturias with the neighbouring province of Castilla y Leon. Measuring just over 25 miles, it’s a great way of getting acquainted with the highs and lows of Asturias – it ploughs through the bulk of its hills and valleys. Alternatively, the Ruta delos Molinos del Rio Profundu is a round trip of roughly 10 miles and should take the moderate hiker approximately four and a half hours, during which you’ll see plenty of both watermills and waterfalls.
Cycle through mountain passes
In the warmer weather, the higher mountains open for mountain biking, so epic rides of up to eight hours are possible. The Tour of Spain passes through Asturias, but for less ambitious cyclists, difficult hilly sections are served well by local buses, taking care of any tougher stretches you may encounter. The course from Lagos de Covad onga to Soto de Can gas, passes scenic lakes and takes in craggy vistas. Come winter, the snow falls and the higher sections close so it’s time to take to t he coast to admire the beauty of the cliff faces and quiet shores. Cycle 30 miles between Llanes and San Vicente and you’ll ascend through eucalyptus forests towards the eye-catching coastline Asturias proudly flaunts.
Take to the waves
Surfing in Asturias can be enjoyed throughout the year as the Cantabrian Sea produces waves on a regular basis. In summer, water temperatures can reach 22°C, so surfers can ride the board for two to three hours without insulation. La Barra near Rodiles Beach is a popular location, but surfers in the know favour Tapia, Salinas, El Mongol and Playa Espana. The area’s status as a hotspot for watersports is endorsed by the annual International Surf Competition in Tapia de Casariego, held over Easter.