The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary for Asturias, Spain

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Yahnny Adolfo San Luis

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  • Spain

  • Adventure Travel

  • International Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Food

  • Outdoors

  • Off-the-beaten-path

Advisor - The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary for Asturias, Spain
Curator’s statement

Everything about Asturias made me fall in love with it. The locals are super nice, laid-back and salt-of-the-earth people. The area is rural and rugged – perfect for people who like to be active. The landscape in Asturias feels like you're not even in Spain. For the outdoor enthusiast, there’s plenty to do between trekking and whitewater rafting, plus, Asturias has some of the deepest ravines and caves in the world. If you love food, this is also the place to go.

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Where to stay

La Terraza de Picos

Few frills but a lot of heart at this comfy base for exploring the Picos de Europa National Park.

Palacio de Luces

Asturias’ only Relais & Châteaux property sits amid sprawling gardens, a short walk away from the (utterly charming) fishing village of Lastres.

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Day 1: Arrival in Asturias, Spain

The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary for Asturias, Spain - Day 1: Arrival in Asturias, Spain

Start your adventure by arriving at Santander Airport. Since it’s a travel day, I recommend taking it easy at the La Terraza de Picos hotel where you’ll have ample time to unpack, unwind and overcome jet lag. La Terraza de Picos is a charming hotel in the heart of Asturias. 

Serving as a gateway to the surrounding natural beauty, the hotel will put you within a short distance of the iconic Cueva De La Covaciella with its paleolithic paintings and the Ruta del Cares with its scenic hiking. Enjoy Asturian cuisine and local wine as you toast to your arrival in Spain.

A note from Yahnny

People think of Spain as being just Barcelona, but when you come to Asturias, it looks like you're in a jungle – hence it being called Green Spain. With its moss-covered rocks, Asturias feels like you're very out of touch with the rest of the world in a beautiful way. When I talk with people about visiting Asturias, they have no idea about the destination, but Spanish locals go there if they want to get away from everything that reminds them of the city.

Day 2: Canyoning along the Casaño River

The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary for Asturias, Spain - Day 2: Canyoning along the Casaño River

On day two, prepare to dive into adventure...literally. After a simple breakfast of toast and eggs, you’ll don a wetsuit in preparation for canyoning in the Casaño River. Take a short drive to the trailhead, where you’ll have the chance to stroll past lush greenery and enjoy natural “water slides.” 

After a busy morning spent canyoning along the Casaño River, it’ll be time for lunch. Following a hearty meal, take the afternoon to relax and nap before we rdinner at a local restaurant to try the world-famous Cabrales cheese and Asturian cider, as well as various selections of meats. After dinner, I highly recommend taking a short trek to enjoy a quiet sunset; I can help you plan the perfect spot to visit.

A note from Yahnny

At the local restaurant, enjoy the local Cabrales cheese and cider. The restaurant is very simple, and you’ll notice old-style wooden shoes and clogs hanging from the ceiling, a nod to Asturias’s Celtic roots, a history which many people don’t know about.

Day 3: Trekking to Hibeu Peak

The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary for Asturias, Spain - Day 3: Trekking to Hibeu Peak

Have you ever summited a mountain? Well, today is your day to experience trekking to the Hibeu summit. After breakfast at the hotel, begin a three to four-hour trek to Hibeau Peak, a mountain which stands at 1,640 feet overlooking the Bay of Biscay to the north and a vista of the Picos de Europa, a park which forms part of the Cantabrian Mountains in Northern Spain.

Once you’ve trekked to Hibeu Peak, you’ll be greeted with the rare sight of Egyptian griffons and red-winged wallcreepers flying overhead. Enjoy a relaxing lunch at the summit while basking in the enviable views and sounds of nesting griffons. After lunch, take a leisurely descent down the mountain, making sure to stop for plenty of photographs. After a day spent scaling mountains, the evening is a time to relax. Back at the hotel, I recommend taking it easy before enjoying a homemade Asturian meal. 

A note from Yahnny

Many people don't know what griffons look like; they resemble giant vultures, but they’re not. They're not scary, but beautiful, and they nest up there at Hibeau Peak. I think these birds are something people don't often see and, especially, that close. It's fascinating to see hundreds of them just flying adjacent to the summit.

Day 4: Kayaking down the Sella River

The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary for Asturias, Spain - Day 4: Kayaking down the Sella River

From scaling mountains to now kayaking, take the fourth day of your trip to jump back into wetsuits and head to the Sella River. The Sella River flows from Picos de Europa down to the Bay of Biscay and is best known for the International Descent of the Sella River, an annual canoe competition taking place each August. 

Expect to paddle along this scenic river for three to four hours, with a stop along the way to enjoy packed lunches. On our way back to the hotel, make a stop at the Cangas de Onis, a location which was chosen by Don Pelayo – the first monarch of the Asturian kingdom to establish the base for the Reconquest of Christian rule in Spain.

A note from Yahnny

The two best ways to explore the Sella River are by canoeing or whitewater kayaking. Personally, I think the whitewater kayaking is fantastic! I usually recommend kayaking over canoeing because you have more freedom to move about, and it’s more thrilling, especially if you haven't done whitewater kayaking before.

Day 5: Caving and Cabrales cheese

The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary for Asturias, Spain - Day 5: Caving and Cabrales cheese

Today, you’re going to be exploring two types of caves: prehistoric caves and cheese caves. Yes, you read that right. 

After breakfast at the hotel, head out for a morning of caving in the underworld of Asturias. Expect to marvel at limestone stalagmites and stalactites that have taken thousands of years to form. As you descend into this otherworldly realm, you may even spot prehistoric art, including human handprints.

After exploring some of the world’s oldest and best-preserved caves, you’ll head to an entirely different cave: a cheese cave where the same family has produced the world-famous Cabrales cheese for generations. Here, you’ll learn about the process of cheese-making and how the cheese is stored within a cave, using the humidity to grow mold. Expect a veritable feast of Asturian cuisine for dinner with a traditional meal of  “comida a la parrilla” (grilled food).

A note from Yahnny

Once you go deeper into the caves, you see stalagmites and stalactites that are about four to six stories high; they're fascinating. When you have your headlamp reflecting onto the cave’s walls, things start to glitter, and it looks like you're in a completely different world.

Day 6: Rafting and trekking Covadonga Lakes

The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary for Asturias, Spain - Day 6: Rafting and trekking Covadonga Lakes

After breakfast at the hotel, don your wetsuit once again for a day of whitewater rafting in the ravines of Picos de Europa. After the thrill of whitewater rafting, you’ll enjoy an easy climb to the awe-inspiring Lakes of Covadonga, where you can expect to see pristine glacial lakes and wildlife. For dinner, head back to the hotel, where you’ll have time to refresh and relax before our evening meal.

A note from Yahnny

Local whitewater rafting guides know how to make your experience just thrilling enough to spook you a bit, but also very fun.

Day 7: Trekking Funete Dé

The Perfect 7-Day Itinerary for Asturias, Spain - Day 7: Trekking Funete Dé

All good things must end, and the same is true for our time in Asturias. On our very last day, drive to Fuente Dé, where a cable car will be waiting to sweep us into the heart of Picos de Europa. From here, enjoy a three to four trek that will take you through the lush nature and spectacular ecosystems of this Northern Spain mountain range. After lunch, visit Potes, one of the most beautiful medieval villages in Spain.

Advisor - Yahnny Adolfo San Luis

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Yahnny Adolfo San Luis

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