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Hiking the Ruta Naviega

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Looking for a hotel in Navia?

A popular hiking trail connects Barayo Beach to the town of Navia, about twenty kilometers away. Especially for fans of cliffs, seaside villages and hidden beaches, it’s a long walk through paradise.

Wandern Asturias

The Ruta Naviega is a well-marked trail, with yellow and white stripes leading the way. We began at the river Barayo, a small stream which eventually ends at a beach of the same name, popular with nudists. From here, it was a five-hour hike westward along the coast. We encountered very few people, and aside from some horses, cows, spiders and a snake, saw little wildlife. The cliffs were our only companions, and it was as solitary as I’ve ever felt in Spain.

After a couple hours of walking, we took a short break in Puerto de Vega, a charming fishing village. The port is the center of activity, with fishermen were working on their nets and retired men playing cards at the nearby bar. The only women we saw were modestly dressed matrons, leaning out the windows of their apartments to carry on shouted conversations with one another. It was as though we had been transported back in time a few generations.

Near the trail’s end in Navia, we found a long staircase carved into the cliff, leading to a beach called the Playa del Moro. We had been hiking all day, and the steps were steep and long enough to nearly deter us. But, reasoning (correctly) that we’d never have another chance, we dutifully sucked it up and went down. I’m glad we did. With a deep cave and powerful waves splashing upon the rocks, it was a neat discovery.

In Navia, we didn’t do anything except collapse into the first bar we found. It looked like a neat town and probably merited exploration, but that was something we just didn’t have the energy for.

Hiking in Spain

Nature Bridge
Bosque Asturias
Fauna Asturias
Asturian Spider
Playa Barayo
Bahia Asturias
Playa Asturias
Lonely Beach
Asturian Rain
Dramatic Asturias
Coast Asturias
Cliffs Asturias
Isla Asturia
Atlantic Hike Asturias
Vega Harbor
Lonja Pescado Vega
Fisherman Asturias
Whale Asturias
Iglesia Asturias Vega
Vega Church
Rock Fishing
Wild Asturias
Whicker Coast
Nature Boy
Nature Mike
Fishing Vega
Hiking Asturias
Hiking Asturias Path
Isla Soiranna
Playa Freijulfe
Missing Big Waves
Surfin Studs
Pirate Bay
Schoener Strand
Moros Playa
Moros Playa Navia
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August 27, 2010 at 5:57 pm Comments (2)

Day Trip to Cudillero

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Asturianu is the indigenous language of Asturias, though there aren’t many people who speak it anymore. And Pixuetu is a dialect of Asturianu spoken only in Cudillero, a tiny village on the Cantabrian coast, distinuished by its use of Nordic words. Its no wonder that parents around the world are in a rush to teach their children Pixueto, since it’s totally going to be the next Chinese.

Cudillero Viaje

After visiting Cudillero, which was originally settled by Vikings, I understand how the village was able to develop and maintain its own dialect. Squished into a narrow valley that empties into the sea, Cudillero is difficult to reach today; centuries ago, it must have been almost completely isolated. The town has always been closely tied to fishing and, in fact, the name of their dialect is a combination of the words “fish” (pix-) and “activity” (-uetus).

I don’t think we heard any Pixuetu during our visit, but we did hear a lot of Spanish. Cudillero has become a true tourist town. We were overwhelmed by the amount of traffic and tourists, but at least they were all Spaniards; the town hasn’t yet been discovered by foreigners. Luckily, the noise and bustle didn’t detract much from the experience.

There’s one important road in Cudillero, running from the train station high up in the hills outside the city, down to the sea. The central plaza is the main area of activity, bordering the port and boasting views of the houses which cling uncertainly to the mountainsides. Away from the tourist filled plaza, we had a blast exploring the back alleys of Cudillero. There are no “streets”, really, just stairs carved into the cliffs connecting one house to the next.

As it has been since the town’s foundation, the port continues to be the nexus of commerce for Cudillero. Unless it’s between the sleepy siesta hours of two and five, hordes of fishermen are always hard at work down by the docks, and walking down towards them is rewarded with the seaside view of Cudillero. The town spills from the mountain valley into the water, like an unmoving river of people and houses.

FEVE operates a train which arrives in Cudillero after a stop in Pravia. We really can recommend a day there.

Location on our Asturias Map

Layers of Mist
Clay Town
Calle Cudillero
Blach and White Cudillero
Bakery Cudillero
Eburido
Town Gossip
Cudillero Church
Lonja Pescado Cudillero
Cudiller Spain
All You Can Eat Fish
Fisher Nets
Catching Lobster
Fish Skin
Cudillero Day Trip
Cudillero Faro
Cudillero Harbor
Magic Rock
Fishing Cudillero
Hanging Out in Cudillero
Don't Walk Too Fast
Cudillero Rocks
Lost
Tourist Trap
Cudillero Roof
Bird Punk
Plaza Majo Cudillero
Harbor Yacht Cudilloro
Lighthouse Cudillero
Mirador Cudillero
Leuchtturm Cudillero

Explore Asturias by Car

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August 19, 2010 at 2:37 pm Comments (10)

Day Trip to Gijón

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Everything I’d read about Gijón, the largest city in Asturias, described it as “industrial” or “working-class”, so we arrived fearing that it’d be boring. But we needn’t have worried: Gijón is beautiful, full of students, lively bars and charming plazas. We spent the day walking around the old town center, the Cimavilla, admiriing monuments, plazas and incredible old buildings. The weather was great and the streets were full with young people sitting on whatever piece of stone was available.

Playa San Lorenzo

In the middle of the city is the beach of San Lorenzo, which stretches along the coast for over a kilometer. Though a lot of people were swimming, I wasn’t about to join in after experiencing the ice cold water at the Playa del Silencio. We also walked around the docks on the other side of Cimavilla and grabbed a bottle of cider in one of the city’s many sidrerías.

Gijón is much bigger than Oviedo, and the few hours we spent there during our first visit weren’t nearly enough to conduct a thorough exploration of its streets. No bother. It’s just 30 minutes by train from Oviedo, and we returned often. This is the kind of city which needs to be discovered slowly. On subsequent visits, we discovered the Park of Santa Catalina, a beautiful green area at the top of the city with a famous sculpture called “Elogio del Horizonte”, and the Termas Romanas, Thermal Baths built in the 1st Century by the Romans.

Location on our Asturias Map

Lady Stoner
Kiosk People
Fontan Out of Control
Calle Leon Gijon
Passaje Gijon
Pharmacia Gijon
Bar Carmen Gijon
Jesus on a Roof
Christus Gijon
Architecture Gijon
shadow beach
Snow on the beach
Beach Summer Gijon
Beach San Lorenzo
Abstract Beach
Castle on the beach
Asturian Mansion
Asturian Curtains
Beach Cross
Gijon Cathedral
Cathedral Gijon
Sailing Club Gijon
Plaza Gijon
Urban Art Gijon
Where did the Sidra Go
Sidra Gijon
Tostas Gijon
Sunny Alley Gijon
Snow in Gijon
Sailing in Gijon
Bubble Balls Gijon
Nordeste Gijon
Making out in Gijon
Boat in Wall Gijon
Sunning Gijon
Cute Bar Gijon
Gijon Face
Fury Coat Spain
Holy Sailor
Gijon For Lovers
Casa Fernando Gijon
Palace Gijon
villa hill gijon
Hungry for Pigeon
Souvenirs Gijon
Sac Player Asturias

Visit the Alhambra in Granada

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August 15, 2010 at 3:12 pm Comments (13)
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