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A Short Trip Guide to Asturias: Spain’s Northern Paradise


Luarca stands on the coast of Asturias as an adorable, little fishing town, with the most picturesque port that we so often associate with a European postcard. Leaving the mountains behind, I arrived here taking a bus from Oviedo and yet again, the contrast of the landscape took me by a pleasant surprise.

Tada!! Well, didn’t I just say so?
Just look at that refreshingly blue water and those colourful boats lined in perfect harmony.
It was the best afternoon stroll I’ve ever had

If you are just in the town for a few hours like I was, I would recommend just strolling along the port and eating in one of the many restaurants lining the area. You could also stroll along the nearby beaches of Playa de la Mar Chica and Playa de Luarca,

Playa de la Mar Chica
The Nautical Club of Luarca
A mural along the port, dedicated to the harpooneers of Luarca.

But if you are here for more than 6 hours, then here are a few more places that you can cover:

  1. The neighbourhood of El Cambaral
    • Mesa de Mareantes y Navegantes
    • The cemetery (El cemeterio)
    • The Hermitage of la Blanca (La Ermita de la Blanca)
  2. The Hermitage of San Roque (La Ermita de San Roque)
  3. The gardens of Fonte Baixa (Los Jardines de Fonte Baixa)

The neighbourhood of El Cambaral

This is the historic, old neighbourhood of Luarca where the town was first founded as a fishing village. It has long, winding streets with old buildings that ascend up to a small hill, from where you can get views of the old town and the sea.

As you get up the hill, you will come across an old table known as the ‘Mesa de Marenates y Navegantes‘, and across the street are murals that recreate the history of Luarca and its various sailors as the main characters.

Mesa de Maretantes y Navegantes
Source: Tourism of Asturias

As you continue up the street, you will come across the whitewashed cemetery of Luarca lying atop a cliff with stunning views of the sea. Please be respectful due to the nature of the site and be discreet whilst taking photos. The opening hours are 9am- 7pm during summer and 9am- 6pm during winter.

The cemetery of Luarca.
Source: Vuela Viajes

And if that sounds too morbid to enjoy, you can always just continue up to Hermitage of La Blanca which is another place to enjoy beautiful sea views on either side.

Hermitage of La Blanca.
Source: Turism of Asturias

Obviously, this is all free to visit.

The Hermitage of San Roque

Head here for the best panoramic views of Luarca. For this, you will need to come down El Cambaral and climb up the neighbourhood of La Pescadería. Once you have reached the top, you will quickly realise why this place has the fame that it does. The hermitage itself is quite simple, so you could probably skip it.

Hermitage of San Roque, with the views it offers.
Source: Tourism of Asturias

Free to visit.

Gardens of Fonte Baixa (Los Jardines de Fonte Baixa)

This is the largest private botanical garden in Europe, with different species of plants- many of which are not found outside of Luarca. Also a great place to find artefacts and antiques from the bygone era, they are interspersed all over in this sanctuary.

Spread over 15 hectares and containing over 17 kms of walking routes, this garden has about 570 varieties of plants.
Source: The Wanderings Blog

Important information to know:
Price– EUR 3 per person
Timings– 10.30am- 7.30pm
Guided tours– 12pm and 6pm
Reserve at least 3 hours in your schedule to fully enjoy these gardens.
José Manual Alba has been one of the masterminds behind these gardens and can be reached on 615148630.

So what do you think? Are you ready to pack your bags to visit Spain’s northern paradise?

Cover image: Lago Ercina

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