I often wonder why the regions of Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria along the north coast of Spain are not visited more.
We recently travelled through this area which we love for it’s astounding green countryside, surrounded by nature and with so many amazing places to see and visit
One of the places we booked for a couple of days while in the province of Asturias, was La Boriza, in the quiet location of Andrin, near Llanes, and with a beach only 450 yards away. The region of Asturias is the home of silent valleys where bears and wolves still roam and was a nation and kingdom, seven centuries before Isabella and Fernando invented Spain. It formed the cradle of the reconquista, by which the rest of the peninsula was eventually won back from the Moors. The Moors did not find mountainous territory easy to conquer, and so the lands along Spain’s northern coast never fully became part of Islamic Spain
La Boriza is family owned and the hotel with its 11 bedrooms, is a typical Asturian building of wood and ceramic with ample free parking space outside the hotel.
Inside are lounges and a bar. The main staircase is in front of you as you enter into the reception area. A 24-hour front desk is available and other amenities include an arcade/game room, and library as well as tour/ticket assistance if required. Please note there is no lift.
We were made to feel very welcome from when we first arrived and help was offered to take our cases to the first floor where our room was located. The room was great (no.14) which opened out on to an enclosed balcony furnished with 2 chairs and a table. Immaculately clean, the place was stylishly and tastefully decorated.
The bathroom was a good size. Room amenities included free WiFi, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and free newspapers. Safes, hair dryers and ironing boards were also available. The only thing I miss is tea-making facilities in rooms when I am away, although we were given some hot water, cups and fresh milk for some ‘tea bags’ I was carrying!
After unpacking, we enjoyed sitting out on the verandah, drinking our tea and looking out at the mountains opposite.
We had a comfortable, quiet night before enjoying a really good breakfast the next morning. Fresh orange juice, coffee, cereal, lovely, thick sliced toast as well as an assortment of other breads. There was fresh, home made cake, croissants as well as, hams/cheese. We then enjoyed a speciality treat of 4 figs/nuts in a coating of delicious chocolate.
(There is a separate charge for breakfast – but worth it).
Our hostess at breakfast was delightful, and we were able to have an enjoyable conversion in Spanish, translated to English by my other half!
After breakfast we set out in our hired car to look around the area. Llanes is nearby if you fancy looking around, but we prefer the countryside and sea. The local area is famous for natural sights like the Blowholes of Vidiago and Cue, the Pindal and Tito Bustillo Caves. We visited Bufones de Arenillas (blowhole) – a National Monument not far from where we stayed.
This is certainly worth a visit. You encounter a great chasm in the rocks by the sea where the sea thunders through, and on occasions, gushes with great power out from the rock/hole like a geyser. Goats graze nearby and you see many hikers as well as all those walkers doing the Pilgrim Route to Santiago de Compostello.
Our other visits, while in the area, included San Vicente de la Barquera and the El Pindal Cave.
The El Pindal Cave was unfortunately not open when we got down there, but it was interesting to see from the outside. We had to walk through a forest with its outcrops of limestone until we reached a spiral staircase leading down to a flat area in front of the cave. It was a ‘tight’ descent but safety railings are in place.
We did manage to get a glimpse inside the 300 metre cave and took a few photos. Inside are supposed to be beautiful examples of Palaeolithic art. The age of the cave is about 13,000 and 18,000 years and the paintings were discovered in 1908, located on the right walls as you enter.
Just make sure if you visit, it’s not a Monday or Tuesday when it’s closed. Wednesday visits are apparently, free.
The Asturian coastline is extensive, with its hundreds of beaches, coves and natural sea caves. If you favour a nudist beach, you will find one at Playa de Torimbia which has been popular since the 1960s.
We didn’t visit, but you can get to this crescent shaped beach near to Barros, approaching through the village of Niembre and descending about 1 kilometre to the soft, golden sand. Clothing is said to be optional with about 50% being naturist.
Dramatic landscapes, superb beaches and excellent food is all on offer and La Boriza is an ideal place to stay while you get acquainted with this part of Asturius.
As for us, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and left to visit, yet another great hotel, surrounded by even more places of natural beauty.