Asturias HELP!!!!!!!

May 5th, 2008, 09:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2008
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Asturias HELP!!!!!!!

We are a large family of 11 (spouses included) and will be traveling to Asturias coming from SW France in September. Problem is that we only have 3 days to spend in either the Asturias or Cantabrian region and cannot decide which town to stay in. We are primarily going to this area as per our mother's request and heading straight to Madrid afterwards. Please help and let us know which town would be best for exploring Asturias food and small towns. Our family enjoys very good food. As of now, we are booked at Hotel De La Reconquista for 3 days but not sure if Oviedo is the place to be. PLEASE HELP US!!!!!!!!!! Thanks...
benr is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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You will find lots of excellent information at
HappyTrvlr is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 10:39 AM
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You have to email Maribel from her website and she will send you her Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria guide.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 12:11 PM
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I don't have my Asturias-CAntabria guide up yet on my web page, but I can give you a few ideas here-

Are you trying to make the drive from somewhere in SW France (which is a big area) to the Asturias-Cantabria area in one day?

And are you going to have a car rented in France but dropped off in Madrid? If so, you'll incur a very, very steep drop off fee unless you have a lease agreement (or special arrangement) of some sort. But maybe you have...

I'm not sure how much total time you have for this journey.

About Oviedo, the Asturian capital:

The 5 star Hotel de la Reconquista in Oviedo is the city's "grande dame" hotel (a little faded around the edges but still nice), and there's lots to like about Oviedo:
highly atmospheric, lively old quarter, beautiful city park, great little Fine Arts Museum, archeology museum, magnificent cathedral, two lovely pre-Romanesque churches right outside of town, a lively university, excellent book stores, interesting architecture, great gourmet emporium- Camilo de Blas. Just ask Woody Allen who filmed there last summer and stayed at the Reconquista.

And it has some great restaurants such as Casa Fermín (a Woody favorite), Casa Conrado, L'Alezna in Caces, La Corrada del Obispo (our fave). So If you like to eat very well, Oviedo has fine food.

From Oviedo you can take a day drive up to Gijón for a walk on the San Lorenzo beach and have a seafood lunch or drive further over to the fishing village of Cudillero for the same, or you could make a longer drive east over to Infiesto to the mountains.

But if I were coming from SW France, Biarritz, for example, and with only 3 days to explore, and then heading straight down to Madrid, I might make my base instead on or near the eastern coast and not try to venture so far west.

I'd look for a coastal base between Ribadesella in eastern Asturias and San Vicente de la Barquera on the border in western Cantabria. From there it's so easy to explore small towns and see some beautiful countryside.

With a group of 11 I'd choose a smaller town rather than a capital, where I could get a large group in and out of more quickly to save time for your touring & sightseeing.

Since you've booked at the Reconquista, I assume you want a 5 star hotel or luxury property which not abundant up on the coast.

Nice properties but not 5 stars unless you go to Lastres to the lovely 5 star Hotel Palacio de Luces which could make a good base and has great food in the hotel and in town at Casa Eutimio and El Barrigón de Bertín and down in Picos de Europa at Michelin starred Casa Marical in La Salgar.

The 4 star Villa Rosario in charming Ribadesella, right on the beach, is a lovely reconverted turn-of-the-century "indiano" mansion and a member of the Casonas Asturianas group.

These 2 would be my top choices.
But Ribadesella and Lastres are a slightly longer drive from Madrid than Oviedo, (unless you're planning to fly to Madrid from Asturias airport).

Does it need to be Asturias rather than Cantabria?

If you're willing to stay in Cantabria (with a day long foray into Asturias), you should look at the area around Cabezón de la Sal.

We like another villa-style small hotel there, 3 star El Jardín de Carrejo, a member of the Club de Calidad de Cantabria (and was rented by Cruise & Kidman when she was filming The Others in that area). But it may already be booked, and it only has 14 rooms.

From Cabezón de la Sal you could explore both regions. You can drive into Asturias to Andrín ("pretttiest little village in all of Asturias"), Llanes and Colombres (your mother might want you to visit the Archivo de Indianos Museum there, I think).
Or you could also drive into the Cantabrian capital of Santander and out to beautiful, expansive El Sardinero beach. The 5 star Hotel Real up in a park-like setting above the beach is more luxurious than the Reconquista, I think. But using a capital as your base and negotiating heavy traffic in and out does cut down on your touring time, particularly with a group of 11. I think you want to keep your driving in and out easier.

One more thought...if you love mountain scenery, Asturias's most spectacular scenery lies in the Picos de Europa. Cangas de Onís is an easy 20 km. drive south from the coast. The beautifully decorated Parador there, just outside of town, would make a fine base, but again, it may already be booked-it's hugely popular for a reason!

These are just a few thoughts without knowing all of your travel details.
Hope they've helped you to decide.

Maribel is online now  
May 5th, 2008, 12:33 PM
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Forgot some web links:

There are restaurants, very good ones indeed, that are members of the Club de Calidad Cantabria program. We've tried several included the ones in Santander and Picos de Europa (Cosgaya). And the Casonas Asturianas are the same type of charming rural hotels group as the Club de Calidad.
Maribel is online now  
May 5th, 2008, 01:31 PM
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You are amazing !
We leave tomorrow for Asturias and Galicia.
bobthenavigator is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 02:06 PM
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Hi bob,
Hope you enjoy the wonderfully scenic drive from Cangas to Panes, from the Asturian Picos to the Cantabrian, on the AS 114! And wishing you bright, sunny days!
Maribel is online now  
May 5th, 2008, 08:26 PM
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Hi Maribel,

Bookmarking for when I'm able to return!! BTW, I stayed twice at the Hotel Reconquista. Really liked it as well as Oviedo.

The Villa Rosario in Ribadesella looks fantastic. Next time!
cruiseluv is offline  
May 5th, 2008, 08:35 PM
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Hi cruieluv,
Oviedo really is now one of my favorite Spanish capitals. I hadn't done it justice until last summer. I then realized how lovely a city it is.

Woody, Scarlett J., Javier Bardem and
entire film crew arrived at the Reconquista the day after we left. They also filmed outside of Gijón after their stay in Barcelona.

I think you'd really like a day or two in Ribadesella. Definitely put it on your list for next time!
Maribel is online now  
May 12th, 2008, 08:43 PM
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sorry for the late reply! wow, maribel, you are a walking Spanish library!!! thanks a million however now you have made me a little more confused more than ever after giving me all these wonderful choices! i will have to research one by one and see which way to go. and yes, we are leasing cars from Renault and have been doing this for the third year now . we will be driving straight to madrid after our foray into northern spain. will check out everything you just recommended then will post back when i've made up my mind. thanks a million again! you are a treasure trove of information!
benr is offline  
May 13th, 2008, 12:01 PM
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Have fun researching!
Maribel is online now  
Jul 21st, 2008, 05:55 PM
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hi maribel! we have finally decided to stay in Oviedo. Would love your top picks for daytrips using Oviedo as our base. Thanks in advance!
benr is offline  
Aug 5th, 2008, 10:51 PM
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Hi benr,
We just spent time again in eastern Asturias in late June.

For daytrips from Oviedo, I would go as far east as Cangas de Onís (N 634) for Picos de Europa splendor, up northeast (really easy drive on the quick A66) to the coast to lively Gijón with a great urban beach (San Lorenzo), and for a charming, scenic fishing village, up northwest to Cudillero, which is slightly reminiscent of a Cinque Terre village minus the abrupt drop to the sea, and while in the vicinity, the trip out to the lighthouse at Cabo Vidio is worth the detour.

And of course, while in Oviedo don't forget the trip to the suburbs to see the beautiful pre-Romanesque churches of Santa María del Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo, high above the city (great views) and one walkable from the other (guided tours available-check at tourist office for hrs.).

And if your up for great, great food, check out Casa Fermín in Oviedo (where Woody Allen and family dined while shooting there and staying at the Reconquista), La Corrada del Obispo (our fav in the Old Quarter, where Woody filmed a scene of his movie, Victoria Cristina Barcelona) and another Woody fav, where another movie scene was shot, is Casa Gerardo in Prendes, just 9 km. northwest of Gijón (3 Campsa sols, equivalent to 3 Michelin stars).

Have fun planningˇ
Maribel is online now  

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