Taking my parents to Asturias

Jan 9th, 2009, 06:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Taking my parents to Asturias

Hello again, I feel like I'm becoming a permanent fixture/pest on this board.

I will be taking my 85 year old parents on a two week trip through Portugal and part of northern Spain in late March. I can handle the Portugal part, and the part around Santiago. I could use some ideas for the short Asturias part. Though I have walked in this area of Spain, I certainly can't claim the expertise that some of you have.

I have tried searching and found a few things, but the search function, as I've learned, doesn't seem to be working very well on fodors.com. So I apologize if I'm repeating questions that have already been asked and answered.

My son is teaching English in Cangas del Narcea (NOT the much more scenic Cangas de Onis), and my parents very much want to visit him there towards the end of our trip. That's really the reason for continuing east to Asturias. It also makes us also dependent on my son's teaching schedule, so here's what I've come up with.

Friday -- drive to Oviedo (not sure yet from where) -- son will take bus to Oviedo on Friday night and meet us there.

Friday and Saturday nights in Oviedo -- I like the Hotel Vetusta very much, don't know if it's worth it to splurge on someplace else. I could also use a good restaurant recommendation because I saw in October that my favorite place, Faro Vidio, had closed.

Sunday -- here's where I'm not sure what to do. I'd like to leave Oviedo on Sunday morning and go somewhere pretty -- can be either mountains or coast, but not too far. Luarca or Cudillero are two places I've walked through, but I wouldn't mind getting to see somewhere new. I have never been to Gijon. What about the parador there? (I see their "tarifa unica" price for my date is 70E a room).

On Monday we will drive my son to Cangas del Narcea (he has no classes that day), see the town, his place, etc. and then at the end of the day drive to a hotel close to the Asturias airport. I estimate that's about a two hour drive. My parents will fly out on Tuesday morning and then I drive back to Lisbon. Any good places to stay near the airport? Any restaurant recommendations there?

I really appreciate your help! Laurie
lreynold1 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 07:03 AM
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The first thing you need to do is go to Maribel's website:www.maribelsguides.com You can email her from her website. She sent us her guides to Asturias and Cantabria as email attachments and there were so helpful. Good luck planning a wonderful trip.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 08:01 AM
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Hi Laurie,

I'm sure Maribel will chime and will have info to provide.

How nice you are taking your parents on thsi trip.

I love Oviedo. I have stayaed at Hotel de a Reconquista, which can be pricey but I have been able to get some special promotion price which made it very reasonable. Maribel recently mentioned another fairly new hotel, but I can'tfind the name now. I think it's in front of the beautiful park , right in the center of Oviedo.

I am not a big fan of Gijón. I went there as a day trip from Oviedo and after a few hours I had enough, got out and took a bus to some small village on the coast. I have read mixed reviews of the Parador there.

Although I have not stayed in Luarca or Cudillero, I do know there are lovely places to stay there. I have Cudillero in my sights, and a hotel called Casona del Pio .

I am sure others more knowledgeable with the area will give you their opinion. I will look at my records and see what restaurants I went to in Oviedo.
cruiseluv is online now  
Jan 9th, 2009, 09:14 AM
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This web site may help you choose somewhere in Asturias that you have not been before.
On your way from SdC you should visit Lugo, Castro de Viladonga which is a Celtic village to the north of the city
and then drive onto Taramundi, Asturias, just inside the border with Galicia. Here you will find loads of "Artesanía" like Knives and blades; loom crafts and Leather goods. The countryside is wonderful to boot. http://www.taramundi.net/nuevaweb/index.htm

if you want to see a celtic village in Asturias and you cannot get to Viladonga then perhaps this one will be a good alternative.

Hope this helps in some way.
ribeirasacra is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 09:29 AM
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If you stay anywhere along the A-8, then it's a very easy drive to the airport.

You can check Casona de La Paca, a typical “Casona de Indianos” in Cudillero, which is on the coast not far from the airport (www.casonadelapaca.com/).

There is also Torre de Villademoros in Cadavedo, which is about a 30 to 40 minute drive from the airport (www.torrevillademoros.com/).
Robert2533 is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 09:34 AM
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Hi laurie,
I'm personally very happy that you're becoming a permanent fixture, as I'm learning so much about Portugal travel from you!
What a wonderful thing that your parents can come to visit for 2 weeks!

As to what you've planned thus far, since you know Oviedo well and like the Vestusa, I wouldn't change that unless you'd like to try something boutique-ish and contemporary directly across from the park. We liked the look and feel of the Hotel Libretto, which also has a garage. Musicians use it when performing during opera season.

As to meals, we had a really great fairly recent lunch upstairs at La Corrada del Obispo on Canóniga 18 in the Old Quarter. Housed in a pretty 18th century building with exposed beams and brick, it makes a lovely, memorable and special place to dine.

Or for fantastic views of the entire city, there's Casa Camila, up on Monte Naranco, since you'll have a car.

The other "top gourmet temples" in Oviedo are Casa Conrado and Casa Fermín (where Woody Allen took his entourage), but La Corrada is more reasonably priced.

(Since your son is living in Asturias, and you'll probably be making more visits, you might want to pick up the Turismo Everest guide "Donde comer bien en Asturias". We've found it very reliable on all our trips, and it covers the entire region quite well, including Cangas del Narcea.)

As to your Sunday excursion and overnight:
We enjoy a day in Gijón in July to stroll along the beach (which wouldn't be that pleasant in March), to visit the park and Chillida sculpture and to eat in a typical chigre. While you may have weather issues (rain), it would be a livelier place to visit in late March than the tiny fishing village of Cudillero which will be quiet, or larger Luarca which isn't that scenic once down into it. And Gijón is a very easy drive from Oviedo up the fast A 66.

We haven't stayed at the Parador there, but you simply can't beat these Jan.-March rates this year. We have 4 Parador stays coming up in Galicia at these incredile web rates, even with buffet breakfast thrown in.
I'd go for it, even though it's located a bit far afield, since you'll have a car. My parents loved the Parador system, and you can always be assured of a comfortable room.

The last time we left from the Asturias airport in Ranón, we drove from Cadavedo, a 40 min. drive, only because we were based there for the week. If your parents have a very early flight (which we did), you'll want to stay closer by.

The industrial ring around Avilés certainly misses out on the charm factor, although the city does have an interesting and even pretty old quarter. There you'll find a very comfortable hotel, the 5 star NH Palacio de Ferrera right on the Plaza de España, with has competitive rates of 108 weekdays in March.

The runner up would be the 4 star Silken Villa de Avilés-new and minimalist, outside La Villa but with lower rates.

If it were the two of us, we would stay the night before just outside (east) of Cudillero, about the same distance from the airport as Avilés. And we'd choose the indiano mansion, Casona de la Paca, next to the Selgas Palace in El Pito.
It's a member of the charming boutique hotel group, Casonas Asturianas and also Rusticae, two assurances of quality.
(Their own web page doesn't work for me on my mac, www.casonadelapaca.com)

Do your parents have mobility difficulties at all? I believe the house does have a handicapped accessible room and an elevator, if needed. Doubles in March run from 72-91 (with sitting room), very reasonable.

This would allow you all to see Cudillero and visit the amazing collection of indiano mansions in the nearby village of Somado.

There's another Casona Asturiana property in slightly closer Muros de Nalón, Hotel Playa de las Llanes, but without an elevator, although one room is handicapped accessible.

In that area we'd dine in Cudillero at the Casona del Pío for dinner and if we caught a nice, sunny day, we'd have lunch on the terrace of El Ancla, next door, which serves some of the best seafood I've had in that town. We avoid the more touristy spots on the square and go back one block to the street running beside the church and the black pottery shop, the Calle Riofrío.

If you decide to stay in Avilés at one of the corporate hotels, and you'd like a final splurge at a top gourmet spot right on the beach...
you have Woody Allen's favorite (where he filmed a scene of Vicky Cristina Barcelona), the Real Balneario in Salinas, between Avilés and the airport. It has a stellar reputation, Michelin star, sea views and prices to match, about 50 p.p.

For dining in La Villa in Avilés, we'd head to the traditional "Casa Tataguyo" on the Plaza del Carbayedo, where the cattle auctions used to take place. It's an atmospheric restored stone house with rustic decor, serving regional specialties (guisos de cuchara, such as pote asturiano, and fish) along with a solid wine list. And Eurotoque chef.
It's a member of the dependable Mesas de Asturias collection.

Hope this helps you to decide.

Maribel is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 10:06 AM
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Hi laurie,
Didn't see all your other help while composing my post.

Regarding the Casona de la Paca versus the Casona del Pío in Cudillero, for your parents I'd choose the former, simply because of the steps and the parking issue, as you probably remember. There's no garage at the Casona del Pío, one needs to leave the car in the lots beyond the pier and it's a bit cumbersome.

My logic for suggesting Gijón for your overnight from Oviedo would be that it's quick to reach, not far afield from Oviedo, parents of folks our age are always happy with the paradors, and you could see Cudillero the day/night before departure from the Asturias airport.

If you'd rather stay in Luarca, I'd stay above the city in the area of Villar, surrounded by the equally impressive indiano mansions, at Villa Argentina. It also has an apartment.

I found the Torre de Villademoros in Cadavedo to be an enchanting, peaceful place, but it does have lots of steps, no elevator and no downstairs guest rooms, if that's an issue.

We've spent time exploring the nooks and crannies of the remote Os Oscos and Taramundi and second the recommendation if you have the time on the journey from Santiago. But if you'll be doing that drive from Santiago to Oviedo in one day, I'd leave exploration of Os Oscos for another trip.
It's a delightful, wonderfully scenic region with two charming, atmospheric lodgings for a future visit,
La Rectoral in Taramundi, home of the knife makers and weavers
Casona del Bosque de Pumares in Santa Eulalia de Os Oscos,
Both are Casonas Asturianas.

A highly scenic region to explore!
Maribel is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 10:44 AM
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Another very gently priced dining rec in Oviedo-Las Campanas de San Bernabé on San Bernabé 7.
"Comida casera" with innovative touches and rural Asturian decor of beams, rustic tiles, exposed brick. Fabada, pote asturiano, arroz negro con calamares, artisan cheeses.
It's received a Bibi Gourmand (for good value) distinction in the '09 Michelin guide. Good for when you need something more on the budget side.

Maribel is offline  
Jan 13th, 2009, 07:50 AM
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Thanks so much to everyone. I'm going to have to digest all of this information and make some choices. I really appreciate all the help. Laurie
lreynold1 is offline  
Oct 11th, 2017, 09:45 AM
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