The Costa Verda, or Green Coast, is a fertile coastal strip that intersects the Basque mountains and the Bay of Biscay. The rugged landscape is interspersed by white sandy beaches and densely-wooded plains. The principality of Asturias was the first Christian enclave on the Iberian Peninsula. There are still an excess of monuments and relics that hark back to this phratry.
Where to Stay in Costa Verde
Oviedo is the capital of the region. A pretty city that maintains much of Spain's provincial charm. A lively local culture is evident with the Campoamor opera house, a stunning local market and an array of wonderful pastry shops. Recently, the city featured in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, prompting the town planners to erect a bronze statue in his honour.
Aviles, perched on the Cantabrian coast, was once an old seafaring and farmining town. But ever since UNESCO listed the city centre as a place of significant architectual importance, more tourists arrive each year.
Gijon is the maritime capital of the Asturias. It has one of Spain's busiest ports and the city is filled with quality eateries and great shopping opportunities. Wimdu has apartments, bed and breakfast offers and larger, family-friendly accommodation that will allow you to make the most of your time in the city.
Aviles is a municipality that encompasses over 70 villages and small towns, interspersed by valleys, hills and rivers. For those wanting to explore the area, Wimdu has a variety of short-term accomodation options in many of the villages and towns, perfect for a trip spent town-hopping through the Aviles region.
Things to See and Do in Costa Verde
With over 350 kilometres of coastline – featuring hidden coves, endless sandy beaches, gorges, fishing villages and ports – the Costa Verda has an abundance of natural resources for the water enthusiast. San Lorenzo Tapia attract Europe's surfers, while La Vega, Elk Silencio and Cuevas del Mar are rugged, their caves formed from the tumultuous waves of the Atlantic ocean.
These beaches contrast perfectly with the craggy Asturian countryside that serves as the backdrop. Here, hiking and walking attract those more fond of land pursuits. You can plot routes through the local villages that cling to the slopes of the snow capped Picos de Europa (Peaks of Europe) or go fossil hunting in a land still speckled with the footprints of dinosaurs. The wildlife on offer is some of the most exciting in Europe – brown bears and wolves populate the slopes and golden eagles dot the skies. Redes Natural Park, which stretches over 37,803 hectares, offers fantastic walking opportunities. There are 17 different routes and the Ruta de Brañagallones, a 20 kilometre hike, is highly recommended. If you're making use of one of Wimdu's family-friendly accommodation options, the Ruta de los Molinos del Profundu is a 15 kilometre trek suitable for active children.
Food in Costa Verde
The Costa Verde's fertile landscape and coastline place hearty, wholesome food at the forefront of the region's gastronomic output. Fabada Asturiana (a rich bean stew), lacon (shoulder of pork), Queso de Cabrales (blue cheese) and pancetta with saffron are all regional specialties. Each should be washed down with strong Asturian cider or red wine.
Casa Fermin (Oviedo) dates from 1924 and is viewed as the best place for classical Asturian dining in the region. You sit in a bright atrium with ornate glassware and can feast on both local specialties and more elaborate creations. The merluza a la sidra (hake cooked in cider) is a stunning Asturian speciality. The restaurant offers further proof to the growing acceptance that Spain has now eclipsed France as the foodie capital of Europe.
Casa Moran (Benia de Onis) is a local favourite in the region. Food is cooked by a Spanish grandma who has won several awards. The Fabada Asturiana and arroz con leche (rice pudding) are worth special mention.
Casa Marcial (Arriondas) is a fine-dining establishment in the Asturian mountains. The creative regional cuisine utilises the fantastic array of ingredients on the doorstep.
Getting around Costa Verde
Asturia]s airport can be reached from Madrid, Barcelona, London and Paris. There is also a good train service from Madrid, but the bus is considered a better option and links the region with a host of other cities. In addition, there is the 'Transcantabrico' train. This is a luxury train from Santiago de Compostela to San Sebastian, which takes in the scenery from the coast and stunning mountains.