Asturias: A First Glimpse

luanco-asturias

Rain whipped the bus’s windshield violently as we made our way west along La Costa Verde. Small rivers formed on my window from the downpour, as I peered out over the Asturian landscape for the first time. Rolling meadows sloped upward into majestic, snow-covered peaks and terracotta-colored rooftops and flocks of sheep studded the landscape, standing out against the green canvas.  I had made it to Asturias.

asturias-scenery

I was invited by Paradores de España and Tourism of Asturias to take part in a creative project called Paradores Partners In Design: 5 writers from around the globe were brought in to tour Asturias on highly individualized itineraries showcasing the region’s treasures. Our inspiration from Asturias, we’d then document via hand-written journals and iPads, and later mold into a story to share with a team of Spanish interior designers.

This is where the project gets really exciting.

But before I get to that, I need to explain to you what the Paradores are.

parador-asturias-gijon

parador-asturias-gijon

Paradores de España: What Are They?

Around 80 years ago, Spain, much like today, was trying to improve its international image. They entrusted a man by the name of Marqués de la Vega Inclán to start up a hotel chain to bring in tourism to the country, an idea which King Alfonso XIII jumped so enthusiastically on board with, that he ended up choosing the location of Spain’s first Parador in the Gredos Mountains. In the selection of the locations for the now-90+ various Paradores throughout Spain, natural beauty and historic buildings are the most important factors. Paradores are situated inside centuries-old castles, monasteries, and more. We stayed in a 100-year old mill that’s been converted into a 4-star hotel, in Gijón, Asturias.

parador-asturias-gijon

The Project: Paradores Partners in Design

On July 15th, 2013, the Queen of Spain will be inaugurating a new Parador in Corias, Asturias. The interior designers assigned to this project are currently taking our stories and photos and using it as inspiration in their design of the hotel’s interior. How cool is that? I’ll be able to go to this Parador and see where and how my interpretation of Asturias inspired a fellow creative’s work. Talk about flattering!

asturias-aviles

cudillero-asturias

Where I Went

My unique itinerary was a tour of the coastal villages of Asturias. In just two days I saw about 10 different seaside villages and other points of interest! To say it was a whirlwind trip would be an understatement–in the absolute best way possible! Here’s some of what you can expect to see on the blog in the coming weeks:

  • A walk through Luanco, where I fell in love with the vibrantly painted buildings.
  • Cabo Peñas, Asturia’s most northern point that was painfully beautiful!
  • Avilés a mid-sized medieval city and my first introduction to the Asturian lunch!
  • Cudillero, Asturia’s most famous (and colorful) fishing village.
  • Llanes, a town that’s home to 31 beaches!
  • Las Cuevas de Tito Bustillo, pre-historic caves with cave paintings inside!

 I really fell for Asturias and am so excited to share what I saw with you! Northern Spain continues to blow me away!

I went to Asturias as a guest of Turismo de Asturias and Paradores de España. All opinions are my own.

15 comments on “Asturias: A First Glimpse”

  1. vmathews224 Reply

    I so love the Paradors! My husband and I spent our 25th doing the Paradors of Central and Southern Spain. If I you could make a career out of staying at paradors sign me up. Sounds like you have the next best thing. What a great gig you have for writing about Spain. Please keep pictures and stories coming!

    Vicki Mathews, Wadsworth, Ohio

  2. Victor Reply

    I keep saying this over and over but it holds truth every time, that’s another fantastic story well written and what a stunning photography!!

    Felicidades!!!!

  3. BLANCA Reply

    Hola!

    Thanks for your comments about our region. It´s true that this is a very special area; we all love it.
    But I think you miss one thing about accommodation: “Casonas Asturianas”, that is a Quality Club with small hotels all over Asturias. And, by the way, our place is one of the best. In La Pereda, Llanes. We wait for you in La Posada de Babel.
    See you,

  4. Pingback: Cudillero, Asturias - Christine in Spain | Christine in Spain

  5. Shida Laily Yusof Reply

    Lovely post! I’m madly in love with Spain (have been to the country five times already), but I’ve never been to the Asturias. You have definitely inspired me to visit this region on my next trip and venture into the Northern part of Spain even further (the furthest I’ve been to was Pais Vasco). Asturias look gorgeous! :)

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