Asturias Winter Guide – the Mountains, the Sea and the Desert

Asturias Winter Guide – the Mountains, the Sea and the Desert

Winter in Asturias offers a mesmerising blend of landscapes, with slightly warmer climate than the rest of Europe. This unique combination makes it an extraordinary destination for those seeking adventure, culture, and nature in the colder months. Embark on a three-day journey that will take you from the bustling streets of Santander to the modern marvels of Bilbao, with breathtaking natural wonders and cultural landmarks along the way. This guide will take you beyond the Asturias border to show you the best places to visit in the Northern Spain in winter.

Guide Day 1: Santander, San Vicente de la Barquera, and the Picos de Europa, Asturias

Your adventure begins in Santander, a vibrant city where the sea meets modern life. Spend the morning exploring the Magdalena Palace and strolling along the beautiful Sardinero Beach, enjoying the peaceful ambiance of the off-season.

Head west to San Vicente de la Barquera, a picturesque fishing village. Here you can stop for fresh seafood lunch with a view of the stunning Cantabrian coast. Try the local “marmita de bonito” (tuna stew) or “almejas a la marinera” (clams in sailor’s sauce).

 TIP: Cross the bridge to get the best perspectives on the mountains and castle from across the water

In the afternoon, venture into the heart of the Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa, a haven for nature lovers and adventurers. Take the cable car from Fuente Dé up into the mountains. This journey offers spectacular views of the snow-capped peaks and deep valleys below. Once you reach the top, hike to the Chalet Real, a picturesque spot perfect for capturing the breathtaking views of the towering peaks.

End your day in Burgos, a historic city known for its medieval architecture and vibrant cultural scene. For dinner try tapas, traditional small dishes made with the local flavours.

Guide Day 2: Burgos and the Bardenas Reales, Asturias

Begin your morning by visiting the magnificent cathedral of Burgos. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Spain’s most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture. Take your time to admire the intricate details and the serene atmosphere of this sacred place.

After soaking in the cultural heritage of Burgos, drive south to the Bardenas Reales, a semi-desert natural region that feels worlds apart from the lush landscapes of the Picos de Europa. This unique environment, characterized by its otherworldly rock formations, offers a contrast to the green mountains and coastal scenes of the previous day.

Stay at the Aire de Bardenas Hotel, an award-winning establishment that blends seamlessly into the landscape. As the sun sets, head out to Las Bardenas Reales, where the warm, sunset light transforms the terrain into a breathtaking spectacle of colours and shadows.

Guide Day 3: Bardenas Reales to Bilbao, Asturias

Spend your morning further exploring the captivating landscapes of Bardenas Reales. Drive through the desert or head out for a hike to fully appreciate the quiet majesty of this place.

Make your way to Bilbao, the final stop on your adventure. This dynamic city, known for its fusion of tradition and modernity, offers a wealth of experiences. Enjoy lunch at one of the local restaurants, savoring Basque culinary delights such as “pintxos” and “bacalao al pil-pil.”

After lunch, visit the Guggenheim Museum, a masterpiece of contemporary architecture and a symbol of Bilbao’s revitalization. Explore its collections of modern and contemporary art, which are as captivating as the building itself.

Fly out of Bilbao. Asturias and the nearby regions in the winter are truly a unique destination. It’s a perfect mix for those who seek the earth’s beauty and the thrill of exploration. We hope this winter guide helps you discover the beautiful region of Asturias.

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