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A Short Guide To Llanes – Asturias’ Popular Seaside Town


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Pris Newman



Welcome to Llanes, a picturesque seaside town nestled along the Asturian coast in northern Spain. With its breathtaking natural beauty, rich history, and warm hospitality, Llanes is a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach getaway or an adventure-filled vacation, Llanes offers something for everyone.


Located in the region of Asturias, Llanes is known for its stunning landscapes, pristine beaches, and vibrant cultural heritage. This charming town seamlessly blends modern amenities with traditional charm, creating a unique ambiance that captivates visitors.


Step foot in Llanes, and you’ll be greeted by colorful painted houses, cobbled streets, and a bustling town center. The vibrant atmosphere and friendly locals make it easy to immerse yourself in the local culture and experience the true essence of Asturian lifestyle.


But Llanes is more than just a pretty face. Its history dates back centuries, and evidence of its ancient origins can be seen through its architectural marvels, medieval structures, and intriguing historical sites. From the iconic Basilica de Santa Maria del Conceyu to the imposing walls of the medieval fortress, Llanes is a treasure trove of history waiting to be explored.


Not only is Llanes rich in cultural heritage, but it also boasts a stunning natural landscape. Surrounded by majestic mountains, verdant valleys, and the glistening Cantabrian Sea, the town offers a playground of outdoor activities. From hiking along the stunning coastal cliffs to exploring hidden coves and caves, you’ll be awed by the beauty that awaits.


In this article, we’ll delve into the history of Llanes, explore its geography and landscape, discover the pristine beaches, dive into the cultural and historical sites, uncover the thrilling outdoor activities, savor the local cuisine, and get a taste of the vibrant festivals and events. By the end, you’ll be itching to pack your bags and experience the wonders of Llanes firsthand.


History of Llanes

The history of Llanes traces back centuries, with evidence of human settlements dating back to prehistoric times. Throughout the years, this coastal town has witnessed the rise and fall of various civilizations, leaving behind a rich tapestry of cultural influences.


In the Middle Ages, Llanes played a significant role as a strategic port, serving as a gateway for trade between the Cantabrian Sea and the rest of Europe. Its location made it a coveted region, leading to numerous conflicts and battles. The town’s defensive walls, known as the Cubes of Llanes, were constructed during this time to protect the town from invasions.


The 16th and 17th centuries marked a period of prosperity for Llanes, as it became an important fishing and trading center. The town’s wealth is reflected in its stunning architecture, with grand mansions and palatial houses adorning the streets. These impressive buildings, such as the Palace of the Marquis of Canillejas and the Casino de Llanes, showcase the town’s historic significance.


Throughout the years, Llanes has experienced various cultural influences, including Roman, Visigothic, and Muslim occupations. Each era has left its mark, creating a unique blend of architectural styles and cultural traditions.


Today, Llanes is not only proud of its rich past but also embraces modernity. It has become a sought-after destination, attracting visitors from around the world who come to explore its history, indulge in its natural beauty, and experience the warm hospitality of its inhabitants.


When visiting Llanes, be sure to explore the town’s historic center, known as the Paseo de San Pedro. Here, you’ll find picturesque squares, narrow alleys, and charming buildings that harken back to a bygone era. Take a stroll along the harbor and admire the colorful fishing boats or wander through the bustling markets to get a taste of the local culture.


The rich history of Llanes is not limited to the town itself but extends to the nearby areas. Nearby villages, such as Celorio and Puertas de Vidiago, offer glimpses into rural life and provide opportunities to explore ancient churches, traditional houses, and archaeological sites.


As you wander through the labyrinthine streets of Llanes, you’ll feel a sense of awe and wonder, transporting you back in time to the days of old. The town’s history is a testament to the resilience of its people and serves as a reminder of the enduring spirit that continues to make Llanes a captivating destination.


Geography and Landscape

Llanes is blessed with a diverse and stunning natural landscape that attracts nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Nestled along the rugged coastline of the Cantabrian Sea and embraced by the majestic Picos de Europa mountain range, the town offers a breathtaking backdrop for outdoor exploration.


One of the highlights of Llanes’ geography is its dramatic coastline. The rugged cliffs, hidden coves, and pristine beaches make it a haven for beach lovers and photographers. Playa de Toro, with its characteristic rock arch, and Playa de Cué are among the most popular beaches in the area, offering golden sands and crystal-clear waters.


For those seeking a more adventurous experience, the coastal path known as the Camino de Santiago del Norte offers a chance to hike along the cliffside, providing panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding countryside. The path showcases the untamed beauty and raw power of the Cantabrian coast.


Inland, you’ll discover the incredible landscape of the Picos de Europa National Park. This UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering numerous hiking and mountaineering opportunities. Explore dense forests, deep valleys, and soaring peaks as you immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the park.


The Cares Gorge is another natural marvel located near Llanes. This breathtaking ravine cuts through the heart of the Picos de Europa, creating a spectacular hiking route known as Ruta del Cares. The trail follows a narrow path carved into the rock, offering staggering views of the deep gorge and the rushing Cares River below.


But Llanes is not just about its coastline and mountains. The town is also home to charming rural areas and picturesque villages. The rolling green hills and fertile valleys that surround Llanes provide a contrast to the rugged coast, offering a peaceful retreat for those looking to reconnect with nature.


Whether you’re exploring the coast, hiking in the mountains, or meandering through the countryside, Llanes’ geography and landscape offer a constant reminder of the natural beauty that dominates the region. Immerse yourself in this picturesque setting and let the tranquility of the surroundings wash over you.


Beaches in Llanes

When it comes to beaches, Llanes is a true paradise. With its pristine coastline stretching over 30 kilometers, the town boasts a diverse selection of beautiful beaches that cater to all preferences. From secluded coves to wide stretches of golden sand, Llanes offers a beach experience like no other.


One of the most famous and iconic beaches in Llanes is Playa de Toró. Situated just a short distance from the town center, this beach is known for its unique rock arch, known as the Bufones de Arenillas. The impressive natural formation creates a stunning backdrop for beachgoers, and the crashing waves provide a dramatic spectacle. It’s an ideal spot for both relaxation and photography.


Another popular beach in Llanes is Playa de Barro. This family-friendly beach is characterized by its fine golden sand and calm waters, making it a perfect spot for sunbathing and swimming. It also offers convenient amenities like beach bars and parking facilities, ensuring a comfortable experience for visitors.


For those seeking a more secluded and tranquil beach escape, Gulpiyuri Beach is a hidden gem. This unusual beach is located inland, approximately 100 meters from the sea, and is accessible through a natural tunnel. It may be small in size, but its crystal-clear turquoise waters and stunning surroundings make it a true hidden paradise.


Playa de Ballota is another gem that offers a more rugged and wild beach experience. This secluded beach is accessible by a short hike and rewards visitors with breathtaking views of towering cliffs and untouched natural beauty. It’s the perfect spot for those looking to escape the crowds and get in touch with nature.


Along the coastline of Llanes, numerous other beaches await exploration. From the sandy shores of Playa de Andrín to the picturesque Playa de Poo and the lively Playa de San Antolín, each beach offers its own unique charm and allure. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly beach, a surfing spot, or a romantic retreat, Llanes has a beach to suit every taste.


It’s important to note that Llanes’ beaches are not just known for their beauty but also for their commitment to environmental preservation. The town has received multiple Blue Flag certifications, highlighting its dedication to maintaining cleanliness and sustainability along its coastline.


When visiting Llanes, don’t miss the opportunity to explore its stunning beaches. Whether you want to relax on the sand, take a refreshing swim, or simply enjoy the breathtaking views, Llanes’ beaches provide the perfect setting for a memorable seaside experience.


Cultural and Historical Sites

Llanes is a town steeped in history and culture, offering a wealth of fascinating sites that showcase its rich heritage. From architectural marvels to ancient landmarks, a visit to Llanes is a journey through time.


One of the town’s most iconic landmarks is the Basilica de Santa Maria del Conceyu. This magnificent church dates back to the 13th century and boasts a stunning Gothic design. Admire the intricate stone carvings and step inside to marvel at the beautiful altarpieces and religious artifacts that grace the interior.


The Cubes of Llanes, or Los Cubos de la Memoria, are another must-visit sight. These colorful, modernist structures are a representation of the town’s fishing heritage and were designed by the renowned artist Agustín Ibarrola. These vibrant cubes add a touch of charm to the town’s waterfront and have become an iconic symbol of Llanes.


For a glimpse into the town’s medieval past, make sure to visit the Torre del Castillo. This imposing tower was part of the town’s defensive walls and offers panoramic views of Llanes and its surroundings. Explore the tower and learn about its historical significance through interactive exhibits and displays.


Llanes is also home to numerous palatial houses and grand mansions that reflect its prosperous past. The Palace of the Marquis of Canillejas, with its stunning architecture and ornate details, is a prime example of the town’s opulence during the 16th and 17th centuries. The Casino de Llanes, a beautiful neoclassical building, is another landmark worth visiting to soak in the town’s cultural heritage.


As you wander through the town’s narrow streets and charming squares, you’ll come across numerous ancient churches that highlight Llanes’ religious history. The Church of Santa Ana, with its Romanesque style, and the Chapel of San Roque, dating back to the 16th century, are just a few examples of the religious sites that grace Llanes.


For a more immersive historical experience, consider exploring the nearby village of Cuevas del Mar, which is home to the Prehistoric Caves of Andina. These caves showcase impressive rock art and carvings, offering a glimpse into the lives of our ancient ancestors and their artistic expressions.


With its wealth of cultural and historical sites, Llanes is a treasure trove for history buffs and art enthusiasts. Immerse yourself in the town’s fascinating past and discover the stories that have shaped this charming seaside town.


Outdoor Activities in Llanes

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, Llanes is the ultimate playground. With its diverse landscape of mountains, coastline, and lush countryside, the town offers a plethora of exciting activities for nature lovers and adventure seekers.


One of the most popular outdoor activities in Llanes is hiking. The surrounding Picos de Europa mountain range provides endless opportunities for exploration. Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails to discover breathtaking vistas, hidden lakes, and impressive peaks. The Ruta del Cares, a famous hiking route that follows a spectacularly scenic gorge, is a must-try for avid hikers.


For a unique and thrilling experience, consider exploring the underground world of Llanes by caving. The limestone caves in the region offer a fascinating subterranean landscape of stalactites, stalagmites, and winding passageways. Guided tours are available for both novice adventurers and experienced cavers.


Llanes is also a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. The Cantabrian Sea provides excellent conditions for surfing, with several surf schools catering to all levels. Whether you’re a beginner catching your first waves or an experienced surfer looking for a challenge, Llanes has surf spots to suit your skill level.


Kayaking and paddleboarding are also popular activities in Llanes. Explore the coastline from a different perspective as you paddle through hidden coves, sea caves, and rugged cliffs. Rental equipment and guided tours are available for those looking to embark on an aquatic adventure.


For those seeking a more relaxed outdoor activity, Llanes offers numerous cycling routes that showcase the beautiful landscapes of the region. Biking along coastal paths, country roads, and mountain trails allows you to soak in the natural beauty at your own pace. Bike rentals are available for those who don’t have their own equipment.


With its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, Llanes is also an ideal destination for swimming and sunbathing. Spend a day lounging on the golden sands, taking refreshing dips in the sea, and soaking up the sun. Don’t forget to pack your beach essentials and embrace the laid-back beach lifestyle.


For the adventurous souls, Llanes offers rock climbing opportunities. The limestone cliffs and crags provide challenging routes for climbers of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, the thrill of conquering a rock face is a unique experience in the stunning natural surroundings.


Regardless of the outdoor activity you choose, remember to respect the environment and follow safety guidelines. Take the time to appreciate the beauty of Llanes’ natural surroundings and immerse yourself in the outdoor adventures that await you in this amazing coastal town.


Local Cuisine and Gastronomy

When it comes to culinary delights, Llanes is a food lover’s paradise. The town’s coastal location provides a rich and diverse selection of fresh seafood, while the surrounding countryside offers an abundance of local produce. From traditional Asturian dishes to innovative culinary creations, Llanes’ gastronomy is sure to tantalize your taste buds.


Seafood takes center stage in Llanes’ culinary scene, and you’ll find a wide variety of options to satisfy your cravings. Indulge in succulent lobster, grilled octopus, or the famous Asturian fabada, a hearty bean stew that combines flavors of the sea and the land. Wash it all down with a glass of crisp cider, another Asturian specialty.


Llanes is also known for its extensive selection of cheeses. The region’s fertile pastures provide ideal conditions for dairy farming, resulting in exceptional cheeses. From the creamy Cabrales to the smoky Gamonedo, cheese lovers will be in heaven with the wide variety of options available.


Additionally, Llanes boasts a rich tradition of farm-to-table cuisine. The fertile land yields an array of fresh produce, including vegetables, fruits, and aromatic herbs. The local markets offer a glimpse into the region’s agricultural bounty, and you can taste the freshness and quality in every bite.


When it comes to dining in Llanes, be sure to try Asturian classics such as fabada, cachopo (a breaded and stuffed meat dish), and arroz con leche (rice pudding). These dishes highlight the region’s culinary heritage and showcase the flavors that have been passed down through generations.


Visiting Llanes wouldn’t be complete without indulging in the town’s famous desserts. Asturias is known for its delectable treats, and Llanes is no exception. Treat yourself to a slice of tarta de queso (cheesecake) or a bite of frixuelos (Asturian crepes) filled with sweet cream. These mouthwatering sweets will satisfy even the most discerning sweet tooth.


Pair your culinary adventures with the warm and friendly hospitality that Llanes is known for. The local restaurants and sidrerías (cider houses) offer a welcoming and cozy atmosphere, where you can relax and savor the flavors of the region.


Whether you’re a food connoisseur or simply someone who appreciates good food, Llanes’ local cuisine and gastronomy will leave you wanting more. Immerse yourself in the culinary wonders of this charming coastal town and let your taste buds embark on a delightful journey of flavors.


Festivals and Events in Llanes

Llanes is a town that knows how to celebrate, and its calendar is filled with exciting festivals and events that showcase the vibrant culture and traditions of the region. From religious processions to lively music festivals, there is always something happening in Llanes to keep you entertained and immersed in the local festivities.


One of the most acclaimed events in Llanes is the Fiesta de San Roque, celebrated in August. This religious festival honors the patron saint of the town and features a variety of activities, including processions, traditional dances, and live music performances. The highlight is the “guaje” contest, where participants compete by drinking cider from traditional wooden cups.


The Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is another significant event in Llanes. Religious processions wind through the town’s streets, with participants dressed in intricate traditional costumes. This solemn yet captivating event showcases the deep-rooted religious traditions of the region.


For music lovers, the International Jazz Festival is a must-attend event. Held annually in July, this festival brings together renowned national and international jazz artists for a series of concerts held in various venues throughout Llanes. From soulful melodies to energetic rhythms, the festival offers a diverse range of performances that will captivate music enthusiasts.


The Feast of Our Lady of Guía is another widely celebrated festival in Llanes. This religious event, held on the first Sunday of September, includes a procession through the town, offering a glimpse into the fervent devotion of the locals.


During the summer months, Llanes comes alive with cultural and recreational activities. The town hosts outdoor concerts, theatrical performances, and art exhibitions, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere. Visitors can immerse themselves in the local arts scene and experience the creativity of Llanes’ talented artists.


Culinary events also play a prominent role in Llanes’ festival calendar. The Seafood Festival, held in August, showcases the abundant seafood harvest of the region, allowing visitors to savor the freshest catches from the Cantabrian Sea. The Cheese Festival, held in October, celebrates the rich cheese-making heritage of Asturias, offering tastings and demonstrations that will delight cheese enthusiasts.


These festivals and events are just a taste of the lively and engaging celebrations that take place in Llanes throughout the year. Whether you’re drawn to religious processions, musical performances, culinary delights, or cultural exhibitions, Llanes has something to offer for every taste and interest.


Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, join in the festivities, and create lasting memories as you experience the rich traditions and joyful celebrations that make Llanes a truly remarkable town.


Shopping and Souvenirs

When it comes to shopping, Llanes offers a variety of options to indulge in retail therapy and bring back a piece of the town’s charm. From unique local products to traditional crafts, you’ll find a range of items that make for perfect souvenirs or gifts.


The town center of Llanes is filled with quaint boutiques and specialty stores, where you can discover handmade crafts, local artisanal products, and fashionable clothing. Stroll along the narrow streets and browse through shops that showcase the creativity and craftsmanship of the region.


Llanes is known for its vibrant textile industry, and you’ll find a selection of locally produced woolen products, including blankets, scarves, and sweaters. These high-quality, woolen items make excellent souvenirs to keep you warm during the colder months or to adorn your home.


For a taste of the local flavors, visit the local markets and delicatessens, where you can purchase delicious Asturian specialties. From artisanal cheese and cured meats to traditional sweet treats, these culinary delights make for perfect gifts or treats for yourself.


Ceramics and pottery are also popular in Llanes. Visit the local workshops and galleries to find unique pieces crafted by talented local artisans. From decorative tiles and plates adorned with traditional designs to intricate sculptures, these handmade ceramics add a touch of artistry to any home.


Don’t forget to grab a bottle of Asturian cider, one of the region’s most famous exports. Cider houses and specialty shops offer a variety of local ciders, allowing you to bring back a taste of the Asturian tradition. Enjoy it at home or share it with friends and family, and savor the flavors that have been synonymous with Asturias for centuries.


When it comes to souvenirs, Llanes also offers an array of trinkets and mementos that capture the essence of the town. Local crafts, such as handmade jewelry, seashell decorations, and traditional wooden toys, make for unique and cherished keepsakes that remind you of your time in Llanes.


Whether you’re looking for stylish clothing, artisanal crafts, delectable food products, or unique souvenirs, Llanes provides a fantastic shopping experience. Take a piece of the town’s charm home with you and support the local artisans and businesses that contribute to the vibrancy of Llanes’ shopping scene.


Accommodation Options in Llanes

When it comes to accommodation, Llanes offers a range of options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. From cozy guesthouses to luxurious hotels, the town provides ample choices for a comfortable and memorable stay.


Llanes’ charming town center is home to numerous boutique hotels and guesthouses. These accommodations capture the essence of the town with their traditional architecture and warm hospitality. Immerse yourself in the local atmosphere as you stay in these quaint establishments, which often feature beautiful courtyards, cozy lounges, and personalized service.


If you’re seeking a beachfront stay, Llanes offers a selection of hotels and resorts that provide direct access to the sandy shores. Wake up to the sound of crashing waves and enjoy stunning views of the sea from your balcony. These accommodations often boast outdoor pools, sun terraces, and beach amenities, allowing you to fully embrace the beach lifestyle.


For a more private and independent experience, consider renting a holiday cottage or apartment in one of the surrounding rural areas. These self-catering accommodations allow you to have your own space and immerse yourself in the tranquil countryside. Wake up to breathtaking views from your window and enjoy the freedom to explore at your own pace.


Llanes is also home to campsites and caravan parks, providing options for outdoor enthusiasts looking to enjoy a more rustic experience. These establishments offer facilities and amenities that cater to campers and caravan travelers, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature while still enjoying basic comforts.


Regardless of the type of accommodation you choose, you’ll find that Llanes is well-equipped to cater to your needs. Many establishments offer amenities such as free Wi-Fi, parking, and on-site restaurants, ensuring a convenient and enjoyable stay.


It’s worth noting that Llanes is a popular destination, especially during the summer months, so it’s advisable to book your accommodation well in advance, especially if you have specific preferences or are traveling during peak season.


Whether you’re looking for a cozy retreat, a luxurious beachfront stay, or a rustic experience in the countryside, Llanes has a variety of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. Relax and unwind in comfort as you create lasting memories in this beautiful coastal town.


How to Get to Llanes

Llanes is located in the region of Asturias in northern Spain. Despite its coastal location, reaching Llanes is relatively easy with various transportation options available.


If you prefer flying, the nearest airport to Llanes is Asturias Airport (OVD). It is located approximately 120 kilometers away from the town. From the airport, you can rent a car to drive to Llanes, which takes around 1.5 to 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or use public transportation to reach the bus station or train station in Oviedo or Gijón, and then take a bus or train to Llanes.


For those traveling by train, Llanes is connected to the national railway network. The town has its own train station, making it convenient for visitors to reach directly. Renfe, the national train operator, offers train services that connect Llanes to major cities like Oviedo, Gijón, Santander, and even Madrid. The train journey provides a scenic route, allowing travelers to enjoy the picturesque landscapes of the region.


Traveling by bus is another option to reach Llanes. The town has a central bus station that serves both regional and long-distance buses. ALSA is the main bus company that operates routes to and from Llanes, connecting it to cities in the region as well as beyond. Buses are a convenient and cost-effective way to travel, and the bus station is located near the town center, making it easily accessible.


If you prefer to drive, Llanes can be easily reached by car. The town is connected to the national road network, and the A-8 motorway runs through the region, providing convenient access. From nearby cities like Oviedo or Gijón, it takes approximately 1.5 to 2 hours to drive to Llanes. The roads are well-maintained, and there are signposts that guide you to the town, making it a straightforward journey.


Once you arrive in Llanes, getting around the town is relatively easy. The town center is compact and can be explored on foot. If you plan to venture further or explore the surrounding areas, renting a car is recommended for the convenience and flexibility it provides.


Overall, reaching Llanes is a straightforward process with a range of transportation options available. Whether you choose to fly, take a train, catch a bus, or drive, you’ll find yourself in this charming coastal town ready to immerse yourself in all that it has to offer.



Llanes truly embodies the essence of a captivating seaside town. From its rich history and cultural heritage to its stunning natural landscapes and vibrant festivals, Llanes offers a diverse and immersive experience for visitors.


Exploring the winding streets of Llanes, you’ll encounter architectural gems, ancient churches, and grand palatial houses that reflect the town’s prosperity and historical significance. The Cubes of Llanes and the Basilica de Santa Maria del Conceyu are just a few examples of the town’s captivating landmarks.


The geography and landscape of Llanes are breathtaking, with its rugged coastline, pristine beaches, and majestic mountains. Whether you’re hiking along the cliffside paths, discovering hidden coves, or taking in the panoramic views from the Picos de Europa National Park, Llanes offers a wealth of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts.


The local cuisine of Llanes is a delight for food lovers, with its abundance of fresh seafood, artisanal cheeses, and traditional dishes. Sampling the local flavors while enjoying the warm hospitality of the town’s restaurants and sidrerías is an experience not to be missed.


Throughout the year, Llanes comes alive with festivals and events that celebrate the town’s culture and traditions. From religious processions to music festivals, these lively celebrations offer a glimpse into the vibrant spirit of the locals and create lasting memories for visitors.


When it comes to shopping and souvenirs, Llanes offers a range of options to take a piece of the town’s charm home with you. Whether it’s handmade crafts, local produce, or traditional ceramics, you’ll find unique treasures to cherish and share.


Getting to Llanes is convenient, with various transportation options available. Whether you prefer to fly, take a train or bus, or drive, the town is well-connected to the surrounding areas, allowing you to easily access this coastal gem.


In conclusion, a visit to Llanes is a journey into a world of captivating beauty, cherished traditions, and warm hospitality. Immerse yourself in the town’s rich history, explore its stunning landscapes, indulge in its gastronomy, and be a part of its vibrant festivities. Llanes welcomes you with open arms, ready to provide an unforgettable experience that will leave you longing to return.