Locals claim Asturias is the REAL Spain, the rest is just land which has been reconquered. But Asturias, with its dramatic, rocky landscape and wild, green coastline, has proved difficult to occupy. And the Asturian culture has thrived off this pride. Asturias' wild beauty doesn't make it inhospitable though. On the contrary, this coastline is lined with hundreds of sandy beaches, and there are rolling green hills and valleys. Many of the best places to stay in Asturias take advantage of these incredible views.
Some of Asturias' rocky mountains are part of the dramatic Picos de Europa range, sheer rocky pillars and peaks just back from the coast. As well as being extremely beautiful, this landscape is beloved by outdoor-sports-folk of all kinds.
Asturias' unconquerable nature means the architecture is modest but ancient - much of it is pre-Romanesque. The region's capital, Oviedo is easily walkable, with an old centre which was once encircled by a stone wall - this is where most of the major sights are found. The city's modern outer ring has plenty of life to it, despite the decline of the region's mines, once also its fortune.
Oviedo also has a reputation for fun, which might, or might not be linked to the region's speciality: Sidra, or apple cider. Asturias' other great speciality is cheese and there are over a hundred different kinds produced in the region, including one of the world's great blue cheeses, Cabrales.
Asturias' other major cities are Gijon and Aviles, which are coastal, but more industrial. Most visitors will be here for the landscape, in which case the tiny, ancient villages and pretty fishing hamlets are probably the best places to stay in Asturias.
A traditional hotel in completely natural and secluded setting. Rooms feature open beams, dark wood furniture, and private balconies. Excellent local cuisine, a cosy library, open terraces with spectacular views over the Asturian hills. Walking distance to the town; ideal for a country escape.
A lovely country hotel in a charming fishing village. Elegant rooms are light, with jolly furnishings and antique furniture. Gardens, a library with fireplace, and a cosy bar. The coast is just a short drive away. An idyllic and quiet choice for a country escape with plenty of seaside activities.
A gorgeous hotel in the Entrecabos landscape. Rooms within an 18th century house blend the modern with original features. Light wood furniture, big bathrooms and exposed bricks. Wonderful regional cuisine, enormous garden, views of both coast and forest. A chic choice for a family holiday.
Penamellera Baja, Asturias
A delightful hotel in the countryside. Charming rooms have original features with their stone walls, wooden beams, rustic fabrics. A cosy library with fireplace. A National Park is close by for those who love nature. A great choice for those who enjoy the countryside.
Set in a wonderfully renovated 1930s house, La Casona del Viajante has a winning combination of style and comfort. Ornate mosaic floors, stained glass windows and original exposed wooden beams and some period charm. Surrounded by Asturias' natural beauty, with plenty of activities nearby.
A rural Asturian farmhouse set in the rolling hills. Romantic rustic chic bedrooms with lovely fabrics and private balconies. Traditional cuisine and local cider from the cafe, bikes to borrow, and lots of countryside fresh air. A romantic country escape with plenty of rural charm.
Countryside hotel in 16th century mansion. Traditional rooms feature opulent fabrics, wooden beamed ceilings and elegant bathrooms. Garden, Chapel and ivy-clad terrace. Superb Iberian menu. Regal, peaceful and good value.
A stunning seafront 1914 palacio with wonderfully contemporary interiors. Chic white rooms with L'Occitane en Provence products, the best of which have sea views. Indulgent breakfasts can be taken on the terrace. Surrounded by some of Spain's best beaches. A unique seaside property.