Arriondas is a vibrant and busy village in the Council of Parres. It is very popular for tourism because of its privileged location just beside the Picos de Europa and between The Sueve Mountain Range and the beaches of the eastern Asturian coastline. In the Sueve Mountains you can find other symbols of Asturian identity, the asturcón horse which are the purebred Asturian black horses that live wild in these mountains.
It has also made a name for itself for hosting one of the largest International canoeing events in the world called “The International Descent of the River Sella” or “Las Piraguas”. Arriondas is the starting point for the race which follows the river Sella for 20 km ending at the town of Ribadesella. The festival also hosts many live open air concerts and the atmosphere during the festival can be only described as rambunctious!
In the village of Arriondas and its surroundings area you will also find examples of “Indiano” Architecture like “Villa Juanita” or the chapel of San Antonio. Asturias suffered large scale emigration at the end of the nineteen century and the beginning of the twenty century to America, especially Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela and the US. The emigrants eventually returned with a very cosmopolitan and American style of architecture. You will find these very characteristic buildings in Llanes, Colombres, Ribadesella and throughout the whole region.
Arriondas is considered to be an area of significant importance for Palaeolithic art and cave paintings. The council of Parres is home to the wonderful Cave of the Taragañu and is also in close proximity to the Caves of Tito Bustillo in Ribadesella or The Cave of Buxu in Cangas de Onís.
In Arriondas you can also find medieval fortresses such as La Forcada, El Picu Mancobiu and El Torexon de Fius.
As you travel deeper into the mountains, you will come across one of the most famous viewing points of Asturias called “El Fito viewing point” with breathtaking views of the Picos de Europa, the neighbouring Sueve Mountains and the Cantabric Sea. There are lots of routes in the area for walking and trekking as Parres is in close proximity to all the routes of the Picos de Europa and the very popular “Route of Cares”.
In Arriondas and the area of the Sella River you can practice many sports and adventure activities such as paddling, canyoning, mountain biking, spelunking, horse riding, climbing, etc., but the most popular sport in Arriondas is without any doubt canoeing, and the “International Canoeing competition of the River Sella” is testament to that.
It’s a challenging race for serious canoeists but also great fun for the whole family.
The local gastronomy is mix traditional and modern Asturian food, delicious Asturian reared beef, fish and seafood and it has a wide variety of local cheeses and desserts. Arriondas is a popular place to eat and boasts two Michelin Star restaurants.
Arriondas is also part of the Route of the Cider so you can enjoy some crisp traditional cider as its best.
You can get to Arriondas either from the Airports of Asturias and Cantabria (Santander), the later been the closest one.
Images supplied by Tomás Fano and Turismo Asturias: Camilo Alonso.