Explore Cantabria and Asturias
RIBADESELLA, 18km west of Llanes, is an unaffected old port, split into two by the Sella river, and bridged by a long causeway. The attractive old town, crammed up against the hillside to the east, consists of successive, long stone alleyways, running parallel to the fishing harbour and bursting with great little bars and comedores. Freshly caught fish is still unloaded after midnight at the lonja and, although the catch is increasingly small, it’s fun to hang out in the bars and watch it being hauled in. In the seafood joints lining the harbour you can sample delicacies such as centolla (spider crab) and lubina (sea bass), as well as Asturian specialities.
Across the bridge to the west, ten minutes’ walk from the old town, the excellent town beach, Playa Santa Marina, is lined with the impressive nineteenth-century mansions built by returning emigrants who’d prospered in the Americas. The seafront itself is a pleasant pedestrian promenade.