Another week, another train trip around Asturias. This time our destination was west, along the northern coast of Spain, toward Galacia. We took the FEVE train, Gijón – Cudillero line, which ends in Cudillero (duh), but we had already been there before (and Jesse wrote about it). So, this time, Jesse found us a a trail worth taking, the Senda Costera, which began in the town of Muros de Nalón, and took us along the Cantabrian Sea.
We boarded the train at 10:30am, and took the 1.5 hour trip through Asturias, passing many towns, the ocean, green hills, until finally reaching the town of Muros de Nalón. We walked toward the center of town, passing a dilapidated yet still standing shell of a former fortification, known as the Palacio de Valdercarzana y Vallehermoso. We peaked through the locked gate and noted the overgrown greenery, as well as the opposite wall crest (see below) and one could imagine a medieval bustling market inside.
The park that surrounding the Palacio was well maintained and we took a red brick road into the center of town, stopping to have a coffee at a cafe on the Plaza Marqués de Muros, named for the Marqués, who has a statue on the square, in which he sports quite the impressive mustache. There were people sitting at cafes while others going about their daily routines, and we were happy to join them. At one end of the square is the Iglesia de Santa María, which was closed during our visit, but still impressive in the sunlight.
We proceeded to walk north through the town, passing homes and paved sidewalks, that gave off a suburban vibe. It was not long until we reached the first Mirador (overlook), and it was breathtaking. There were benches were we ate our boccadillos and manzanas (sandwiches and apples), taking in the coastal view, while the waves crashed in plumes of white.
We continued to follow the trail along the coast, through the forest of eucalyptus trees. It was very peaceful and serene, and the few fellow travelers we happened upon we greeted with an Hola and this sentiment was returned, as all on the trail this bright day seemed to be enjoying the day to the fullest. The trails were well paved, and sloped downward and upwards in snake-like fashion.
Our next stop was the Mirador del Espíritu Santo, referencing the small chapel named Ermita del Espíritu Santo, which has stood there for centuries. More spectacular views of the coast awaited, as we continued to be in awe of this natural beauty.
The trail ended at the Puerto de San Esteban, which is located in the town of San Esteban de Pravia. We descended from the high up point we started all the way to sea level (about eight stories) down wooden stairs that were well kept up, reaching the only restaurant at the port, attached to an enormous public pool (that was closed for the season). We shared croquetas and tinto de verano while we sat in the sun and listened to the crashing waves.
We completed our trip in the town of San Esteban de Pravia, which was relatively quiet on a weekday in February, but we could imagine the amount of tourists and visitors that must visit this seaside town in the summer.
With the sun shining and weather in the mid 50s, our visit and walk along the trail could not have been more perfect. Looking for a relaxing hike along the Cantabrian Sea that is accessible by train from the nearby cities of Avilés, Oviedo, or Gijón? Then Senda Costera de los Miradores is a great choice, as the views are awe-inspiring, the walk is peaceful, and the two towns connected by the route are enjoyable and friendly.