Llanes is a charming coastal resort on the beautiful northern Spain coastline, one of our favourites in the Asturias region. With the Picos de Europa behind, and on a very attractive stretch of coast - lots of cliffs, coves and beaches - its position is great.
Above one of the town's beaches, the Playa del Sablon, there is a long rambla, the San Pedro Walk. It's a great place to go for a walk and see the dramatic coastal scenery on one side and the town on the other. Another of the nice town beaches is the Toro beach pictured above.
The best beach in the area, and one of the best in Spain is the Cuevas del Mar beach with its beautiful sculpted rocky cliffs. The beach is now a protected landscape but that does not stop you from going and enjoying the beach and sea and there is a car park nearby.
Also to look out for are geological formations called 'jesters' which are holes in the cliff that go right down to the sea and through which spumes of seawater are sprayed out of the top. It often makes a howling noise at the same time! There are four jesters in the area; Bufones de Pria, Bufones de Arallinas, Bufon de Santiuste and Bufon de Santa Clara.
Llanes itself has a lovely old town with medieval walls and a number of impressive buildings to look out for. There is a circular medieval tower along the walls which is home to the tourist office and there are some Renaissance palaces including the Casa del Cercau, the Duques de Estrada and the Palacio de Gastanaga. The old quarter has been listed as a 'historic and artistic' complex.
Many locals from Llanes emigrated to the "Americas' to make their fortunes and many did indeed return rich. They then built large houses for themselves in an eclectic mix of styles from modernist to mountain chalet and inside had furniture brought in from Paris and Barcelona. These houses are collectively known as the 'Indianas' and examples can be seen on La Calle de la Concepcion, near the Casino, and Avenida de la Paz.
The harbour of Llanes is interesting with its 'Los Cubos de Memoria' (Cubes of Memory). This is a breakwater to protect the harbour made up of lots of cubes of reinforced concrete. It was designed by Augustin Ibarrola and the cubes are decorated to represent the towns history and fauna and flora as well as the artist himself.
Llanes was once one of Spain's most dangerous ports and its maritime history is descibed in Llanes Maritime Exhibition Centre.
Places to Visit Nearby
The pretty, small town of Potes is nearby. It is a good place to start a walk in the Picos de Europa mountains. Also with a backdrop of the Picos de Europa mountains is the pleasant town of Cangas de Onis with its 'Roman Bridge'.
You can find more local travel ideas in the Asturias and Cantabria guide.