Luarca is in the province of Asturias in the Asturias and Cantabria region of Spain.

Luarca is one of the most attractive towns in Asturias and Cantabria, indeed its harbour is one of the lovliest in Spain.

Explore Luarca

Luarca has a really superb harbour. Circled by tall buildings typical of the Asturian architecture it has a nice sheltered position and the water is dotted by small fishing craft. Take a walk along the jetty and look back to get excellent views of the harbour.

Luarca harbour

Lovely by daytime it is even better at night when it is lit up by the street lights and surrounding buildings. Luarca's harbour is a great place to stop for a drink or a meal.

Walking around the town you can enjoy both the fishermen's cottages and the smart 19th century houses, many of which are painted white.

The town itself not only has the sea at the front but has a river, the river Negro, winding through it and so is criss-crossed by seven bridges adding to its charm.

One of the bridges, 'the Bridge of the Kiss' can be found in the Fishermen's Quarter. According to legend a pirate called Cambaral was captured and emprisoned in Luarca after terrorising the area. During his time in captivity he was looked after by the daughter of Lord Hidalgo and the couple fell in love.

They ran away together and stopped to kiss on the Puente del Beso bridge where Hidalgo caught them and chopped off both their heads which fell into the water.


Luarca has a beach backed by tall cliffs. Part of it is very sheltered and an excellent spot for a bit of sunbathing.

Up above the town there is the Virgen de la Blanca chapel and an attractive multi-tiered cemetery, said to be one of the most attractive in Spain. The Nobel prize winner for medicine, Severo Ochoa, was born in Luarca and is buried in the cemetery.

The cemetery sits on a rocky outcrop and from here with the sea behind you you can see Luarca and its harbour down to the left and an attractive beach, backed by cliffs, to the right. Nearby is the lighthouse of Luarca.

Garden lovers will want to visit the Gardens of the Fonte Baxa which sit on the hill above Luarca and offer some excellent views over the town. This is the largest private botanical garden in Spain and is home to lots of interesting plants as well as lots of statues and fountains.

Luarca is on the northern route of the Camino de Santiago Compostella - the popular pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella in Galicia. This is also known as the 'Way of Saint James'.

It was one of the most popular pilgrimages in Medieval times and is hugely popular nowadays too with tens of thousands of pilgrims following the route every year.

Museums in Luarca

The Aula del Mar near the lighthouse is a marine zoology museum with a large collection of giant squid.

Places to visit nearby

Cudillero is also on this part of the Costa Verde coast and is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages of Spain.

Avilla is also worth a visit with its medieval centre and pretty, painted houses.

Further west of Luarca is the pleasant port of Navia