Tag Archives: playa

Spain: Asturias (Road Trip Part 3)

Playa del Silencio

This beach is amazing! Visitors descend onto Playa del Silencio from a long wooden stair case. About half way down you can feel the loud and forceful winds that have helped to carve out this beach location. The main part of the beach consists of large smooth pebbles which are pushed back and forth by each wave and this area is suitable for swimming and sunning. The way the water and sunlight play off the textures and colors or the rocks create a beautiful palate of jewel colors. A large cliff face shields the beach from the East while the West end becomes a series of jagged rock poking out from the ocean in neat lines. It’s possible to wander very far during low tide, stepping among the rocks (with sturdy shoes). Low tide also brings a great opportunity to look for small sea life.

The cliffs that loom over the beach show a mix of soft soil with grasses and wildflowers and exposed rock layers. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes while looking at the colorful sections of earth, made especially vibrant when dampened by rain and sea. The name of the beach misleading, as the sound of powerful waves hitting rocks and the strong winds is anything but silent.

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 This gorgeous rock sits exposed to the ocean along a small beach. The cliffs, rock formations and exposed folds can tell the story of the area.


Playa Campiecho

A small town along the coast, Cadavedo, has many beaches and a dramatic coastline. I recommend Playa Campiecho, a stunning, natural beach with a beautiful view of the coastal cliffs. This isn’t such a safe place to swim with so many rocks, especially if caught during a tide change (the weather here changes quickly; in the same one hour visit, torrential rain broke to full sunshine and then back to overcast). However, it is a wonderful location for viewing the geological features that make the Spanish coast so beautiful and distinct. There are two “roads” to this location and one is an incredibly steep dirt road leading through a farm field; I found this is the less-desired route!

Playa Campiecho in Cadavedo

Playing in the waves and rocks on the coast of Asturias is a beautiful adventure! Although some beaches are quite well-known and their accessibility allows visitors to easily find them, I feel it’s impossible to claim some are more beautiful than others. Sometimes nothing is more inspiring than seeing life at work and tiny ocean communities blooming with plants and animals, or the wide range of colors nature creates in one viewpoint – reds, yellows and purples in rock and green grass featuring blue and white wildflowers. Coastal weather is just as dramatic as the landscape with a steady and rapid cycle of cloud cover, showers and sun. No doubt this only adds to the wonderful natural characteristics of the lands. I highly recommend a visit to any “beach,” manicured or completely natural along the coast of Asturias. Please know a rain coat and shoes with a sturdy sole are just as important and as a swimsuit and towel of you want to really enjoy the surroundings!

Thank you for reading and if you want to see more pictures find me on Instagram: @cestlaruby 

 

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Spain: Basque Beaches (Road Trip Part 2)

Writing to you from Santiago de Compostela, with my feet up, hoping to get some rest after a long, hot day exploring the city. It’s a charming place with a rich cultural scene, history, and even though a bit inland, still has delicious seafood.

Now it’s time to finally catch up on some posts. Spain has been a bit chillier and more rainy than usual, which wouldn’t bother me at all had I been a bit more prepared. The rain coat (bright blue and bound to make several appearances in photos) and sweatshirt have been a daily wardrobe staple and my poor hiking shoes are constantly damp. The breeze is strong and the weather changes every fifteen minutes but I find it beautiful and very powerful. The two week trip across the northern coast from Santander to San Sebastian (and a quick stop in France) to Gijón and A Coruña is about 1,600 km.

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The coast a few kilometers East of Bilbao.

 

The Basque area was really beautiful with many small roads hugging the coast and frequent beaches with hiking routes. Gentle mountains to the south and the ocean to the north provided contrast and wonderful landscapes all the way. I’d heard Basque food cannot be missed and ate out as often as possible. The delicious fish, cheeses and wines, as well as Basque cakes, were all very good. Nights with a cool air coming off the of the ocean made a warm or heavy dish tolerable.

Playa de Laga

 

The next day I took a short hike beginning just outside of  Urdaibai –  Biosfera Erreserba beginning at Playa de Laga. This was such a beautful views of the coast. I’ve been using Wikiloc with mixed success for finding hikes. My main issue is not having quite good enough Spanish to understand routes or using the correct Spanish hiking jargon while searching. Almost the entire coast has a hiking path, official or not and numerous networks exist slightly inland. Northern Spain is a perfect place for  a “choose you own adventure” kind of hike. 

 

Where a river meets the ocean.

 

Weather was challenging during the section between Zauritz and Biarritz  (FR) with full clouds or rain most days. San Sebastian looked cute even in a storm but there was no time to wait for sun and take a look at the beach. The most easternly destination on the ride was Hossegor, France and the long sandy beaches that make it a surfer’s paradise. These days provided a nice opportunity for trying some local food, in particular, cheeses. Admittedly, I was delighted to score some Belgian beer in France a touch cheaper than it is other places. I enjoyed playing beach bum.

Playa de la Arnía, just West of Santander was a highlight. The day had been rainy from the start but the evening cleared up a bit for a visit to the iconic beach. The Urros that thrust out of the ocean and have been shaped by waves and wind over time are amazing. Some rock appears razor thin at some points and the features seem to defy gravity! Around this area there are so many beaches it’s almost overwhelming. I love walking along beaches with interesting geologic features and thought I might fall in love with all of Spain’s northern coast.

At Playa de la Arnía

Thank you for reading!