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Asturias SUP Explore with Escuela de SUP Asturiana

Updated: Apr 13

I’ve spent the past 3 years chatting, planning and sussing this out and was super excited to finally get the chance to bring out some wonderful clients and club members to the green belt of the north of Spain.

On arrival to Santander airport we were greeted by Hugo, Sonia and Laura before being taxied to our accommodation. We all got settled in, I had meeting time in the van travelling from the airport firming up plans with Hugo for the long weekend. When you meet yourself, but a Spanish version it is hard not to laugh at how similarly we worked. Speaking Spanish fairly well turned out to be pretty useful on this trip! Watching the Spanish instructors discuss how to put boards in and out the van cracked me up as I thought of my own team back at home. As much as this was a trip for my clients to get paddling in a warm place, I enjoyed being able to use language to engage with the locals. If you come with us on a trip you may very well be fighting not to be in the van with Hugo and I, unless you want to listen to us tackling all the big questions of life, except in a tongue you may or may not know any of!

Day 1: Paddling in Niembru

In Asturias, the usual “o” ending changes to a “u”. Hence the ending of this word for those they wondered, but what a wonderful place. A tidal bay where one can only paddle on a high tide. A beautiful cove with the church, Sablera de Niembru sitting proudly on the coast overlooking us. A choppier sea was to be found around the corner out the calm bay, but some nice waves literally threw us onto the beach before returning back.

Day 2: Río Cares

If white water SUP is your thing, then this day is an absolute must. Snow melt keeps the rivers at a decent level throughout spring, so coming in April was ideal for us. Los Picos de Europa dramatically hog the skyline above the coast south of Barro where we stayed and the dramatic gorges and cliff faces make you feel more like your in Switzerland or The Alps than what most Brits would understand of Spain’s landscape. These mountains of course offer some super rivers and in the summer the river is filled with canoes and kayaks. We of course timed it perfectly and had it all to ourselves. ✌️

A lunch stop on the river was welcome. Spaniards eat much later than us so a 3 o clock lunch is fairly usual.

Dinner in the evening included delighting in Asturian food. Something that really is a highlight of the trip! If you’re a vegetarian it will certainly entertain you. Perhaps not always the easiet of options. Cider and cheese are two things Asturias does extremely well! Asturias as a region has over 40 cheeses which is a lot considering its size! The cider is aerated by pouring it from a great height. This creates “it’s gas.” Also, because of the Celtic culture the music sound Scottish given the traditional music uses the same pentatonic scale we use in Scotland!

Day 3: Embalse de Riaño

A 2.5-3 hour journey climbing from 0m to 1120m. It was quite the road, curving and meandering up the stunning gorged out landscape. Beautiful villages occasionally appearing, making us feel like the world is so very vast and who an earth could possibly live away up here.

The drive in itself is an experience as the road sits on the edge of huge cliff drops most of the way up!

Arriving at Riaño, we needed a break. The cafes and buildings all typically Spanish with friendly staff delighted to have you in for cafe con leche and a tarta de limón or whatever you locked eyes with. I guess sort of the Aviemore of Asturias. Once ready and refreshed, we got the kit out the van and went for a paddle on the “embalse” which is the Spanish word for reservoir. I’ll let the pictures do the talking. They towered above us as at over 2600m. The dedos, or fjords here giving off Norway vibes.

Day 4

A brief play in the waves on Playa de Barro with Isla Ramón sheltering the best swell getting in. Some chilled and ate breakfast and whilst others went for a swim. Today was a pack up and get ready for home sort of a day. We spent some time in Llanes town doing touristy things and drinking the last of our cañas before heading to the airport.

We go again on the 18th-21st October. A different trip regarding time of year but with a similar style of day trips. If you do fancy it better get in quick as we only have 12 spaces available.

A big thank you to Hugo and his team for supporting us in getting this trip running and creating links between Asturias and Scotland within a SUP context.

If you have read this far you clearly want to come! For October 2024 booking click the link below.

Book your own flights and we’ll be on our way. Edinburgh to Santander Friday 18 6-7am flight returning Monday 5-6pm flight. Please check if you’d like advice. Many people go for longer but our trip starts lunchtime Friday and finishes Monday afternoon.

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