Slow Train through Asturias

By rail through España Verde
 

Holiday Highlights

Nostalgic rail | Enjoy a ‘slow’ journey through Asturias with great scenery.
Heritage sites | Visit the UNESCO-protected Tito Bustillo cave, a prehistoric rock shelter.
Discover Oviedo | Museums, galleries and delicious Asturian cider in a great Spanish city.
Asturian life | An unfolding tableaux of red-roofed homesteads with glimpses of the wild Atlantic.
Costa Verde | Lush hills and grassy cliffs frame secluded beaches of virgin sand.
Slow Train through Asturias. 7 nights
Slow Train through Asturias. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A touring holiday in Asturias by train

Charming coastal villages, fabulous beaches and delicious cider and cuisine... there’s much to discover as you explore ‘Green Spain’ on this leisurely self-guided journey by rail. Visit the UNESCO-protected Tito Bustillo cave, and stay in a fine casa de Indianos typical of the region.
Along Spain’s Costa Verde (‘Green Coast’), lush hills and pastureland tumble down to grassy cliffs which frame secluded beaches of virgin sand, sweeping bays and enticing fishing ports. Behind all this lies the Picos de Europa mountain range, wild and remote with its jagged limestone peaks. Somewhere in between meanders the FEVE, a narrow-gauge railway whose trains chug faithfully along, making measured and staccato progress through a bucolic and astonishingly green landscape as they gather and disgorge locals and commuters, providing the perfect means of transport for the curious and insouciant traveller.

This holiday makes great use of the railway, and offers a selection of short walks, visits to the coastline and beaches, and to enticing towns and villages along its route. As you trundle along, take in the unfolding tableaux of traditional Asturian life: red-roofed homesteads and hórreos (granaries on stone pillars) dotting the fields, herds of contented-looking dairy cattle, and glimpses of the wild Atlantic, continually shaping this extraordinarily beautiful coastline. Admire, too, the city of Oviedo, Asturias’ civilised and compact capital, and enjoy stays at two fine casas de Indianos – palatial homes built from fortunes made in the Americas that are now comfortable and highly individual hotels.
 
Gallery

 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Cudillero
    Night 1: at Casona de la Paca (the first of three nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Cudillero & surrounding area

    Enjoy Cudillero
    Take a short walk along quiet lanes down into Cudillero to explore the cobbled streets and stepped alleyways. The village fills a natural amphitheatre facing the sea, with colourful houses tumbling down towards a small cove. Almost half the population still earns its living from the sea; don’t miss the return of the boats to harbour with their catch during the early evening.

    Aguilar Beach & coastal walk
    A 5-minute taxi ride brings you to Aguilar, whose inviting golden sands stretch beneath dramatic cliffs. From here, follow a 7-kilometre coastal path to pretty San Esteban, where deep blue waters fill its harbour, before catching the FEVE train back again.

    Visit Luarca
    From Cudillero, catch the FEVE west to Luarca, where you have time to wander the narrow streets and take in the attractive harbour before enjoying lunch and catching the early afternoon train back to Cudillero.

    Historic Avilés
    Avilés lies in the other direction, about an hour’s journey to the east. Often overlooked due to its former industrial associations, this is a gem of a place to explore. The historic centre, with its elegant, colonnaded streets and central Plaza de España, fronted by two fine 17th-century buildings, makes a fine place to wander; and there are some good, authentic Asturian restaurants to enjoy. You can also visit the striking Cultural Centre designed by Oscar Niemeyer, one of the world’s most influential modern architects.
    Historic Avilés
    Luarca (C) ADP Diseno Publicitario
  • Cudillero to Oviedo
    Next stop – reached by train – is Oviedo, Asturias’ cultured capital (journey time 1h30). You stay one night at the Cervantes Hotel, handily placed for our self-guided tour of this elegant – and very walkable – city. Its university lends it a cool, contemporary vibe, but its history stretches back for centuries. Admire the cathedral of San Salvador, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the characterful casco antiguo (Old Town). As dusk approaches, wander down the lively Bulevar de la Sidra (‘cider boulevard’), a street brimming with traditional Asturian sidrerías (cider bars), and marvel at how the escanciadores decant the fizzing local brews at arm’s length without spilling a drop.
    Oviedo Cathedral
    Traditional café bars in Oviedo's Old Town
  • Oviedo to Ribadesella
    Leaving Oviedo, you continue by train to Ribadesella and the Villa Rosario (journey time 2h15), a flamboyant casa de Indiano right on the seafront. Ribadesella’s pretty plazas and narrow streets offer up a tempting variety of places to eat and drink, from traditional sidrerías to the Michelin-starred Arbidel (advanced booking essential).
  • Explore Ribadesella & surrounding area

    Ribadesella
    Both a low-key fishing town and a jewel of Spain’s Atlantic Coast, Ribadesella – as its name suggests – is carved in two by the mouth of the Sella River. As well as exploring the charming streets of the Old Town east of the river, take time to enjoy the graceful curve of Playa de Santa Marina to the west, where golden sands and gently lapping waves are backed by a popular pedestrian promenade. You can also wander up to the picturesque Hermitage de la Virgen de la Guia, where there are marvellous views.

    Tito Bustillo Cave
    Just a 10-minute stroll from the waterfront is Ribadesella’s most curious attraction: the outstanding, UNESCO-protected Tito Bustillo Cave. The eerie interior is lined with prehistoric depictions dating back as far as 35,000 years – considered to be some of the most important examples of Paleolithic Art in Europe. To be sure of not missing out, we highly recommend booking in advance at centrotitobustillo.com (the caves are closed on Mondays, Tuesdays, public holidays and the last few days of October).

    Medieval Llanes
    Catch the train east to Llanes, where you will find another lovely coastal village, but with a very different feel – there is a walled medieval heart to explore, as well as a wide choice of bars, cafés, shops and restaurants.

    Head to the beach
    Jump back on the ‘Slow Train’ to take your pick from a string of pristine beaches along this stunning stretch of coastline, many of which are easily accessible on foot from the various FEVE calling-points. You can even make up your own coastal walks, getting off the train at one stop in order to follow the footpath to reach another, perhaps stopping off at a quiet cove for a dip along the way.
    In Llanes, make sure you try some traditional delicacies
    Celorio beach
 

Accommodation

Our featured accommodation is very varied (a casa de Indianos is a former palatial home converted into a highly individual hotel), but all are well located for exploring.

In some places, we work with more than one hotel, as shown below. All are hand-picked by us and, unless there is a price implication (in which case we will contact you to discuss your options), we will tell you which one we have booked for you on your booking confirmation.

Wherever you stay in each place, we recommend adding an extra night at any or all three bases, as there is plenty to see and do in each; from Oviedo, for example, you could take a bus to visit two UNESCO-protected, pre-Romanesque churches perched above the city.
 
Prices & travel options
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  • 7 nights: 11 April 2024 - 15 July 2024, 01 September 2024 - 30 October 2024, 01 April 2025 - 15 July 2025 & 01 September 2025 - 31 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    11 - 28 Apr 2024 £770 £280
    29 Apr - 8 May 2024 £800 £290
    9 - 28 May 2024 £830 £290
    29 May - 4 Jun 2024 £925 £325
    5 - 25 Jun 2024 £950 £415
    26 Jun - 31 Aug 2024 £995 £420
    1 - 19 Sep 2024 £860 £325
    20 - 30 Sep 2024 £820 £295
    1 - 10 Oct 2024 £790 £285
    11 - 23 Oct 2024 £770 £280
    1 - 28 Apr 2025 £805 £295
    29 Apr - 8 May 2025 £835 £305
    9 - 28 May 2025 £865 £305
    29 May - 4 Jun 2025 £965 £340
    5 - 25 Jun 2025 £990 £435
    26 Jun - 31 Aug 2025 £1035 £440
    1 - 19 Sep 2025 £895 £340
    20 - 30 Sep 2025 £855 £310
    1 - 10 Oct 2025 £825 £300
    11 - 24 Oct 2025 £805 £295
    3rd & 4th person discount -£10
    Single traveller supplement £10

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Included travel: rail pass for up to 10 single journeys
    Pay locally for travel arrangements between rail stations and hotels

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Casona de la Paca, Cudillero
    Larger: 11 Apr - 15 Jul 2024 £22
    Larger: 01 Sep - 30 Oct 2024 £22
    Larger: 01 Apr - 15 Jul 2025 £23
    Larger: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2025 £23
    Cervantes Hotel, Oviedo
    Premium: 11 Apr - 15 Jul 2024 £29
    Premium: 01 Sep - 30 Oct 2024 £29
    Premium: 01 Apr - 15 Jul 2025 £30
    Premium: 01 Sep - 31 Oct 2025 £30
    Villa Rosario, Ribadesella
    Sea view: 11 Apr - 04 May 2024 £31
    Sea view: 05 May - 12 May 2024 £37
    Sea view: 13 May - 31 May 2024 £31
    Sea view: 01 Jun - 30 Jun 2024 £22
    Sea view: 01 Jul - 15 Jul 2024 £44
    Sea view: 01 Sep - 23 Sep 2024 £22
    Sea view: 24 Sep - 14 Oct 2024 £37
    Sea view: 15 Oct - 30 Oct 2024 £31
    Sea view: 01 Apr - 04 May 2025 £32
    Sea view: 05 May - 12 May 2025 £38
    Sea view: 13 May - 31 May 2025 £32
    Sea view: 01 Jun - 30 Jun 2025 £23
    Sea view: 01 Jul - 15 Jul 2025 £46
    Sea view: 01 Sep - 23 Sep 2025 £23
    Sea view: 24 Sep - 14 Oct 2025 £38
    Sea view: 15 Oct - 31 Oct 2025 £32

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Casona de la Paca, Cudillero (B&B) Double room Single room
    11 Apr - 04 Jun 2024 £81 £114
    05 Jun - 09 Jul 2024 £88 £121
    10 Jul - 15 Jul 2024 £101 £147
    01 Sep - 12 Sep 2024 £101 £147
    13 Sep - 26 Sep 2024 £88 £121
    27 Sep - 30 Oct 2024 £81 £114
    01 Apr - 04 Jun 2025 £84 £118
    05 Jun - 09 Jul 2025 £92 £126
    10 Jul - 15 Jul 2025 £105 £153
    01 Sep - 12 Sep 2025 £105 £153
    13 Sep - 26 Sep 2025 £92 £126
    27 Sep - 31 Oct 2025 £84 £118
    Cervantes Hotel, Oviedo (B&B) Double room Single room
    11 Apr - 15 Jul 2024 £70 £129
    01 Sep - 30 Oct 2024 £70 £129
    01 Apr - 15 Jul 2025 £73 £134
    01 Sep - 31 Oct 2025 £73 £134
    Villa Rosario, Ribadesella (B&B) Double room Single room
    11 Apr - 04 May 2024 £73 £128
    05 May - 12 May 2024 £88 £158
    13 May - 31 May 2024 £73 £128
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2024 £103 £191
    01 Jul - 15 Jul 2024 £125 £235
    01 Sep - 23 Sep 2024 £103 £191
    24 Sep - 14 Oct 2024 £88 £158
    15 Oct - 30 Oct 2024 £73 £128
    01 Apr - 04 May 2025 £76 £133
    05 May - 12 May 2025 £92 £165
    13 May - 31 May 2025 £76 £133
    01 Jun - 30 Jun 2025 £107 £199
    01 Jul - 15 Jul 2025 £130 £244
    01 Sep - 23 Sep 2025 £107 £199
    24 Sep - 14 Oct 2025 £92 £165
    15 Oct - 31 Oct 2025 £76 £133
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Asturias (Oviedo), Bilbao or Santander
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Madrid. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Bilbao easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Bilbao (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Edinburgh - Bilbao (via Barcelona) Vueling 
    Edinburgh - Santander Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Bilbao (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Asturias (Oviedo) Vueling 
    Gatwick - Asturias (Oviedo) (via Barcelona) Iberia 
    Gatwick - Bilbao British Airways,  easyJet,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Asturias (Oviedo) via Madrid Iberia 
    Heathrow - Bilbao British Airways,  Iberia,  Vueling 
    Heathrow - Bilbao (via Madrid) Iberia 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Santander Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Asturias (Oviedo) (via Barcelona) Vueling 
    Manchester - Asturias (Oviedo) (via Madrid) Iberia 
    Manchester - Bilbao easyJet 
    Manchester - Bilbao (via Barcelona) Iberia 
    Manchester - Bilbao (via Heathrow) Iberia 
    Manchester - Oviedo (via Lisbon) TAP Air Portugal 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Bilbao (via Amsterdam Schiphol) KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Madrid. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Bilbao

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Bilbao airport to hotel (3h15) £245-£255 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Llanes coach station (0h30), coach Llanes to Bilbao city centre (3h-3h55) £44-£46 1330
    direct taxi hotel to Bilbao airport (2h15) £170-£180 flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying via Asturias Oviedo

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Asturias (Oviedo) airport to hotel (0h20) £20-£21 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Ribadesella coach station (0h05), coach Ribadesella to Asturias (Oviedo) airport (2h45-3h45) £35-£36 1300 (1600 Sat/Sun)
    direct taxi hotel to Asturias (Oviedo) airport (1h15) £81-£84 flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying via Santander

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    coach Santander to Gijón (2h40-3h40), taxi Gijón to hotel (0h40) £66-£69 1800
    taxi Santander airport to hotel (2h15) £175-£185 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Llanes coach station (0h30), coach Llanes to Santander (1h30-2h) £37-£38 1200
    taxi hotel to Ribadesella coach station (0h05), coach Ribadesella to Santander (2h30) £20-£21 1500
    direct taxi hotel to Santander airport (1h15) £97-£101 flexible
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 7 breakfasts
  • detailed cultural information
  • rail pass for up to 10 single journeys
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact us to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Spain, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • (Castilian) Spanish is one of several official languages; Catalan, Basque and Gallego have equal status in Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia, respectively. The currency is the Euro. Spanish time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
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