Nothing says ‘holiday’ more than the wide-open expanse of a golden beach. Combine this with a superb location at the foot of the Picos de Europa, fantastic restaurants ranging from earthy bars to Michelin star and a warm and friendly hotel offering breakfast views of the sea and you have the foundations for a very good few days. Welcome to Ribadesella, the last stop on the Slow Train through Asturias
This fascinating town has much to please the intrepid explorer: split into two halves, separated by the Sella river, each side has its own distinct identity. The dark river widens into a muddy estuary with tidal mud flats littered with oyster shells to form a natural harbour clinking with the masts of small boats. Along one side of the harbour lies the main part of the town, the tiny FEVE
station just a short walk up the hill. Across the connecting bridge and its steady stream of backpackers en route to Santiago de Compostela, there’s a bit more of a seaside resort vibe. Hotels and hostels for tired pilgrims to rest their weary feet are interspersed with giant casas de indianos
set in exotic gardens overlooking the beach, one of which is the hotel Villa Rosario.