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Smart, private cottage for exploring Picos de Europa, beaches, views

Highlights: charming cottage • privacy • superb views • walk to village • beaches and Picos 20 mins

Property Ref: AT23
€720 to €880 per week | GB£ | US$ | AUS$ | CAN$
Sleeps: 4Bedrooms: 2
Setting: Hilltop seclusion and viewpoint

Full Property description & Rustical Review

Perfectly located for exploring the best-known Picos highlights, beaches, and getting well off the beaten track. Walking distance to Arriondas. Fabulous mountain views. Sleeps 4.

Sometimes it really is the location that matters, even if the accommodation must have everything you want, too.

We have a number of good, well-kept holiday homes – here it’s a two-bedroomed beauty – but when you realize that this one is ideally situated for enjoying the very best of Asturias and the Picos de Europa, it makes all the difference in the world.

The cottage is just what a lot of couples or small families look for. It’s a very pretty, stone-built affair, set on a hilltop in private gardens, from where you have stupendous views of the Picos de Europa mountains. At less than ten minutes walk is Arriondas, right at the heart of walking holiday country.

From here you are also perfectly placed for exploring the gloriously undiscovered reaches of the Picos: Ponga, which we shall come to presently.

The rustically modern house accommodates four people in attractive comfort. Among features that we particularly liked were the smart kitchen, good mattresses and wood floors in the bedrooms, and properly cushioned terrace furnishings outside.

The spaces aren’t minimal, either. As you come in, an open-plan design spreads out from a high-ceilinged reception area; upstairs a gallery landing from decent-sized bedrooms overlooks the spacious main room.

It’s all neatly fitted out, well-appointed and inviting. There are two upstairs bedrooms, a bathroom on both floors, and 80 m² of covered terrace, including a barbecue.

Outside, children have loads of space to run around and play on the grass. There are also a couple of swings. Adults and teenagers have the use of bicycles: these are provided free of charge and you are simply asked to take good care of them for the following guests.

You’re very private here, high among the green hills, not overlooked at all. The only other building you can see in one of the photos belongs to the same owners and is an unoccupied outhouse.

The views aren’t just wonderful, they’re a hint of what you will experience every day and whichever direction you choose. Keen walkers are in their natural element here.

The central location puts you close to thick forest and sparkling rivers, forgotten villages and the pretty beaches of the Asturias coastline.

Walk the 800 metres to Arriondas and you find yourself in a small, well-provided for town, laid out along the banks of the otherwise tree-lined Sella and Piloña Rivers, against a backdrop of crumpled mountains. Try a snack with local Cabrales cheese and light, sharp cider decanted by your barman. Asturias is famed in Spain for its generous, tasty cuisine. You don’t have to go to either of the Michelin-starred restaurants in Arriondas to experience plentiful and marvellous dishes.

Arriondas has good facilities, including internet (and there’s even a disco), but above all it is best known as the setting-out point for descending the Sella river in kayak, canoe or raft. This has become a popular activity and you’ll have no problem hiring a boat if you want to try it. In August, people come from far and wide to take part in the festive International Canoe Race, accompanied by music and street events.

You can also organize canyoning and similar outdoor pursuits here, and for anything you can’t find, a ten-minute drive brings you to Cangas de Onis, nerve centre for the Picos de Europa. Cangas Sunday market is a good opportunity to pick up fresh produce and to select from variety of intriguing (and often pungent) cheeses.

Before going into the rich depths of the mountains here, let’s not forget the coast. The cottage is a mere 20 minutes from the wild, natural setting of La Vega beach at Ribadesella. The mile-long strand, protected from development as a declared Natural Monument, is good for swimming. There’s a very fine fish restaurant at La Vega and children’s surfing boards can often be hired. In the eastern reaches of the beach there are fossilized dinosaur footprints.

Follow the coast road to discover the very best beaches in Asturias and the lovely small seaside town of Lastres and its nearby Jurassic Museum, a sure-fire hit with children, who can then hunt for more dinosaur prints on the beach below.

The cottage’s immediate draw, for most people, is the Picos mountains. From the property, as long as there’s no mistiness, of course, you see a range of snow-topped peaks, including Peña Santa. In less than half an hour you’re right amongst them and rising to the high lakes of Covadonga. Add the Cares Defile and the funicular to Bulnes for classic days out.

It’s spectacular, and yet curiously enough, it can be something of a challenge for hiking, since the terrain tends towards the abrupt. We have even better recommendations for walking and this is where AT23 cottage comes into its own.

Arriondas is the nearby town for the almost otherworldly Sierra del Sueve, where pathways meander the hills and you may come across the unique Asturcon horse. But there’s much more…

Twenty minutes, driving south, brings you to Ponga and, in our opinion, some of the most extraordinary landscapes anywhere in Spain. Make no mistake, this is way off the beaten track!

Drive along the almost daunting Beyos defile and you will find the wild cousin to the Picos that few people know exists and fewer ever enter. Unpopulated gorges, sheer rock faces, springy-grassed hillsides to ramble, wild forest, and view after view of endless peaks that are ultimately lost to sight in inaccessible territory of the province of León.

This is Ponga and it’s very special. Keep going, because it just gets more amazing. Around Oseja de Sajambre one comes across hamlets in another, forgotten time and people living entirely off the land. The village bar, if there is one, might not have a fridge, keeping wine cool instead in a stone recess beneath the floor.

After a trip out here, you can soon return to “civilization” and shopping at the large convenience store in Arriondas, but you may wonder whether you dreamed it all.

Rest at home, looking out at the mountain massif over a barbecue in summer, or warm and toasty inside in winter by the open fire more than adequately supported by central heating.

Enjoy natural Asturias!

To find out more about this area of Spain, see our full guide to Holidays in Northern Spain.

Facilities

Self-catering
4-ring vitroceramic hob & electric oven; Microwave; Toaster; Coffee maker; Kettle; Dishwasher; Fridge-freezer.

Practicalities
Washing machine; Iron & board; Hairdryer; Open fireplace (firewood included); Central heating; Furnished porch terrace; Cot (available on request); All bedding and towels provided (except beach towels); Private parking.

Enjoyment
TV; DVD with film collection; Simply furnished barbecue terrace; Private grounds (90,000 m²); Swing; 4 bicycles (available on request and in good condition if previous guests have cared for them).

Distribution

On two floors

Ground floor (Large open-plan design)
Reception area; Kitchen, dining and living areas; bathroom (shower/WC).

First floor
Gallery overlooking living area; Bedroom 1: Double bed; Bedroom 2: Twin beds; Bathroom (shower/WC).

Exterior
Porch terrace; Barbecue terrace; Utility room; Private grounds.

Prices for Property Ref. AT23

Rustical Travel's prices are in euros and fully inclusive. No hidden costs, no surcharges.
Sleeps up to 4 people
From ToPrice per week
12 April 2014 25 April 2014 €880
26 April 2014 30 May 2014 €720
31 May 2014 27 June 2014 €760
28 June 2014 29 August 2014 €880
30 August 2014 14 September 2014 €820
15 September 2014 30 September 2014 €760
01 October 2014 19 December 2014 €720
20 December 2014 04 January 2015 €880

Availability for Property Ref. AT23

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Available Booked Dates on hold Changeover days

Changeover day for AT23

  • The changeover day is Saturday during the main summer season.

Booking information for AT23

  • Normal check-in time: 4:30 pm – 10 pm; Normal check-out time: 10 am.
  • Cot available.

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Locations & Distances

On its own hill just above Arriondas and accessed by 700 metres of road and track in good condition.

Arriondas (riverside town, all services) 8 mins walk
Cangas de Onis (hub for the Picos de Europa) 10 mins drive
Fitu look-out point and Sierra del Sueve walks 20 mins
Ribadesella sandy beaches 20 mins
Jurassic Museum (dinosaurs) 20 mins
Lastres (fishing village) 25 mins
Covadonga (Picos de Europa National Park) 25 mins
Ponga (Natural Park, forests, wild landscapes) 25 mins
High mountain lakes (of Covadonga) 40 mins
Asturias Airport 1 hr 15 mins
Santander Airport and Ferry 1 hr 45 mins
Bilbao Airport and Ferry 2 hrs 50 mins