Piloña is one of our favourite areas of Asturias. It’s so picturesque, such a joy to explore, green and hilly, winding country lanes where you chance upon stone-built hamlets: it’s as if you’ve stepped back to an age of country living, with a sparse and scattered populace and general peaceableness.
It’s great for walks. You have the natural park of Sierra del Sueve right on your doorstep and you’re close to the superb Picos de Europa: highly recommended for daytrips to an alpine-style experience. And then it’s only a short drive to the coast for sandy beaches and fishing villages.
This independent country property is set in a vast estate of over 600 acres. If you go looking for them, you’ll find other houses, but here you are quite on your own, with the most marvellous views and a first floor balcony from which to enjoy them. Despite the privacy, a full-time property manager is on hand (she has an office in nearby Sevares village, where you can arrange actvities and use the internet).
The building is a hundred years old, built of stone and wood, and belongs to a high category of rural holiday homes in Asturias. It’s shiny clean and furnished in a chunky, solid style.
The house has plenty of comfortable seating and dining space for four people. The kitchen is fairly small but adequate and it has a window looking out onto the garden.
There’s plenty of natural light in this house, making for a welcoming feel and ambience.
Upstairs, there is a hallway with doors to a fabulous and comfortably furnished timber gallery, which has the effect of opening the house to the beautifully green outside world. The views are of Ponga – a gorgeous off-the-beaten-track tract of the Principality which we urge you to explore – and the rest of the Picos de Europa, often topped with snow.
Outside, a covered porch area has bench seating and a table, and another bench on the little meadow opposite has more pretty views. There’s a barbecue in the garden, although you’d need to carry sausages or vegetable kebabs over to the sitting area.
There’s lots of garden space, ringed by wood fencing which also encloses an old hórreo, or grain store. There are a few steps up to the hórreo and the fence is not childproof, but there are no steep drops and the property is generally perfectly safe for children.
A 10-minute walk along a track (or a 5-minute drive by road) brings you to Sevares village, where you can do simple shopping, eat at restaurants and also visit the property manager, who can point you in the right direction for facilities and activities.
These include horseriding, canoeing in the River Sella (suitable also for children from 7 years), guided walks, fishing (a permit is required, which we can help you obtain, so please ask us well in advance if you plan to fish) and golf at a nearby country palace hotel, where Rustical Travel clients benefit from special rates (as well as a 10% discount on meals at the splendid hotel restaurant).
Sevares village, on the main road connecting Picos de Europa and the coast, is the place for all your basic practical needs; here you can arrange activities at the management office (you can also make use of the WiFi internet here), or take the local train along a pretty itinerary.
Do explore the byways to come upon picture book hamlets to fall in love with: Espinaredo is one of Spain’s most famous village beauty spots and little places like Miyares (just up the road) are just wonderful. This is one of the best spots for mushroom-hunting in autumn. We can out you in touch with the association of local experts if you want to go on a guided hunt and know the edible from the not.
Driving around Piloña is more like old-fashioned leisurely motoring: country lanes, few cars, through lovely landscapes. We suggest Ponga, the Desfiladero de los Beyos, Cangas de Onis for the Picos de Europa, historic Covadonga, tomb of King Pelayo and gateway to high glacial lakes.
And then there's the coast: in half an hour you can be at Ribadesella for sandy beaches, and other highlights include the delightful fishing village of Tazones, Lastres (ask us for recommendations for seafood restaurants here!) with its Jurassic Museum, dinosaur footprints, lighthouses and breathtaking cliffs along an unspoilt coastline.
A string of coves, cliffs and interesting sandy beaches, some with caves are great fun to explore here.
Finally, lest we forget, expect to eat splendidly. While fabada bean stew, cider and cheese are quintessential local specialities, Asturias is one of the best destinations you can choose when it comes to wholesome home cooking. Food here is tasty fare, served generously: just the thing after a healthy day out in the mountains or at the sea.