Off the beaten track

Viavelez or “Via Velae” (navigation path) is another hidden gem, totally unspoilt and still relatively unknown to tourists. A tiny little fishing village just a few miles down the coast from Tapia, it is crossed by the Vio river, draining into what is surely one of the prettiest little natural harbours on the coast of Asturias.

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Once an important whaling port and a thriving shipbuilding centre, fishing is now the main activity. I love watching the small fleet of brightly coloured fishing boats coming in at noon and landing their catch at the lonja, the little fish market at the top end of the harbour.  With barely 100 inhabitants, the village itself is a labyrinth of gently sloping narrow pedestrian stone streets, its houses nestling on the rocky ledges flanking the eastern side of the harbour and all built in the purest western Asturian style, a mixture of fishermen’s cottages and somewhat grander casona-type mansions.

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There are fantastic viewpoints on both sides of the harbour. The atalaya or vantage point on the eastern side is where the whale spotters would stand scouring the sea for telltale waterspouts.  A stroll along the western side of the harbour past all the stacks of crab pots and lobster pots takes you up to another fabulous spot with incredible views taking in the headland on the left and the picture-postcard village down below, perfect for a photo shoot!

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Viavelez has only one tavern, with a menu featuring plenty of freshly caught fish from the local lonja – hake, monkfish, John Dory, bream, bass, red mullet… The grilled octopus leg is scrumptious and the sea urchin croquettes, to die for!

Fancy joining me?




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