Classified as NATURAL BIOSPHERE RESERVE, is endowed with an exuberant zone of dunes and marshes and great ecological value and landscape.
There are some fantastic hiking and biking paths on our stretch of coast, and some great combinations of things to do. One of my favourite beaches is Barayo, a nature reserve of pristine beauty, described a few years ago by a journalist in The Observer as one of Spain’s most beautiful beaches (actually he said Asturias boasts two of Spain’s best beaches: Torimbia, close to Llanes, and Barayo). On leaving the carpark at the top of the cliffs, enjoy a gentle 15 minute stroll down through woods, marshlands and dunes, home to a huge variety of birds plus nutria, deer and wild boar. Access to the beach itself differs from year to year, depending on the strength of the storms that sometimes thrash these shores in winter. In 2014, what was once just a gentle sandy slope down onto the beach was transformed into towering cliffs of sand, formed by massive swells pushing the sand back and upwards during a period of exceptionally high seas lasting for nearly four months.
Barayo is simply stunning, a beautiful combination of volcanic black sand flecked with hues of gold. We always try and plan our excursions at lowish tide, preferably springs, when there are lots of caves for exploring, including some really big ones. Walking along the beach, you come to the Barayo river, its crystal clear waters meandering back through the dunes and marshes and huge shoals of fish darting this way and that. A steep walk up steps carved into the cliffs takes you back to the carpark, with breathtaking views of the beach and river at every turn.
If you’re still feeling energetic enough, a 90 minute walk along the coastal path starting in Barayo carpark brings you to Puerto de Vega, where you can find restaurants, cafés and pubs with amazing food.