Seville Snapshots: Luarca, Asturias

We were faced with a decision that only a pilgrim faces: walk the 1.8 kilometers to an albergue that was rumored to be next to a dairy farm in Almuña, or walk 3km downhill to the town of Luarca.


The humble village would house us on the third night of the Camino de Santiago del Norte, a long walk of mostly weaving in and out of the N-634. Billed as one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, I was eager to spend the night on the water, as it would be one of our last.

Luarca is stacked above a small inlet on the Bay of Biscay surrounding a port. I imagined quaint fishing boats bobbing along the river Negro and ornate buildings decorating the cobblestone streets and small, tucked-away plazas.

Sadly, the city fell a little flat for me (truth be told, the road into Luarca was more picturesque!). While I could see some charm in the crumbling buildings and the colorful port, Luarca was disappointing both in vistas as in the bustling pueblo I expected to find. I felt a weak city pulse, despite the number of tourists and pilgrims eating al fresco and splashing in the cool, clear water. In its defense, I ate an incredible salad at my pension’s bar on Calle Crucero!

Think I’m full of it? Christine in Spain was there earlier this summer and had loads of things to say! Have you ever had expectation of a city or place, only to have them fall short?

Thanks again to my trip sponsors – Caser Expat Insurance, Podoactiva, Books4Spain, Your Spain Hostel and Walk and Talk Chiclana. 

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About Cat Gaa

As a beef-loving Chicago girl living amongst pigs, bullfighters, and a whole lotta canis, Cat Gaa writes about expat life in Seville, Spain. When not cavorting with adorable Spanish grandpas or struggling with Spanish prepositions, she works in higher education at an American university in Madrid and freelances with other publications, like Rough Guides and The Spain Scoop.


  1. Wouldn’t the world be such a boring place if we all liked the same things? One persons ‘peace and tranquility’ is another’s ‘boring and lifeless’ – or ‘lively and exciting’ is ‘noisy and overcrowded’ – Thank you for your perspective, it helps give a more balanced view.

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      You are right on that, Sue! The town promised so much but didn’t live up to expectations for me. Meh.

  2. I love those views!
    wanderingeducators recently posted..Alien Citizen: Third Culture Kids, from Everywhere and NowhereMy Profile

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      The rumor is the cemetery has the best views in the whole place! My legs couldn’t make it, unfortunately (because I also love cemeteries!).

  3. What neat sights! I feel like I’m walking along with you… :)
    Lillie – @WorldLillie recently posted..YUM! An Italian Food Market Tour of Boston’s North EndMy Profile

  4. Absolutely stunning – when can I move there? 😉
    Photos 2 and 3 are my favourites.
    Thanks for sharing it!
    Elle xx

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      Little known fact – it’s the birthplace of the ALSA bus company, so I’m sure you can take a bus up there!

  5. Gorgeous pictures. i show my son these photos and he is desperate to go to spain :)
    Marina K. Villatoro recently posted..Theme Restaurants in NYC – Taking it Up a NotchMy Profile

  6. Looks beautiful to me! Don’t feel bad if it wasn’t your favorite — different places appeal to different people.

  7. Looks lovely, but I think falling for a location has a lot to do with the energy too. Nice photos!
    Penny Sadler recently posted..Cool Building: Union Station, Los AngelesMy Profile

  8. Eek. I am going to an Auxiliar really close to Luarca. Marginally worried by how rural it is but it definitely looks like I will get an authentic experience!

    • Sunshine and Siestas says:

      It’s rural, but you’ll eat well! Oviedo and Avileés aren’t too far off, or Ribadeo in Galicia. And in three days, you could walk to the airport! Where is your placement?

  9. Very nice view of the bay. I don’t know if I would feel the same as you when I’m there. I gotta visit it to find out 😉
    Aleah | recently posted..Exploring Freetown Christiania in CopenhagenMy Profile

  10. Those pictures looks amazing to me and makes me want to go there myself.
    Gabi (The Nomadic Family) recently posted..Family Travel Bucketlist #23: Africa’s Little Ole Mauritius IslandMy Profile

  11. I would’ve gone for the downhill walk too! The port looks really pretty.
    Jessica of HolaYessica recently posted..How to Unlock a Smartphone in SpainMy Profile

  12. Sorry to hear that Luarca fell short of your expectations. After walking so far, I understand why the downhill road sounded like the better choice!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..INTERVIEW: African Children’s Choir Brings Hope to the Children of UgandaMy Profile

  13. Absolutely stunning photos!!


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