4 Pet-Friendly Days in Asturias
Updated: Nov 9, 2020
Escape with your four-legged buddy to greener pastures (literally). This four-day travel guide takes you through Spain's Principado de Asturias. Cooler temperatures, hiking trails galore, and enough food and drink to balance it out await.
If you're traveling with your four-legged friend, I've got the 4-day guide just for you. If it's your first time in Asturias and you're dreaming of the postcard views of coastal towns like Cudillero, go, do that. It's gorgeous. But if you've done that, or you just want to escape to smaller towns in the mountainous interior with less tourist foot traffic, let's go.
This plan is for the hiker, eater, drinker and relaxer in you. Plus, I made sure to pick somewhere that feels far enough out there, but is also just a 15 minute drive to the vet-- just in case.
The Nitty Gritty
El Peligro, in the Concejo de Tineo, Asturias, Spain
How to get there from Madrid:
For easy access to trailheads and whatnot, I recommend *shock* a car.
We rented one for about €18/day from getaround, a sort of AirBnB for cars (formerly drivy.com). It often comes out cheaper than renting from one of the big companies. But definitely look into it yourself for the best option for you.
Just a few things to note when renting:
Make sure pets are allowed in the rental contract!
And know that if you've been in Spain for more than six months, and you don't hold a Spanish driving license, your getaround account will be frozen and you will not be able to rent a car. (You can get around this by renting from one of the big companies.)
If your pup is 10 kg or under, you could also take the *bus or train from Madrid to Oviedo, and then rent a car in Oviedo. Your call.
*With your pet in a crate in a special area of
the cargo hold (bus). If you're not
comfortable with that, or your pup is larger
than 10 kg, you'll need to go by car.
€: ~Varies according to your preference + tolls
(From what we could tell, there are tolls regardless of the route you take.
We passed through two pay points, €13 each.)
Time: ~4.5 to 5 hours
€: ~€59 each way + car rental fees from Oviedo on
Time: ~8 hours by bus + ~1 hour by car
€: ~€40 each way + car rental fees from Oviedo on
Time: ~5 hours by train + 1 hour by car
If you're someone who likes to get in the car and go from point A to point B with as few stops as possible (read: none) then skip ahead.
But if you like to take your time (within reason) and stop along the way for a bite to eat, Benavente is a good spot. We chose it for no other reason than that it fell halfway along our route, and had a terrace where we could sit with the dog.
A quick Google search took us to Taberna de Bode in a willow-lined town square where we pigged out on "patatas con huevo y chorizo" (huevos rotos), chuletas, and secreto ibérico. And then we had a coffee or two before waddling back to the car to finish out the drive.
Where to Stay:
While it can be unimaginable to travel without your pet, the logistics can also be very challenging. To minimize headaches, we stuck to one pet-friendly bed and breakfast in a small village near Tineo called El Peligro (more on the name here). We used it as a home base for nearby day-tivities.
Canopied by pear and apple trees, Pensión & Parrilla Casa Vicente is easy to find, yet just tucked away enough that you feel like you've escaped. The pros: fantastic food, a very clean and comfortable room, and hard-to-match hospitality. Plus, your pooch is welcome anywhere in the hotel except the dining room. There's a €5 pet fee per night, but having your buddy close, safe and enjoying the trip with you is definitely worth it.
I couldn't recommend it enough. Look at these photos to see for yourself!
They're mostly food because... yum. It was like being home with my mom for a few days...If my mom were a small Asturian woman named Lola whose steady gaze beneath her chef's hat says, "Eat more, eat more, eat more!"
Cost: €40/night + €5 pet fee/night
Optional: €3 breakfast
€12 dinner (Do it, you won't regret it! And you definitely won't leave hungry.)
€4 bocadillos (To take hiking, perhaps?)
What to do:
We went on three hikes while we were there (check out the link for more options). Carla, one of the owners' two daughters, obviously loves the area and provided great recommendations, which I'll pass on to you.
Day 1: Senda La Regueirina <-- Here's a Wikiloc link to the route!
Distance: 4.2 km / 2.6 mi
Start & Finish: In the village of El Faedal
(You can park just behind the Ermita de San Lorenzo, pictured below.)
It's a loop hike to ease you in after a day in the car. Despite its short length, this route kicks a punch with a decent little climb on one end. It's clearly marked so it's nearly impossible to get lost. Shaded, leafy, green, fern-filled--all that and it has a beautiful waterfall and pool. Our pup happily took a dip (click through to see).
Day 2: Senda Hoces del Esva (Calleras-Calleras, PR-AS-2)
Distance: ~13 km / 8.06 mi
Start & Finish: In the village of *Calleras.
There's a white church just as you pull into the village where you can
park. The trail starts there.
*Depending on how long you want to make the trail, there are different starting points. It's a circular route that goes through several villages, so you can choose. Check out this page for more options!
This was our favorite hike by far. But I will say, if you go with your dog, keep 'em close as you go along the river. We usually let our pup off the leash when we're alone on the trail and it's pretty open (fields). But there's a good stretch of this trail that runs along the river with a steep drop, and plenty of birds to tempt your pooch into a flying leap (or at least ours).
Day 3: Dolmén de Merillés (This link has a great guide!)
Or here's a Wikilocs link for a 8.5 mi version
Distance: 14.81 km / 9.2 mi
Start & Finish: The village of Tuña.
We parked right across from Casa Pipo
(where we enjoyed a delicious menú once we'd finished!)
Alright, so the draw of this trail is the megalith, the Dolmén de Merillés. I'm not going to spoil anything for you, but I'll just say that yes, it's cool, but what we enjoyed most about this hike were the views along the way. After the Hoces hike along the river, and the Regueinira hike through what was more or less farmland with a water feature, this hike offered yet another type of vista. We walked above clouds through wide trails as horses grazed on either side. Where Hoces had colorful wild flowers and stony cliffs, this trail was peppered with colts, stone refuges, and streams.
Day 4: Day trip to Cangas del Narcea
Distance: 24 km (~30 min) <-- Driving, this is a rest day after all
Start & Finish: El Peligro
After three consecutive hiking days, we slept in and moseyed over to Cangas del Narcea for a day trip. It was the most crowded place we visited during our visit, but for good reason. It's a beautiful village to hop from terrace to terrace. We hopped, drank and nibbled our way over to La Ruta for lunch. It was divine. We shared the risotto con vieras y gambas and cachopo, finishing it off with the lemon mousse. Jorge said he wants the risotto as his last meal on this Earth. I wouldn't go that far, but yeah, it was good.
After the hike each day, we usually stopped off in Tineo on the way back for a drink or coffee.
Here are my top choices, nothing fancy, but with very kind and generous staff:
1) Bar Montesol- a dive bar with typical tapas and a €6 sidra + chorizo special, 'twas our go-to.
A few steps from the main square, its terrace boasts unobstructed views of the mountains below.
I list this as a favorite because of how dedicated the server was to our experience. When we asked to order the sidra/chorizo special, he looked at me brokenhearted. If only you'd asked thirty minutes ago! The kitchen was still open!
No worries, I told him.
But for him, Yes worries.
He came back with a dish full of croquetas, and ham, egg, and cheese toasts. He would not have us leave hungry.
2) La Taberna de Moe- Tucked away along a narrow street between hardware stores and banks, this unassuming bar has some incredibly sweet humans behind it. (Or maybe it's the quarantine talking and she was just a normal, nice human.) Nah. She was that nice.
Because of the timing of our hikes, we'd always end up in Tineo peckish, but after the kitchens had already closed. The charming woman behind Taberno de Moe wasn't content to have us nibbling on cold cheese or a bag of chips. Before we could protest, she disappeared into the kitchen and emerged with a bandeja full of freshly heated croquetas, fish fingers, and other fried goodies. As soon as we finished off one round of nibbles, she was back with her bandeja. All of this with the two beers we'd ordered.
At the back of this no-frills joint, hangs a framed poster of this kind purveyor of snacks and her husband: Duo Renacer. She and her husband, an accordion player and instructor, have/had a band.
I asked her about it. She smiled beneath her mask and waved us off-- But that was when I was young. Eight years ago.
She asked about my accent. Where are you from?
The United States.
It's hard being away from family, isn't it? She asked.
Originally from Paraguay, she's been in Spain for about fifteen years. But I'm happy here, she adds. It's just like having two homes.
I nod and pop another fried fish popper into my mouth.
Th-th-that's All Folks!
Welp, that rounds out four days with your pooch in Asturias. After one final meal (read: feast) at Casa Vicente, we woke up on the fifth morning and made our way back to Madrid. If you're not in a rush, it's a beautiful drive to stop in little pueblos along the way. Otherwise, head back into the city (or wherever you're from) refreshed and ready for your next visit up north.
And with that I conclude my "guide." It's half tips, half personal story time. I hope it helps. If you and your pooch end up doing any version of this, please reach out! I'd love to hear how it goes.
Anyway, be safe, be well!
Big (distanced and virtual) hug.
Getaround car rentals: es.getaround.com
Pensión & Parrilla Casa Vicente: booking.com
Taberna de Bode (Benavente): tripadvisor.com
Veterinarian (Tineo): Centro Veterinario Tineo
Restaurante Casa Pipo (Tuña): Casa Pipo
La Taberna de Moe (Tineo): Taberna de Moe
Bar Montesol (Tineo): Bar Montesol
La Ruta (Cangas del Narcea): La Ruta
I'm Emily, the writer/sometimes artist/translator behind free range. If you have any copy, content, translation or creative collaborations in mind, please get in touch! I'd love to hear from you.
#turismoespaña #asturiasparaiso #tourismspain #turismorural #dogfriendlytravel #travelguide