Forming most of the province of Asturias on Spain’s Atlantic coastline, visitors to the Costa Verde (Green Coast) would be forgiven for thinking they were in Ireland or the west coast of France so similar is the beautiful landscape.
The area, including Galicia, Cantabria and part of the Basque Country is referred to as Green Spain, and green it certainly is with the backdrop of the Cantabrian Mountains giving way to rolling hills and valleys where in places the forests reach all the way to the Atlantic coast, making a dramatic contrast between the wild grey ocean and lush green countryside.
The Costa Verde Climate
Determined by the winds sweeping in from the Atlantic Ocean that bring with them moisture which is bolstered by the mountains, Costa Verde’s climate is one of the mildest in Europe and with average summer temperatures of 20 Celsius, is a superb destination for visitors who enjoy the Spanish lifestyle and gastronomy but are not fond of the rather extreme heat that bakes the plains and coastal areas in much of the countries southern regions.
Add to this the fantastic scenery of the countryside and mountains, and you can see why the area is also favoured by outdoor enthusiasts, hikers and rock climbers.
Popular Towns & Cities On The Costa Verde
The largest city on the Costa Verde and also in the autonomous community of Asturias is Gijón, locally referred to as Xixón. Lying in the Bay of Biscay, the city is home to a busy shipping port, vibrant recreational port, good road network and is served by the Gijón Railway Station.
Visitors seeking a bit of culture can enjoy an abundance of museums and libraries, historic buildings and monuments, and a number of cultural events that take place throughout the year, including the popular International Film Festival. The headland of Cimavilla boasts some interesting buildings, parks and plazas and separates the city’s two main beaches of Playa de Poniente and Playa de San Lorenzo.
Picos de Europa & Llanes
With the stunning backdrop of the Picos de Europa mountain range (picture above) and beautiful surrounding countryside, the charming town of Llanes is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Costa Verde. It boasts a busy fishing port, picturesque marina and two main beaches & within the town which is separated by the Reguera Carrocedo river mouth, creating a lovely setting and offering the chance to try a variety of water sports.
On both sides of the river mouth visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to wining & dining options, and the superb local seafood of the region features highly on many tapas bar and restaurant menus.
Inland Costa Verde
With its higher than average rainfall and added moisture being blown in from the Atlantic, the inland areas of Costa Verde are wonderfully fertile and abound in a fantastic array of different flora & fauna including an abundance of wild herbs that flavour many dishes of the region.
Boasting crystal clear mountain streams, numerous lakes, and valleys and mountains cloaked in lush green forest, inland Costa Verde is a nature lovers paradise where, with decent camping equipment and a basic knowledge of bush craft and survival, you could blissfully lose yourself for months on end; and I’m sure many an adventurer has.
Stretching for over 300 kilometres, the dramatic Cantabrian Mountain Range forms much of the inland area backing the coast and includes the spectacular Picos de Europa where, at their highest point reach 2,648 metres. Some parts of the coastal range form huge cliffs rising sheer above the sea and other parts are the source of some of Spain’s most important rivers such as the mighty Ebro.
More Spanish Costas
The Costa Verde itself stretches for 345 kilometres and its wonderfully diverse coastline comprises of stunning beaches, rugged cliffs and rocky coves.
Adventure & Activities
The majority of visitors to the area are there for adventure sports such as alpine hiking, rock climbing, mountaineering and even snow skiing in the lofty ski resorts of Manzaneda, Valgrande Pajares and Alto Campoo (picture Above).