Llanes, Asturias, Spain

Llanes (the Concejo de Llanes, Conceyu de Llanes in Asturian language) an administrative district of the province of Asturias, in northern Spain. Stretching for about 30 km along the coast at the extreme east of the province, Llanes is bounded to the south by the high ridge of the limestone Sierra del Cuera, which rises to over 1,100 m. The region is part of the Costa Verde (Green Coast) of Spain, which is known for its spectacular coastal scenery, beaches, and mountains. Llanes lies to the north of the Picos de Europa, a mountain range whose geology is almost entirely of limestone karst. Most of the inhabitants of the district live on the coastal plain, on which the largest town is Llanes itself, with a population of about 4,000 out of the total for the district of about 13,000. The folklore, food, and fiestas of the region are famous for their colour and history.

Llanes is a traditional fishing port, with an active harbour and many notable monuments and traditions; one plaque commemorates the 65 sailors from Llanes who sailed on the three ships it fitted out for the Spanish Armada in 1588 (the Santa Ana, the San Nicolas, and the Santelmo). Parts of the surviving town walls date to 1206. Another plaque commemorates the visit of Emperor Charles V on September 26, 1517, who, when on his way to Valladolid to be crowned King of Castile, stayed for two nights before resuming his journey. Today, Llanes is still an active fishing port, with its economy boosted by tourism (mostly by visitors from the rest of Spain) in the summer. The town has a good selection of traditional shops and restaurants, both in and around the town, and thezona de copas is lively at night in summer. Three beaches and a spectacular cliff-top walk, the Paseo de San Pedro, add to the coastal atmosphere. The landmark old Theatre (the Teatro Benevente), built as part of the main bridge over the river, was pulled down in the 1990s, but an exploration of the back streets of the town is always worthwhile. Near Llanes is the village of Porrúa, noted for its Ethnographical Museum.


The district contains numerous caves, including a site of archaeological interest at Nueva, and the Cueva Bolado (Herrería) (43°24′04″N 4°45′51″W) near La Pereda which also contains ancient art as well as open passages. There are also several significant ‘wild’ cave systems, including

  • the Bolugo-Caldueñín system under El Mazuco (the Río Belugas, which sinks at (43°22′45″N 4°51′03″W) and resurges at 43°22′48″N 4°51′54″W)
  • the Rales system (43°24′43″N 4°53′39″W)
  • El Cuevón de Pruneda, near Purón (43°22′39″N 4°43′23″W).

These systems were first systematically explored by speleologists from the Oxford University Cave Club  and from Speleogroup. In addition, it is suspected that there is a significant cave system underlying La Llosa de Viango

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