Camping Playa de Taurán
The Asturian coastline of northern Spain is arguably the most unique pocket of the vast Iberian peninsula. This verdant landscape has such wildly diverse topography; it's a brilliantly bucolic contrast to what can seem like the endless aridness of Spain's southern steppes. There's some 24 nature reserves in this region, including the sprawling Picos de Europa Parque Nacional. Cut off from the rest of the country by these snow-capped Alpine peaks to the south, Asturias retains a character unique from the rest of Spain. No campsite in the region better typifies this idiosyncrasy more than the wonderful Camping Playa de Taurán.
Arriving for the first time at this clifftop hideaway is a pretty special experience for anyone. So when amiable Dutch host Sander first arrived from a land not blessed with such dramatic contours, the wow factor was well and truly off the scale. Perched on a steep cliff with panoramic vistas of the Cantabrian Sea, Camping Playa de Taurán is perhaps the region's most enviably located campsite. With the titular beach to its west, and the boundless meadows of San Martín de Santiago to the south, this family-run, family-friendly site is the ideal base for those wishing to discover the treasures of this largely overlooked destination.
This well-maintained site has ample space for 100 lucky tents, campervans and caravans. Many are equipped with electricity and Sander will happily get the long cables out for those brave souls pitching nearer the cliff edge. Nearly all these shady pitches boast sea views and a cooling Atlantic breeze. Conscientious as ever, Sander has also set aside a 'free camping zone' for larger groups, so as not to infringe upon their neighbours.
There's a wealth of pleasingly small-scale activities for children on offer too: supervised swimming pool, afternoon kid's club, plus handicrafts and traditional games. Keen to promote agro-toursim, the site also has a small farm with veg patch and all manner of native Asturian animals including asturcon ponies, bermeya goats, xalda sheep, and pita pinta chickens. Taurán beach is also just a 200 metre stroll downhill so be sure to bring your snorkels for a spot of rock pooling in the hidden coves of the craggy coastline.
Known locally as 'The White Town on the Green Coast', the gorgeous nearby harbour town of Luarca offers plenty in the way of offsite distractions, not least those of the gastronomic kind. Asturias is the home of Spanish cheese – unsurprising given the abundant lush grazing pastures the Asturian dairy cows enjoy. Be sure to sample the famous Cabrales, Gamoneu, Afuega'l Pitu, and Los Beyos varieties – all cured in the network of caves which honeycomb these parts. We recommend finding a charming little waterfont chigres and indulging in some of the local delicacies including fritos de pixín (deep-fried monkfish pieces) washed down with a glass or two of the region's famous tipple, Asturian cider.
With its stunning, wind-swept beaches, dramatic clifftops overlooking the Bay of Biscay, and imposing Cantabrian mountains (not to mention its notoriety for cheese), this verdant land is more akin to the Lleyn Peninsula of North Wales. Unsurprising then Asturias shares a common Celtic heritage with ancient Britain, evidenced by its innumerable Iron Age castros. It's a region steeped in history, pre-dating the foundation of Imperial Spain by over seven centuries. The fiercely proud locals have a saying round these parts; "Asturias is Spain - the rest is conquered territory". We're inclined to agree - perhaps this really is the true essence of Spain.
100 pitches. Caravan/motorhome pitches all have electricity available; some tent pitches have Electrical hook-ups. Facilities block with free hot-water showers. Bar/canteen (meals available). Small onsite shop. Library. Games room. Internet access. Motorhome services (water refill and chemical WC). Laundry. Barbecues and picnic spot. Free swimming pool. Children's playground. Table-tennis, table-football, billiards and basketball. Scuba diving gear hire and courses available. Mooring for boats. No campfires.
Tents, caravans, campervans, motorhomes, groups, dogs (well-behaved) – yes.
The pretty fisherman´s town of Luarca lies just 2.5 km from the campsite. Be sure to visit this charming harbour town's lighthouse, chapel of la Atalaya, the Palace of the Marquis de Ferrera and its famous cemetery overlooking the sea which hosts the grave of Luarca's most famous son, Nobel-prize-winning-bio-chemist Severo Ochoa. The Aula del Mar Centre (0034 689 570 708) also boasts a large display of marine creatures and the largest collection of preserved giant squid in the world. Luarca's beach is a short 1.5 km stroll downhill from the site. It has showers and a bar that serves lunchtime meals. It's a great spot for surfing, canoeing and scuba diving/snorkelling. Asturias is also the cradle of Celtic culture in Spain. You can visit the many ancient Celtic settlements, or castros, that line this northern coast, including Castro de Coaña (0034 985 978 401), Castro de Mohías and Castro de Pendía.
Food & Drink
Don't be mislead by the name; Sport (0034 985 641 078) is Luarca's loveliest restaurant with good wine, wonderful locally-caught seafood (scallops straight from the shell) and traditional live music on the terrace promenade. No visit to this region would be complete without sampling some of the famous local libation; Asturias cider. Whet your whistle at one of Luarca's atmospheric old taverns, or chigres. The zingy sidra is served escanciada - flamboyantly poured from a great height. It goes great with a steaming bowl of fabada asturiana or boroña and queso de Cabrales.
OpenMid June – Late September.
The Owner Says
Direct flights from the UK to Asturias Airport (OVD). Airport is 60km from campsite.
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