The village of Ribadesella is the capital of a municipality surrounded by mountains, beaches and cliffs. It is interesting to know that in the urban town centre there are many attractive places to visit, in fact, this council has been awarded the title of Touristic Excellence to 1997. Apart from enjoying this patrimony and local culture, it is easy to visit the beaches, cliffs and natural views because they are all very close to the urban town centre. To walk down Ribadesella is to enjoy a long but joyful stroll, with many interesting points.
Ribadesella is divided into two by an estuary of the river Sella and both urban sides are connected by a bridge over this river. In the Eastern area the historical town centre is located and the main roads such as the Gran Vía or Comercio where the main local shops and the leisure centre of Ribadesella are situated. One of the most important places to visit in the centre of this village is close to the Nueva Square and the Church Square. It is a crowded space during the summer time, where we can find cider bars, cafes and many shops. The old town centre is well-conditioned for pedestrians and it spreads from the Atalaya Park up to the Portiellu district in the Western area, a populated core that gave this village its sea condition.
The portal zone was rebuilt in the last decade and today it combines the nets, boats and the seafarers. This place now remains a boulevard: a touristic and commercial walk at the mouth of the river. The mouth of the river Sella has suffered a transformation through its use and it has changed its view of an exclusive refuge for seaboats (as we can see there the fishing boats or the fish market La Rula) to share its waters with recreational sailing ships that moor in this new sports port newly built on the front shore of the traditional one. The real beauty of this port is focused on its aesthetics, because here the Grúa walk on the East side of the river is also popular. This walk is very worthwhile for visiting the architectural buildings from the age of Carlos III and it is very advisable for relaxation. By walking down this street we can enjoy a wonderful view of the town centre as well as the beautiful beach of Santa Marina, on the Western side.
Now we walk by the walk of the Guía to its end where we get to a wide open space, with high walls towards the Cantabrian sea. Over there, the Mount Corberu stands high surrounded by wonderful views. We can easily reach this mount by going up to the stairs. On the high top is the hermit of Guía, a small chapel receives its name from the virgin of Guía and she is also the patron saint for sailors and seamen since ancient times. In the surrounding area of this chapel we can find real cannons pointing to the horizon. They were the weapons of the old inhabitants to protect themselves from any threat coming from the sea, pirates or any foreign conqueror.
From Guía we can obtain a real map of this village, with its two sides clearly divided, its big beach, a wide estuary and the high ranges that close this village by the South with its highest peak located in the mount Mofrechu. Towards the North we continue still able to gaze out to sea. At the end of the beach is the mount Somos that, together with mount Corberu give this beach an appearance of a shell. If we look down we discover the pedrales. The coast and the cliff are full of rocks, most of them shaped by erosion.
Now we go down from this chapel by a path through the mount Corberu that ends in the town centre of this village, in the Atalaya Park, very close we find a beach with the same name, wonderful for having a relaxing bathe. The beach of Atalaya has been changing its appearance by the effect of erosion, but it is still the preferred beach to have a quiet sunbathe. This beach s smaller than the beach of Santa Marina and is much more crowded during summer time. To the right or to the left the Atalaya beach spreads to other beautiful coves with natural swimming pools and puddles for enjoying the sea in its natural state.
We can easily reach the historical town centre from here. The centre has been recently restored and now cars are not allowed to cross the centre of this village. Here, in the centre we find the House of Ardines, the Palace of Pietro Cutre (today the town hall) and the House of the Escudo. All of these architectural buildings give this village the deserved title of historical artistic.
The parish Church of Santa Maria Magdalena, and its adjacent square are located in the old centre. For its unique aesthetic and the jewels inside this temple, it makes for a very worthwhile visit. We can also find four huge fresco murals painted by the brothers Bernardo, Celestino and Antonio Uría Aza inside the temple, whose four faces finish off the cross shaped church and also constitute a clear allegory against any war.
The old town centre also houses the oldest shopping centre of Ribadesella, a weekly market on Wednesdays founded in the 18th century. At this time, the small producers of the region offered the native vegetables, seasonal fruits, beans, various nuts, different cheeses, sausages and cooked cakes called “pantrucos”. In this weekly market we can also find clothes, old furniture and fresh flowers.
The Artistic Historical whole of this village shows a medieval design including buildings with many balconies, galleries made of glass, small attics and the faces of the buildings holding nobility shields belonging to the 16t ,17th ,18th and 19th centuries. On the contrary, the front shore of the river Sella shows wide streets, many of them built under the reign of Carlos III, who was also in charge of widening the village and its port.
In the current widening of the village we discover restricted and square shaped buildings belonging to the 19th century that today combine well with the modern ones.
After crossing the bridge over the river we reach the sands of Santa Marina. By the year 1907, the duchess of Arguelles promoted the construction of a unique housing estate.
The current luxurious houses and hotels in the area of Ribadesella are the result of the old mansions belonging to the aristocracy and rich latin Americans, an example of this is the house of Villa Rosario, currently a hotel. At the shore of the river Sella, the old aristocracy used to sunbathe and swim in the sea, a perfect place for their summer holidays. In this urbanised area the new edifications are combined with others from the beginnings of the 20th century. Walking by the beach road is always nice at any season of the year.
In the Eastern area the beach of Santa Marina spreads up to the Punta del Arenal where the river Sella takes its last trip before finally reaching the sea. This quicksand used to be wider with many dunes and also used to house whale industries. The current area today kwon as “La punta” changed the old activities and consequently its physiognomy.
In the Western area of the river Sella we can find the biggest beach and many constructions famous for their architectural importance. Very close by, we can visit the Cave of Tito Bustillo and the mass of Ardines, where there were paleolithic populations who left valuable rock paintings. The prehistoric sanctuary is one of the most important in the world.
On the top of the mass of Ardines we have a very nice view of this village. Taking the N-632 on the way to Gijón, we must take the AS- 341 on the way to the town of Carmen. After 100 metres of driving we leave this road to follow to our left a new road in the direction of the recreational area of la Moría. This plain space is usually crowded during sunny times because from here we can have a wonderful view of the village. The view is wide: Ribadesella and its port, the bay and the mouth of the river Sella, the hermit of Guía, the beach of Santa Marina can also discover the natural park of Malecón, a long marsh that spreads towards the beach. “The Malecón” is a perfect house for many migratory birds. We can also discover its flora and fauna while having a relaxing walk along this park. We can enjoy a closer view thanks to some footbridges and small towers.
If we decide to climb the Mount Somos we must drive up a narrow road that starts at the Western limit of the beach. From here, we have a wonderful vision of the whole beach that continues extending to some housing estates which have being built since the 80’s. Just at this Western limit we can see a path by the Punta el Pozu, that borders with the mount Somos of the South and at the same time puts an end to the beach. Just at the end of this walk we can observe some dinosaurs trails that are part of a whole called Asturian Jurassic Coast.
We can further enjoy this walk if we cross the bridge towards the town centre on our right. From the area where the “International Descend” of the river takes place, begins the walk of the Champions of the river Sella (Los vencedores del Sella), that follows the river up to the neighbourhood of Cobayu. This walk leads us up to the natural area of la Mediana. Opposite us there is a plain territory, fertile and protected making for a great walk on foot. This is only one of the many possible routes that we can choose in this village of Ribadesella, a village with thousands of points of view.Texto: © Ramón Molleda para desdeasturias.com
Information of interestTourism Office:
Paseo Doña Leticia
Tel.: 985 86 00 38
Tito Bustillo Caves:
Tel.: 985 86 12 55