Galicia is still a wonderful place in the Autumn

Sunbathing horses

Galicia is part of the Costa verde which in English means 'Green Coast'. Unsurprisingly, it is called this because it gets its fair share of rain. However, this is far less than you would get in an average year in the UK and so the Autumn and Winter months can be just as rewarding for those of you that enjoy the great outdoors. This year has been particularly pleasant in October and November with warm sunshine in October and cold, dry, frosty days in November. This was interspersed with some terrific gales at the back end of October which produced some spectacular crashing waves on the coast.

Waves at Rinlo

Rinlo, which is 25 minutes from Granero del Burro, is a particularly good place to watch the waves crashing onto the shore. When the conditions are right, they can come right over the harbour wall. Rinlo is also a great place to eat so even if the weather isn't great you can eat very well. Click here to read about the restaurants in Rinlo.

View from Yenka restaurant

Another great restaurant to try is Yenka which is on the coast just half an hour from the barn. Its menu of the day is €12,50 and this includes a 3 course meal with coffee, bread and wine/beer. It has fantastic views out over the beach to the sea and is open all year. This year their menu has included Grilled Sea Bass and Sea Bream which is unusual to see on a menu del dia.

Galician beach

So don't be put off by the time of the year. It is a great place to come all year round, and the benefit of coming out of season is that you have the place to yourselves. If you enjoy fresh air, food and generally relaxing, then Galicia is a great Spring and Autumn destination.

Las Catedrales beach, Galicia

Las Catedrales beach
Las Catedrales beach is the second most visited tourist attraction in Galicia after Santiago de Compostela. It is a few kilometres to the west of Ribadeo and is famous for the cathedral like arches that have been formed by centuries of being pounded by the sea. It is best visited at low tide when you can walk along the sand and see all the wonderful arches.
Las Catedrales beach 1
During late July and August it can be unbearably busy. This year the Police had to manage the queues down on to the beach. However, any other month of the year it is much quieter and is well worth a visit. When it is busy, a great option is to park at Esteiro beach. Click here for a map. Take the path on the left hand side of the beach and this takes you up on to the cliffs above Las Catedrales. From here you can get some great views of the arches and watch all the people below.
Esteiro beach
Sitting on top of the cliffs is a great place to take in the panoramic views along the coast. You can hear the waves crashing below and it can be a magical place at all times of the year. On a nice day you can take a picnic or alternatively have a drink and lunch in the restaurant above the beach. The food is good albeit a little expensive.
Las Catedrales 1

If you park in the main car park there is a nice boardwalk which takes you down a couple of the small peninsulas to the west of the beach. These are easy walking and are best at high tide when the waves are crashing on the rocks.
Lone cyclist
Las Catedrales beach is half an hour from Granero del Burro. If you go about 2.30pm when all the Spanish people go for lunch, you might catch the beach deserted. All the pictures above were taken on the same day!!
Laas Catedrales arch

Las Catedrales beach, Ribadeo, Galicia

Las Catedrales beach
Las Catedrales beach near Ribadeo, Galicia, has been voted the best beach in Spain, the second best in Europe and the sixth best in the world. This is in the Travellers Choice 2013 top 25 beaches in the world. Have a a look on Trip Advisor here for the other 24 beaches
Las Catedrales
Las Catedrales beach is half an hour away from the luxury self catering accommodation at Granero del Burro. The rocks have been eroded by the endless pounding of the waves and in many cases look like arches in a cathedral, hence the name. At high tide you can watch the waves crash on the rocks, but at low tide, you can walk on the beach and explore in all the caves. You might even find some Percebes (Goose Barnacles) clinging to the seaward side of the rocks.
Las Catedrales
There is a bar and restaurant that are open from Easter until October. There is also a great boardwalk which allows you to wander along the coast and walk down some of the peninsulas. Here you can watch the waves crashing on the rocks. Have a look here for more information on Las Catedrales beach
Las Catedrales arches

Las Catedrales beach in Galicia

Las catedrales

Cathedrals beach or las Catedrales is probably the most famous beach in Northern Galicia. It is about half an hour from Granero del Burro and is situated about 10 kilometres to the west of Ribadeo. It has been declared a Natural monument by the government of Galicia.

Cathedrals beach

It is characterised by it natural arches and caves and is worth visiting at both low and high tide. At low tide you can walk down the steps and wander along the beach. There are lots of caves to explore and you can see the famous percebes (goose barnacles) clinging to the seaward facing side of the rocks. At high tide, and particularly when there is a big swell, it is fun watching the waves crashing onto the rocks.

Waves at Cathedrals beach

There is a very nice wooden boardwalk which snakes along the coast. You can walk down to some of the rock formations jutting out into the sea and watch the waves crashing onto the rocks. There are also some nice views along the coast to the Barreiros beaches. When you have finished your walk you can have a coffee or beer in the cafe or lunch in the restaurant. It is very busy on Sundays in the Summer!!

Interesting birdlife in Asturias


October is always a good time to get out and about to see what birdlife there might be. The Autumn migration can always turn up a few surprises. A couple of recent days out provided very fruitful. A walk around the Eo estuary between Figueras and Castropol at high tide was very productive. There were a pair of Kingfishers flying up and down the shoreline and perching on the rocks. It is always unusual to see Kingfishers doing this as in the UK they are normally just seen on freshwater rivers and lakes. There were also Bar Tailed Godwit, Grey Plover, Greenshank, Curlew, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Little Egret, Mediterranean Gull and Peregrine Falcon.


Another day out around Penarronda beach proved to be very rewarding as well. In the fields above the beach there was a Crested Lark as well as plenty of Spotless Starlings. These are joined in the Winter by normal Starlings and this is a good place to see them together and check out the difference. There were also 3 Wrynecks in an adjacent field, all sitting on fence posts and looking great in the Autumn sunshine. The Zitting Cisticolas were very much in evidence - they are always much easier to see in the Autumn. There was also a Cetti's Warbler calling.


Both of these places are less than half an hour from Granero del Burro.

Tapia de Casariego

Tapia de Casariego
Tapia de Casariego is a very nice little port about half an hour away from Granero del Burro. It is just inside Asturias and is well worth a visit for a look around and lunch. There is an upper part to the town with a nice square and some interesting architecture. The lower part of the town takes in the port with its attractive bars and restaurants serving lots of local produce. Have a look at the interesting way the fishermen get out to their boats in the harbour!!

There is an international surfing competition every Easter during which thousands of people flock to Tapia. It is also famous for its beach which is huge when the tide is out. In Spring the banks leading down to it are covered in beautiful flowers.

Tapia beach
There is also a salt water (natural) swimming pool which has recently been restored with a new access and decking around it. Well worth a visit to have a look (and maybe a swim!!).

Tapia salt water swimming pool

Gijon - Asturias

San Lorenzo beach - Gijon
If you are visiting Northern Spain then a place not to miss is the largest city in Asturias - Gijon. It is nearly 2 hours from the luxury self catering accommodation at Granero del burro, near Trabada, but if you are flying to Asturias airport then it is only half an hour from there. You could always stay there overnight on your way in or out of Northern Spain.

A nice hotel to stay in is the Hotel Arena at the eastern end of the playa San Lorenzo. This is the huge beach right in the centre of Gijon and it stretches for what seems like miles! There is a promenade which stretches the whole length of the beach so you can walk, run, skateboard, cycle or rollerblade on the special track for non walkers! The beach ends at Cimavilla which is the old town of Gijon.

Elogio del Horiconte

If you walk up the hill through the old town you come across the well known  sculpture “Elogio del Horiconte” from Eduardo Chillida. It is an impressive concrete structure. There are also the remnants of defense batteries dating back to the 1870's. The views of the city from here are fantastic. A couple of good restaurants in Cimavilla are La Galana, next to the Plaza Mayor, and La Mar de Bien, which is up the hill a bit.

At the other end of San Lorenzo beach it is a bit quieter and a bit more modern. There is a wonderful path that snakes around the rocky coastline for miles and you pass an impressive sculpture called 'La madre de los inmigrantes'. There is also a nice bar called Tostadero which has great comfy seats for relaxing in!

La madre de los inmigrantes - Gijon

If you manage to survive all this then another place worth a visit are the Botanical Gardens. They are very impressive with 4 main gardens. There is a nice place to eat, a plant shop, and several miles of pathways through beautiful natural woodlands and gardens. There is something to see at all times of the year.


Beaches in Galicia

Os Castros beach at high tide 
On Sunday we decided to go out for lunch as the weather was fantastic, so we headed for the coast and a nice place called Yenka. It is a fantastic place in the Summer to have a drink outside after a day on the beach. However, it is open all year round, and although it doesn't look much from outside (or inside!), the food is very good. We had a wonderful Fish Soup, some nice Braised Lamb and a tasty Cheesecake. All washed down with wine and coffee for 12 Euros each! This bar restaurant is about 30 minutes from Granero del burro.

View towards Ribadeo 
After lunch we went to Las Islas beach which is one of three beaches next to each other. The others are Xuncos and Los Castros. Have a look here for more details. The waves looked fantastic and we had the Islas beach to ourselves. There was a pair of Black Redstarts playing on the wall next to us, and lots of Goldfinches on the telegraph wires above us.

Las Islas beach

Beaches in Asturias

La Paloma beach 
Yesterday was a beautiful day so we decided to go and visit some of the fantastic beaches in Asturias. The Asturian coast is only 20 minutes from Granero del burro.

The first beach we stopped at is a tiny one called La Paloma. This is near Tapia de Casariego and yesterday was idyllic. There was no-one there and it was so warm you could have sat and had a picnic.

Serantes beach 
The second beach we visited is Serantes beach. This is nearer to Ribadeo and is a bit bigger. Here we had a picnic in the sunshine and watched all the Gulls splashing around in the water. In the Summer there is a bar at this beach.

Penarronda (3) 
The third beach we called in at is Penarronda. This is a huge beach and is extremely popular in the Summer months. Yesterday it was deserted except for one family. There were Zitting Cisticolas all over the place as well as a pond full of frogs calling. In the adjacent fields there were both Cattle and Little Egrets. Here there is also a bar in Summer.

Arnao beach 
The last beach we visited is Arnao beach where there were Curlews and Golden Plover flying around overhead. This is in the mouth of the Eo estuary and sits on the opposite side to Ribadeo. It is a steep walk down to the beach but well worthwhile. There are some fantastic huge caves in the rocks. About half a kilometre away is a great picinic area with built in barbecues, chairs and tables. Once again in Summer there is a bar here!!

All in all a fantstic day and hard to believe it is still February. This is worth bearing in mind for holidays during the Winter months - you can enjoy wonderful beach days even at this time of year.

Beaches in Galicia and Asturias

Summer 2010 was a fantastic time in Northern Spain and the weather was perfect. This made it ideal weather to enjoy the miles and miles of fantastic beaches that stretch between Ribadeo and Foz in Galicia, and between Ribadeo and Tapia de Casariego in Asturias. There are beautiful white sandy beaches, small secluded coves, the famous Las Catedrales beach near Rinlo, beaches for surfing and stretches of rocky coastline. Have a look at our beaches page for individual descriptions of the beaches.

Penarronda (3) 
Penarronda beach is just in Asturias and is about  a 25 minute drive from Granero del burro. It is a fantastic place to visit all year round with beautiful white sand and safe swimming. During the Summer months there is a surf school for all levels. There is also a bar open from Late June to September.