Food and Drink

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!!


Cheese fair in Taramundi, Asturias

Cheese Fair Taramundi

Every year there is a Cheese Fair in Taramundi on Easter Saturday. This year it was its 17th year. Cheese producers come from Asturias, Galicia, Cantabria and Castilla y Leon. There are a variety of home produced sheep, cow's and goat's cheese all of which you can taste and buy. In addition to cheese there are local breads, cakes, cider and of course knives. Taramundi is famous for its knives!

Feria de Queso

The fair takes place in the sports hall which was a good job as it was an awful morning. It was quiet to start with but by 1 o'clock there was a good crowd of people. You can have a typical lunch as well in one of the open air restaurants that come with these events. Octopus, Chorizo, boiled Ham, Pork ribs, Sausages are all typically offered and washed down with a few beers or wine. There was a young lad called Pablo looking after tables - very keen for about 10 years old!!!

Pablo

After lunch you can go and visit the 'Castro' in Taramundi. It is an ancient fort which dates back to Roman times and has been carefully excavated and restored. It is one of the most important ones in Asturias. You could also visit Mazonovo and Teixois which are very close to Taramundi. A great day out if you are visiting Granero del Burro during Easter.


Self catering holidays in Galicia, Northern Spain

Ribadeo

The nice thing about a self catering holiday in Galicia, Northern Spain, is that you can come here at any time during the year and find something to do. Take today for example. 15 degrees, beautiful sunshine, not a cloud in the sky and views to die for. Granero del Burro is open all year round so you can take advantage of a self catering break whenever you want.

Ribadeo (3)

Ribadeo in the sunshine is a beautiful place and only 20 minutes from Granero del burro. It has a nice marina where you can walk or sit and watch the world go by, as well as great views across the estuary (riá de Eo) to Figueras and Castropol. Figueras is unique in that it has a ship building business located there. The shipyard is almost as big as the village!

Ribadeo (2)

Ribadeo town itself is split into two - the old part and the more modern part. The main square and the back streets down to the port are well worth a visit and have lots of old and beautiful buildings. The Town Hall (ayuntamiento) is also a nice old building and is next to the beautiful, but decaying, Torre de los Morenos. It is being restored at the moment.

Ribadeo (5)

Stop for a coffee in the square before having a wander round the streets and a look in the shops (there are plenty). You can have a drink in one of the 60 or so bars in the town and there are plenty of places for lunch or dinner. La botellería is a very nice place to try for lunch or dinner (closed on Mondays).

Town Hall in Ribadeo

A few days ago on the 6th January it was Reyes Magos - the three kings. This is when people give each other their Christmas presents (traditionally) in Spain. On the evening before there are parades in towns and cities when the Three Kings are paraded through the streets on floats. People on the floats throw sweets into the street for the children. It is normally a mad frenzy of sweet hungry kids!! There was a nice parade in Ribadeo this year with music and decorated floats. You can take your holiday to coincide with this if you want.

Reyes Magos 5th January 2012 (6)


Los Arándanos Restaurant - near Teixois, Asturias

Los Arandanos

Los Arándanos is a wonderful restaurant in the Asturian countryside near Taramundi. It is about a half hours drive from the self catering accommodation at Granero del burro. If you like remote restaurants with fantastic views then this is the place to go. From Taramundi take the road to Teixois, and then take a right up the hill before you get to Teixois. Climb up the hill for several kilometres and then take a left up a track to the top of the hill. The restaurant is as high as you can go! Click here for directions.

Los Arandanos Restaurant

Los Arándanos means 'Blueberry' and as the name suggests the restaurant focuses very much on this. They have 10,000 square metres of land in which they grow five different varieties of Blueberry. They also manufacture their own products from Blueberry juice to jams and pickles. 

The food is fantastic and needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated. Click here to read a review of the meal experienced a few weeks ago.

Los Arándanos is closed from the middle of December until Easter but will open for large parties.

 


Gastronomy month in Asturias

IV Jornadas Gastronómicas Oscos Eo

Between the 28th October and the 27th November, the 4th Oscos-Eo gastronomy festival took place. Over 5 weekends there were gastronomic events 5 different areas of the Oscos-Eo region. Restaurants put on special menus and offered competitive prices for fantastic food (and drink in some cases). La Cerca in Santa Eulalia de Oscos took part over the weekend of 5th, 6th and 7th November.

Restaurante El Pajar

One of the restaurants taking part was El Pajar. This is a lovely restaurant which forms part of the Casa Cachón complex. It has wonderful views out over the 18th hole of the golf course and has a pleasant atmosphere. On the weekend of the 25th, 26th and 27th November they offered a menu for €25 including wine. The Mussels were fantastic!!! They also have an a la carte menu with 2 particularly notable dishes. One is the Squid Truffles (in their own ink) and the other is the Duck Liver, Goats Cheese and Quince dish. Both are worth a try.

Casa Cachón, Tol

The Hotel has 12 bedrooms which you can book here. There is also a 9 hole golf course and a swimming pool. Non residents can use both. There is also a small golf driving range. It costs €20 for a round of golf in Summer and €10 in Winter. It is in a small village called Tol which you can get directions to here. It is about 30 minutes from Granero del burro.

18th hole Casa Cachón


Santa Eulalia de Oscos

La Cerca - Santa Eulalia (5)

Santa Eulalia de Oscos is a beautiful village in the Asturian hills about 45 minutes away from Granero del burro. It is one of the 3 'Oscos' villages - San Martín de Oscos and Villanueva de Oscos are the other two. It is well worth a visit as there are many walks from there and the drive to get there passes through some spectacular countryside. In particular the views from La Garganta back to the coast are wonderful.

La Cerca - Santa Eulalia

In Santa Eulalia itself you can park at the top of the hill and there is a wonderful bar on the left. In it there is a shop where you can get your daily supplies as well as buy some walking boots. Have a look at the typical tables that pull down from the wall on each side of the door as you go in.

At the bottom of the hill is a fantastic restaurant called La Cerca. It a parilla (grill) and serves fantastic food in wonderful surroundings. The Caldo Gallego is typical food of the area (despite its origins in Galicia).

Caldo Gallego


San Lucas fiesta in Mondoñedo - October 2011

San Lucas 2011

This annual fiesta takes place from Saturday until Thursday of the 3rd week in October. It is a very traditional fiesta and is based around a horse fair. The horses and brought to Mondoñedo from all over Galicia, including off the mountains. This year on the Sunday there was a demonstration of horses doing 'tricks'.The main horse fair is on Tuesday and includes competitions and horse racing.

San Lucas 2011 (2)

In addition to the horse fair the streets of Mondoñedo are packed with stalls selling everything from Octopus scissors to horse saddles and tractors. It is truly an event that has to be seen to be believed. As always there is music and food and the Octopus that you can eat in the 'restaurants' is famed for its quality. Try the Churrasco too (grilled Pork ribs).

The full Mondoñedo programme can be seen here.

Mondoñedo is about 20 minutes from Granero del Burro.

 


Fiestas in Asturias

San Lourenzo fiesta
In August in Spain you can go to a fiesta almost every day of the week. Asturias is no exception to this. There are however a couple of them that are worth going to that are a bit different. The first is San Lourenzo which took place on the 10th August on the cliffs above Penarronda beach. The setting is idyllic with wonderful views out to sea and over the beach. It is only a very tiny fiesta but well worth going to.

View from San Lourenzo fiesta
The second fiesta worth visiting took place on the 20th August in Barres. Barres is less than half an hour from Granero del Burro. This fiesta is inside a huge marquee and cost €10 each this year. For this you get a good helping of churrasco (pork ribs) and criollo (tasty pork sausage). The difference here is that the churrasco is cooked in a very traditional way. It is not cooked on a grill, it is cooked slowly around an open fire on upright spits. Very very tasty.

Cooking churrasco
The sausages are cooked in the same way. This year, there was a huge thunderstorm with torrential rain at about 4.00pm - just when the fires and cooking were getting going. In true Spanish style though, no-one panicked and everything went fine in the end.

Cooking criollos


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!!

Tapia
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


Fiesta season has started in Galicia

Fiesta de primavera
People tend to associate Spanish fiestas with the Summer but they are well under way in Galicia already. There was the first big one of the year at the third week in April with the local carpark being turned into a big festival site. There was free Paella and a well known group called Panorama were the main attraction. As always things went on well into the night. This one finished early at 4.00am!!!

Vilaselan fiesta (4)
Last weekend on Sunday night, it was Panorama once again with another group called Jerusalen. The venue this time was a village on the outskirts of Ribadeo called Vilaselan. This is only half an hour from Granero del burro so could form the evenings entertainment if you were staying there on holiday. This is a very popular fiesta and goes on all night - literally!!