This post is in collaboration with Inntravel.
Picture yourself leaning back into a comfortable train seat, enjoying the eye-catching scenery of Asturias. Out of the window, lush hills and pastureland tumble down to grassy cliffs, which in turn frame small, secluded beaches. Soon, your train will stop its chugging route along the narrow-gauge FEVE railway, and you will disembark at a pretty town. Here you’ll eat a delicious lunch, washed down with dry local cider, before continuing your journey on foot, through bottle-green pasture land and past the red-roofed homesteads and hórreos (granaries on stone pillars) dotted around the fields.
If all this sounds enticing, you should check out the newest addition to Inntravel’s selection of touring holidays. Inntravel now offer a seven-night slow train holiday, through Asturias in Spain. The company’s ethos is one that is likely to appeal to anyone who is curious about the world. They encourage their customers to really get to know a destination – to savour its sights, and to linger over its tastes. I’ve loved reading posts by my friend Trish on her Inntravel slow holidays to Portugal, Austria and Finland. This new Spanish journey sounds no less exciting.
Another of my blogging friends, Charly, says that Asturias “is known for its breathtaking landscapes, spectacular beaches and mouth-watering cuisine” Charly has written several posts about Asturias, so do hop over and have a look if you’d like to read more from someone who has experienced the place. After reading about Charly’s family holidays, I can see scores of reasons to visit. Here are just a few.
Asturias’ charming capital boasts a medieval Old Town and a Museum of Fine Arts, showcasing Spanish, Flemish and Italian art from the Middle Ages to the 20th Century. Travellers to the compact city can find accommodation in fine casas de Indianos – palatial homes built from fortunes made in the Americas. On its new holiday, Inntravel offers stays at two of these comfortable and highly individual hotels.
Spain’s “Green Coast”, set along the edge of the Bay of Biscay, is less well-known than some other Spanish regions. Huge rocky cliffs, hidden coves and rolling green hills line the coast. Inntravel’s new self-guided rail journey includes visits to Asturias’ beaches.
Nothing sells a destination more to me than good cheese. Asturias is nicknamed ‘El Pais de Queso‘ or ‘The Land of Cheese’, so it’s off to a good start. More than 100 different types of artisanal cheeses are produced in Asturias, including Cabrales, Gamoneu Afuega’l pitu and Casín.
I was surprised to learn that Asturias is renowned among cider connoisseurs as one of the best places in Europe to sample the drink. Inntravel sent us some to try. Not only is it delicious – dry, non-sparkling, and slightly cloudy, which is the best type, in my view – it’s also served in a distinctive, and rather entertaining fashion. To help release the aromas of the drink, ‘escanciador‘ waiters pour it into the glass from a great height. They make it look easy, but it’s something that clearly takes years of practice. As I discovered, when Inntravel challenged me to try and pour some cider the Asturian way.
Oops. Cider on the kitchen floor!