This beautiful private house is set in a half acre plot on the edge of a quiet village, situated on the slopes of the Cabrales valley and next to the Picos de Europa national park. It is a place to enjoy peace and tranquility and to get away from the noise of modern life.
Accommodation is on two storeys with a generous open plan living space on the upper floor with cosy sofas and a wood burning stove. There is a large covered deck leading off the living space with fabulous views looking across a green wooded valley and the houses and church of a village below. The majestic peaks of the Picos de Europa mountains rise up in the background.
This area of Spain is easily reached by ferry or plane from the UK and other parts of Europe. Ryanair fly from London and Edinburgh to Santander, Easyjet fly from London to Asturias airport and from Edinburgh, Bristol, London and Manchester to Bilbao. Vueling also fly from Heathrow to Bilbao. If you want to go slow, then there are regular ferries with Brittany Ferries departing Plymouth or Portsmouth to Santander or Bilbao.
This house was built in 2008 following the traditional Asturian style. The wooden balcony on the south facade gives a fantastic first impression when you arrive. It has lots of character and charm with all the conveniences of a contemporary house. It was built by father and daughter team Julian and Anna Usborne who bought the plot of land in 2005 after visiting the area. We really love this house and visit it as often as possible. What makes the house so amazing is the mountain location and the village where it is situated. The local people are very friendly and will go out of their way to help although most people don't speak English so it is a great opportunity to practice speaking Spanish! There are about 60 residents in the village and people buy their groceries from visiting vans that supply fresh fish, fruit and vegetables and other groceries. There are also a range of shops and restaurants 10 minutes away by car in the villages of Carreña or Arenas de Cabrales.
There are lots of things to do and places to see within easy driving distance of the house. You can drive up into the mountains and explore the high snowy peaks. We walked to the base of the 'Naranjo de Bulnes' which is one of the highest peaks in the Picos range at around 2500 metres. If you don't fancy exerting yourself too much, there is a funicular railway that takes you up to the small village of Bulnes, high in the mountains and inaccessible by car. There are many routes for all levels of walking from gentle strolls to all day hikes. Other popular activities in the area include swimming at the local river or the nearby beaches. There is a fantastic beach at about 30 minutes drive called Niembro and the neighbouring naturist beach of Torimbia is also worth visiting. Continuing with water activities, canoeing is a popular activity along the river Sella and canoes can be hired with the possibility of being picked up downstream after a hard day's paddling.
There are many interesting places to visit within an hours drive or so. The town of Cangas de Onis is about 35 minutes away and has a fantastic market on Sunday mornings. This is well worth a visit especially if you are a foodie. There are hundreds of different types of local cheese for sale as well as smoked and unsmoked chorizo, dry cured ham and fruit and vegetables. Further afield at about 1hr 30 minutes is the city of Oviedo, where you can see beautiful architecture, hang out in the street cafés and enjoy the amazing covered food market. Again a foodie paradise, with many different types of fish you never see in the UK. The city of Santander is also quite easy to reach, at about 1hr 30 minutes drive. It is a beautiful port city with beaches and lots of shopping options. A bit further away is Bilbao, at about 3hrs drive but still possible for a day trip or overnight stay. There is the amazing Guggenheim museum and lots of shopping and restaurant possibilities.