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Is Cudillero Spain’s prettiest seaside village?

cudillero Asturias

Guys, are you ready?

I know this is a bold statement, but I am pretty sure I’ve just found Spain’s prettiest seaside village. And maybe even the prettiest village in the whole country. And definitely the prettiest fishing village, for sure, no question – hands down.

Cudillero in Asturias in northern Spain. Put it on your bucketlist now!

40 minutes northwest from Oviedo as the crow flies, you’ll find a teeny tiny fishing village called Cudillero tucked away on the wild Asturian coast. Blink and you’ll miss it, so be sure to pay attention!

cudillero Asturias

cudillero Asturias

cudillero Asturias

As part of a project called #NotATourist with Visa, over the next few months I’ll be sharing some of my best travel secrets for exploring beyond the usual landmarks. All of my cards are Visa which is a bonus if you travel as much as I do, both for all the extra travel benefits involved as well as the fact that they’ll replace lost or stolen cards wherever you are in the world. Word.

I wanted to share one of my favorite memories from my time in Asturias – getting to finally lay eyes on Cudillero, one of Spain’s most off the beaten track spots.

I’ve dreamed of visiting Asturias for years and years, never having time to go when I lived in Spain, even in the north. Well this time around, I wasn’t going to miss it. If you follow me on Instagram – you will know that I was borderline obsessed with it, and I’ve been posting photos nonstop from my week in Asturias since June. Can I go back now?

cudillero Asturias

Cudillero definitely has a reputation within Asturias as being one of the most picturesque fishing villages, but beyond Asturias, I think it is less well-known, and outside of Spain? Well, it’s totally waiting to be discovered!

After catching a very very long train to Oviedo this summer with my Eurail pass, I ended up getting around with a rental car in Asturias. Too much to see, not enough time.

Asturias is so far off the beaten tourist path in Spain it can be hard to get to. It’s not really on the way to anywhere, if you go there, it’s because you WANT to.

cudillero Asturias

cudillero Asturias

We parked outside the town, as cars aren’t allowed in the center anymore and walked our way in along the new harbor. Colorful fishing boats bobbed along here and there and I was waiting for the “wow” moment to happen.

Then, as we turned the corner, the colorful village popped into view at the end of the twinkling blue harbor and my mouth dropped open with a loud “oh díos mío” in Spanish to my guide. Oh my god! What a place!

I literally stopped in my tracks and took it in; it was as if everything beautiful about all the small villages around Spain were combined together in a single moment to create the beautiful pueblo of Cudillero.

cudillero Asturias

cudillero Asturias

Whitewashed houses mishmashed together and piled on top of each other, each one standing out with its own brightly colored shutters. I’m told this corresponds to each family’s fishing boats, which are painted the same.

Beautiful terracotta roofs stand in stark contrast to the white houses that tumble down to a tiny little harbor with turquoise water.

Seriously guys, this place feels like it should be swarmed with tourists, it’s quite possibly the most picturesque place I’ve seen in Spain, but, thankfully, there was hardly anyone about, and many of the typical houses are crumbling down and abandoned, just waiting for someone (like me) to swoop in and save it!

cudillero Asturias

cudillero Asturias

A fisherman’s town through and through, things start to pick up in the late afternoon (Spain time!) when the boats come back in with their catch and they head to the market to auction them off.

Along the walls by the harbor you might even see lines of fish stretched and hanging in the sun to dry called curadillos – these are very typical and are actually small sharks; a common dish in Cudillero. The skin even becomes like sandpaper when dried and are used to sand down the boats.

This was one of the many moments in Cudillero that made me feel like I had stepped back in time.

cudillero Asturias

cudillero Asturias

By the time we had to leave, I almost had to be dragged by my hair from the village. Who knew that such a tiny little town could make me want to stay for a year just to explore; getting to know its winding narrow streets, moss covered cobbles and back alleys overlooking the sea.

I wanted to sneak onto the fishing boats that head out before sunrise and learn all the local slang and vocabulary. I wanted to live in one of those white houses, open green shutters every morning, and try all of the seafood. YUM!

So yes, at least for me, Cudillero is Spain’s prettiest seaside town. Well, until next time.

Have you ever heard of Cudillero? Ever been? Have you ever felt this way about a place you’ve discovered while traveling? Share!

cudillero Asturias

cudillero Asturias

Many thanks to Turismo Asturias and Visa  for hosting me in Cudillero – like always I’m keeping it real – all opinions are my own, like you can expect less from me!

For more tips from Visa on exploring the world like #notatourist, visit Travel with Visa.

46 Responses to Is Cudillero Spain’s prettiest seaside village?

  1. Katie September 21, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

    You’ve completely convinced me. Those houses!! So unbelievably picturesque. Did you have time to eat any of the seafood?!

    • Liz September 22, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

      I ate nothing but seafood the whole time I was in ASturias!

  2. Amy M September 21, 2015 at 8:35 pm #

    You’ve never made a bold statement without backing it up and this is no different, i mean. WOW.
    So beautifully picturesque! Can see why you wanted to spend more time there!

    • Liz September 22, 2015 at 8:13 pm #


  3. Cat of Sunshine and Siestas September 21, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

    Imagine shacking up here on your first day of the Camino del Norte! We stayed up the hill but spent the afternoon wading in the harbor and drinking cider. The northern coastline is jaw-dropping – Glad you could experience it (and, duh, my quarter-Asturian niños will be summering there, just like my husband did!).

    • Liz September 22, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

      Such an amazing place!

  4. Hannah September 22, 2015 at 2:47 am #

    Not too far away if Porto de barquiero which I think is even prettier than here! It’s got the charming hillside houses and incredible turquoise water and empty beaches!

    • Liz September 22, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

      Adding to the list

  5. Aaron K September 22, 2015 at 11:28 am #

    Great Post! makes me miss Spain so much though (I walked the Camino last year) Spain has so many of those little villages that are just filled with charm and character, it would be hard to pick a favorite. But you’ve definitely convinced me, I’ve added Cudillero to my bucket list!! Thank you!

    • Liz September 22, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

      So amazing hey!

  6. Trevor Huxham September 22, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

    I never road-tripped as far west as Cudillero, so Llanes gets my vote for the northern coast’s prettiest fishing village. But I can imagine a cañita or two were well-deserved after hiking up and down that hillside just dripping with those gorgeous colorful houses!

    • Liz September 22, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

      Love llanes

  7. Elena September 22, 2015 at 1:38 pm #

    This is such a beautiful place! I would love to visit. A very special place and gorgeous photos as always!

    • Liz September 22, 2015 at 8:15 pm #


  8. alejandra September 22, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

    Cudillero is pretty… but next… visit Luarca… same type of village but different…

    • Liz September 23, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

      I visited Luarca and loved it! Asturias has the best villages 🙂

  9. Kate September 23, 2015 at 5:27 am #

    Stunning photos – can’t wait to visit and explore Asturias!

    • Liz September 23, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

      It’s awesome!

  10. Mel September 23, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

    I’ve always loved discovering little villages while traveling, I feel like they have so much character! In the south of France I fell in love with every tiny hilltop village I visited. It’s so hard to pick which one is the most beautiful! One day I’d love to see some villages in Spain as well.

    • Liz September 23, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

      They are amazing!

  11. Britt September 23, 2015 at 4:19 pm #

    The more I enjoy your posts about Spain, the more I realise that there is just so much to see in this country.

    I’ll be giving myself a month in Spain but I feel like that is only going to be enough to scratch the surface!

    • Liz September 23, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

      A month is a good start 🙂

  12. Jaime September 23, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    I personally like Lastres better. “Para gustos están los colores” as we say in Spain. And what about Lekeitio and Getaria in the Basque Country. The best option may be to visit them all instead of having to choose! 😉

    • Liz September 24, 2015 at 5:14 pm #


  13. Ron September 24, 2015 at 5:29 am #

    My local fishmonger convinced my to try some fresh small shark he just picked up at a SoCal pier. Cuts were all white meat from the back half of the fish with only a cartilage that serves as a cooking guide. It was easy to bake and delicious. The people of Cudillero are onto something.

    • Liz September 24, 2015 at 5:14 pm #


  14. Victoria@ The British Berliner September 25, 2015 at 5:34 pm #

    Wow! These houses are just so cute and sunny!

    I’ve never heard of Cudillero but I have now LOL! I travel a lot as i like exotic destinations and going “away!” Having said that, there’s a lot of beauty quite nearby and in my original home country. That place is the Isle of Wight and the island of Jersey. Both fantastic places that remind me of times gone by LOL!

    • Liz September 29, 2015 at 7:52 am #

      I would love to visit both of those spots!

  15. Jay September 29, 2015 at 7:10 am #

    These pictures are gorgeous! Although I’ve never been to Cudillero, in my experience Cadiz is Spain’s most beautiful seaside village. Not only is it bursting with modern day shops, restaurants, and a thriving nightlife, but it’s the oldest port city in Europe and extremely rich with history. Definitely worth a visit!

  16. Sonal October 2, 2015 at 6:02 am #

    Worth it even in January? Will it be too cold there?

    • Liz October 3, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

      Never too cold in SPain haha

  17. Holly Rueger October 4, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    I’m studying abroad in Sevilla this year, I definitely will have to get up to Cudillero!

    • Liz October 11, 2015 at 12:40 am #

      IT’s worth the long trip!

  18. Rashedun Nabi October 8, 2015 at 4:00 am #

    How beautiful this place is! I haven’t ever seen such a village in where hills and forest and little sea shore meet together. This is a modern and natural village in Spain. The buildings, roads, lifestyle are so calm and quite, but modern. Really this is so nice place.

    • Liz October 11, 2015 at 12:57 am #

      It’s so beautiful!

  19. Lorial Roballo October 15, 2015 at 9:03 am #

    Oh my gosh I’m definitely adding this to my list when I make my to Asturias! I live in Burgos right now so it’ll be an easy trek! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Liz October 15, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

      Do it, it’s so beautiful!

  20. Jessica October 16, 2015 at 3:59 pm #

    Adorable town! I’m always looking for great seaside villages to bring my boat into. Might have to check into the harbor a bit more there though…it looks like it only has one small dock. 🙂

    • Liz October 21, 2015 at 8:09 pm #

      There’s a bigger harbor outside the town, they moved it. though I think it’s still pretty small 🙂

  21. Thomas September 8, 2016 at 3:52 am #

    Thanks for sharing your experience Liz!

    I am actually going to Asturias next week (15th of Sep) and Cudillero is already my first stop!

    Quick question, how is the weather like in September in Asturias? I mean I am not expected super hot but is it still possible to enjoy a day on the beach and swim a little?

    Also, what about the inland spots? Any recommendations at all?

    Any comment/recommendations are welcome 🙂


    • Chrissie September 15, 2016 at 9:15 am #

      It really is a natural paradise. Depends on how long you have, and which direction you are headed. Toward Galicia, Tapia de Casariegu and Playa de los Catedrales; towards Santander, Luarca, Lastres, Llanes (make sure you see Playa de Gulpiyuri). From Llanes, head inland to Cangas De Onis, then on to Covadonga, and then on to Los Lagos de Covadonga. This time of year you can drive there. If you are heading further east, drive inland to Potes and on to Fuente De and catch the cable car up to the Picos. Just drive…everywhere is beautiful here. Also, make sure you try their steak too – tenera has its own denomination of origen. Who knows – if you are in Llanes after the 24th, we may bump into you in Slointe (Spanish owned Irish Pub)!!! Buen viaje! Oh and the weekend of 30 September is the Vespa festival in Llanes!!

  22. Lesley January 20, 2017 at 10:26 am #

    What’s the best way to get there from Madrid?


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