Castropol, Asturias, Spain
Castropol is at the very western tip of Asturias and it is clearly visible from the large Galician coastal town of Ribadeo. Castropol projects out in to the sea on an outcrop of rock with the town and its buildings arching their way over a hilly mound. From a distance the town is very photogenic.
You get to Castropol by following the Asturian coast road, but when you arrive finding a parking spot is not easy.
The town is very compact and the roads are extremely narrow. We eventually parked up below the town, but this requires a walk up a fairly steep incline to reach the main area of tourist interest.
What to see in Castropol
Castropol has a small port, but its most dominant feature is a church with a tall white steeple. This church sits at the highest point in the town and it is called the Iglesia de Santiago and it is the stand out building in Castropol - you can see it from all angles and all perspectives. Another church, the sixteenth century Capilla de Santa Maria del Campo, is also in the town.
Once in Castropol the only way to explore it is on foot and it situation, perched on top of a hill, means that you do tend to walk up and down quite a bit. All of the town's streets are narrow and because they weave around the town you rarely know where you are going until you get there. The scale of the place though is such that you are unlikely to get lost and you always have the knowledge that if you reach the highest point you will invariably find yourself back at the church.
Castropol is a nice little town to wonder around and although it has no great tourist significance it is definitely worth stopping at. Aside from the church there are no buildings of great architectural interest, but the town has a definite charm and it conveys an image of little having changed over recent centuries.
For anyone exploring northern Spain and arriving to Castropol from Galicia, the town also gives the first indications of difference between the two regions. Galicia has heavy looking churches with low towers and thick granite walls where as Asturias has more delicate churches, usually white and with tall narrow spires terminated with a point.
Unfortunately, as can be seen from the photos, on the day of our visit the weather was cloudy and part of Castropol's magic was lost.