Luarca, Asturias, Spain
Luarca is a truly stunning fishing village on the north western coast of Asturias. It is easily reached from Lugo (Galicia) and has one of the most attractive harbours in all of Spain.
The best way to view Luarca is from the hills above the town, or even (believe it or not) from the picturesque and multi-tiered cemetery on the slopes above from which you can also look out to the open sea.
Luarca's harbour is almost rectangular when viewed from over head and two sides are overlooked by neat terraces of three and four storey buildings. Nearly every harbour facing building in this quaint little town has a white rendered facade and a grey pan tiled roof and this gives Luarca an appearance that, whilst "old world", is still ordered and tidy.
Moving away from the port area and into the heart of the old town, Luarca does not disappoint. It has some narrow and winding streets with the occasional plaza plus some very old buildings.
As you move from one end of the town to the other you come across a road that winds around Luarca’s backdrop of hills and heads off towards the local beach. This is also a good area around which to find a car parking place, not the easiest task in Luarca.
Luarca has an excellent and very helpful tourist office with bilingual staff and a wealth of information, some of it in English. This tourism building is to the rear of the town and close to a hill, on top of which is a small chapel that visitors can walk up to and gain a high level view of the town from.
The harbour though is the high point of this coastal hamlet and it has an enclosed, though far from claustrophobic, air to it. The small fishing boats that are moored up are in neat rows and one side of the marina acts as something of a manmade jetty with a couple of low level maritime buildings and a parking area. You can also walk out on to part of the key and look back towards Luarca over the water, ideal for taking photographs.
Luarca really is a pleasure and at night time when the subtle curve of the angular harbour is illuminated by streetlights and the surrounding buildings it is nothing short of stunning. The town also has a number of hotels and plenty of places to have a drink, a snack, or a seafood based dinner.
Outside the main town
Away from the harbour and central area the town ascends and sprawls as it follows the jagged contours of the land which rises sharply as you depart the ocean.
One complication of Luarca is finding your way into it and out of it by car. This is mainly because although sm all, its winding roads quickly disorientate you and you lose your bearing and sense of direction. Using a tourist map definitely helps.
Another attractive feature of this little town is the weaving path of an estuarial river (now more of giant storm drain) which loops around a near circular outcrop of land adjacent to the harbour. This little tower of land has several buildings on it, all fighting for their own space as the outcrop rises skyward and then bends back on itself before continuing its path down the coastline. Luarca really is the perfect northern Spanish town.
For more information about Luarca and to see further photographs, check out the other pages from the Luarca town menu in the box at the top right of this page.