Events and other reasons to visit Ribadesella
Here are a few more reasons to visit, along with some things to see and possibly do, at the popular Asturian beach resort of Ribadesella in the north eastern part of the region. This is a beautiful town and it features a marina, some beaches and an estorial river with a famous canoe race associated with it.
The river Sella Canoe Descent
Ribadesella is famous for being the location of the finishing line of the now internationally famous "Sella Descent" canoeing race in August.
At the finishing line there is a special podium extending out from the riverside promenade in the shape of a canoe (photo left). This is where the winner's presentation is made.
A stretch of the promenade close to Ribadesella also has the names of past winners cast into bronze plaques and cut into the walkway. There is even a life size model of two canoeists in the center of the main roundabout that you pass as you enter the town.
We are not certain of the starting point for this race, but believe it to be in or close to Arriondas, which you can also read about in Asturias Guide.
Caves and cave paintings (Tito Bustillo)
The caves at Ribadesella were discovered accidentally in 1968 and named after one of their discoverers who died in an unrelated accident a short time later – his name was "Tito Bustillo". The significance of the paintings in these caves has made them internationally famous and has also led to strict restrictions on the numbers of visitors now allowed to see them. The paintings, which depict animals, date back 14, 000 years and extend for over one kilometer underground.
The Tito Bustillo caves are open almost all year round, but visitors need to book to see them in advance (at the town's tourist office) and in summer advanced bookings mean that the wait can be over a week.
There is also a railway journey that departs Ribadesella and takes you along the towns promenade by the river.
The la playa de Santa Marina beach
This is the main beach at Ribadesella and it is highly regarded. It can get busy in July and August and, facing the open ocean, it is not as warm as some. It lies to the opposite side of the river Sella of the old town and is adjacent to Ribadesella’s marina.
The St. James Pilgrimage
Ribadesella is on the route of the "Way of St. James, Camino de Santiago" pilgrimage and those making the journey will call in at the St. Ana chapel before continuing their journey to Galicia and its capital of Santiago de Compostela (Saint James of the starfield).
A sense of adventure
For those with a more adventurous nature, local companies in Ribadesella can organise boat trips or kayaking on the river and hiking in the mountains or hills.
The whole of this north eastern part of Asturias prides itself on providing tourist activities that allow visitors to really experience first hand the magical scenery around the Picos de Europa and the beautiful Asturian coastline.
If you plan to visit Ribadesella in August you should pre-book any hotels or organised trips several months in advance to ensure that you are not disappointed.