Ribadesella’s old town
Ribadesella's tourism information (available in English) makes much of its beach and riverside promenade, but it is Ribadesella's old town that will undoubtedly attract, and leave lasting memories with, most of its English speaking visitors.
Lying to the side of the original port on the east of the river Sella, the old quarter manages to be both compact and open.
Most of its buildings are three and four storeys in height and feature balconies, elaborately shaped widow heads and sills and nearly all are washed in a bright but pastel shade of orange, red, yellow, green or pink. This may sound tasteless, but it is not and the colours and shapes of all the buildings add to the atmosphere and ambience of the place. Ribadesella is certainly not a tired or dreary town and it boasts light, energy and colour in every way.
Churches and other historic buildings
Ribadesella's does have a number of old and, in some cases, significant buildings and these include the St. Maria Magdalena church, the St. Ana chapel and an old tower. More interesting and visually pleasing though is the combination of all the different buildings in the old quarter and the overall image that they cumulatively create. There is even a small Sidra (cider) quarter although more up market than most you will encounter.
Within the old town, many of the small manor houses that are terraced together were once the homes of merchants and traders and these date back to the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries when Ribadesella was an important port.
A number of these houses can still be identified by family shields and coats of arms emblazoned into the building’s facades. Today the grounds floors of many of these houses have become shops and cafes and the pedestrianised streets of the old town are frequently set up for alfresco drinking and dinning.
When to visit the old town of Ribadesella
What you can expect to find in Ribadesella depends on the day and time of year that you visit. In August the town will be full to overflowing and on a Saturday or market day the same will be true whatever the month.
On week days and outside the main summer holiday period things quiet down a little and you will see the town in its real light (or at least as a local sees it).
Which you prefer is down to personal choice, but in July and August you will also have the chance to see specialist markets selling anything from goat cheeses to the local cakes and of course the occasional and highly colourful festival.
To find out about the events and other attractions local to Ribadesella, go back to the menu in the box at the top of the page.