Best Things To Do In Cudillero, Spain

The official list of Spain’s most beautiful villages is extensive, but Cudillero in Asturias rises above the rest as a standout gem. Located in Northern Spain, this quaint fishing village is nestled in a crescent-shaped valley, creating an almost amphitheater-like arrangement with houses climbing up the cliffs. This unique setting is unlike any other we’ve seen before! Dive into this blog to discover more about this fascinating destination in Spain and let us guide you through the best activities in Cudillero.


Where is Cudillero in Spain?

The photogenic fishing village of Cudillero is situated in the northwestern part of Spain, in the autonomous region of Asturias. It lies along the Cantabrian coast, surrounded by lush green hills that earn this area the nickname Costa Verde. Known for its rugged coastline, cliffs, verdant hills, and beautiful beaches with crystal-clear waters, the area is visually stunning.

Cudillero is also conveniently close to other notable tourist spots. It’s just a short drive from cities such as Avilés and Gijón, both of which we explored as well.

If you’re planning to visit Cudillero by car, whether a rental or your own, parking is available at the harbor. There, you’ll find a spacious, free parking area where we easily parked our large camper. We highly recommend using this parking facility, as the village itself is almost entirely free from cars. The streets in Cudillero are extremely narrow and winding, challenging even for the most experienced drivers.


What is Cudillero known for?

#1 The unique amphitheater layout

Cudillero captivates visitors with its unique layout. The village is constructed on steep slopes around a crescent-shaped bay, giving it the look of an amphitheater. The houses are tiered up the hillside in layers, circling around the central square. As you wander through its narrow, twisting streets, you will encounter stunning views at various points. The best perspective is from above, where the unique layout unfolds before you, making it a paradise for photographers.

#2 One of the most beautiful villages in Spain

Cudillero is rightfully listed among ‘los pueblos más bonitos de España’ (the most beautiful villages of Spain), a prestigious designation highlighting the top villages in terms of tourism and heritage preservation. Making this list is an impressive achievement, as villages must meet stringent criteria including having a population under 15,000, possessing recognized architectural or natural heritage, and demonstrating a strong dedication to preservation.

This accolade is thanks to the village’s distinctive structure, historical streets, and unique charm. Cudillero was previously declared a Cultural Heritage site and has since received this additional prestigious acknowledgment.

#3 Pixueto, a unique language

Even though Cudillero is a small town, it boasts a clear cultural distinction between two segments of its population, with the Pixuetos possessing their very own language. This language is gradually fading away, now spoken by just a handful of locals. However, it vividly showcases the unique and distinct culture, history, and traditions of Cudillero.

The town is divided into ‘pixuetos’, the fishermen and residents of the lower part of the village where homes seem to cling to the cliffs, and the ‘caízos’, which refers to tradesmen and shopkeepers located on the main street deeper within the village. The local dialect, named after the pixuetos, stands as a distinct language in Northern Spain. It is markedly different from the Asturian spoken in the surrounding areas and is truly one of a kind.


Where to stay in Cudillero

Cudillero offers a range of delightful hotels and accommodations nestled within its narrow lanes. It’s important to remember that parking is generally not available right at these places. While there may be an option to drop off your luggage, it’s advisable to coordinate this beforehand with your accommodation to avoid any disappointments or unnecessary carrying of bags.

The most popular and picturesque hotels in Cudillero include:

#1 La Casona de Pío is housed in a stunning building that was once a fish-salting factory in the historic village center. The original stone walls of the accommodation blend beautifully with classic furniture, elegant woodwork, and decor that evokes the feel of a countryside home.

#2 Apartamentos La Casa del Pintor are located on one of the higher rows of houses in Cudillero’s amphitheater-like structure, offering lovely views over the village. Although dining out to taste local specialties is highly recommended, these apartments also come with a small kitchen for those evenings when you might prefer to stay in.

#3 Hotel Casa Prendes is centrally situated near the tourist office in the village core. Guests often praise the breakfast, cozy ambiance, and the hospitality of the owners in glowing reviews.


10 Best things to do in Cudillero

#1 Plaza de la Marina

The heart of Cudillero is the Plaza de la Marina, named after the adjacent marina. This square acts as the gateway to the village, with a prime location by the sea and harbor.

Serving as the epicenter of this picturesque spot, the plaza is where the narrow, winding streets begin their ascent. The architectural setup of Cudillero is frequently compared to an amphitheater, and it’s easy to see why the Plaza de la Marina is considered its stage.

This vibrant square is alive with the buzz of numerous restaurants and terraces. Although it can get quite crowded due to its popularity, we genuinely enjoyed the atmosphere. The square is framed by colorful houses, including the old fish market painted in white and blue.

For the best view of Plaza de la Marina, climb the steps next to the town hall. From here, you can look down on the square from above.


#2 The viewpoints of Cudillero

Due to its cliffside location, the village boasts several viewpoints that offer spectacular views of the village and the Cantabrian Sea. Visiting these lookout points is a must when in Cudillero. Be prepared for some steps and climbing, but the views are definitely worth the effort.

Mirador de Cimadevilla is situated at the rear of the village, providing views over the red roofs of Cudillero with the sea in the background. Not far from there is our favorite viewpoint: Mirador del Picu. It might be a bit challenging to find, but with some assistance from Google Maps, we found it easily. From this viewpoint, you get a perfect view of the unique layout of the village with Plaza de la Marina at its heart, making it our top pick.

The most frequented is Mirador de la Atalaya, which requires the most climbing. Situated high on the cliffs near the sea, this observation tower offers panoramic views of not just the village but also the bay, the harbor, and the lighthouse. On your way up, you’ll also pass by Mirador de la Garita.

For a completely different perspective of the village, make your way to Mirador del Contorno. This viewpoint, positioned at sea level directly opposite the village, offers the ideal postcard view of Cudillero. This spot also features those iconic large letters perfect for a memorable photo.

Cudillero Viewpoint

#3 The Three Rutas de los Miradores

The best way to fully experience Cudillero is by following the three Rutas de los Miradores. These routes are specifically designed to guide visitors past the most impressive viewpoints of the village. Starting from the bustling center, through winding alleys, steep stairs, and hidden paths, they lead you to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the coast and the village itself.

These three routes are clearly marked on a map at the village entrance, and you will also find signs along the way to guide you. Each route is identified by its own symbol: the sailboat, the anchor, or the fish.

We recommend walking all three routes if you have the time. Cudillero isn’t very large, and you can easily complete all the routes in half a day. By doing so, you’ll get the most comprehensive view of this picturesque village.

#4 Palacio la Quinta de Selgas

While Palacio la Quinta de Selgas isn’t located in the historical heart of Cudillero, it absolutely deserves a mention as one of the significant attractions nearby. Situated just outside this picturesque village, the palace and its gardens were constructed between 1880 and 1895. Locals and tourists fondly call it the ‘Asturian Versailles,’ a nickname that immediately conveys the grandeur of this site.

What makes this museum palace stand out? Beyond the opulent palace rooms, visitors can admire an impressive array of medieval art, featuring many valuable works by renowned artists like Goya and El Greco.

A crucial tip: Make sure to check the opening hours well in advance because they can vary quite a bit. As Palacio la Quinta de Selgas is a private museum, its opening hours are limited. It’s typically open during the peak season and not throughout the whole day. To avoid disappointment, it’s wise to check the opening times beforehand or even make a phone call to confirm. We’ve heard that if you call, there’s a chance you can arrange a visit outside the standard opening hours or days.

Palacio la Quinta de Selgas Cudillero

#5 Tunnel de Cudillero

Occasionally, a unique spot on Google Maps catches your eye and prompts an unexpected visit. For us, that was the Tunnel de Cudillero, a fascinating place in the village.

Walking from the harbor parking lot towards the village, you’ll encounter what looks like a small waterfall. This marks the exit of an underground river. In 1892, a tunnel was carved through the mountain allowing the river to flow through it. Paths run alongside the river on both sides and are open to the public. At first, it might feel like you’re stepping into a local sewer, but clear signs indicate that it’s a regular public pathway.

This path takes you through 300 meters underground from the harbor deep into the village. Near the tunnel’s exit, you’ll find the Capilla del Humilladero. Entering the village this way provides a unique experience, as you walk through the tunnel and then past the chapel and several viewpoints to the village’s central area. You can then circle back to the parking lot via the harbor and the main access road.

Cudillero Tunnel

#6 Capilla del Humilladero

Capilla del Humilladero is the oldest building in the village, originating from the 13th century. Constructed in the Gothic style of that era, the chapel holds significant historical interest, although it’s quite unassuming in appearance. It’s easy to overlook this small chapel unless you know about it.

Originally, the chapel was open on three sides, but to protect its interior, these have been replaced with glass walls. Although this change affects the authentic feel and restricts views of the inside, you can still appreciate the chapel’s structure. Don’t forget to look up at the ceiling, where you can see traces of the original frescoes.

#7 The harbor of Cudillero

A fishing village like Cudillero is inherently linked to its harbor. As soon as you park in the spacious harbor parking area, you’re greeted with a charming scene. Walking along the water, with colorful boats gently bobbing, leads directly to the village’s heart.

The harbor, with its brightly colored fishing boats and jagged rocks emerging from the water, is particularly picturesque. These rocks are more visible at low tide and add to the area’s scenic charm. The harbor’s beauty peaks in the early morning when fishermen return with their catch, and the atmosphere becomes livelier.


#8 Iglesia de San Pedro

Located prominently in the village’s central and lower part, the Iglesia de San Pedro instantly draws attention. Despite its simple and unassuming exterior, it exudes a grand, monumental presence with its white plasterwork. Inside, the church is quite basic and not particularly noteworthy.

The church’s history dates back to the 16th century. It once housed one of Spain’s most exquisite altarpieces. However, a devastating fire during the Civil War severely damaged both the church and its altar. It has been restored in a simpler style since then and has not been well-maintained, as evidenced by the peeling plasterwork.

Cudillero Iglesia de San Pedro

#9 Cabo Vidio

Just outside the village’s historical core, you’ll discover one of the most beautiful coastal stretches in Cantabria. Nestled in the rugged coastline of this region, Cabo Vidio offers stunning views.

This impressive cape rises about 80 meters above the sea, providing a spectacular panorama of the ocean and the surrounding coastline. It features a distinctive lighthouse, built between 1948 and 1950, which is among the newest in Spain.

For adventure lovers, it’s worth noting that numerous coastal hiking trails begin here. You can also try abseiling down to Cueva de la Iglesiona, a cave formed by relentless wave erosion.

Cudillero Cabo Vidio

#10 Mirador and Playa de Aguilar

Despite its location between rocks and near a harbor, Cudillero itself doesn’t have a beach. However, the surrounding area boasts several beautiful sandy beaches, perfect for combining a village visit with some relaxing beach time. Our favorite is Playa de Aguilar, a sand and pebble beach that’s best visited during low tide, as there is hardly any beach left at high tide.

On your way to Playa de Aguilar, you’ll pass a beautiful viewpoint. From Mirador Playa de Aguilar, you can enjoy a stunning view of the beach below and the rocky coastline surrounding it. We highly recommend stopping here to take in the breathtaking scenery.

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