The Colorful Fishing Village of Cudillero in Asturias, Spain

Posted on April 29, 2011 by

Winding our way down the hill, the view of thick, green pine forests slowly fades away to be replaced by the blinding colors of the sea and port. Before us stands a mishmash of colorful terracotta-roofed huts, stacked up on steep cobblestoned paths that lead to the seafront. The view is stunning: reminiscent of Italy’s Amalfi Coast but without the hordes of tourists and flashy hotels.

We are in Cudillero, a quiet fishing village embedded in a craggy bay off the coastline of Asturias. Instead of approaching the town from ground level, we are seeing it from above – clambering our way over the hill to descend down into the heart of town. The walk is a scenic one as we thread the zig-zag paths, catching glimpses of the beach and greeting friendly locals along the way.

Terracotta-roofed houses on the slopes of Cudillero, Asturias

Colorful houses of Cudillero

Seafood in Asturias

Our gregarious guide, Hugo from Guias Tour Asturias, leads us through the streets of Cudillero to explore some of its secrets. Our first stop is a small fishmonger stand by the port, with an impressive array of seafood on offer: from the very expensive €290/kg percebes (barnacles) to the red-shelled crab Centolla and the prickly erizo (sea urchins). All fresh from the sea, wriggling with life.

Fresh fish on sale in Cudillero

The percebes are some of the most expensive seafoods found in Spain. As these barnacles are extremely difficult to fish and found only during certain periods of the year, they come at a hefty price. The Centolla crab is predominantly found in the Galicia region, but also in parts of Asturias. When steamed, the crab’s eggs are outrageously tasty especially when soaked in garlic gravy.

Percebes, or barnacles, in Asturias

A Look into the Fishermen’s Life

Asturias is seafood country – thanks to its location along the Mar Cantabrico (Cantabrian Sea). Since the 1970s, this area has been home to a sizable fishing community. During our visit to Cudilleros, we meet up with Salvador Fernandez Marques, the head of the fishing community. Having started fishing since the ripe age of 14, Salvador is an expert in both the trade and the geographical area.

Fishing boats in Cudillero, Asturias

Speaking with much enthusiasm, Salvador shares with us how the fishing community has changed over the years. “Back in the 1980s, when the fishing industry here thrived, there were over 1,000 fishermen and 230 boats in this area. These days, there are only 60 fishermen left.” Technology has inevitably replaced human resources, leaving many of them stranded with no livelihood.

Fortunately, a European Project is on its way to revive the fishing craft – Living Lab aims to modernize fishing techniques to make the trade more relevant in today’s changing world.

 Salvador Fernandez Marques

To see more of my photos from Asturias, click on any of the images above or go to my online gallery.


This experience was made possible by Asturias Tourism Board and Turismo.as, but all opinions are my own. Read more about my travels in Asturias here.

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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is the co-founder of WildJunket. As a professional travel writer with a special interest in offgrid destinations and adventure travel, she scours through the world in search for a slice of undiscovered paradise. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Guatemala, swam with sealions in the Galapagos and built a school in Tanzania.

5 Responses to “The Colorful Fishing Village of Cudillero in Asturias, Spain”

  1. South India Tour April 30, 2011 7:36 pm #

    Village is so beautiful. nice place to explore and very nice pics of the location

  2. Ruth of Tanama Tales October 25, 2011 9:26 am #

    Love this town. Recently, I read about it in the Lonely Planet magazine. I was very surprised when I saw a featur ein here.

    • Nellie Huang October 25, 2011 5:06 pm #

      I saw that piece too – great article covering a very unexplored region of Spain! :)

  3. Andrew Petcher May 27, 2013 6:13 am #

    Have just returned from Cudillero – the place is just as lovely as you describe it!

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