Why do we love living in Pintueles?

Pintueles is a typical Asturian village, 5 minutes from the national road N-634. We moved here in June 2014. What is it like to live in rural Spain? Here we tell you why we love having moved from the city and why we think our hamlet is the perfect place to live.

Down from Pico Viyao

We love walking and Pintueles is a walker´s paradise. There is a natural reserve called El Sidrón which has an access walk at the bottom of our lane. It´s a great spot for collecting wild mushrooms and chestnuts in Autumn. Wildflowers are abundant and you occasionally get a glimpse of wild boar and deer there.

From our home, el gran sueño, we have a number of walks which we have recorded in WikiLoc, a free smartphone app. We can also print off maps for guests. One of these walks takes you to the top of the Pico Viyao (554m high), from which there are magnificent views of the sea to the North, the Sierra del Sueve to the East and the Picos de Europa to the South-east, and to the West, you can see the mountains of central Asturias. This walk is one of our favourites. It is about 2 hours there and back from el gran sueño.

The village of Pintueles is a beautiful peaceful retreat in the hills, north of Infiesto. There is the 19th century church on San Cristóbal, which is open to visitors on Sundays. It is just a 10 minutes’ walk from us. A route from there takes you into the village, where there is a proud collection of hórreos (traditional Asturian grain stores). Some of these hórreos, including the ones in our hamlet, are nearly 300 years old. There are also many traditional stone houses, with their typical galerías and corredores. The circular walk brings you back up the lane to your base.

The Camino de Santiago is a famous pilgrims walk leading to Santiago de Compostela. There are many variations to the route. One takes an in-land route from Covadonga to Oviedo and passes through Infiesto. On route, there are some Romanesque churches. The churches of Santa María (Villamayor) and San Juan de Berbío (Infiesto) are well worth a visit and real pieces of history. Infiesto is also home to a chapel created in the rock face of a mount, the Santuario de la Virgen de la Cueva. From here there is a beautiful riverside walk.

Asturian gastronomy is famous throughout Spain and we love the food here. Authentic, traditional food is served in sidrerías. Our favourite is Sidrería Restaurante Pando, in Infiesto. Their 18€ menu of the day (menú del día) will fuel you for the entire day. Traditional chigres are great for pinchos (bites) and raciones (a large version of a tapa), which go well with the local cider. Where the real quality shines through is in the restaurants. There are three 1 or 2-star Michelin restaurants close. The closest is El Corral del Indianu in Arriondas. Casa Marcial, in La Salgar, in the outskirts of Arriondas, boasts 2 stars. Arbidel in Ribadesella is a great choice too.

Traditional village festivals are abundant in Asturias and Infiesto is no exception. The festival season kicks off in April with the Descenso del río Piloña. There is a parade through the town that culminates at the river. Hundreds of canoeists take to the spring waters and race to Sevares. A train filled with partygoers takes spectators to the finish line where the party continues. Later in the month is their Feria de Abril, a small, but an equally entertaining version of Seville´s most famous festival. In the summer there is the Fiesta del Asturcón. This takes place at the top of the Sierra del Sueve. Live music and lots of cider from what I can remember, but a great local festival. There are various, craft & farmers markets throughout the year and in October there is the Festival de la Avellana (Hazelnut Festival) a must. A crazy day of locals selling literally thousands of kilos of hazelnuts.