JuNE 15 - 22, 2019
Immerse yourself in the perfect artistic environment: a magnicent landscape, a unique culture, comfortable lodging, and a supportive community of artists. Live, paint, and relax in this hidden corner of Spain!
DAY 1 | settling in
A Spanish Steps guide will meet you in Oviedo at 3PM*. Our first stop, minutes from downtown Oviedo, is the site of two ninth century, pre-Romanic churches that have been declared World Heritage sites by UNESCO. We will then head south through the lush green Trubia river valley basin in the Ubiñas Mountains, part of the massive Cordillera Cantábrica Mountain range. Casa Rural de Fuentes de Lucia, a recently converted farmhouse in the hamlet of Faedo, will be our home for the week.
* For those opting to arrive in Oviedo a day early, Mary will offer a morning and early afternoon walking tour through the historic area including a visit to the Museo de Bellas Artes to view paintings by El Greco, Goya, the 20th c. Master Joaquin Sorolla and other notable Spanish artists.
DAY 2 | Quirós Valley
Following a footpath from the backdoor of Fuentes de Lucía we'll walk through a forest of hazelnut and chestnut trees, passing three stone spelt mills, each one over 200 years old. We'll continue onto Toriezo where we will stop to capture the landscape and unusual buildings of this lost hamlet. After lunch we'll head to nearby Cuañana to paint the village’s Romanesque church and its many hórreos. Hórreos are granaries, unique to Asturias and Roman by design, still used by farmers to store potatoes, corn, and onions.
day 3 | Somiedo
We’ll drive south through breathtakingly beautiful mountain passes to Somiedo National Park, a seldom visited park sharing its border with Castilla y Leon. Somiedo is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, recognized for the diverse landscape of flora and fauna and for its preservation of tradition. The complete isolation of this area makes it seem as if time were actually standing still. Farmers move their cattle by foot within the park in a pastoral lifestyle out of the 1700’s. A favorite subject in Somiedo is the park’s many brañas, thatched stone cabins used by the herdsmen.
day 4 | Bermiego and Bárzana
We will cross the Quirós Valley to Bermeigo and Bárzana, among the most beautiful mountain villages in Asturias. It was in these villages that the Visigoth aristocracy hid during the Moorish invasion. Walking through the village in Bermiego we will end at a promontory overlooking the valley, where the Romanesque Santa Maria church was constructed centuries ago next to the oldest yew tree in Europe, estimated to be between 1,200-1,500 years old. In Bárzana we will feast on a menu del dia at Casa Jamallo.
Day 5 | The Asturian coastline
Traveling north by van we will reach the Camino del Norte at San Esteban. This Camino winds along Asturias’ Costa Verde and is said to be the most beautiful of the ancient pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. We’ll walk on the Camino a short distance to beautiful Playa Aguilar where we will spend a relaxing afternoon sharing a tasty picnic of local delicacies, painting the seacoast, and swimming in the Mar Cantábrico. We end the day with a stop at Cudillero, an ancient shing village built on a hillside that slopes down to a picture-perfect harbor.
day 6 | Valle Teverga
Teverga, inhabited since prehistoric times, is now part of Las Ubiñas-La Mesa Nature Park. We’ll take a walk on the Senda del Oso, a gentle path built on what was once a mining railroad alongside a beautiful river. Later on we’ll paint in the mountainside medieval village of Bandujo where our subjects will be stone buildings set against wooded hillsides with breathtaking vistas.
day 7 | Las Xanas
We will begin our day in the town of Villanueva, built hundreds of years ago along the Rio Trubia. A Romanesque-era bridge still spans the river. Above Villanueva we will follow a path that hugs the side of a spectacular canyon to reach the tiny hamlet of Pedroveya where we will dine at Casa Generosa. We’ll feast on the famous Asturian bean stew, fabada, accompanied with Asturian cider.
DAY 8 | REturn to Oviedo
After breakfast your guides will drive you back to Oviedo. Please plan for flights that depart after noon.