July 9 - 16, 2018
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.
* 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 Soroll and other notable Spanish artists.
DAY 2 | Quirós Valley
Following a footpath from the backdoor of Fuentes de Lucía we will walk 3K through a forest of hazelnut and chestnut trees passing three stone spelt mills, each one over 200 years old. Beyond the woods we will walk through Fresnedo and then onto Toriezo where we will stop to capture the landscape and unusual buildings of this lost hamlet. After lunch we will take a 2K walk 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 travel south by van 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 ora and fauna and for its preservation of tradion. 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
By van or foot we will travel 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. is 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 approximately 5K to beautiful Playa Aguilar where we will spend a relaxing aernoon 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
We will walk from the Senda del Oso in the Valle Teverga approximately 4K to the medieval village of Bandujo where our subjects will be stone buildings, hórreos and breathtaking vistas. e van will pick us up there and drop us at Proaza for a lunch of Asturian specialties before returning us to easy walking on the Senda del Oso trail.
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 5K 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. Aer lunch and painting we’ll follow a path past a Romanesque church, through pastures and back down the canyon. The van is always available for those preferring to ride.