The beauty of Luarca takes the form of a large aquatic "S", around which man has found a millimetric arrangement and his initial seafaring activity, now mixed, with a large tourist influx in summer, when it reaches a fivefold increase in its native demography . It is also by merit the capital of a council, that of Valdés, which is one of the landscape and cultural references of western Asturias.
The fame of Luarca has crossed many frontiers to become one of the most famous villas in Asturias. In part it has been to have as a most illustrious son a Severo Ochoa, Nobel Prize in Medicine, but his fame goes beyond individualities, he has earned it also on the basis of many other merits.
The Black River it meanders continuously in its last stretch. This is not an estuary to use. The river does join the sea, but it does not do it openly, it seems introverted, and based on detours, curve and contracurva, it finally ends up flowing into the Bay of Biscay in a kind of sigh. Its port inscribed in this fluvial environment, and thanks to two separate piers, is a very favorable infrastructure for commercial, sports and tourism development.
In this villa, Named for its charm as the White Villa of the Costa Verde, two zones are clearly differentiated. The old town is home to the oldest and most traditional neighborhoods, all of medieval origin, such as La Pescadería, La Carril and El Camboral, which surround the port and church as a large amphitheater. Inland, and on both sides of the river, we find the most contemporary Luarca aesthetically speaking. Emerged in the nineteenth century, it is currently the place that concentrates most of the trade. From one side to another through the town we can get to cross up to seven bridges over the river. They communicate daily the two slopes of an urban helmet that, without more clues, could be an entanglement but that in the fund is simple, with a great symmetry in its forms.
Luarca: marine vocation
We can not go through Luarca without feeling the traditional mood that still retains its appearance. For start in seafood and cider This is usually a suitable site, as the chigres proliferate with a marked sea and Asturian accent. In the area of the fishing port we will also find a few reasons to sit down to a more elaborate table, with restaurants of great culinary knowledge and the smell of the sea in all its corners.
The traveler can witness live the return of fishing boats. The day's catch will be auctioned off at the fish market at around three o'clock in the afternoon, and there it can be checked insitu that the deep seafaring vocation It really exists and it's not just appearance. The union and corporate spirit of this activity can still be felt, which came to have the well-known Bureau of Seafarers and Navigators, where the sailors, democratically, on days of bad weather, made the decision whether or not to go to sea.
The sea is indissociable from Luarca no matter how times change. The people carry it in their soul. In fact, shellfish culture was already practiced here in the last stage of the Paleolithic, specifically in the so-called Asturian, of which there are relevant findings throughout the municipality.
The sea as fishing and sustenance but also as a horizon and as a scenario of battles. The warlike convulsions, initiated with the Norman invasions of the ninth century, have left traces like the fortifications of the Watchtower, an exceptional viewpoint.
Even the sea as a means of analysis and ecological interest. The classroom of the Sea of this town it serves as headquarters to a good number of studies and performances and in its exhibition section it has great attractions. If you are curious here, you will be able to observe, unhurriedly and in great detail, one of those rare specimens of giant squid that have been found on the Asturian coast from 1999. Finding an animal of these characteristics, whole and in perfect condition, is something very unusual.
The landscape of Luarca
We see a bird's eye view as the Black River flows into the first of its three beaches, the coast is rocky, with the presence of forests in the vicinity and a temperate green of balanced profiles and abundance of valleys that invite contemplation. The landscape becomes steeper and steeper the more we find ourselves inside. In the same council, and a little further away from the coast, we discover levels that reach an altitude of over 1,000 meters. There are many reasons to visit Luarca and its council, among others its villages, from vaqueiro territories in the parish of Trevias to old whaling ports like Cadavedo.
If you opt for culture you will find in Luarca the ideal starting point. The Neolithic culture is abundant in the vicinity, with the presence of castros. We also find Roman and medieval archeology. Of the artistic heritage we will highlight the palaces of the Marquises of Gamoneda and Ferrera, the tower and mansion of Villademoros, as well as the villas of the Indians: Argentina, Excelsior, Tarsila, Hilda, Rosita ...
From its history, Luarca has learned to be vital and boisterous. You can not ignore events as fervent and multitudinous as the holidays of San Timoteo (of the 22 of August) or the Easter of Luarquina, happening through the pagan celebrations, with a famous Antroxu's menu (Carnival) this time debtor of its peasant cuisine: sausages, mincemeat, pot, frixuelos and arroz con leche.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com