The Bufones of Asturias

The most striking Cantabrian

The most striking Cantabrian

The Asturian coast always surprises us with its unique and natural elements, as for instance, the so called buffoons: a genuine pleasure for our senses. They are holes in the rocks over the sea and through them we can hear the breath of sea and even the audience of a spectacular jump of sea water, full of negligible drops, over our heads. At the end of this jump, we can also hear a horrifying sound that makes us believe that the cliff really moves under our feet.

These jesters, jumps of water, are something different from the usual sights of the sea and the coast. In the case of 'jesters', the sea water takes advantage of these natural chimneys made of limestone that usually imitate geysers. These chimneys can even reach up to 20 meters of height.

This phenomenon is even more spectacular when the Cantabrian Sea is wilder. The combination of high tide and heavy sea is really perfect to admire these «jesters» on all their splendor. However at this time, we should be careful and respectful we may see them from a prudential distance. The danger became real when we got closer, since the strength of water can even drag a man.

But if the sea is calm, these natural holes only expel air. In the days of strong tides the "jesters" become unique performance of admiration and fear at the same time. The horrifying cry produced by these holes is known by local people as Bramadoriu and can even be heard from a few kilometers of distance. This natural thunder has been used as a good meteorological sign, good expressed in the following local idiom: «When you feel the well Pría cries, take wood for the next days» (It means that a storm is near).

The unique of the «jesters» reaches its best sight on the most littoral region, very close to the village of Llanes. In this place, we can enjoy the most uncommon geological characteristics of these "jesters." The formation of these "jesters" is mainly based on the breaking up of the limestone rocks. Its dissolution in touch with the little drops of rain, penetrate through the faults of the rocks until it creates a natural hole that reaches the sea level. The erosive action of the waves favors the widening of these cavities. With the passing of time, a new cave is formed on vertical. Then, the waves make air and water be compressed inside the cave. Finally, this air or sea water goes with high pressure out to the exterior.

In surrounding area Llanes, we can find several fields where the «jesters» are located but only three of them have been declared Natural Monument:

The one of Arenillas is located in the surroundings of the town of Puertas of Vidiago, at only one kilometer of distance. The route is easy and a path begins in the same town. On the border of the cliff we will enjoy one of the most wonderful sights of the littoral of Llanes and a high number of «jesters».

The one of Santiuste is located in the proximities of the town of Castro de Santiuste. The access is on the N-634 and we leave our vehicle at 3 kilometers from the town of Buelna, then we can take a path of 500 that leads us to the cliffs. The jumps of water that are there are thought to be the most spectacular ones.

Bufones of Llames. From the town of Llames we take an asphalted path that leads us to the beach of Guadamía. From here, a new path on the right leads us to a vast field full of «jesters». Also from here we can enjoy a unique panorama of the Eastern coast of Asturias.


Precautions to observe jesters

When the storm rages are extremely dangerous and should be seen from a distance to avoid accidents, it is preferable to do this tour without children, or have them controlled at all times as there are numerous cavities in the limestone without protection of any kind.

Text: © Ramón Molleda for

coordinates Latitude: 43.4051704 Length: -4.6740818
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