Asturias is not very well-known among international visitors. And if people know or even visited it, they often have been to places like Oviedo or Gijon, Picos de Europa or Somiedo. However, Asturias has much more to offer. One of the goals of my blog is to introduce people to Asturias’ less known places. Taramundi, located in the far west of Asturias, is one of such places.
Last weekend we spontaneously decided to visit it. Taramundi lies next to the border with Galicia. From Oviedo it is a 1.5-hour drive by car, mostly using the highway with the last 30 minutes or so over secondary roads.
When arriving in the main town of the region (also called Taramundi), we realize that early February might not be the best time to visit. Almost everything seems to be closed. However, we should also not forget that we enter the town on a Saturday afternoon during siesta time, which is generally not the liveliest moment in Asturian towns. Luckily, we find a nice bakery ‘Pantaramundi’ for some lunch. Handy to know for the parents under us: this is a good place to change the nappy of your baby or toddler!
Despite the quietness, we decide to explore the town. We end up in what seems like the only open shop ‘Lavirola’, owned by the lovely Argentinian lady Florencia and her husband. She speaks English as well, which is very nice because she explains a lot about the different products. Local beers, locally designed shirts and metal items are some of them. But the main items are the knives, and obtaining some was one of our quests for today.
Word goes that knives from Taramundi are the best of Asturias thanks to its material and unique artisanal production process. We buy two knives, which are pretty with the carved ‘Taramundi’ sign and indeed very sharp – as I find out the following day. The ‘Museo de la Cuchilleria’ (1 km away from Taramundi-town) tells you everything about the knive-making tradition in Taramundi.
Then, of we go, to make a little car tour to see if we can experience a bit more of Taramundi. And we are actually very happy to have gone today. The cloudy weather, rain and handful of other visitors contribute to the atmosphere of this place where time seemed to have stand still. Based on this little sightseeing tour, we put several things-to-do on our list for this spring or summer. Happy to share these with you!
Mazonovo Mills Museum (Mazonovo, 5 minutes’ drive from Taramundi)
Closed and under construction today, but a sneak peek on the information panels tells us that with 19 mills, this is the largest museum dedicated to the construction and working of mills in Spain. Opens in March 2019 again.
Os Teixois Ethnographic site (Teixois, 10 minutes’ drive from Mazonovo)
This is the place that we are most excited about today. Although officially closed, we are able to enter the hamlet and wander between the hórreos and little craft houses. It is a true open-air museum where you can experience people’s 18th century’s life. Entrance fee 3 euros. Opens end of February 2019 again.
Bres Water House (Bres, 10 minutes’ drive from Taramundi)
About the role of water and its industrial use throughout history. We are not able to visit it today, but given the abundance of water everywhere in Taramundi, it seems interesting and worth a visit. Open from Easter till the end of September.
O Teixo (20 min by car from Taramundi via a curvy road into the hills)
This is a nice place for a picknick with beautiful views. There is also a very nice house for rent for larger groups/ families.
One thing that we are certainly planning to do this year, is walk one of the 6 hiking trails that lead through the region. Two of the more well-known ones are the ‘Ruta del Agua’, or Water Trail (14 km, 4.5 hours) and the ‘Ruta de los Molinos’, or Mills Trail (11 km, 4 hours). As for us, we plan on walking the ‘Ruta Teixo- Teixois’ next time, which is a circular route of 10 km passing by some of the museums described. All routes lead through the beautiful landscape and villages.
For an impression of this landscape and hamlets, the movie ‘Bajo La Piel de Lobo’ is worth a try. I watched it after returning from our trip to Taramundi and although I am not too sure about what I think about the general movie, the camerawork of the landscape and villages that we actually walked in the same afternoon are super nice.
If you are enthusiastic about this post and even plan to visit Taramundi, bear in mind that almost nobody speaks English. However, we found some organizations and accommodations that do communicate in English. In case you want to know more about Taramundi, how to organize your stay and where to go for people who can help you (in English), contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!