Wild Photography Holidays - Photographic Adventure Travel: Celtic Spain – Autumnal Colours, Scenic Villages, Coast and Cider

Mountain lake, North Spain

Celtic Spain – Autumnal Colours, Scenic Villages, Coast and Cider

Highlights include…

  • Cobbled streets and Roman bridges
  • Magnificent coastal scenery
  • Delicious local food
  • Medieval churches
  • Abandoned villages of Los Beyos, Ponga
  • Soft morning mists with superb light
  • Gorgeous autumn colours
  • Los Lagos, spectacular high mountain lakes
  • Traditional local hotels
  • Cable car into the mountains
  • Mountain railway

“… it is just unbelievable that this stunning area is not crawling with photographers, we had no idea that Spain could be like this! Gorgeous food, sublime landscapes, a true feel of the medieaval and wild, wild coastline … the free wine with dinner was a nice touch” Megan & Michael 2018

“…the holiday in the Picos was outstanding, the landscapes and the light exceeded all expectations. Once again, thanks Geraldine, you looked after us and demonstrated a great knowledge of the area and its culture, thanks Martin for your endless patience and good humour whilst helping us to get the best shots and how to develop them.”

Chris and Wendy 2017

General Summary

New Itinerary

Our gentle and relaxed photography holiday explores quaint old villages, a culture from years gone by, some gorgeous autumnal forests and breathtaking coastal scenery. Photographers who come here for the first time are usually amazed that all of these lovely landscapes are not thronging with tourists. Here in north Spain you will encounter a truly magical photographic destination where wolves and bears still wander in the old forests, it is strongly reminiscent of Tolkien’s ‘Hobbit Land’! Bizarre lunar landscapes with knife edge ridges rise sharply from luscious high mountain pastures and soft morning mists shroud abandoned villages. Unbelievably it is only a short drive down from the mountains to discover superb sandy beaches with fine rock architecture. This whole wild rugged coastline known as Spain’s Costa Verde is often similar to Cornwall. The whole area enjoys a laid back approach to life with a strong Celtic culture, bagpipes known as ‘Gaitas’ and gallons of yummy Cider! We stay in delightfully located hotels mainly run by families we have known for a long time. A sense of adventure together with a love of times gone by is all that is needed to thoroughly enjoy this holiday which offers many excellent opportunities to create a fine collection of images from this diverse and highly photogenic area that you will surely wish to return to again. This is a new and improved itinerary.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive and Transfer to Hotel

Our first meeting as a group for introductions and a trip briefing will be at our first night hotel, 19:30. Cudillero is known within Asturias as one of it’s most picturesque fishing villages. Colourful houses are squashed together and piled on top of each other. Topped with rust coloured terracotta roofs they are built on a mishmash of steep terraces that tumble down to a tiny harbour with turquoise water and bobbing boats. The village is famous for eating fish and drinking Cider. Our lovely traditional hotel is just on the edge of the village.
Hotel Cudillero (D)

Day 2: Drive to Espinama

This morning after breakfast we will photograph one of the many scenic beaches close to our hotel. Afterwards we will set off for the pretty drive to Espinama, our base for the next two nights. The village is great for a wander with camera in hand! Lots of old stone buildings with attractive red tiled roofs, local produce shops and superb forest in lovely autumnal colours.
Hotel Espinama (B,L,D)

Day 3: Espinama in Liébana

After a sunrise outing, we have breakfast before free time to wander around the village, or maybe take a look at images. After lunch It is likely that we will take an afternoon cable car ride up into the central massif of the Picos de Europa. The excursion offers dazzling views of the whole area; some superb locations on top of the world in the very heart of a remarkable rock landscape. Quite often we will see the Rebeccos which are very sure footed small deer, rather like Alpine Ibex. Our hotel owner Santi will often pick us up for an interesting 4×4 drive back down to our hotel.
Hotel Espinama (B,L,D)

Day 4: Potes and Drive to Cain

This morning we will explore Potes a traditional market town with interesting cobbled streets and traditional architecture. Late morning we begin the spectacular drive to Cain south of the Picos. En route we may capture images of a gentle and traditional way of life where the women work in the fields, men scythe the meadows and wear clogs! In Autumn the colours on this side of the mountains are very vibrant. Our hotel is beautifully situated in the tiny village of Cain at the start the phenomenal Garganta del Cares.
Hotel Cain (B,L,D)

Day 5: The Cares Gorge

Following a sunrise shoot above the village of Cain. We return to our pretty hotel for breakfast followed by a photographic exploration or the Cares Gorge. At first the river meanders gently before plunging abruptly into a deep ravine. Trees decked in their autumn colours grow haphazardly from the dizzying cliffs and the ever-changing light will make for some remarkable and dramatic photography. If we are extremely lucky we may get a glimpse of the tiny Wallcreeper an extremely elusive bird that lives on steep mountain cliffs and resembles a butterfly when it flashes its brilliant, crimson-patterned wings. We return to our hotel late afternoon in time for a pre dinner get together outside on the terrace.
Accommodation Hotel Cain (B,L,D)

Day 6: Abandoned Villages of the Beyos

Our route today passes through some memorable locations. We will travel by road visiting a few of the most traditional and picturesque villages that Asturias and Leon have to offer. Deep ravines, ancient forests and towering limestone walls have limited the development of villages to the river’s edge or in the high meadows where these tiny villages cluster together, all seem lost in time. This is a busy but rewarding day photographically. This evening we go out for dinner in Cangas de Onis one of the main market towns of Asturias.
Hotel Soto de Onis (B,L,D)

Day 7: Los Lagos and Traditional Villages

Before breakfast an impressive drive takes us high into the mountains to our sunrise location; the serene Los Lagos These high lakes are set against a back-drop of limestone peaks providing excellent sunrise colours and reflections. Mid morning we will drive to Arenas de Cabrales, named after the famous mouth numbing blue cheese that this area is famous for. We may well take the under-mountain funicular railway to the tiny village of Bulnes. Late afternoon we drive up to Asiego, a beautiful small village with many photographic sites. We will take a walk to an impressive view point located here that will give us some views of the high summits of Picos de Europa. After our sunset shoot, we will enjoy a nice traditional “espicha” (dinner composed by several small traditional dishes) discovering as well some more about the local drink in this area of Spain.
Hotel Soto de Onis (B,L,D)

Day 8: Tazones and Muros de Nalon

Following breakfast we will drive down the coastal estuary of Villaviciosa, an area of great beauty and diversity to the quaint fishing village of Tazones. This very traditional fishing village has steep old cobbled streets, typical brightly painted terraced houses and doors, wooden galleries and some of the best small fish restaurants in Northern Spain. After lunch, we will spend the afternoon wandering at a leisurely pace exploring and photographing the village. Perhaps we can enjoy a glass of the delicious Cider so revered in Asturias. Late afternoon we drive to our final hotel, Palacio de La Magdalena Hotel overlooking the estuary of the Nalon River as it flows into the Bay of Biscay.
Hotel Muros de Nalon (B,D)

Day 9: Airport Transfer

After an early breakfast we transfer (10 minutes) to Asturias Airport for our homeward flight. If guests wish to stay on at the for an extra night, please contact the office and we will give you the details. There will only be one transfer to the airport after breakfast, if your flight is later in the day then the hotel will be able to book you a transfer taxi for approx €15.

Joining Arrangements and Transfers

The local airport is Oviedo, Asturias (OVD). It is well served with flights from Europe. There will be timed transfers from/to Oviedo/Asturias airport on Day 1 and Day 9. We will provide transfers to the hotel meeting flights coming into Asturias Airport between 11:00 am and 18:30 on Day 1 and after breakfast on Day 9. If you are arriving/departing outside our official transfer times, taxis will be available at both the airport and the hotel. They cost around 25€ each way. If you prefer to arrive before Day 1 we are able to advise you of our small hotel in the first night village of Cudillero. Please contact the office if you require further information.

What’s Included

  • 8 nights small family run hotels
  • 8 breakfast, 6 lunches, 8 dinners (B,L,D) indicated on the daily itinerary
  • Wine with dinner
  • Airport transfers x 2 (within the specified times)
  • Guide
  • Photographic tutor
  • Cable car
  • Funicular railway

What’s not Included

  • International flights
  • Lunch on Day 8
  • Alcoholic beverages except some wine with dinner
  • Snacks, alcoholic drinks and hot beverages other than with meals
  • Travel insurance

Complete Itinerary and Full Details

This page is only a brief summary. A complete itinerary and full details can be found in our trip description PDF It is important that you read the full day-to-day description and further information for this holiday before making your booking.