Spanish Gems: Taramundi

Taramundi, Spain, tucked into misty, green, rolling hills and dotted with lovely, old stone buildings,  seems to have leaped out of a storybook into life.

Situated just east of Galicia in the region of Asturias, Taramundi is a destination we happened upon in an old guidebook, and even then it only got about a (short) paragraph of billing.  We spent two nights in this tiny village, and remained in awe of our surroundings the whole time.   It was truly one of the most picturesque places on our trip.

If you look up Taramundi, chances are you will eventually find a reference to its knives, or, more
specifically, the navajas, folding knives.   We purchased a couple of knives as souvenirs, and wish now we'd purchased more.  It's also in the heart of apple country, which means Sidre is everywhere:   Sidrererias, cider making facilities, are common sights, and you can frequently spot sidre boxes, bottles, etc. on the sides of the roads, and even sometimes cooling in a mountain creek.

Sidre boxes chilling at the creek

The town of Taramundi is quaint (read very small) but has several little shops and a few restaurants.  Some shops have interesting local crafts, knives (of course), some with everything from fabada fixings (more on fabada to come), to bottled water, to pottery, to marmalades, and some are just filled with junk!

On the lower edge of town is a Castro, or ancient Roman fortification.

Head out of town a short distance, there is an old mill, Mazonovo, which you can tour.  Go just a bit further still, and you can stop at knife-making workshops, and watch the knives being crafted by the artisans.  Have a strong stomach and brave constitution -- the roads are narrow and curvy!

On down the road, you can wander small, stone villages perched on the green hillsides, with creeks running through, donkeys happily munching on the grass.  We went to Os Teixois, but did not take the tour of the buildings, instead just wandering the quaint settlement.

The light and fog hanging over the valleys make for some incredible scenery seemingly around every turn.

If you are also a beach lover (me!), the area is just under an hour from lovely beaches like this on the northern coast.

We had terrific fabada at the restaurant of Hotel Taramundi (and some yummy pork chops topped with a goat cheese sauce, also).  Fabada is a traditional stew made with beans, morcillo sausage, chorizo, and saffron.  I'm hoping to find the ingredients to make Fabada at home soon.

A delicious, simple breakfast of toast from the bakery just around the corner, scrumptious apple and kiwi and blueberry marmalades, wonderful fresh orange juice (of course), and super coffee.

It might not be at the top of everyone's type of places to visit in Spain, but for quiet, peaceful countryside, Taramundi is a gem of a place to see.