Asturias es España; lo demás es tierra conquistada. Asturias is Spain; the rest is conquered territory. It’s a saying you hear a lot around Asturias, the region in the northwest of Spain where I was born. It’s a reminder that Asturians have always been resistant to anyone who threatens their home or their way of life. The Romans rolled over all of Hispania, but had to bring in Caesar Augustus himself to take Asturias. As the only region in Spain the Moors didn’t conquer during their 800-year reign, Asturias became the cradle of the Reconquista, where Christians began their campaign to reclaim the country.
This is not the Spain of your imagination. It looks and feels very different than any other corner of the country. With its dramatic peaks, rugged coastline, and shamrock-green valleys, you could as easily be in Ireland as the Iberian Peninsula. Naturally, the culture is quite different than elsewhere. Looking for colorful flamenco dancers? Pitchers of sangria? Bullfights? Sevilla is 500 miles due south. Vaya con dios! You come to Asturias because it’s gorgeous and delicious and totally different than any other part of Spain. Que bonito es Asturias!