Nothing says to me “Asturias” more than canoeing down the River Sella (Rio Sella).
The reason canoeing is so popular in the are is due to the International Descent of the River Sella, a competition that takes places in the beginning of August. However, the competition became so famous because of the many parties it holds when the race is over!
The route of the canoeing is breathtaking! It is right by the Picos of Europa and the entire time you will be staring at the beautiful mountains.
I highly recommend that you bring a waterproof case for your phone.camera because you will be wanting to document these insane views!!
How to get there?
Most adventure companies rent out their equipment in the city of Arriondas.
By car: the city is well-connected and you shouldn’t have any issues arriving. It will take about an hour by car from Oviedo or Gijón.
By bus from Oviedo: the two places are pretty well-connected and you can arrive to Arriondas in just one hour! Take any of these buses: Oviedo (Fac.)-Cangas de Onís por Pola de Siero, Oviedo-Cangas de Onís, Oviedo-Cangas de Onís; semidirecto, Oviedo-Panes.
By bus from Gijón: Once a day, in the morning, there is a direct bus between Gijón and Arriondas, otherwise you will need to take a bus to Oviedo (30 minutes) and then one of the buses mentioned above.
There many adventure companies in Arriondas that will let you rent a canoe (for 1 or 2 people). With the canoe you get a floating vest and a big jar where you can put your phone, clothes, food, alcohol, or anything that comes to mind!
Some companies have a cool launching ramp that make the beginning of the rowing super fun!
Length: from the beginning point most rental companies that start in Arriondas will have 3 stops where you can finish the route. Usually after 6, 10 or 14 kms. This depends on where exactly your rental company is located, for example I started at the very beginning and ended up doing 16 kms.
Duration: depending on how long you decide to go and how fast you row, it should take you 2 -5 hours.
Cost: We paid 23 euros per person and used the company Cangas Aventura. They were really nice, friendly, got us to the water pretty fast, and the company has the awesome launching ramp in the picture above!
What to Expect
When I decided to canoe down the river I thought I am going to do an extreme, very difficult workout. I imagined that I will be surrounded by professionals who are practicing for the International Descent of the River Sella.
I was wrong, this was just a huge party! Many people even come there to celebrate their bachelor and bachelorette parties.
What you will find are many happy people enjoying their time in the river. Some get off the canoe to bathe in the (very cold in my opinion) water, some drink beer while canoeing, but the majority are singing while rowing.
This leads me to the best, most important, part of the experience, the chiringuitos…
The most entertaining part of the day!
Chiringuitos are small bars/restaurants along the river that play music and give you the option to get off the canoe and relax or party – it’s up to you!
Many people come here as “bar hopping” going from one chiringuito to other. You can purchase sidra, beer, soft drinks, and most offer bocadillos (sandwiches). We had to stop for a cold bottle of sidra 🙂
Keep in Mind
In July and August the river will be full of people, especially in August! The pictures I took were from a Saturday in mid-July.