Canoeing and Kayaking are hugely popular and well catered for in Asturias.
This sport has been present in Spain (and also in Asturias) since the beginning of the 20th century when a man called Dionisio de la Huerta went for a paddle down the River Sella in a canoe.
Funnily enough, that short canoe trip 80 years ago started what is called “El Descenso del Sella” or the “International Descent of the River Sella” , which started as a friendly race between friends and as of today, is the biggest canoe race in the world with over 2,000 participants racing down the Sella River for 20 Km. Around the race there is a huge event that takes place at both starting and finish lines (Arriondas and Ribadesella respectively) making it the epicenter of an incredible party where thousands and thousands of people enjoy the race after spending all night long drinking and celebrating around this incredible event.
Canoeing and kayaking is therefore a sport with a very old tradition in Asturias and you can easily rent one in quite a few spots throughout Asturias and tour around the rivers, river mouths and even the sea when waters are calm.
The most famous one is obviously the Sella Descent where you can rent some big plastic canoes for 2 people upwards and spend a few hours floating down the river, stopping at natural pools, going for a swim, sunbathing and enjoying the incredible scenery this canoe route goes through. You can also rent canoes in places such as El Puntal (in Villaviciosa), Llanes, Ribadesella, Cangas de Onis, Arriondas, Pola de Laviana, Candamo, etc.
Asturias has had several very well-known canoeists such as Herminio Menendez who won 3 medals in the Olympics (1976 and 1980) and Manuel Busto, who has won 8 World Titles in several specialties.
The event of the Descent of the River Sella will be hold the first weekend of august. At the same time Asturias celebrates the International Week of Canoeing celebrating different canoeing events all over the region.
Images supplied by Arnaud Späni and SRT: Miki Lopez.