Many will be unfamiliar with the region of Asturias in northern Spain, but it's a delightful province with some of the most scenic golf in Europe
There’s a common misconception that golf in Spain is solely confined to the south, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Spain is a beautiful and diverse country with a whole host of golfing assets, not least the region of Asturias, which lies in the north of the country.
In terms of natural beauty, Asturias is hard to beat. The region, which lies between Cantabria and Galicia, features sublime coastal views, quaint cities and arresting backdrops, with views of the Picos de Europa mountains present from many of Asturias’ 16 golf courses. It’s a hilly, pastoral part of Spain, with the region’s three main cities – Gijón, Oviedo and Avilés – situated close together.
The former is a coastal locale with much to offer in terms of leisure and gastronomy, while Oviedo is a charming, historic city filled with cobbled streets, impressive architecture, countless nightspots and even a street dedicated to cider – a speciality of the region. Oviedo is the perfect base from which to explore the region’s golf courses, as well as the scenery, culture, history and food that Asturias is famed for.
One of the best courses in Asturias is Los Balagares Golf, which is a stone’s throw from Avilés and roughly 15km from Gijon and Asturias. It’s a tricky yet scenic layout that features sloping greens and a number of elevation changes. It also boasts superb amenities – including a spa and restaurant – and a convivial atmosphere.
There are plenty of municipal courses in Asturias offering tremendous value. One of the most highly-regarded public layouts can be found at Golf Municipal de Llanes. You won’t find better value for money anywhere in Spain, and the setting is spectacular. It’s perched on the top of a mountain with some wonderful views over the coast, the eponymous town and the Picos de Europa on the other side.
It’s also a well-designed course with good greens and a natural routing that offers a challenge to low-handicappers, while not being overly challenging for part-time players. As with all courses in Asturias, the staff are friendly and welcoming. Other municipal layouts worth visiting include Golf Las Caldas, Golf La Llorea and Golf El Tragamón. There are also a couple of pitch and putt courses dotted around – perfect for beginners and family outings.
Located in the borough of Siero, about 12km from Oviedo, is Barganiza Royal Golf Club. It’s a layout that features stunning views, ample water and a broad variety of trees, which serve to create a course that’s challenging and stirring in equal measure. Always presented in excellent condition, it features one of the best par 3s in Asturias, the 12th, with a green that’s almost completely surrounded by chestnut trees.
An hour or so to the east of Oviedo is Club de Golf La Rasa de Berbes – a fine course in the most tranquil of locations. Herds of deer are a common site, and you’ll be able to view the fishing town of Ribadesella and the Picos de Europa as you negotiate a layout with some great holes which fits seamlessly into the natural landscape.
The 16 golf courses in Asturias are playing an increasingly significant role in attracting more and more visitors to this part of the country. You won’t find more scenic and aesthetically pleasing layouts anywhere else in Spain, and the quality is improving all the time. Away from the course, you’ll find first-rate hotels, exquisite food and drink, historic landmarks and buildings, nature trails, golden beaches and more. Simply put, it’s wonderfully unspoilt and bucolic part of the world.
How to get there:
Asturias airport is now easier to reach from the UK than ever, with 15 direct connections
from Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. The flight time is just two hours, with return fares from airlines such as Iberia, easyJet and Vueling starting from £52
For more information on golf in Asturias, as well as the region’s other attractions, visit asturiastourism.co.uk