Posada del Valle, Spain
A 19th-century stone farmhouse near Arriondas by the Picos de Europa national park - between the sea and the mountains.
In a nutshell:
Quiet family-run hotel on organic farm
Price: Self-catering from €63.20/night
Meals: Dinner €28.50 per person;
Open: year round
Babies and Children welcome
Popular with walkers & birdwatchers
Close to beaches of eastern Asturias
Nearby towns Cangas de Onis & Llanes
Good for green:
Walkers & Cyclists Welcome
Owners provide produce from their
organic orchards and vegetable garden for breakfast and dinner
EEC registered organic farm
Good for vegetarians
Natural Swimming Pool
Watch a video about Posada del Valle
An Eco Escape at Posada del Valle:
Low Carbon Food
The owner's home grown organic fruit and vegetables are served in the restaurant, which has a daily changing menu based on seasonality and availability. About a third of the food is produced from the farm, another third from a specialist organic distributor and 15% of the rest is from certified-organic local small producers. The owners also bake all their own bread, cakes and desserts.
Solar panels for hot water and central heating
Low energy appliances throughout
Rainwater is used to irrigate crops
Use of water is minimised using low flow rate showers and taps and water-efficient toilets
Comprehensive recycling of paper, glass and plastic, and compost available for organic waste
Things to do at Posada del Valle
Read about the locality in the small library or curl up in front of an open fire in the comfortable lounge that was converted from the farm's original stables. Listen to the distant sound of the mountain goat bells and admire the views from the large gallery windows of the lush valley below. This is prime walking country - there are 40 self-guided walks in the area from gentle strolls to mountain treks. For more ideas of what to do in the area, see our Green Traveller's Guide to Green Spain.
Low Carbon Travel
It's possible to reach Northern Spain by public transport from the UK. See our guide to London to Santander by train and ferry. From Santander, you can either get a bus (about 2 hours with Alsa) or hop on the FEV train to Ariondas (about 3 hours) from where it's a short taxi ride to the hotel (about €6-7.)
Green Traveller's Review of Posada del Valle
Richard Hammond visits Posada del Valle in Northern Spain via train and ferry to Santander
The Setting: Posada del Valle is a 19th-century stone farmhouse near Arriondas by the Picos de Europa national park. It was once the home of a parish priest, which the English owners have turned it into a certified organic farm where rare breed sheep graze among 18 acres of wild meadow and the electricity is bought in from renewable sources. There's juice from the apple orchard, fresh home-baked bread and veg from the terraced garden for evening meals in a glass-fronted dining-room.
The Rooms: The 12 bedrooms are ensuite with stone walls and windows that originate from the building’s past role as a priest’s farmhouse.
The Food: Homemade apple juice and bread for breakfast, while in the evening the imaginative daily changing set menu includes a soup, salad (much of it picked just hours before it is served), main course (with a vegetarian option), dessert or a selection of local cheeses. Over 98% of all the products used in the hotel restaurant are certified organic.
Activities: The posada is close to the sandy beaches of the Cantabrian coast, but go to the many inland rivers for canoeing and canyoning, or into the mountains for horse-riding and mountainbiking. The farmhouse is a 3km walk from Arriondas, which is four hours by bus from Bilbao, two hours from Santander.
Verdict: There's a country inn feeling to this family-run organic farmstay. Large airy stone rooms with wonderful views over the lush valley. While the accommodation is comfortable (and the organic food delicious), it's the location that will take your breath away - in a terrific position between the mountains of the Picos de Europa and the beautiful beaches of eastern Asturias.
Top Tip Watch our video of Green Spain to see some of the things you can do in the region: