Luarca to Oviedo by bike and train


The clouds soon cleared to present us with a very warm day. We continued along the old N634, which eventually merged with the new road which was inevitably much busier. We took the turning for Villademoros to regain the old road and enjoyed the drops to the river and the climbs back up, after the monotony of the level new road with its vast viaducts. We were feeling much fitter after all the cycling of the past fortnight and after a good night’s sleep.

We’d intended to catch the train to Oviedo in order to make the connection to Santander, where we would stay the night. We didn’t quite have time to comfortably make it to Cudillero so we made for Soto de Luiña. We dropped steeply down into the village but there was no sign of a station, just a confusing map showing roads and the rail line (not the station) and no directions. We asked some locals, who directed us back up the hill. We saw the line disappearing into a tunnel but no station, no signs. We decided to race to Cudillero so we bombed along the main road and down to the village, arriving around the scheduled departure time. Again there were no signs for the FEVE. The village plan didn’t even mark the line. Under “servicios” the bus station was marked but not the rail station.

So we ate our picnic lunch and treated ourselves to coffee and cake at a pasteleria, had a good look round the pretty old fishing port with its busy restaurants, everyone sitting outside soaking up the Sunday sunshine. The next train wasn’t until around nine, so we elected to push on towards Oviedo. The N632 was now very busy with cars and the occasional lorry but we escaped it at Soto del Barco in favour of the AS16 down to Pravia, where we branched off towards Grado.

We passed near the railway at times, and I noticed that there were now overhead cables, implying that electric trains enhanced the sparse diesel service from the western end of the network. We reached San Roman station – alongside the road so no silly searching. To my surprise, the ticket office was open and there was an hourly weekend service, but only every other hour on Sundays. The next train was in an hour’s time so we crossed the road to sit outside a lively bar and enjoy what turned out to be my last bottle of sidra. I tried the traditional pouring ritual but more went on the floor than in my glass, the breeze didn’t help.

A three-car electric unit arrived from the south and had to wait for our train to clear the single line section and enter the station before it could proceed. It was easy to load the bikes, no need to remove the panniers, and we sat back to enjoy the view. At Trubia, a steel coil train headed by two diesel locomotives waited in the other platform. A few more people loaded mountain bikes and we left the way we’d entered and forked to the right. We reached Oviedo around 19:35 and booked in at the El Ovetense again. We locked our bikes in the garage, showered and went out in search of food. We had grilled vegetables – peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and aubergines – with a bottle of beer and a mineral water, a very light meal but expensive at €30.

Oviedo to Santander by train for the ferry