Comarca de la Sidra – The Cider Shire

Composed of the concejos of Villaviciosa, Cabranes, Bimenes, Sariego and Nava, the Comarca de la Sidra is at the very heart of that most Asturian of things, cider production.

A rural idyll with strong community and a clear connection to the land and nature, this very traditional area can make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Perfect for those wishing to escape the ‘rat-race’ of life in modern industrialized nations.

The soft temperate climate that suits apple growing also suits many expats from northern Europe – mild winters and warm summers with temperatures rarely breaching the 30 degree mark make for comfortable living and more time spent in the great outdoors.

Cabranes in particular has a strong and growing ‘Neo-rural’ community – people who are returning from the cities (both Spanish and overseas) to make a more sustainable life in the country. The success of the monthly Tenderete in Santolaya de Cabranes bears witness to this – it’s a vibrant market with an emphasis on organic, local produce as well as artisanal wares and secondhand stalls. It’s mentioned by Turismo Asturias in their list of the 6 best markets in the region and has a buzzy social vibe.

The success of the local council’s policy of encouraging young families to come and make their home here can be seen in the increased numbers of pupils in the local schools and the proposal for a new state-run nursery for infants from 0 to 3 years old. And thus new life is breathed into a formerly ageing and diminishing rural population.

 

Autumn in the Cider Shire and there are apples to be collected on the way home from school

Autumn in the Cider Shire and there are apples to be collected on the way home from school