Asturias, Spain: Descenso del Sella (kayaking festival)

When my Spanish friend first told me about Descenso del Sella she said something along the lines of:

“It’s this really cool festival where you canoe/ kayak down a river, drink cider and party all day. But you have to look after your canoes or someone will try to sink or steal it! It’s amazing you have to come”

She was not wrong. In any way.


Luckily for us no one tried to sink or steal ours but I did witness a canoe completely full with rocks! (Thinking about it now I should have taken a picture, but you believe me, right?)

Descenso del Sella is a professional kayaking race which amatuers can take part in. As an amateur, you can take your time on the water, splash about, have fun, and stop at the chiringuitos (alcohol and food stop) for energy. I really cant recommend it enough, it’s a weird a wonderful combination of drinking and sports which make you feel proud of yourself but hungover at the same time.


NOTE: I want to stress that I hadn’t been on a canoe in about 9 years and it was fine for me – a fair bit of arm work but you will survive – and love it.

Around the event, you can go quad biking or have tree top adventures, so there’s lots to do. Alternatively you can take a car and head down to a beach such as playa de san lorenzo in Gijón NOTE: it’s closer to the airport (30 mins drive) so it might be nice to head to on the last day.


Bring shoes like this for the water, glasses are optional. The cider (cidra) is drunk in shot sized quantity.


Price to enter the race is 25 euros.


It takes place in Arriondas, Asturias, a small and truly Spanish town. They are well known for their cider and the style of pouring it, and also cachopos which is like a combination of cheese and meat.

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 00.19.00.png

Click for location in Google maps

Screen Shot 2016-09-05 at 00.23.35.png

Click for route from the airport to Arriondas!

Additional information

Next date: 5th August 2017

Official website:

facebook icontwitter icon



You get these waterproof containers to keep your stuff safe (you take them with you in the canoe/ kayak)


Instructions on how to kayak (in Spanish)




An oasis!


Just refuelling to get back on the water




Chilling – taking a break


Stunning views

0 thoughts on “Asturias, Spain: Descenso del Sella (kayaking festival)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *