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Asturias, Spain: Descenso del Sella (kayaking festival)

September 5, 2016

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.

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Click for location in Google maps

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Click for route from the airport to Arriondas!

Additional information

Next date: 5th August 2017

Official website: descensodelsella.com

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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

  • Reply
    Gijón, Asturias: Playa de San Lorenzo (beach) – Wading Wade
    September 5, 2016 at 9:14 am

    […] mentioned this beach in my post about festival Descenso del Sella (kayaking) in Asturias. Gijón is closer to the airport and offers a stunning beach for those who […]

  • Reply
    Lustrum Project
    September 14, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    That looks like fun – There’s something similar to this in Truckee (near Lake Tahoe) that I’ve always wanted to do, but just haven’t.

    • Reply
      Wading Wade
      September 14, 2016 at 10:47 pm

      Ahh really, how come? Maybe seeing this is a good excuse to book it. I can’t explain how fun it is in comparison to a typical festival or party – you actually feel like you’ve achieved something! (And I guess that something is kilometres)

  • Reply
    February 18, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    I love kayaking! This looks like a great combination of fitness and fun 🙂 Nice photos, too!

    • Reply
      Wading Wade
      February 18, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you dear 🙂 you should definitely give it a go if you can!

  • Reply
    February 18, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Omg! This is right up my alley. Thank you for sharing. I hope I can plans visit during this time of year.

    • Reply
      Wading Wade
      February 18, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      It’s my pleasure! I hope you can. Do share with me if you do, I love seeing photos of this event.

  • Reply
    Your Next Big Trip
    February 18, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    I would love this! I’ve only recently discovered kayaking and it’s so much fun. Definitely adding this to my to-do list!

    • Reply
      Wading Wade
      February 19, 2017 at 11:53 am

      Ah that’s perfect then! I’m also a fan of kayaking 🙂

  • Reply
    February 18, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    This is cool! I have never heard of this, but this looks like a ton of fun! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Wading Wade
      February 19, 2017 at 11:54 am

      Neither had I! It seems so low key outside of Spain

  • Reply
    February 18, 2017 at 11:39 pm

    Looks really funny. Did not know, it excist, so thanks for sharing. My readers will love to know about it too.

    • Reply
      Wading Wade
      February 19, 2017 at 11:55 am

      It’s definitely a good laugh and day out! That’s great about your readers 😊 thanks for commenting

  • Reply
    Marijana | Lady of Awesome
    February 25, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Wait, I had no idea there’s such thing as a kayaking festival?! This looks amazing, and I hope I’ll get to do it someday… I love water sports! Great photos, I’m sold 🙂

    • Reply
      Wading Wade
      February 25, 2017 at 7:52 pm

      Haha I know right? Thank you dear! I hope you do too. I might do it again this year 🙂

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