For me, the lasting image of this seaside town is of the white statue of a guardian angel perched above a ruined monastery in the hillside cemetery.
For others, it is of the green and yellow sunflower tiles that cover El Capricho, the house that is considered architect Antoni Gaudi’s most important early work and one of few examples of the architect’s work outside of Catalonia.
El Capricho used to be a home and a restaurant but today the whole house and its garden is a museum. turismocomillas.com/english.html de Europa leads to the green heart of rural Spain.
And to a place many believe is its spiritual heart, Covadonga.
Even without a religious calling, the trip here is worth the a lovely drive through steep-walled valleys clad with beautiful old forest, along the River Reinazo, its banks lined with canoe hire stores and past rustic houses with their horreos or traditional grain stores alongside.
Covadonga is the site of an epic battle in which a greatly outnumbered band of Christians defeated the invading Moors in 722.
The David and Goliath struggle, led by Pelayo, a nobleman and warrior who later became king of Asturias, is the reason a few parts of northern Spain remain pretty much as they were when founded in the eighth century.
At tiny Covadonga is a vast basilica built on the site of Pelayo’s victory, with a statue of the man himself standing guard. asturiasguide.com/Covadonga.html