Candas, capital of the municipality of Carreño, is a small village on the Cantabrian coast of Asturias. Linked since ancient times to fishing activity, today it has become an important summer destination.

Candás is a small destination with plenty of things to do, for a day at least: gardens, mansions, churches, the port. The rest of the trip may include the near Avilés, with its great Niemeyer.

Other places to discover are the city of Gijón (to the East) and the fishing village of Cudillero (West). Nature enthusiasts have lots of cliffs and beaches with excellent views on the landscapes of the protected Peñas Cape and the West Coast. To learn about the local dishes and choose the places of rest for hikers, we offer our page of sleeping and eating in Candás.

History of Candás

Candás and its origins

The territory of the municipality of Carreño was most likely inhabited since ancient times. This is proved by the Dolmens of Monte Areo, which can be traced to about 3000 years before Christ. It is also thought that there was a Roman presence, because of several discoveries here: in 1961, the treasure of Coyanca (seven coins between the year 54 and 138). In addition, in the limits of the Council the Ara Sebastiana was found; a stone with a Roman-Pagan inscription which can be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Asturias, in Oviedo.

The first historical news from the municipality of Carreño were from the Middle Age. In the year 905 the name of the municipality of Carreño appears for the first time in a document. It was a donation from King Alfonso III to the Church of San Salvador de Oviedo. However, it was not until the 13th century when the Council was recognized as autonomous. Years later, after the battle of Salado (1340), King Alfonso XI of Castile granted Carreño the title of “Very Loyal”.

Due to the geographic location local people have devoted themselves from the begin to the fishing industry. Since the 15th century the town was a renowned port for fishing and other maritime traffic. In the 16th century a few candasino whalers found an image of Christ (assumed to be English, by the iconoclastic policy of King Henry VIII) in the sea off the coast of Ireland, known as the Christ of Candás.

A lawsuit against dolphins

What was known as the “Pleito de los Delfines” took place here in the first quarter of the 17th century, a moment in which fishermen in this town began suffering serious losses in their catches because of the presence of many dolphins and pilot whales in its waters. It is not known who came up with the curious idea of filing a legal suit against these cetaceans, but the truth is that they were taken to trial and the species was found guilty of the town’s losses. To notify the dolphins of their sentence, a notary embarked and read the Court’s decision into the sea. A monument, the work of the sculptor Santarua, commemorates this event.

Old view of Candás

An active town

Already in contemporary times, the council of Carreño was one of the first to revolt against the French presence in 1808. The Mountain Hunting Corps of Carreño and Gozón took part in various battles. However, the village was occupied on three occasions by the invaders.

After the War of Independence, the recovery came from the hand of new industries. They were created as salting cellars, pickling factories, canning factories and an iron mining exploitation. In this way, it became a model of a small coastal industrial city. Nowadays, most of the economic activity is focused on tourism and fishing.

What to see in Candás

Candás is a beautiful and cosy marine villa dotted with notable buildings, especially from the period between the late 19th century and the first third of the 20th century.

One cannot miss strolling through the streets, trying to raise their view to enjoy the facades of buildings such as the old mansion of González Villar or the building Garcia Orejas. The current Town Hall, formerly known as “Casa Genarín”, also occupies an old restored “indiana” house of eclectic style.

A very important port

Our visit would begin with a walk along the Harbour and the promenade. At the port, which has undergone numerous remodels throughout its history (mainly during the 18th century), are housed two old English ships that are no longer used, the Greteforce and the Gratefarm. Next to the dock is the statue of La Marinera, work of the candansin sculptor Antón, inspired by the suffering of mothers whose sons give their life to the sea.

We would then approach the Antón Museum and Candás Sculpture Center that was created from the work of the sculptor Antonio Rodríguez García, Antón. It is located in the plaza El Cueto, in the former home of the Estradas, which is from the 18th century. The Museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and in the gardens presents an interesting outdoor sculpture tour.

Beautiful religious buildings

Another unique place to see in Candás is the Chapel of San Antonio (patron of lovers), in the San Antonio cape (also known as “The tip of the horn,” or Cuirnu); built a few inches from the edge of the cliff. This Chapel is one of the few examples of Renaissance work in the area. It consists of a single nave and rectangular headboard, covered with wood and vault with pillars and a very highlighted.

Every June 13th the local bell is rung to attract love. A jira with auction of the ramu (bouquet), distribution of the bollu preñao (bread baked with a sausage inside) and a bottle of wine is also made. The evening culminates in a great contest of Danza Prima.


Church of San Félix

Also in this same place is the San Antonio lighthouse, from where you can see the coast. Within the municipality of Carreño, the most important beaches are: Candás Beach, Carranques Beach, the Taluxa, and Huelgues Beach.

After visiting this place, we can start our descent into the village. A highlight of the religious architecture of this fishing village is the Church of San Félix. Built in the 18th century in neo-Baroque style, its origins date back to much earlier, because there is documentation that it was donated by King Fruela II and his spouse, the Queen Munila, to the Cathedral of Oviedo in the year 912. It houses a magnificent Churrigueresque altarpiece (1734-1749) carved by Esteban Fernández to accommodate the figure of the Christ of Candás.

Candás’ industry

The exhibition of La Industria Conservera de Candás is situated in the Parque de las Conserveras. Located in the old factory of Alfageme cider cistern and preserves, its permanent exhibition teaches the functions of this traditional economic sector in the region. On this same site the Clariniano market is held annually, which recreates 19th-century Asturian handicrafted trade. The Park also integrates the Botanical Garden of Candás, a small green space with numerous tree species.

Among the architecture there are two buildings we would like to emphasize. The emblematic Palace Rivas, located in the Santolaya district, is a house with a rectangular base and stone facade, which is articulated in three floors and a basement. This house served as inspiration for Armando Palacio Valdés as the dwelling of the Lord of Meira in one of his works.

In addition Candás has been a host throughout history to the family of the Bernaldo de Quirós, whose stately home shows two coats of arms on the main façade: the Bernaldo de Quirós (with the legend “After God the Quiros House”) and the family Cienfuegos-Jovellanos, relatives of the thinker Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos. The original was initially built in the 18th century and expanded at the end of the 19th century.

CandásAnother important element of the cultural life of Candás is the Prendes theatre that exhibits all kinds of films and plays. Of particular interest is the Salón de Teatro Costumbrista Asturiano, which takes place every year during the month of August.

Near Candás, in Guimaran, you can see the House which belonged to the Alas family, and where Clarin wrote much of his work. Another focus of tourist interest is the residential city of Perlora,  an old resort.


In Candás the best-known celebrations are the Christ of September 14 and the feast of St. Feliz, on the 1st of August. The Christ started being held after the return to the port of Candás of a whaling fleet that had miraculously found a woodcarving of Jesus Christ in the vicinity of the coasts of Ireland. The primitive image was stolen and destroyed during the civil war as well as the Church of St. Feliz where it resided, but the devotion to them remains intact.

On the other hand, the feast of San Feliz is accompanied by a sea procession. The saint travels through the waters near the port with an abundant retinue of fishermen and devotees. On the occasion of the festivities of the patron saint of Candás, it is a tradition to celebrate the sardine festival. Thousands of these fish are roasted on the jetty, waiting for the saint and his companions.

Traditional foods from Candás are often canned. Visitors wishing to take a culinary memory directly fished from the fleet of this famous port should add to their agenda the fair of canned products in Candás (3rd week of July), or search for Conservas Remo products, although there facilities were moved from Candás to Gijón in 2011.

Practical data


43° 58′ 96″ N, 5° 76′ 31″ W


Oviedo 37 km, Madrid 480 km


80 m


7320 (2009)

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