Portiellu de San Martín beach in Llanes- panoramic view

San Martín beach, Llanes, Asturias

1 December, 2014

You can reach this beach (actually this is a number of beaches that join with low tide) by foot only, it’s a 3km walk from Celorio if I remember correctly. You just have to find the yellow arrows pointing towards Poo from Celorio – on them you will see written “E9 – Peatonal playa de San Martín” – if you happen to get lost you should know that our beach app AsturPlaya can take you there, download it now and let’s go!

Signpost showing the direction towards the beach of San Martin
It’s a wide footpath at the beginning, built for trekking and bicycles that slowly gets narrower the closer to Poo you get.

The coastal trail E9 will reveal a lot of small beaches and coves till you reach the beach of Poo – so try to find La Nixon and El Penal coves right after passing the Los Curas beach in Celorio – I will write about them in the near future, I promise 🙂

Now, let’s go back to San Martín – actually there’s a small misunderstanding involving this beach.

Almenada islet in Poo, Llanes seen from the E9 coastal trail

The official name of this beach is San Martín and this is what you will find in a lot of official maps – but locals are of a different opinion and see here 3 beaches that join with low tide:towards West near the hermitage of San Martín we have La Capilla beach (the Chapel) followed by San Martín beach or Arenal de San Martín right in front of the San Martín islet and them to the East the Portiellu beach.

La Capilla beach

La Capilla beach in Celorio, Llanes, Asturias

This tiny cove is rather easy to find since it owes its name to a nearby hermitage called Hermitage of San Martín (San Martín being the name of the long islet in front of the coastline here).

The hermitage is actually a ruin (not sure how old it actually is) built on top of the cliffs and facing the San Martín islet – it will probably remain this way or get worse in the future.

In the past climbing down to this beach was easy, wooden stairs being build from the cliffs right till the beach.

During the winter of 2013-2014 huge storms hit the coastline of Asturias and destroyed the access for this beach and the one of Portiellu, also taking away most of the sand these beaches used to have.

While the stairs to Portiellu were rebuilt (to crumble again a few months later) the ones to La Capilla were not. And the sea did not return the stolen sand.


San Martín hermitage: abandoned treasure in Celorio, Llanes

San Martin hermitage in Celorio, Llanes, Asturias

Arenal de San Martín

Arenal de San Martin beach in Celorio, Asturias, Spain

You might have to believe me that there is a beach down there.

Unfortunately high tide the beach is completely submerged in the water while with low tide the beach joins La Capilla to the West and Portiellu to the East forming a 750 meters long sandy area.

Yes, 750 meters long. That’s a lot!

The islet in front of it is called San Martín islet, the village where all these beaches are located is called San Martín village.

Couldn’t have been easier than that 🙂

There is no (safe) direct descent to this beach, it mainly being accessible with low tide from La Capilla or Portiellu, its neighbors.

Portiellu de San Martín

The island of San Martín in Celorio, Llanes

The island of San Martín seen from the beach of Portiellu

The people of Celorio have known this beach as Portiellu since the 18th century and they are very picky when it comes to somebody changing the names of their loved places.

So with AsturPlaya we decided to listen to the locals instead of the officials and here we are, talking to you about 3 beaches in 1.

We might even argue that we have 4 beaches in 1 if we consider that with low tide the sandy area extends till the Almenada islet (towards East) and locals named this area The Almenada beach 🙂

The islets of San Martín beach

Along the E9 trail you will constantly see an island at your left (if you start from Celorio) or right (if you start from Poo after you get past the island of Almenada) – it’s the island of San Martín and in front of it there are the 4 beaches I mentioned above – if you are lucky to be there at low tide take tons of pictures and send one to me – I never had the chance to see all 4 of them joined.

Below you have San Martín to the left and Almenada to the right.

Almenada islet between Celorio and Poo in Llanes, AsturiasSan Martin islet between Celorio and Poo in Llanes, Asturias

Some more info about the beach of San Martín

With low tide the official numbers are: 750 meters long, 52 meters wide (variable, of course, with high tide). A sandy beach with an area of boulders, pretty windy (which makes it perfect for surfing) and secluded (which means it’s also a nudist beach).

Poo beach in Llanes, Asturias

There used to be a lifeguard (it varies on a yearly basis, 2014 it was not) there but only during weekends and festive days – other than that there is nothing around: no parking, no bars or restaurants, no showers or toilets (but you will find all that in Poo or Celorio).

By the way, speaking of Poo, you can also see the beach of Poo (in the picture to the right) from the E9 footpath, always towards East and in the picture to the right.

Weather near the beaches of San Martín


Video: Portiellu de San Martín beach

Video: La Capilla beach in Celorio, Llanes

from AsturPlaya on Vimeo.

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