The River of Villaviciosa and Rodiles Beach
The River of Villaviciosa is one of the best preserved estuaries in northern Spain. The environmental conditions of the river makes it an important source of biodiversity. It has been declared a Partial Nature Reserve, an Area of Community Interest (ACI) and a Special Protection Area (SPAs) for Birds. It is part of the Natura 2000 network and is included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR). Rodiles beach lies within the Partial Nature Reserve of the River of Villaviciosa. They meet at the river mouth, creating a natural landscape of spectacular beauty.
The River of Villaviciosa in its totality is found in the municipality of Villaviciosa on the mid-eastern coast of Asturias. Small rivers and coastal streams end here. The flow of sweet water from these rivers is low, which gives the river of Villaviciosa a high level of salinity that generates special environmental conditions reflected in its flora and fauna.
This estuary is a valley that was caused by the erosion of rivers and flooding at the end of the last glaciation due to the rise of the sea level. During high tide the area is completely waterlogged except for the island of El Bornizal, and at low tide the waterways are covered.
The land that is covers is divided into four defined areas:
The upper waterway or upper part of the River, where the riverwater dominates, the swamplands where a number of marine birds look for food, the sandy bay that opens out on the inlet of Misiego and its river mouth, where Rodiles beach lies.
Visitors and nature-lovers will be able to admire the life that exists in these areas. Its particular flora and infinite number of aquatic birds that seek shelter and rest during wintering and the migratory period, make this place an important Reserve of Biodiversity, which has been declared a Partial Nature Reserve, an Area of Community Interest (ACI) and a Special Protection Area (SPAs) for Birds. It is part of the Natura 2000 network and is included in the List of Wetlands of International Importance (RAMSAR).
At the mouth of the River on the eastern side, you have Rodiles beach. It is a fine sandy beach, of about one thousand meters long and 300 meters wide. On its south side, there are sand dunes that a good source of ecological wealth, and a wooded area of eucalyptus trees and some pine tress that isolate the residential area from the beach and gives it a semi-wild aspect. From this wooded area, you have a view of the sea, sand, dunes, trees, meadows and cliffs and also of the River of Villaviciosa.
The quality of the sea at Rodiles and the services provided there have earned it the Blue Flag, which is awarded for its compliance with legality, accesibility, health, cleanliness and security, while also providing information and adequate environmental management.
Many watersports can be enjoyed on the River or on the sea at Rodiles Beach. Canoeing is the most popular although the famous left wave, caused by the River meeting the sea at Rodiles Beach, attracts surfers from all over the world and is considered one of the best 4 in Europe.
In short, both the River and Rodiles beach create beautiful, natural spaces which certainly lend to this paradise called Asturias.