The Descent of the Sella is is the most international event which has taken place in Asturias.
Since 1930, when Dionisio De la Huerta joined some friends to make the trip down the river, a canoeing celebration has been held every year. But it was not until 1936, when this recreational trip became a competition, although a lot of participants join in just looking for fun and not for any prize.
Almost 20 km long between Arriondas, in the foothills of Picos de Europa, and the seaside of the village Ribadesella. Both towns hold different activities over three days as part of this Festival which takes place on the first weekend of August (the 8th of August 2020). The descent of the Sella starts on Saturday at 12:00 after a parade and the singing of the Asturias Anthem. Half an hour later the non-federated kayakers can start their trip to Ribadesella.
This year 644 canoes, 895 kayakers of 17 countries around the world took part in this competition.
The International Descent has been recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Tourism Event.
Tips and recommendations
For people who like canoeing and especially for those who want to be part of this competition, or just to descent the river behind the participants, this will be a great way of getting to know this part of the north of Spain, of beautiful sceneries and amazing beaches.
Regrettably, the party at night in Ribadesella has degenerated into an alcohol-fuelled party where everything is allowed.