SELLA DESCENT: AN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION OF CANOEING RACES

Get to know everything about the International Sella Descent.

Just a short distance from the Picos de Europa, the highest mountains in Asturias, every first Saturday of August, the International Descent of the Sella takes place. It is a typically Asturian popular festival disguised as a canoeing competition.

Since 1929, it has been held along the river stretch between the towns of Arriondas and Ribadesella, affectionately referred to by locals as “Les Piragües”. Over time, this event has gained renown and now attracts competitors from up to 15 different nationalities.

As expected, this summer competition has its popular counterpart in the massive attendance of travelers and enthusiasts throughout the year.

Presently, the Descent of the Sella proudly claims to be the main active tourism event in the region, with a staggering 350,000 people canoeing down the river in 2013 alone.

This event also boosts the Asturian economy during the summer months, thanks to the constant activity of canoe rental companies, restaurants, and hotels.

If you join us, we’ll tell you more about the origin of this sporting event and its unique celebration, as well as provide some tips if you’re thinking of trying it yourself.


The Origin of the Sella Descent

The history behind the Descent of the Sella dates back to Dionisio de la Huerta, a Barcelonan with Asturian roots who was enamored with sports, acquired a canoe in the 1920s to explore the rivers of Asturias, his summer retreat.

Between 1929 and 1931, Dionisio and his friends made numerous attempts to descend the Sella River from Arriondas to Ribadesella. Finally, in 1932, they pulled it off and nailed down the starting and ending points for the route that turned into a local sports competition the next year.

Since then, the Descent of the Sella has been getting more and more famous. First, it became popular all over Spain, with athletes coming from every province. Then, starting in 1951, it went international when the first foreign paddler joined the competition.

Today, this event boasts the participation of over a thousand canoeists, and the number continues to grow each year.

WHAT IS JETSURF, A NEW TREND

Descent of the Sella: The Route

As we mentioned before, the regular route goes through the twenty kilometers of the river that goes from Arriondas, a town inland in Asturias, to Ribadesella, a coastal town where the Sella River meets the sea.

Along this route, participants encounter various “landmarks”, such as bridges and footbridges, helping them calculate the distance covered. For example, the Fuentes footbridge signals competitors that they have covered 4.5 kilometers. The Toraño Bridge indicates kilometer 8, while the Uña footbridge marks kilometer 11.

Finally, the Ribadesella Bridge, filled with spectators cheering on the participants, marks the end of the race.

A peculiarity is that, since the river route is subject to slight variations depending on the tides, its course is never the same in each new edition.

The Piraguas Festivity, the Most Festive Side of the Event

And don’t forget, around the sports competition, the famous “Piraguas Festival” is brewing, one of the most prominent festivals in all of Spain. At one point, it was declared an International Tourist Interest Festival, and the fun takes place on Friday night in Arriondas and on Saturday night in Ribadesella.

But don’t worry, you don’t have to choose one and miss the other. The party is everywhere, and the “river train” that goes from one place to another allows you to enjoy it while closely following the race along the river.

Like any good party, it has its proclamation, where some figure from the world of canoeing recites the famous words of Dionisio de la Huerta, the founder: “Let the public be silent and listen to our word. By order of Don Pelayo, after measuring the waters, the canoe race is once again authorized in Arriondas”.

After the arrival of the train (and, of course, the canoeists), the party explodes in Ribadesella, with decorated caravans, regional chants, exotic costumes, and cider and brass bands everywhere.

The Campos de Oba, in Lloviu, is the perfect place for a massive pilgrimage where typical Asturian food mixes with the award ceremony. Don’t miss it!

KITESURF: WHAT IT IS AND WHERE TO PRACTICE IT 💯

Tips for Descending the Sella with Friends or Family

One of the great things about this sports event is that you can do it, as an enthusiast, at any time of the year. It is ideal for enjoying with friends or even with family.

From Arriondas, you can opt for a descent of 6, 10, or 14 kilometers, depending on your physical condition, personal circumstances, or time availability. You can even arrange with one of the canoe rental companies in the area to pick you up halfway through the route.

Generally, it is advised to bring certain equipment for the descent of the Sella: sports clothing or a swimsuit, a raincoat and comfortable footwear, a towel, and a change of clothes, sunscreen, and a hat, as well as a waterproof bag to keep your mobile phone, wallet, and keys safe.

In the area, many companies organize and rent all the necessary equipment to face the adventure of the Sella. They always provide the canoe and paddle, as well as the life jacket and a waterproof bag to store your belongings. Additionally, most of these companies offer the option to hire a picnic or a taxi service to take you back from Ribadesella to Arriondas.

Some recommended companies are Jaire Aventura and the Asturian Canoeing School-RanaSella, both located in Arriondas. Get ready for an unforgettable experience on the Sella River!

CATEGORIES

RECENT POSTS

RECENT POSTS

INDOOR MARIJUANA: GROW THE PLANT IN YOUR APARTMENT!

If you’ve made the call to kick off your cannabis cultivation journey, going for an indoor setup is a solid way to kick things off. While there are perks to growing outdoors, the indoor scene gives you more reins, making it a top-notch choice for folks just starting out in the cultivation game. Some growing […]

DISCOVER THE TOP 10 INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE PYRAMIDS OF GIZA

The Egyptian pyramids offer a captivating window into ancient marvels, captivating tourists, students, and scholars alike. These structures ignite creativity and serve as a wellspring of inspiration in contemporary fields such as archaeology, architecture, and art. People worldwide are prompted to ponder questions about the pyramids, with some queries having found answers, while others remain […]

VIBRATE WITH THE MAGIC OF THE MUSICAL FESTIVAL COACHELLA 2024

A strong enthusiasm for festivities in 2024 is evident, and we’re excited to share details about the upcoming Coachella Music Festival! Our website is a valuable resource for information on concerts and major festivals, so start organizing your next memorable music experiences with us!   WHAT IS COACHELLA? Coachella, a renowned music and arts festival […]

FINAL FANTASY VII: REBIRTH — RELIVE THE ADVENTURE

A new adventure is coming in early 2024, but despite the enormous anticipation, the game director, Naoki Hamaguchi, has not yet provided details or dropped hints about what will happen in the new installment. However, the little he has revealed has sparked a great debate about Iris’s fate. The Story of Final Fantasy VII Rebirth […]

WHAT IS GRINDR: TIPS FOR USING THIS DATING APP

DATING APPS have taken over everything related to connecting with others, making it easier to find someone who fits the profile we’re looking for in a partner or someone to spend a good time with. Among the most well-known is one of the pioneers, Tinder. However, the success of these platforms has led to their […]

EDIBLE PLANTS: TO GROW INDOORS

To maintain a healthy diet, it’s crucial to include foods that provide the necessary nutrients. Edible plants are fantastic because they offer a multitude of health benefits: providing minerals, vitamins, and, best of all, they can be cooked in a thousand different ways, making it easy to incorporate them into your daily diet. Edible plants […]

SAMSUNG GALAXY Z FOLD 6: ALL WE KNOW

Samsung, with its Z Flip and Z Fold lines, used to dominate the folding phone market. However, the landscape is changing rapidly, with new contenders emerging. This implies that the company cannot rest on its laurels any longer. Consequently, all attention is now focused on the imminent release of the Galaxy Z Fold 6, anticipated […]

OLD SCHOOL SKATEBOARD TRICKS: EVOLUTION OF TECHNIQUES AND STYLES

Skateboarding trick popularity isn’t the ultimate factor; what matters most is the enjoyment derived from executing them. Skateboarders often become engrossed in trends, be it in clothing, equipment, music, or trick styles. Fortunately, contemporary skate culture embraces individuality and diverse preferences more openly than in the past! In an effort to keep this article engaging, […]

ANTARCTICA EXPEDITION CRUISES: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW

Antarctica, the southernmost continent on Earth located at the South Pole, spans an expansive area of 14 million square kilometers, constituting approximately 5% of the Earth’s surface.  Predominantly composed of ice, it stands as the only place on the planet devoid of a government or a permanent population. Geographically linked to the Argentine and Chilean […]

VINYL RECORDS: NOSTALGIA AND THE RETURN OF VINYL

Yes, indeed! Vinyl records have made a comeback and are experiencing a second youth. You just have to take a stroll through some of the most recognized record stores in Colombia to find at least one display filled with vinyl records. In today’s immense digital era, no one imagined that these records would return to […]

FERRARI MOVIE: RELEASE DATE, CAST AND MORE

Michael Mann has fought hard to bring “Ferrari” to fruition, a film centered around the legendary Italian racing driver Enzo Ferrari, the mastermind behind the renowned automotive company. After directing “Heat” and “Miami Vice,” Mann returns to the director’s chair following a couple of previous projects, such as “Blackhat” (2015) and the pilot episode of […]

HOW TO USE A FRENCH HAIR PIN?

If you’re tired of the conventional ponytail or bun, the French hair pin, despite its initial intimidation, emerges as an excellent styling accessory to explore. This trendy U-shaped pin offers versatility, enabling the creation of various hairstyles such as a half-up, half-down look or the classic chignon.  Despite its unique shape, which might be daunting […]

Newsletters

Last Minute new From Roll & Feel Sign-up

Stay in touch with our latest
news