As you may have read in my last blog we have found the most idyllic location at Camping Perlora, on the north coast of Spain, just outside Gijón. With Tigín perched on her balcony camping spot overlooking the sea, we have spent the past week relaxing, swimming and biking or walking to the nearby harbour town of Candás or along the old railway line, which is now a sea cliff path. We’ve enjoyed exploring other parts of the area too and that is where it gets interesting.
Across the bay from the campsite is to what looks like an idyllic green space with a small beach area and cafe. It is a busy spot especially in the unseasonably hot weather the area has been experiencing this week. We headed that direction to explore and were in for quite a surprise. Beyond the beach area we came across what can only be described as a ghost village. Beautiful retro styled architecture homes and chalets, a church, and assorted other buildings, on prime real estate with beaches and sea views, all now deserted.
Perlora Ciudad de Vacaciones or Perlora Vacation City was built in the 1950s by the Trade Union of the time. It was a holiday get away for workers mostly working in administration or public services. And for some two decades it was the place to be. But with the end of the Franco era and the changes brought by democracy the operation of the vacation city returned to the local city council and it failed. The holiday homes and the associated service buildings and amenities like swimming pool, tennis courts and playgrounds have fallen into disrepair and many have been taken back by nature.
In the early 2000s there was an attempt at revival by a private consortium, but that too failed and Perlora Vacation City is now almost completely abandoned. Except for a designated walking path and access to some of the green spaces and beaches the place is off limits and is guarded round the clock by security. In one way it is nice to see the lush green vegetation all around the area and it being used by walkers and cyclists but it seems such a waste of resources to have what was once a vibrant holiday village now derelict.
Another downside of what appears to be the limbo-land this areas finds itself in, is a lack of public services. Bins and dumpsters are provided in the busy public areas but no one seems responsible for emptying them and each day as we pass we have watched the rubbish pile higher and higher while the gulls do their best to carpet the area in bin contents. It is so ugly and such a shame to have this area of natural beauty thus treated. One can only hope the political and financial issues can finally be resolved and Perlora Vacation City can have a new lease on life.
Read more about Perlora Ciudad de Vacaciones (Article in Spanish, that’s why we have Google Translate)
See Perlora Ciudad de Vacaciones in its Hay-day (Video in Spanish, but definitely worth a look)