The Asturias coast in northern Spain is one of Spain’s best kept secrets. It is the excellent destination for an active holiday and for those who love being surrounded by nature and enjoy breath-taking landscapes. The northern coast of Spain tends to be wet during the whole year. The summers are not the usually hot summers of Spain. But the good thing is that because of that mass tourism has reach the region yet, and the beauty of the towns, beaches, and mountains remain unspoiled.
There are three main cities where you can stay and from where you can explore this beautiful region, these are: Oviedo, Gijón, and Avilés. Each of these cities has its own special character. Oviedo is the capital of the region and the most vibrant with a great nightlife. Gijón is the largest and located on the coast. And, Avilés is a quiet port city
Things to do and see in the Asturias Coast
See the Tito Bustillo caves in Ribadesella
There is an ancient feeling to this region of high mountains, cliffs and forests. The land has been inhabited for more than 250.000 years. Visit the Tito Bustillo caves in Ribadesella. These are Palaeolithic caves with authentic wall drawings made by cave inhabitants between 10.000 and 22.000 BC. Neanderthal remains possible dating back to 5000 BC were found at the Mount Areo Dolmens. After that other civilisations followed leaving their traces in the region.
In recent years Asturias has become known for its rivers and there is a lot of kayaking and rafting going on. You can practice these sports on the river Sella. Another nice river is the River Dobra in Cangas de Onis here you can visit the natural swimming pool along its banks, near to the village of la Olla de San Vicente.
More adventure sports
Asturias is also known as the perfect destination for other adventure sports. Especially interesting for sportive holidaymakers is the Picos de Europa National Park. Here you can go hiking, rock-climbing, and kayaking. If you like hiking try the route of Las Xanas (The Fairies) in mountains near to Santo Adriano in the valley of Terverga
You will love local beaches
Along the Asturias coast there are many beautiful beaches. Although the sun may not always shine, the serenity of many of these beaches more than makes up for it. On top of that these beaches offer some excellent waves for people who want to learn surfing, but also for intermediate and experienced surfers. A beach known for its unique beauty is Gulpiyuri Beach in Llanes. Another sea activity that you can do in Asturias is deep sea fishing. If you plan to go surfing Gijón will be the best city to take as your basecamp
Visit the town of Oviedo
If you like to enjoy a good nightlife the best city to stay is Oviedo. Oviedo is a great city for going out late at night and on top of that it is one of the safest cities to go out in the whole of Europe. In Oviedo you will find most of the nightlife centred on and around the cathedral square. A great street to find nice bars after midnight is Calle Mon street. The Spanish tend to go out late, but if you would like to start early you can go check out cafes and restaurants in the Calle Gastona area, on the other side of the cathedral. Oviedo is also a city with many interesting historical sight. You can spend the evenings taking relaxing strolls around the city and finishing off in one of the cosy terraces.
Try local cuisine
Asturias is also known for its seafood. Apart from agriculture parts of the region used to be dependent of the fishing industry and that is still reflected in the local cuisine. In Asturias also try the local dish of beans and sausage called Fabada. And, if you like cheese, in Asturias there are more than 100 different cheeses made. The local drink is cider, or Calimocho, a mix of Coke, red wine, and current berry syrup.
Best time to visit
Tourists visit Asturias from May to September
Getting there and around
To get around in the towns and villages you can go by foot. If you would like to explore the region you can either rent a car or go by bus or train. The public transport system is good. In the towns you can also make use of buses or taxis. To get there you can fly directly to Asturias airport from Madrid, Paris, Barcelona, or London. The Asturias Airport is near to the city of Avilés. The other two main cities of Oviedo and Gijón are also easy accessible from the airport. You can also get to Asturias Airport via Mallorca with Air Berlin. Or, take a flight to Madrid and continue by busses, there are many connexions.
During the year there are many festivals taking place in the region. One of the famous festivals is carnival before lent. If you would like to see something of the traditional ways of life in Asturias then visit the Ascension festival in spring. During the festival there are processions taking place with people being dressed in traditional costume. There are events and fairs taking place related to agriculture and farming. You can see bull fighting too. In late September there is traditional harvest festival which is also a religious festival, called San Mateo. The celebrations are centred on drinking wine and making offerings of thanks.