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Asturias, Spain in a Nutshell

Asturias, Spain:
Your Guide to Rugged Coastlines, Majestic Mountains, and Cider Culture

A Brief History and Tourist Overview of Asturias

Asturias, a region in northwestern Spain, is a land of dramatic landscapes, rich history, and unique cultural traditions. It was once a kingdom independent from the rest of Spain, and its Celtic heritage is still evident in its language, music, and folklore. Today, Asturias is known for its stunning coastline, rugged mountains, picturesque villages, delicious cuisine, and famous cider.

Imagem de Picos de Europa, Asturias

Reasons to Choose Asturias for Your Next Vacation

  • Dramatic Landscapes: Asturias boasts a diverse range of landscapes, from the rugged Picos de Europa mountains to the verdant valleys and the stunning coastline.
  • Outdoor Adventures:Hike in the Picos de Europa National Park, surf on the beaches of the Costa Verde, or go kayaking in the Sella River.
    Imagem de Picos de Europa National Park
  • Charming Villages and Towns:Explore the colorful fishing villages of Cudillero and Luarca, the historic town of Oviedo, and the lively city of Gijón.
    Imagem de Cudillero, Asturias
  • Prehistoric Caves:Discover ancient cave paintings at the UNESCO World Heritage site of Tito Bustillo Cave.
    Imagem de Tito Bustillo Cave
  • Unique Cuisine: Savor Asturian specialties like fabada asturiana (bean stew), cachopo (breaded veal filled with ham and cheese), and sidra (cider).
  • Cider Culture: Experience the unique tradition of "escanciar" (pouring cider from a height) and visit cider houses (sidrerías) to sample the local brews.

1. Transportation Options

  • Airports: Asturias Airport (OVD) is the main airport serving the region, with connections to major Spanish cities and some European destinations.
  • Trains: Asturias is connected to the rest of Spain by train, with services to Madrid, Barcelona, and other major cities.
  • Buses: A reliable and affordable way to travel between cities, towns, and villages within the region.
  • Car Rental: A great option for exploring the region at your own pace, especially the more remote areas.

2. Main Cities, Regions, and Accommodation

  • Oviedo: The capital city, a charming historic town with a beautiful cathedral, pre-Romanesque churches, and a lively atmosphere.
    • Luxury: Gran Hotel España, Hotel de la Reconquista
    • Mid-Range: Hotel & Spa Princesa Munia, NH Oviedo Principado
    • Budget: Hotel Vetusta, Hotel Fruela
  • Gijón: The largest city, a vibrant port city with a beautiful beach, a historic center, and a lively cultural scene.
    • Luxury: Abba Playa Gijón 4s, Hotel NH Gijón
    • Mid-Range: Hotel Hernán Cortés, Hotel Don Manuel
    • Budget: Pensión La Casona de Jovellanos, Hotel Costa Verde
  • Cangas de Onís: A gateway to the Picos de Europa National Park, with a historic bridge and charming streets.
    • Mid-Range: Hotel Los Lagos Nature, Hotel El Sella
    • Budget: Hotel Santa Cruz, Hotel La Cepada

3. Top Tourist Attractions

  • Picos de Europa National Park: A stunning mountain range with hiking trails, lakes, and cable cars offering panoramic views.
  • Lakes of Covadonga:Two picturesque lakes nestled in the Picos de Europa, accessible by car or bus.
    Imagem de Lakes of Covadonga
  • Tito Bustillo Cave: A UNESCO World Heritage site with prehistoric cave paintings.
  • Santa María del Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo:Pre-Romanesque churches near Oviedo, UNESCO World Heritage sites.
    Imagem de Santa María del Naranco
  • Playa de Silencio (Beach of Silence): A beautiful secluded beach on the Costa Verde.
  • Gijón Aquarium: A modern aquarium with a variety of marine life.

4. Sample Itineraries

  • 3 Days: Oviedo (2 days) + Day trip to Gijón (1 day)
  • 5 Days: Oviedo (2 days) + Gijón (1 day) + Picos de Europa (2 days)
  • 7 Days: Oviedo (2 days) + Gijón (1 day) + Picos de Europa (2 days) + Cudillero and Luarca (2 days)
  • 10 Days: Oviedo (2 days) + Gijón (1 day) + Picos de Europa (2 days) + Cudillero and Luarca (2 days) + Costa Verde (3 days)

5. Best Times to Visit

  • Spring (April-June) and Autumn (September-October): Pleasant temperatures, blooming flowers in spring, and colorful foliage in autumn.
  • Summer (July-August): Warm weather, ideal for beach holidays, but also the busiest time.

6. Holidays in Asturias

    • New Year's Day (January 1)
    • Epiphany (January 6)
    • Holy Week (March/April)
    • Labour Day (May 1)
    • Day of Asturias (September 8)
    • National Day of Spain (October 12)
    • All Saints' Day (November 1)
    • Constitution Day (December 6)
    • Immaculate Conception Day (December 8)
  • Christmas Day (December 25)

7. Useful Tips

  • Learn a few Spanish phrases: While English is spoken in tourist areas, knowing some basic Spanish will be appreciated.
  • Try the sidra: Asturian cider is a unique experience, poured from a height and enjoyed in sidrerías.
  • Pack for rain: Asturias is known for its rainy weather, so be prepared with waterproof clothing and an umbrella.
  • Visit during festivals: Experience the vibrant Asturian culture through its many festivals, such as the Descenso Internacional del Sella (international canoe race) in August.
  • Explore the countryside: Rent a car to discover the hidden gems of Asturias' rural areas and picturesque villages.