Characterised by rugged coastal cliffs, a mountainous interior dotted with lakes, rich forests and lush vegetation, you’ll discover that the autonomous region of Asturias in north-western Spain feels very different from its Mediterranean cousins. It’s quieter here, mostly because the mass tourism known to other parts of Spain has been discouraged by the temperamental weather. By the same grace, it’s also altogether greener, leading to the nickname, “the Green Coast”.
Asturias is renowned for its extensive and beautiful coastline. You have hundreds of clean, sandy beaches, coves and natural sea caves to explore. A great way to experience them is to walk the partly-paved nature route of the “senda costera”, or “coastal way”, from Pendueles to Llanes. Inland, you’ll find the peaks and sheer gorges of the fabled Picos de Europa, home to some of Europe’s most spectacular mountain wildlife including the lynx and the largest population of wild brown bear in western Europe.
Set a course for the vivacious cities of the capital Oviedo, large coastal Gijon and the flatland seaport of Avilés, marvelling at pre-Romanesque churches and Baroque palaces jostling for position beside futuristic modern architecture. Make sure you don’t miss out on the charm of old and elegant seaside towns such as the summer resort of Llanes, the fishing village of Cudillero and the “white” village of Luarca. You’ll eat well while you’re here too. Asturias is especially celebrated for its seafood, the rich bean and sausage stew known as “fabada asturiana” and its cheeses, most notably Cabrales, earning it another epithet “el país de los quesos” or “the land of cheeses”.
What to do
- Walk "the coastal way" and discover beautiful beaches
- Explore sea caves, intriguing rock formations, and noisy blowholes
- Lounge on one of Asturias many fine beaches such as Playa del Silencio, Barro, Ballota and Toribia
- Hike, climb and ski in the Cantabrian mountains
- Look out for brown bears and lynx in the Picos de Europa mountain range
- Discover Asturias Palaeolithic art
- Marvel at the unusual colour of the Dobra River, just south of Cangas de Onís
- Stay in old and elegant seaside towns and spirited big cities