A Thousand and One Asturias
08 July, 2015
The allure of Asturias ranges from high mountains to beaches on the best preserved coastline in all Spain, and cutting-edge artwork alongside traditional craft and Palaeolithic art listed as World Heritage. All crammed into a territory accounting for just 2% of Spain’s land area. But, we have to give you some specific pointers, so here goes…
For those planning for family holidays, make sure you head for the Dinosaur Coast, especially now that they are in limelight on the silver screen. In Asturias you can see and touch actual footprints of fossilised dinosaurs in the rock at La Griega beach, under the Tereñes cliffs, on a really incredible stretch of Asturian coastline by any account. To crown your dinosaur tour, you should visit the Jurassic Museum of Asturias, a building sited in a privileged spot featuring exhibits as meticulously presented as they are playful. The museum offers a host of activities and children’s workshops.
For couples looking to get away from it all, Asturias boasts places where time stands still, including Taramundi and Oscos-Eo, where traditional craftworkers are still highly active and you can even try your hand at some trade. Care to be a ferreiro (blacksmith) for a day? Here you will find villages that take you back to bygone eras, such as Os Teixois and Mazonovo, which boast hydraulic devices that convert water power into energy using a system of mills, forges and fulling mills. Moreover, you can’t fail to switch off in any of our six UNESCO-listed Biosphere Reserves, or on the tranquil beaches, with small, secluded coves far removed from overcrowding.
For die-hard urbanites seeking to articulate a city of 800,000 inhabitants through various towns, each with its own culture and outlook on life, situated less than a 20-minute drive from one another, you have cosmopolitan Gijón, monumental Oviedo, dynamic Avilés, mining Langreo and Mieres. This is the centre of Asturias which features a string of varied urban proposals set in a nature paradise, within minutes of listed biosphere reserves.
For the more adventurous, whether in groups, couples or families, Asturias offers a thousand and one options for active tourism, from canyoning down its rivers to paragliding, mountain biking, trekking, surfing, sailing, caving and gold-panning. All accompanied by the top professional guides to guarantee you get the most out of your experience.
For those hankering after authenticity, in summer Asturias bursts into hundreds of fiestas in praise of nature, local heritage and the joy of living of a people who on these occasions open up and become more gregarious than ever, inviting one to participate in ebullient festivities. Some festivals are devoted to local produce, such as the Natural Cider Festival in Navas; other events, to sport and nature, such as the International Descent of the River Sella, or the patron saint celebrations in the towns – San Agustín, in Avilés, Begoña in Gijón and San Mateo in Oviedo.
For treasure-hunters, Asturias boasts a peerless heritage, including Europe’s most homogeneous early-medieval architectural complex, embodied in its pre-Romanesque art, and cave paintings from the Upper Palaeolithic, both UNESCO-listed as World Heritage. But, treasure-hunters in the strict sense of the word should head to Navelgas (Tineo), where they can pan for (and find) gold nuggets in the river. In early August, the World Gold Panning Championship is due to be held here, attracting gold panners from all over the world.
For those looking for good food, Asturias is a veritable banquet, both in terms of quality and quantity. What’s more, you can delve into the secrets behind our local produce, such as the cheese maturation caves in the Picos de Europa, while admiring the incredibly sheer slopes dotted with vineyards that yield Cangas wine, and follow our cider-making process in traditional cider presses. In Asturias, you can enjoy our gastronomy with all five senses.
In addition, accommodation is in plentiful supply here, from hotels to rural tourism homes, campsites and apartments, while summer is not overbearing, with mild temperatures to ensure a salutary rest in the company of the inherently hospitable Asturian people. What more could you ask for?
How to go about discovering this all? Visit the turismoasturias website where all the resources Asturias has to offer are one click away. And, to get there, what better than a direct flight? Check out our flights here.
08 July, 2015