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Honest Asturias Travel Guide

I had a chance to spend the whole month in Asturias so let me share with you the musts and the things that are overrated.


In this Asturias Travel Guide you will find:


  • Must see and do in Asturias

  • Places that are overrated in Asturias


Just before we start one extremely important note: DO NOT travel to Asturias in winter and spring. It rains 80% of the time. You simply won't be able to enjoy all the wonderful places on the list. So save your Asturias trip for Summer only!

Must see and do in Asturias

Asturias is one of the most beautiful regions in Spain and there are several places you can't miss out on!


First I would like to highlight 2 big cities to include in your travel plans - Oviedo and Gijon!


Oviedo
Quemedas-oviedo
Breakfast at Quemedas

Oviedo is the official capital of the Asturias region, a charming city that seamlessly blends history with modernity. Known for its well-preserved medieval old town, Oviedo is home to stunning examples of pre-Romanesque architecture, most notably the Church of San Julián de los Prados. The city's streets are lined with statues and sculptures that add to its artistic ambiance. I would highly recommend visiting Oviedo for its impressive architecture. It could also be a great base where to stay as you will find loads of restaurants to choose from and cultural events to attend. The city is walkable so if you are short on time a day to allocate for Oviedo will be enough. A great breakfast place I can recommend in Oviedo is Quemedas!


Gijon

Another wonderful city where you can spend a day is Gijon! I personally was based there for a month and loved it for one main reason - the promenade! The route starts at the Cerro de Santa Catalina Park, goes past the San Pedro Church, and then stretches by the San Lorenzo Beach. The trail keeps going on leading you out of the city and offering amazing views of the coastline. I would also recommend exploring and having lunch in the old town - Cimaville. I think this is a great way how to spend a day in Gijon - loads of walking, good food, and checking out Cimaville.



Food wise, the restaurant scene in Gijon is truly great. For those looking for some specific options, an excellent breakfast place was Rawcoco, for sushi Sibuya, a real Italian pizza Villa di Wow.


For those into surfing, Gijon will be a great choice. Almost every day I could see people surfing at the main San Lorenzo beach. There are also several schools and rentals nearby.


Coastal Towns

Another wonderful thing to do while in Asturias is to take a drive down the coast and stop at the lovely towns and villages. While Lastres and Ribadesella are mentioned in other blogs I think they are worth driving through and maybe even stopping for a coffee but do not allocate too much time. These two cities are going into my overrated bucket. One coastal town that I personally loved was Llanes. Even for (historically) a small fishing town, the architecture was still quite impressive and the old town is absolutely lovely. Also the food.... If I would return to Asturias I probably would base myself in Llanes. So if you have time only for one coastal town, I would recommend Llanes. If you are doing a road trip then the other towns will naturally be on your way and you can check them out.


On the above-mentioned road trip, you will also have Bufones de Pría on your way!


Bufones de Pría
Bufones-de-Pría

Bufones de Pría is a natural wonder where the sea and the rocky coastline create an impressive spectacle. This area is known for its series of blowholes, or "bufones," where seawater shoots up through the rocks, creating dramatic plumes of spray, especially during high tide or stormy weather. The sound of the roaring water and the sight of the spray reaching heights of up to 20 meters make visiting Bufones de Pría a breathtaking experience.


Picos de Europa National Park

And the reason why I went to Asturias - Picos de Europa National Park. Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful National Parks in Spain. This place is a must for all nature, hiking, and outdoor lovers. Its breathtaking landscapes, from towering peaks to deep valleys and crystal-clear rivers, offer endless opportunities for exploration and adventure. Whether you're trekking through its challenging trails or simply enjoying the tranquility of the great outdoors, Picos de Europa provides an unforgettable experience. Additionally, the park's rich biodiversity, including rare wildlife and diverse plant life, makes it a fascinating destination for anyone interested in the natural world.


On the way to the park, you can also stop at the Santa María la Real de Covadonga Basilica. It is a beautiful area featuring the Basilica itself and a wonderful Sanctuary of Covadonga in a cave. It is a truly unique ambiance.


Try local Siderias

Of course, a must is to try the local food and eat in a truly local restaurant. In Asturias, the local traditional restaurants are called Siderias. Do not worry every 2nd restaurant is called a Sideria so you will definitely not miss a chance to dine in one. In Asturias, the most popular drink is cider, so in these Siderias you will also have a chance to taste some locally brewed ciders.

Places that are overrated in Asturias

Alright, let's dive into the disappointments I faced, so you do not have to!


Lastres and Ribadesella

As I mentioned before, do not allocate too much time for Lastres and Ribadesella. Don't take me wrong, they are pretty and worth a drive thought but in all honestly nothing too special. Ribadesella could be a good spot for a lunch or coffee break but I do not see a point in spending too much time there.


Cangas de Onís

So Cangas de Onís is historically a very important city. Which is why I think it still gets the praise. But in reality, it is the most basic Spanish town. Apart from the famous Roman Bridge, there is not much to see or do. And I am so sorry but even the bridge is not that impressive. As Cangas de Onís is kind of in the middle of many other attractions you may as well drive through or even get out for 5 minutes to check out the bridge but I have no idea why other people recommend it as a must. I believe it is due to the significance of the city but really it was a bit disappointing stop.


Lakes of Covadonga

And the worst on my list are the Lakes of Covadonga! One thing is to go to a location and be disappointed and another is to actually regret going due to all the shi* that could have gone wrong. First, the only road that leads to the lakes could be closed at any time without a warning. Which is fair enough, safety first. But imagine you book a car, hotel, planning a trip for it be just closed. Yes, happened to me. Good we had another day in the area, the next day the road was open but I will never ever take that road again in my life. It was so stressful. It is supposed to be a two-way road but it is a proper one-way road, plus there are no sidebars on the road. The higher you get the scarier it gets, and one wrong move, the tire goes a bit off and you are done. I literally have never ever been more stressed than on that ride up and down for 30 minutes. I understand I did not have the best weather that day, which made things worse and I am sure on a sunny calm day it would have been a bit less stressful but still the condition of the road is not for tourists. I would only ever go back there with an agency that takes me there. I would never ever drive there myself. And the worst part they were not even that impressive. very beautiful yes, but I have been to Switzerland, you get views like that in a way less stressful ways.


I hope this guide will help you plan your Asturias trip better! I did enjoy my time in Asturias but I would never go back in winter or spring there as the rain just truly ruined 70% of my plans. Also, the bad weather did not make roadtriping (especially to Lakes of Covadonga) enjoyable.


If you are planning to visit Madrid as well, make sure to check out my Madrid Travel Guide and several other articles on amazing destinations in Spain in the blog section dedicated to travels around Spain!




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