The Region of Asturias is particularly popular with nature lovers and peace seekers. In addition to the fantastic, rugged nature, the state, which is the only one of Spain’s autonomous regions with the title “principality,” has a fascinating history.
It is the only region on the Iberian peninsula that has never been occupied by the Moors and has always remained Christian. The area, traditionally inhabited by farmers and fishers, was seen as too weak at the time. The region nevertheless flourished during the Roman period. You can still find Classic elements in the local architecture, which is called the Asturian pre-roman style. All buildings in this style are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Most of these structures date from the time that Asturias was a kingdom. The title of the state changed to “principality” after Spain was reclaimed from the Moors and became a kingdom. The crown prince still bears the title “Prince of Asturias.”
The largest city in the region is the atmospheric port city of Gijón, which was founded more than 2000 years ago and already played an important role during Roman times. However, the ancient medieval town of Oviedo is the capital of the area. Here you will find most examples of the Asturian architectural style. The nearby port city of Avilés is the third-largest city in the region. Most residents of Asturias live and work in this triangle of towns. Popular among tourists is the village of Ribadesella, situated on a bay and surrounded by mountains.
Caves and Beaches
In addition to white sandy beaches, you will find the caves “Cueva de Tito Bustillo” and “Cuevona de Argüelles.” Here are Cave paintings of more than 14,000 years old. Another popular tourist resort is the fishing village of Llanes, where you can find the most beautiful beaches, including the popular Playa de Gulpiyurri. For tasty fresh fish and coloured fisherman’s houses, you have to visit charming Cudillero.
Asturias has a temperate maritime climate, making it colder than in the rest of Spain. It makes it a popular holiday destination for people from the hot, dry south of Spain.
The Cantabrian Mountains lie along the entire length of the coast. It causes a high rainfall along the coast, which has given it the name Costa Verde, or “green coast.” The rest is also green and rugged, and there are various nature reserves, each with many walking and cycling routes. Picos de Europa National Park is the largest nature reserve in Europe.
In Asturias, there are particular animals such as chamois, vultures, golden eagles, and even wolves and bears. In Sierra de Tameza you will find a small bear reserve. The best place to spot them in the wild is the Somiedo nature reserve. This park is also worth to visit because of the fantastic view. The Sierra del Aramo park is known for its breathtaking view.