Asturias is one of least well-known regions of Spain. It’s a small area, which sits on the country’s northern coast, tucked in between Galicia to the west, Castilla y León to the south and Cantabria to the north. You may not have heard about it, but it still has plenty of amazing places to see. Here are six reasons to visit Asturias.
To try their famous cider
Cider is usually more associated with Ireland or Sweden than with Spain, however Spain does produce its own excellent type of cider (sidre). Spanish cider is different in that it’s flat instead of sparkling, is not sweet, and is cloudy, like freshly pressed apple juice. Asturias is the capital of Spanish cider and it’s worth a trip here just to visit the sidrerías – Spanish cider houses. Here you’ll be able to taste the golden liquid and watch how it’s poured into your glass from a great height. Read our article on everything you need to know about Spanish cider to learn more.
This part of northern Spain is known as ‘Green Spain’ because it gets more rain than many of the other regions, so it always stays bright bottle green, even in summer. It’s very different from the Spain you might be used to, down south in Andalusia or along the Valencian coast. It’s an ideal region for enjoying the outdoors and immersing in nature.
The Picos de Europa is one of Northern Spain’s best National Parks and one of the top places for hiking in the Spain too. A stunning part of the country, it is filled with soaring rocky pinnacles, glacial valleys, dense forests and dramatic gorges. The park covers 646 km2 and is located across the three regions of Castilla y León, Cantabria and Asturias. Hiking is one of the best ways to explore the park, and one of the most popular routes is the Ruta del Cares, which runs for approximately 12 kilometers, from Poncebos in Asturias to Caín in León.
Many places in Spain produce good cheese, but Asturias is cheese central. It’s even nicknamed ‘El Pais de Queso‘ or ‘The Land of Cheese’. There are more than 100 different types of artisanal cheeses in Asturias, created from sheep’s milk, goat’s milk and cow’s milk. Some of the most famous local cheeses include Cabrales, Gamoneu Afuega’l pitu and Casín. While here you can visit dairy farms to see how cheese is made and visit the Cave of Cheese in the Picos de Europa, where some of the cheese is aged.
You may have heard of the Costa de Sol, the Costa Blanca and the Costa Dorada, but have you heard of Spain’s Costa Verde? The Green Coast is located along the edge of the Bay of Biscay, and is a dramatic coastline filled with huge rocky cliffs, hidden coves and rolling green hills, which meet the edge the sea. Some of the best beaches to visit include the Playa de Silencio, Playa de Rodiles and Playa de la Griega.
Oviedo is the charming Asturian capital, known for its characterful medieval Old Town. Two of the top sights to see here include the pre-Romanesque Santa María del Naranco church and the 9th-century Basilica. Art lovers should also make a visit to the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias, showcasing Spanish, Flemish and Italian art, dating from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.