San Lorenzo is Gijón’s main city beach and one of the most beautiful urban beaches in the north of Spain. A long sweep of golden sand, it’s surrounded by a high stone wall and backed by a lovely promenade lined with cafés and shops. The beach is very popular with families, strollers and sunbathers, and also with water sports enthusiasts. There are several surf schools along the beach, as well as opportunities to try kayaking and windsurfing.
Also known as Del Rinconín, Cervigón is the continuation of San Lorenzo Beach. Down this end of the beach it’s more wild and natural, backed by rugged cliffs. It stretches for 250 metres (820 feet) and is strewn with rocks and pebbles as well as sand. This is the perfect beach for going rock pooling, but not so good for those who enjoy swimming.
Poniente Beach is located on the western side of the city of Gijón, separated from San Lorenzo by a large peninsular topped by the hill of Santa Catalina. It’s actually an artificial beach, but you wouldn’t know it. A 500-metre (1,640-foot) crescent of soft fine sand, it’s one of the city’s most popular beaches, with lots of facilities. There’s everything you could need here: kids’ playgrounds, beach bars, showers, lifeguard services and a long promenade that is perfect for rollerblading down.
A half-hour walk west of Poniente, you’ll come to Arbeyal Beach. Similar to Poniente, it’s an artificial beach, but has fine sunset orange-coloured sand. It’s mostly used by the residents of the nearby La Calzada neighbourhood and those that want to get away from the more touristy beaches in the centre of the city. Here you’ll find a long promenade, skate park, beach volleyball area and other amenities such as showers and lifeguards. It’s also one of the few beaches with wheelchair access. Head back from the promenade and the beach, and you’ll find a lovely little picnic area in the pine forest.
Playa de Estaño lies just over 10 kilometres (six miles) to the east of Gijón. It’s a small, wild beach, backed by high vegetation-clad cliffs. It’s part rocky and part sandy, and has a large islet just offshore. There’s one bar/restaurant, showers and a car park at the top. Remember to time your visit here to coincide with low tide, because it all but completely disappears at high tide.
Playa de Serín lies approximately five kilometres (three miles) east of the centre of Gijón, between the city centre and Playa de Estaño. It’s a natural beach, surrounded by towering cliffs, with sweeps of sand and giant rocky formations. It has no facilities, except a lifeguard in summer, and is a nudist beach, so don’t come here if you’re shy. There is lovely coastal cliff top walk that runs all the way from here to Playa de Estaño.