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What to see in a day in central Asturias?

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What to see in a day in central Asturias?

Do you have a free day in central Asturias and don’t know what to see? Here are 4 suggestions about what to see in one day in Central Asturias.

1. The cities:

Oviedo, Gijón and Avilés make up the three Asturian cities. They are always a good choice when you don’t know what to do and want to discover something new. However, I don’t recommend visiting them all in one day (2 at most), it’s up to you to decide which to visit 😉.

In Oviedo, you can visit the cathedral and its “holy chamber” (Cámara Santa); its world heritage, thousand-year-old Asturian prerromanic buildings; enjoy its fine arts museum that houses works by Goya, El Greco and Sorolla; or, if you fancy something more relaxing, you can enjoy the shops and bars of Uría Street and the surrounding area.

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visit Gijón, La Laboral centre, a day in central Asturias,

In Gijón, you can visit beautiful Roman baths, the Cimadevilla neighbourhood and its Parks and bars, the mansion where the famous illustrated Asturian (Jovellanos) was born, the Isabel la Católica Park and its birds, visit the impressive La Laboral building complex and modern art museum where you can take a lift up to the top of its tower (you can also take this opportunity to visit the nearby Atlantic Botanical Gardens 😉) or go shopping on Los Moros street.

In Avilés, you can visit the Niemeyer Centre and its exhibitions, its wonderful old town, its museum on the urban history of the city and its ancient churches, the Ferrera Park or just go for a walk by the estuary. Despite its bad reputation in Spain, due to its past as an industrial city, Avilés has one of the oldest and most beautiful city centres in Asturias. It’s a special city where you can see a combination of old (medieval, gothic, modernist, etc.), ultra-modern and 20th century industrial architecture come together to give it a unique skyline. Well worth a visit.

visit Avilés, Niemeyer Centre, a day in central Asturias

2. Discover Asturias’ mining past:

Asturias is famous for its nature, template climate, cider and coal mining. It was one of the main coal-producing regions in Spain and there were hundreds of underground mines that crisscrossed the landscape mining everything from coal to iron or even gold. Asturias still has an important mining sector, but underground coal mines have essentially disappeared. However, you can still visit some of these old mines now turned into museums and experience what it was like to be an Asturian coal miner. Here are four options to discover the trade (please see the museum’s own websites to find out more about terms and conditions, some experiences are not suitable for everyone):

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The hull of the old iron mine in Llumeres, Bañugues, Gozón

The Mining and Industry Museum of Asturias, the oldest mining museum in Asturias where you can discover the history of mining in the region, go down to one of the old mine galleries and even ride a train that had been used by miners to move around underground.

The Mining Museum of Arnao, a very special mine in this selection, according to its webpage, this is the only existing submarine mine in Europe. Here you can learn more about one of the oldest mines in Asturias and the first mine in the region to use a vertical mine shaft. Apart from its museum, you can also visit the old mine galleries by booking a tour in advance.

The Ecomuseum of the Samuño Valley, discover the San Luís mine pit and its history, enjoy a trip on an old mine train through the old mine galleries and learn more about mining in Asturias. They also offer special nocturnal visits through the galleries on foot, prior booking required.

The Sotón Mine Pit, truly the most hardcore experience of the lot. If you are an adventure-seeker, this could be the one for you. The Sotón mine is still owned by the Hunosa mining company, however, as coal mining has essentially stopped in the region, they have decided to open the mine up to visitors and turn it into an experience for those who would like to experience what it’s like to work in a mine without all the extra risk and hassle miners experience on a daily basis.

The tours of the mine are given by ex-coal miners who used to work in the mine and they explain what it was like to work there, and guide you through the maze of tunnels that make up the pit. In order to visit the mine galleries, you need to book a tour in advance and be medically fit (restrictions apply to people with medical issues, a list of restrictions is available on their website, but do check with them before booking a tour). However, even if you can’t visit the galleries, you can still visit the exterior side of the mine (the workshops and production area) or enjoy some of the different events they hold (mining escape room, dramatized visit, mining birthday, etc.).

3. Cudillero:

This famous fishing village is known the world over for its beautiful views and special fishing village charm, well worth a visit. Its picturesque streets and viewpoints (from where you can see the town from up on high) take your breath away. However, there are also many more interesting sites and places to see in the surrounding area. The Selgas Palace in El Pito is worth a visit, you can enjoy the views of Vidio Cape or from the chapel of Santa Ana de Montarés, among other things. You can find out more on this blog post by the Asturian tourism organisation, unfortunately only available in Spanish.

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4. The Cabo Peñas Comarca (Cape Peñas county):

Discover the north of the north and the importance of the sea in this seafaring region. You may have already heard talk about Cabo Peñas due to its famous cape (the northernmost point in Asturias) and its amazing views of the Asturian coast, but you may not know much about its special cuisine, history, architecture or, even, mining heritage. Cape Peñas is in a beautiful protected natural area famous for its bird population and marine life.

Life in the county has been tied to the sea since the first inhabitants to the area arrived about a hundred thousand years ago. The county has, until recent times, always lived off of the fishing industry and farming (its agricultural sector is still important and produces some of the finest quality beef in Spain). The imprint of fishing and farming is clear to this day, from its sea-based festivals to its cuisine (its seafood and even its signatures sweet that is only made in Luanco and Candás, the marañuela).

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Upon arriving at the cape, you can enjoy its amazing landscape and visit its two information centres (one in the lighthouse and one at the old communication centre) that tell the story of the municipality of Gozón (where the cape is located) and of the natural environment in which it is located. After the cape, you can enjoy some of the local towns and beaches (Verdicio, Xagó, Bañugues, Manzaneda, Luanco, Candás, Perlora, etc.), see proof of its mining past in Llumeres, go on a hike by the sea on established trails, visit the main town of the Gozón municipality (Luanco) and enjoy its old quarter (baroque church, the Menéndez Pola palace, the 18th century clocktower, the modernist Casa Mori mansion, etc.) and the Maritime Museum of Asturias that is located in the town and where you can learn more about seafaring in Asturias, visit the main town of Carreño (Candás) and discover the fishing industry that was so important in the county (as well as its sculpture centre and viewpoints), and end by discovering a jewel of industrial social heritage of 20th century Asturias, the vacation city of Perlora.

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You don’t even have to discover the area alone, however. Gozón is our home and we offer guided tours of Luanco and guided hikes from Luanco to Cape Peñas run by a local certified tour guide.

You can also enjoy a free tour of Luanco on select dates, a town with plenty of history and traditional. Let us show you round and explain what it is that you are seeing.

We hope that this little guide has been able to help you plan a day out in central Asturias. All the places mentioned are worth a visit, so, if you have more than just a couple of days, you could see them all in one longer visit. And do remember that, if you are looking for a guide, we are here to help you discover this special part of Asturias, so feel free to send us a message.

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