Do you want to know the essential things to see in Asturias and what to do during your trip? Visiting Asturias is an option that should never be ruled out for a vacation thanks to its cities and towns that will take you through one of the most beautiful regions of Spain, where you can combine sea and mountains very quickly due to the proximity of the points of interest.
Here we tell you what to visit in Asturias to discover which are its most important cities, the towns that you can visit, what natural wonders to discover and many other Asturian destinations that you may not know but that are worth a visit.
In addition, due to its rural tradition, the best way to visit Asturias is to stay in one of the numerous rural houses in Asturias.
Routes through Asturias for days
To make your visit to Asturias easier and depending on the days you have to get to know this fantastic autonomous community in the north of Spain, we have designed a series of routes through Asturias, to be done mainly by car, so that you do not miss anything important. In addition, of the routes with fewer days, we give you several visit options depending on the area in which you stay or according to your priorities, since in 3 or 4 days it is practically impossible to see the entire region.
That is why we recommend that you spend at least 5 days or more to enjoy everything you can see in Asturias.
And if you are traveling as a family, do not miss our list of plans for the best things to do in Asturias with children.
The essential places to see in Asturias
The cities of Asturias
On your journey you will find many villages and towns. And hidden corners to discover. But there are also 3 cities in Asturias that you should visit and get to know, each one of them with a special charm. Here we tell you which are those Asturian cities that you should not miss.
The main city of Asturias is Oviedo, the city of the Regenta and the pre-Romanesque. You should not miss the Cathedral, the Casco Viejo, the Campoamor Theater or the pre-Romanesque monuments of the city when visiting Oviedo.
The charm that Oviedo has is not shared by many other Spanish cities and it is without a doubt one of the best things to see in Asturias, a city where you can also enjoy the wonderful gastronomy of the region and that will surprise you in each of its corners.
Oviedo is in the interior of the region but not far from the coast, nor from the mountains, so we consider it to be a perfect place to stay.
It is the other great city of Asturias competing in beauty and power of attraction of tourists with Oviedo. Gijón has an advantage, the sea. And their beaches.
In Gijón you can also enjoy the Barrio de Cimadevilla, the old fishing district, and also some spectacular alleys where you can get lost and enjoy one of its great restaurants.
Don’t miss the Universidad Laboral, the largest building in Spain, which, although it is not in the center of the city and is far from the most touristic routes, is worth a visit.
The city of Avilés, another great option to visit in Asturias, is the third most important city in the region and is no longer the typical industrial city that those who have not visited it think of.
Avilés is a modern city thanks to the reconversion and the Niemeyer Center, but at the same time it is a city with an ancient aroma thanks to its historic center where you can take a walk that you will not forget.
It has always been in the shadow of the other two great Asturian cities, but we love Avilés. And I’m sure you’ll love it too if you go to her.
The western fishing villages of Asturias
Due to the location of its main cities, practically in the center of the region, the seafaring tourist routes of Asturias have always been traditionally divided between the towns in the western part and the towns in the eastern part.
Going along the coast to one side or the other will take you to fantastic villas that will surprise you if you haven’t visited them yet.
Among these western towns, the great Cudillero stands out above all. Few people exist in Spain who have not heard of the beauty of Cudillero, for many the most beautiful fishing village in the region. You cannot leave here without visiting Cudillero, with which you can say that you already know the best things to see in Asturias. And it is that its colored houses that are located in a staggered way on the main square of the town make Cudillero a special place.
Another of those towns that you should visit in the western part is Luarca, whose visit is undoubtedly one of the best activities you can do in Asturias. Luarca is known as the Villa Blanca of the Costa Verde and is also the hometown of Severo Ochoa. This city must be enjoyed both at sea level and from the viewpoints from which you can admire its port.
Tapia of Casariego
Another of the western fishing villages, already very close to Galicia, is Tapia de Casariego. It is the smallest but not for that reason the one that has less charm. It deserves a visit. And while traveling from one town to another, don’t miss the views of the Cantabrian Sea as you approach its capes and cliffs.
The eastern fishing villages of Asturias
In the east of Asturias there are a number of fishing villages that you will not want to miss. You must go through all of them to discover the charm of each one of them and as we recommend in the western ones, come to their capes and cliffs to finish surprising you.
Llanes and Ribadesella
Of these fishing villages we must highlight two above all. One of them is Llanes, with an incredible old quarter and charming places, and it is also a very cinematographic town. The other one we are talking about is Ribadesella, where in addition to its old town, its streets and its beaches you can enjoy the Cueva de Tito Bustillo, another of the best places to visit in Asturias.
Lastres, Villaviciosa and Bowls
But there are other fishing villages to see in eastern Asturias, such as Villaviciosa and Tazones, or the beautiful Lastres, famous for the television series Doctor Mateo, which was filmed there. If you go with children and you like dinosaurs, don’t miss the Jurassic Museum either.
The nature of Asturias. Sea and mountain
As we have said before, if you want to enjoy nature in its maximum splendor in Asturias, you are in luck since you have interesting places, both maritime and mountainous, within a very short distance. You can even admire different very interesting caves in Asturias.
The beaches of Asturias
If you visit the previous fishing villages, both eastern and western, you will be able to discover the best beaches in Asturias. Although it is very difficult to choose a few among all to classify them as the best because the list is endless. Although the climate is not exactly the best for beach tourism, the best beaches in Asturias that we find are some of the most beautiful in Spain.
The most famous beach to visit in Asturias is Playa de Gulpiyuri, due to its peculiar characteristics, but there are others that are much more beautiful that you should visit, such as Playa del Silencio, near Cudillero. But as we say, there are many more.
Picos de Europa and Lakes of Covadonga
Do you really need us to tell you that the Picos de Europa are one of the best places to visit in Asturias? They are possibly the best of them all.
The Naranjo de Bulnes and the Lakes of Covadonga are the best known points of the Picos de Europa. The Ruta del Cares is also another great route to do in Asturias, becoming more popular and popular every day that will take you through an area of great natural wealth, although its popularity means that you can almost never fully enjoy it.
The main town in the Picos de Europa is Cangas de Onís, which you should also visit, especially for its famous Roman Bridge (which is actually… not Roman).
The other great natural park that you can visit in Asturias is Parque de Somiedo. But you also have other very interesting natural parks to visit in Asturias.
The Somiedo Natural Park has always lived in the shadow of the other great natural park in Asturias, the Picos de Europa, but they have a charm that you will only discover if you visit it.
Going through the different viewpoints and hiking trails that take you through the best places in Somiedo, such as Lake del Valle or the Lakes of Saliencia, is mandatory. As well as enjoying its towns and its most unique constructions, the brañas.
The most unknown rural Asturias
Most visitors to Asturias, especially on a first visit, focus on the cities, the natural parks, the beaches and the pretty fishing villages. But inside there is also much to see in Asturias.
Visiting rural Asturias is another great option because you will go to much less crowded places and you will discover another reality of this beautiful region at a slower pace. Among the places that we recommend are Taramundi or Pimiango, the latter on the coast but going very unnoticed.
If you like nature, what you must visit is the Muniellos Forest, which is also gaining in popularity in recent years, or the Pajares Port, the gateway to Asturias from the plateau and which also hides very interesting places to visit..
You can find more information about what to see in Asturias on its official tourism page.