Because of its fertile valleys, forests, rivers, caves and mountains Asturias is also known as Green Spain, a diverse and picturesque wilderness that also features a spectacular coastline. Unspoiled nature is only part of the charm. Traditional villages, cosmopolitan cities, beaches, ancient history and gastronomic delights also await. Hike along mountain passes, look for forest wildlife, relax on beaches and tour centuries-old churches and cathedrals.
Much of the region is protected land. Explore some of the six biosphere reserves including the lakes of Somiedo Nature Park and Oscos-Eo, with its forests and beaches. Go hiking, rock climbing and kayaking in the Picos de Europa National Park, Spain's first national park. Enjoy other scenic jewels on a drive through the Central Mountains.
Visit Parque Natural Fuentes del Narcea, Degaña and Ibias to observe wolves and Cantabrian brown bears. See more wildlife such as deer, foxes and otters at Las Ubiñas-La Mesa Nature Park.
Include time in your trip to get around to the towns and cities of Asturias. Head to Oviedo, the capital of the region. Discover its medieval Old Town where you'll find the Plaza de Trascorrales and the 17th-century Oviedo Town Hall. Learn more about northern Spain's ancient past at the Archeological Museum of Asturias and enjoy a gastronomic tour of El Fontan Market.
You’ll find a lot going on in the region's other cities. Stay in Gijón, which hugs the Atlantic coast. While it's still an industrial city in part, it has had a modern makeover with seafront walks, green parks and shopping centers. West of Gijón is Avilés, another coastal city. Browse exhibitions at the Centro Niemeyer, a futuristic-looking structure. Wander through the old quarter and relax on beaches and in Ferrera Park.
To experience the history, cities, culture and wild green spaces of Asturias, fly into its international airport which is 29 miles (47 kilometers) from Oviedo and 9 miles (14 kilometers) from Avilés. Get around by bus, train or car.