“Gijón kindred soul”: Vicente Díaz, one of the most famous singer of Asturian music, used to define the city this way, and it’s not difficult to understand why.
The sea smell and the sand into your shoes combined with the green spots of the spruces all around and the soft touch of the wet humus will fascinate you quickly, while the breathtaking landscapes and the variety of natural routes will definitely make you fall in love with this city and its surprising region. Set in the North-centre of the Principado de Asturias and along the Cantabric sea coast, known as the greenest and most unspoilt of Spain, Gijón is a vibrant city boasting a wide-ranging scenic and festive offer, fantastic traditional cuisine and a not less important cultural heritage.
With this article I want to offer you in particular 5 panoramic tours to fully enjoy your time in Gijón, the ideal gateway to the veritable natural paradise that is Asturias.
Get lost in Cimadevilla
The best way to enjoy a route? Getting lost!
The first landscape you should see is the one visible from the oldest neighbourhood of the city, Cimadevilla, facing the port. Once principally inhabited by sailors, it is placed on the peninsula of St. Catalina, the highest zone of Gijón. Here you will find the most ancient monuments and edifices, like the Revillagigedo Palace, the Ancient Municipal Fish Market and the statue of the famous King Pelayo, which get along with the modern style of the other buildings.
Go for a walk and don’t be afraid to get lost through the pedestrian narrow streets, where you can find the most animate atmosphere, and take a break in one of the several bars that offer the typical Asturian cider, served in a very original way.
Go up to the Elogio del Horizonte and listen to the sound of the wind
Climbing further into the St. Catalina area, you will have the possibility to admire the second incredible landscape I want to introduce today in the Cerro park (Parque del Cerro), where rises the most monumental sculpture of the city: the colossal Elogio del Horizonte. Made with reinforced concrete by Eduardo Chillida in 1990, the monument reaches 10 metres high and 500 tons. The shape is semicircular, so that it’s possible to stand inside and listen to the “music of the wind” that always blows along the coast. An unmatched experience! Actually, you can find the twin structure of Elogio del Horizonte in Barcelona, built by the same artist.
Stroll on the sand along San Lorenzo beach, and try windsurfing!
Because of its fine and golden sand, San Lorenzo beach is known as one of the most representative of Asturias’ landscapes. The cathedral of St. Peter stands out on the left side and it’s often used as a perfect set for traditional weddings with typical clothes.
The beach seems the ideal place to stroll and even to sunbathe during the hottest summer days, but it could also encourage you to try unconventional sports, like windsurfing, sea-kayaking or simple surfing. It’s always possible to rent a surfboard and a wetsuit at the shop, or signing up for a course.
Walk (or run) by the Wall of San Lorenzo and enjoy an incredible view
By the eastern limit of the beach of San Lorenzo, you can see the walk of “Muro” (Wall) which is longer than the beach itself. This is the coastal Walk of Cervigón. It is more than two kilometres long and leads to the beaches of Rinconín and Peñarrubia.
In your route you could cross the Park of Rinconín, an ideal place for your spare time, where getting relaxed sitting down the shadow of a tree or enjoying a unique artistic panorama that counts with numerous and big sculptures. One of the most loved works by the inhabitants is the monument to the Emigrants’ Mother. This piece is placed in a rounded square facing the sea, representing the pain of a mother that cries for the emigration of her children, due to the large number of Asturians who left their land in times of crisis to go in search of a better life.
Eat popcorn in the “autocine” (drive-in cinema)
Last but not least, the unconventional landscape that you can’t miss once in Gijón is the one visible from the drive-in cinema, on the screen or outside the window (because the location is on the top of a hill, 4 kilometres far from the city centre)! Known as the unique drive-in cinema of Northern Spain, the Gijón Autocine remains open every day of the year, thanks to a roofing that allows a good vision even when it rains. The movie titles are changed weekly, and the cheapness of the ticket -10.00 EUR (approximately 11 USD)- attracts numerous groups of friends.
The outdoor venue, with a capacity of 200 cars, spreads out like a small village settled by little houses and colourful shops where it’s offered food recently made. Starting from the classical popcorn or hamburgers to combined dishes and typical beverages (cider included), everything is sold for such a good price.
Visit one of the Spain’s best-kept secrets
If you like spending your spare time outdoors, enjoying the beauty of unspoilt nature and the heritage of an ancient region, the Asturias’ inhabitants will welcome you with their friendly and affable treatment popular all over Spain. The Asturians want nothing more than to share their scenic, cultural and gastronomic heritage with all their guests, so come and visit this land that seems like one of the Spain’s best-kept secrets. Not so famous as other Spanish areas, Asturias will surprise you constantly and you will spend the entire time taking about a million photos and having the biggest smile on your face.
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.