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North coast of spain map: Map of Northern Spain | Spain road trip, Northern spain travel, Northern spain

Опубликовано: March 3, 2023 в 1:35 pm


Категории: Miscellaneous

2022 Northern Spain Road Trip: 14 Days of Food & Adventure

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The wonderful surprise about this Norther Spain road trip is that the farther west you move from Bilbao to Santiago, the more remote and authentically Spanish it gets. Be prepared for small unassuming towns along rocky coastlines, delicious meals of octopus and pintxos in standalone restaurants tucked in the cliffside, and a generally serene and slow, non-connected world of its own.

This 2-week itinerary is broken down to maximize time without keeping you on the road for too long. So choose your own adventure and treat this as a good starting point.

Table of Contents

Northern Spain Road Trip: 2 Week Itinerary

3 Days in Basque Country [Bilbao and San Sebastian]

Day 1: Bilbao

As you arrive in Bilbao, get your car rental, settle into your lodging, and head to Casco Viejo for dinner. This is where you’ll want to walk around, get acquainted with the vibe of the city, and get ready for some food porn! You are in the Basque Region now, and it is all about the Pintxos in Bilbao (adorably pronounced “pinch-ohs”).

A little ode to Pintxos – the most intelligent way to eat a variety of foods and not over-stuff yourself – these are small snackies, bites of meats, cheeses, and pickled delicacies on fresh toasty bread.

PRO TIP: If you can make this Bike Tour happen with your travel schedule, I highly recommend it as a wonderful introduction to the city, its history, and its culture.

Day 2: The Guggenheim Museum

This is a day of modern art and more pintxos. Now, it is one thing to wander the Guggenheim Museum on your own looking at the pretty pieces of art and saying “ooo!”, and it’s completely another to have a professional walk you through the history, implications, and purpose of each piece and have a discussion around it. It’s a bit of a splurge but I always go for the guided tour of museums, and this is the one I recommend: Guggenheim Museum Private Tour with Admission.

Afterward, grab a stroll around the surrounding park, Casilda Iturrizar Park, and head for dinner. If it’s a bar-hopping kind of night, start at La Antigua Cigarreria and make your way around the winding streets, grabbing pintxos as you go.

PRO TIP: Order a “Marianito Preparado” and enjoy a super yummy spin on the Italian negroni with Spanish flair!

Day 3: Donostia – San Sebastian and/or Gaztelugatxeko

A trip to this famous spot on the sea, it’s a short 1.5 hr drive from Bilbao. I didn’t actually make it out there because the weather wasn’t cooperating, but I hear the best of things from my traveler friends!

If San Sebastian is not your scene – stop at Gaztelugatxeko! I opted for this instead and spent the day eating and lounging on the hillside overlooking the sea and grabbing lunch at the restaurant there. And WOW, the breathtaking views were enough to make up for not going to Donostia on this trip.

6 Days in Asturias [Picos de Europa, Llanes, and Gijon]

Day 4: Drive to Llanes

Just a 2-hour drive from Bilbao, get you a double espresso and hit the road to Llanes, a town along our northern Spain road trip in the Asturias Region.

In Llanes, grab some lunch in the town, take a walk along the coastline, grab some bocadillos, and head to the beach. Bocadillos are little sandwiches on fresh baguettes filled with meat (Fuet salami or Jamon Iberico) and a spread (tomato or butter). They are delicious, fresh, and always cheap!

Day 5: Hiking the Picos de Europa

You’ve been eating like a little chunk this whole time, so it’s time to hit the trails! Get into the mountains and do any hike in the Picos de Europa. Either choose your own adventure or grab a professional mountain guide and journey through the Vega del Torro and down to Lake Moneta – this was one of the highlights of my trip.

Day 6: Playa Madre

After all those pinxhos and hiking, the next 2 days are rest days. Drive the 30 minutes to Playa Madre and book the Honeymoon Suite at Hotel El Babu. Make sure to catch the sunset at Playa Madre tonight!

Day 7: Playa Madre

Beach Day at Playa Madre, or if you’re up for a little detour drive, this is worth it: Mirador del Fitu. Don’t forget to look around, take a deep breath and remember that you are exactly where you need to be – disconnecting in the beautiful Northern Spain mountains!

In the afternoon, drive your relaxed self further to Gijon.

Day 8 and Day 9: Gijon

Pick a cute Airbnb in the old town square and enjoy the city life. I spent a few lazy days in this cute city just wandering, doing a little shopping, sleeping, and bar hopping. Plenty of brewpubs and delicious restaurants around.

5 Days in Galicia [Playa de las Catedrales and Santiago De Compostela]

Day 10: Playa de las Catedrales

Should only be a 1. 5-hour drive from Gijon to Playa de las Catedrales, so take your time in the morning. Once you get to your B&B, head out to the beach – along the coast, there is a wooden walkway about 12km long. Spend the day walking the coastline and snacking at the local fish market restaurants, it’s an ideal way to pass the time!

Get dinner in the little town of Rinlo at Restaurante a Mirandilla. Go for the baked octopus (pulpo), it’s a specialty of Galicia!

Day 11: Playa de las Catedrales

Hit the Playa up in the morning at low tide, and walk through the same rock formations you saw from the walkway the night before. Find a little fishery to eat in the afternoon, or if you’re like me and love repeating a good thing – head back to Rinlo for dinner.

Day 12: Santiago de Compostela

After breakfast, drive from the playa to Santiago de Compostela. This is where all the pilgrimages and caminos end and the capital of the Galician region. Most, if not all, of Santiago de Compostela’s top tourist attractions are located in the Old Town. It’s compact enough so you won’t need more than a couple of days to explore it fully. I stayed near the old town because I wanted a place to park my car.

PRO TIP: Right around sunset, head into the Parque de Alameda for a walk. It’s where I took this stunning picture of two lovers overlooking the cathedral!

Day 13: Santiago de Compostela

The Santiago de Compostela Cathedral is a ‘holy moly’ sight to see. Looking up at the massive cathedral literally left me as breathless as when I saw the Vatican for the first time. The tomb beneath the cathedral’s main altar is the burial site of St. James, and it’s the final destination of all pilgrimage walks in the region.

Fun Fact: It is just one of three known churches built over the remains of an apostle. The other two are St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City and St. Thomas Cathedral Basilica in Chennai, India.

Grab dinner at O Gato Negro and try percebes. Percebes, or “Lucifer’s Fingers”, is a delicacy along the Galician and southern Portuguese coasts. They are nicknamed not just because of their devilish appearance, but because they’re super hard to get. Give it a go – it’s an unusual regional food that you can’t have just anywhere.

Day 14: Finisterre & Muxia (Fun Option!)

Optional stay in the old town and explore some more OR go for a little trip to Finisterre and Muxia, a coastal town on the west coast of Galicia. I actually stayed in the Old Town of Santiago and ate my weight in seafood for another day, relaxing before my flight back home. But to each his own, so here are my recommendations if you want to keep going.

Finisterre is a fishing port well-known throughout Spain. It’s famous for its port area with cafe bars serving some of the freshest seafood in Galicia. Finisterre means “end of the earth” because it was once thought to be the westernmost point of continental Europe. Obviously, it’s not, but the name stuck.

Muxia is a similarly small and peaceful fishing village about a half-hour north of Finisterre. It’s best known for the Nosa Señora da Barca, a stone church housing an image of the Virgin Mary. Legend has it that the image was given to St. James by the Virgin Mary after appearing to him in a vision!

Map of the Road Trip

If you were to drive from one end to another, from Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela, it would take you 6 hours total.

FAQ: Planning Your Trip

Is Northern Spain worth visiting?

Firstly, this region is fairly inexpensive and scenically gorgeous – you’ll have the sea on your right and the mountains on your left as you make your way west along the coast. And best of all, cell reception is spotty (nightmare for some, heaven for others), but it forces an unplug from a hectic world, which I truly appreciate.

And secondly, you’ll be driving, hiking, and eating along the 1,000-year-old pilgrimage route to the shrine of St. James in Santiago de Compostela. This is known as the Way of St. James or in Spanish, the Camino de Santiago. Over 200,000 pilgrims (people like you and me) travel to the city each year from various starting points all over Europe. I would love to do this walk one day for many reasons – health, inner peace, being one with nature, be one with myself. This movie right here, The Way, explains the pull of this journey, starring Martin Sheen (rrr!)

When should I visit?

The best times for hiking, beach days, and generally sunniness will be in the summer or fall seasons. I went in September and the weather was a little chilly at night but sunny and warm during the day.

Is this road trip expensive?

General costs depend on the time of year you go. I went in September and the weather was gorgeous, plus it was a little past the high summer season. That said, here are some numbers and tips for you.

  • Car Rental: $100/week
  • Housing: $60-90/night (I used for a majority of stays – better than AirB&B and includes the cutest boutique hotels)
  • Meals: $10-30 depending on lunch or dinner
  • Wine: About $2 for a glass of amazing Rioja wine (and Spaniards have a very generous pour!)

FAQ: Driving & Safety

Where should I start my road trip?

I recommend starting in Bilbao, as it has a fairly large airport, and renting a car to take you along the road trip to Santiago de Compostela. From here, you can either drive back or fly back home!

My go-to for car rental compare company is Discover Cars, here’s their link:

Discover Cars: Rental for Northern Spain Road Trip
This is what I personally use to check prices!

Is driving in Northern Spain easy?

Yes, it is. Not only are the roads in good condition, but the northern Spain road trip has you driving along the rocky coastline for a few hours every couple of days. For the longer drives from Gijon to Playa de las Catedrales, here are a few unique ways to pass the time – from road trip games to documenting your trip for friends and family!

What should I pack?

The coast of northern Spain can be windy and rainy, even in the summertime. I’ve put together a list of comfy road trip outfits – make sure to check out the Summer wardrobe section for this trip. I was surprised to need both a light rain jacket and a swimsuit on the same day on the coast!

Do I need travel insurance?

If you’re traveling outside of your home country, and especially if you’re out there hiking and adventuring, I recommend getting some travel insurance for the duration of your stay.

Travel medical insurance with SafetyWing is my favorite because it’s flexible, less expensive than the other big insurance companies at ~$40 a month worldwide, and it covers COVID-19 quarantine situations. Here’s the link so you can look into it.

SAFETYWING: Nomad Travel Insurance

What is there to do along this route?

Taking 2 weeks in northern Spain for a road trip along this route is full of hiking the Picos de Europa and portions of the Camino de Santiago.

It also highlights some of the churches and cities famous for their history and food. Speaking of, most of this trip is an adventure into the world of pintxos, riojas, and ciders of the Basque and Galician regions.

So if this is your vibe, take the trip!

Northern Spain road trip: cider, pinxtos and seaside towns

Northern Spain is a peaceful part of the country which isn’t nearly as popular with tourists as the southern regions. Many visitors are here to walk the camino – a remarkable experience in itself – and the towns outside of the camino trail see relatively few foreign travellers.

This is one of my favourite places in Spain to explore by car. With sweeping mountains, medieval villages and turquoise bays, there are many places to visit in Northern Spain which complement long driving days. You have a selection of towns to base yourself in each region, and many interesting day trips to choose from. Some of Spain’s most delicious foods also originate in the northern parts of the country.

Northern Spain road trip itinerary

This Northern Spain road trip starts and finishes in Barcelona, initially following the coastline towards Santiago de Compostela.

The route takes you through the quiet regions of Aragon, Asturias, Galicia and Basque Country, giving you a very different view of the country to big cities and coastal resorts. From the northwestern Spanish coast, we then head back to Barcelona via Burgos and Lleida. We hired a car in Barcelona and spent a few days in the city after we returned it.

As I tend to favour slow travel, I haven’t prescribed the number of days you should stay in each place. These cities and regions are fascinating enough to keep you occupied for as long as you choose. I will say that you probably want a minimum of two weeks to do this trip, which will give you a few days in each place.


Leaving Barcelona, it’s a pleasant, meandering drive towards Aragon, once one of the most powerful kingdoms of the Iberian peninsula. Now, the region is strewn with sunflowers in summer and dotted with pretty, medieval villages and towns, complete with walls and church towers.

Stop for photos or to explore some of the villages, then find a spot in or near Zaragoza (Saragossa) to base yourself for the next few days. We stayed in a farmhouse at the edge of the tiny village of Cartuja Baya, which was almost deserted in August and boasts pretty church and quick commute to Zaragoza, but not much else.

Other (probably better) places to base yourself in Aragon include Fuendetodos, a medieval town near the city; Alquézar, a lovely hill town at the base of the Pyrenees; and, of course, Zaragoza itself.

Zaragoza is the fifth largest city in Spain and is well worth visiting while you’re in the region. The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is a huge (and beautiful) cathedral complex which seldom makes the itinerary of travellers to Spain.

The cathedral marks the spot where Mary appeared to St James, and told him to build a chapel in her name. In turn, she agreed to help him with his mission to bring Christianity to Spain. It’s a beautiful church and was reportedly the site of more than a few miracles, including being hit by three unexploded bombs during the Spanish Civil War.

There are also other attractions in Zaragoza, including an ancient Roman forum, a palace and an interesting museum. If you’re interested in history, it’s worth heading out with a local guide to learn more about this fascinating city.

Wandering through the cobblestoned streets is an experience in itself and there’s plenty of excellent food in the city. Just be aware that English isn’t widely spoken, so be prepared to practice your Spanish.


  • Stay at Maribel Boutique Hotel in Alquezar for a romantic escape or Catalonia El Pilar in Zaragoza’s old town (note: no free parking at Catalonia El Pilar)

  • Book a tour of Zaragoza with a local guide to discover more of the city, its stories and its people.

Basque Country

It’s a lovely drive from Aragon to Basque Country. As you leave Zaragoza, you’ll pass more golden fields and pretty hill towns. Then, the scenery changes as you head towards the mountains. The path through the Pyrenees is beautiful with green trees, twisting roads and dramatic views.

There are some gorgeous beach towns in Basque Country, perfect for a summer trip to Spain. A highlight of the coast is San Sebastian, a popular destination for visitors and home to some of the best foods in Northern Spain

Or, for a different view of the region, base yourself in one of the mountain towns for a few days. Our pick is Balmaseda, a beautiful town with a stunning cathedral framed by the nearby mountains.

The beautiful town of Balmaseda

Our experience in Balmaseda was delightful. We stayed in a small bed-and-breakfast near the cathedral and soon discovered our hosts couldn’t speak English (and we couldn’t speak Spanish).

Our time there included finding the only locals who spoke English to help translate, visiting our hosts’ cousin’s farm, and long, late dinners with them and their friends. Not only did we gain more insight into Basque Country, but we also learnt some basic Spanish along the way.

Balmaseda is tucked into the mountains, but is only a short drive from Bilbao, the de facto capital of Basque Country and an interesting quirky city. Bilbao’s old town is wonderful to explore by foot. Visit a few of the great pintxos (bread-based tapas) bars in the city, and explore the Central Market, which has some delicious delicacies on offer.

The distinctive Guggenheim Museum is also worth a visit with enough to see to keep most visitors occupied for a few hours – you can book a guided tour or, if you choose to visit independently, be sure to take advantage of the audio guide included in the admission fee.

Details of the bridge in Bilbao

A street in Bilbao’s old town

From Balmaseda, it’s also a scenic drive to the coast, with green mountain roads and lush scenery. The coastal towns are lovely with sweeping ocean views with delicious food. Be sure to try a Basque-style tortilla while you’re here– an omelette on a large piece of baguette.

During summer, spend a few days (or a week, or more) in one of these seaside villages, enjoying the good food and long days in the sun. Our pick is Getaria, a lovely, old Roman town with long, white beaches and a fascinating history. It’s also a great starting point for day trips along the coast and is only half an hour away from the famous San Sebastian.


  • Stay at Hotel Convento San Roque in Balmaseda or Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao near the Guggenheim in Bilbao (note: no free parking at the Gran Hotel Domine)

  • Book a guided tour of the Guggenheim Museum


Leaving Basque Country, the pretty mountain backdrop and green hills continue into Asturias. Probably the least-visited region in Spain, Asturias is quiet and surprisingly beautiful. Gijon and Oviedo are the obvious places to stay, however, there’s something wonderfully romantic about basing yourself in the countryside instead.

When we first arrived at our AirBnB in Asturias, I was shocked by how remote it is. We stayed in the hamlet of Positana, nestled high into the mountains with amazing views of sweeping valleys and distant mountains.

There were only about six houses up there and I was initially horrified that there wasn’t even a church in the settlement. Once we settled in, we loved the peaceful setting, and we found it a very convenient base for exploring the region.

A church in Gijon

The golden beach in Gijon

We stayed in a charming cottage with our host, Rachel, who was English and had been living in Spain for many years. At night we cooked, and had long chats over dinner and local wine. I was enchanted by our tiny enclave high in the hills and marvelled at how bright the stars are at night. During the day we took long drives through the countryside, visiting some gorgeous beaches, and the cities of Oviedo and Gijon.

When you visit Gijon’s old town, perched on a clifftop above the ocean, be sure to try the local cider. Asturian apple cider deserves a little aside – made from local apples, it’s a cloudy, slightly sour drink with a very distinctive smell. It comes in dark bottles and is poured from a height, the waiter standing with the bottle over his head, into your glass in a steady stream. The last inch or so of cider is always left behind, due to the sediment, and is then tossed to the side. In the evenings, Gijon’s gutters, like those of many towns in the region, run with cider.

Asturias is also a great destination if you enjoy the outdoors. With three national parks, there are many opportunities for hiking, kayaking, caving and cycling – and many great views. There are also a number of beautiful beaches along the coast.


  • Stay at one of these beautiful hotels in the countryside: the Castillo Del Bosque La Zoreda, Parador De Corias or Parador De Cangas De Onis

  • Book a kayaking adventure down the Nalon River


Cathedral Square in Santiago de Compostela

From Asturias, continue west until you reach Santiago de Compostela, where the pilgrims finally end their walk at the cathedral. There are many lovely places to stay in Galicia, especially the beach towns of Combarro and A Guarda, less than two hours away from Porto in Portugal.

However, there’s something magical about staying in Santiago de Compostela – the elation of the pilgrims seems to be catching and we spend our time there wandering through the old town, finding tapas and local wine.

From there, drive along the coast to the Rías Baixas, perfect for a summer trip to Spain. Take your time exploring the coastal towns, going on day trips and stopping for lunch by the sparkling bays.

During your stay, try Galician-style pulpo, the locally-caught octopus cooked in olive oil and paprika, and sample Pimientos de Padró, baby green peppers fried in olive oil and dusted with sea salt. The nights in this part of Spain are warm and the days sunny and long. Summer in Galicia is idyllic.


  • Stay at the Pensión O Xardin de Julia in Santiago de Compostela (you’ll have to pay for parking) or at the Gran Hotel Los Abetos on the outskirts of town.

  • Book a food and wine tour of the Rías Baixas, the perfect way to see (and taste) this beautiful and enigmatic region


On the way back to Barcelona, stop in the lovely region of Castile-León for a night or two. It’s capital, Burgos, is famous for its silver cathedral, tree-lined avenues and, of course, excellent food. We stayed in in a little village just outside of Burgos called Vivar del Cid. the birthplace of the legendary El Cid, a medieval Castilian knight who briefly reclaimed Valencia from the Moors during the Reconquista.

Image par Mehmet A. de Pixabay

While you’re in Burgos, take the opportunity to sample the delicacies of the Castile-León region. Try the lechazo (milk-fed lamb slow-roasted in a wood-burning oven) and the local morcilla (black pudding sausage), easily available at local restaurants. Then spend a day exploring the Ribera del Duero wine region, about an hour’s drive from the city.


  • Stay at the Palacio de Burgos (you’ll have to pay for parking) near the cathedral or at the Hotel Santa Coloma del Camino in the countryside.

  • Book a tour of the Ribera del Duero wine region and try the local reds

Final thoughts

You can take as little as a week to do this road trip or much longer than you prefer. We recommend at least two weeks, which will give you a beautiful introduction to Northern Spain and its diverse, yet distinctive regions.

Taking it slower will give you more time to immerse yourself in the different regions and learn more about their individual history and culture – and food, of course. It’s a quieter, very different pace to busy Barcelona and the perfect contrast to Spain’s major tourist destinations.

Spherical map of the northern coast of Morocco: from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Chafarinas Islands, including part of the coast of Spain [Map]

Atlante Neroni – Porto Ferraio

Blaeu – Atlas of Scotland 1654 – INSVLÆ QVÆDAM MINORES – The Small Isles

Lands of the slave and the free-or, Cuba, the United States, and Canada (1857) (14596341380)

The partition of Africa (1895) (14800962703)

nine0003 AMH-7979-KB Map of St Helena’s bay

Coasts of Spain and Portugal

Plano del Puerto de Plata situado en la costa del norte de la Ysla de Sto.

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De la Punta de Araya y su fondeadero, parte de la costa del E., parte del Golfo de Cariaco, Bahia de Cumana (cituado su castillo segun observzs. astronómicas en la lattd. nte. de 10 gs. 28 ms.), costa de Bordones, Puerto Escondido, costa y puerto de Mochima con sus puntas, bajos, ensenadas y sondas, dado a luz por los pilotos de la Fragta. de S.M. nombrada la Pura y Limpia, conception y San Marcos que bino a operaciones del Rl. Servicio a esta bajo las ordenes del Gefe de Esquadra Don Joseph Yturriaga, commte. de la espedición secreta, año de 1754/

Kilmarnock and Troon route

Carta esférica de la Costa de Africa en el estrecho de Gibraltar : que comprende desde el Cabo Espartel hasta Cala Grande [Mapa]

nine0003 Croquis de la costa marroquí, desde Puerto Cansado hasta la desembocadura del río Gueder [Mapa]

Carta reducida que comprende desde las Costas de Africa y España fronteras á las Islas Canarias y Azores hasta los meridianos de estas [Mapa]

nine0003 Description Ydrographica, que contiene parte del Mediterraneo desde las Yslas chafarinas hasta el Estrecho de Gibraltar [Mapa]

Carta Esferica de una parte de la costa occidental de Africa en el golfo de Guinea : que comprende desde Cabo Sn.

Pablo hasta el de Formosa [Mapa]

nine0003 Carte du detroit de Gibraltar [Mapa]

Detroit de Gibraltar : [carte nautique]

Mapa de la zona de influenza española en el norte de Marruecos

nine0003 map from “Importancia militar de Gibraltar y medios de que dispone España para anularla. [With maps.]”




Carta Esferica



Costa Norte




Desde El Estrecho






gibraltar hasta las islas chafarinas




Comprendiendo una parte


virtual library


a high resolution

ultra high resolution


age of discovery



Biblioteca Virtual del Patrimonio Bibliográfico

http://europeana. eu/

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[Portrait of Felipe V, King of Spain]

Map of Balentine Bay, located on Tierra del Fuego, in the Maire Strait.

Mapa que contiene parte de los territorios pertenecientes a Brasil]

Carta de la costa meridional de Brasil : describiendo la frontera con los dominios de España dentro de la Laguna de Merim

Calla Curman in Alhambra, Granada, Spain

nine0003 camel from “Port todo Marruecos. Descripción completisima del imperio … Ilustrado, etc”

Spherical map of Isla de la Granada /

Map of the Gulf of Roxas in the Strait of Magellan at Isla de Carlos III cited its median size from latud S. 53-37 and longd. 66 “21”, western Cadiz /

View of the entrance to the harbor of Havana, made from sunken ships Elias Durnford, engineer; engraved by Peter Canoth.

Spanish policy in the overseas provinces, its past, present and future /

nine0003 Spanish policy in the overseas provinces, its past, present and future /

Horse from “Port todo Marruecos.

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Carta Esferica



Costa Norte




Desde El Estrecho






gibraltar hasta las islas chafarinas




Comprendiendo una parte


virtual library


a high resolution

ultra high resolution


age of discovery

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Asturias attractions on the map

Asturias, or Principality of Asturias, is an autonomous community and province in northern Spain. Located on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. It borders in the west with Galicia, in the east with Cantabria, in the south with Castile-Leon. It is called a principality because of the possibility of succession to the throne of Spain by the Prince of Asturias. The administrative center is Oviedo. The largest city is Gijón. The province uses its own language – Asturian, but it has no official status.


Territory 10,603.57 km² (10th among the autonomous communities of the country). The Cantabrian mountains pass through the province.

In the east of the territory there is a national park, which includes mountains up to 2648 meters high. The Cantabrian mountains provide ample opportunities for climbing, hiking and skiing. The coastline is extensive, with hundreds of beaches, coves and natural caves. Most of the Asturian beaches are sandy, bordered by steep cliffs, on the tops of which you can often see cattle grazing. Asturias is located in the so-called “green Spain”. The flora of Asturias is very diverse. The main types of trees are oak, beech, yew. However, chestnuts are also found in the mountains. Asturias has 4 biosphere reserves, 5 national parks, 10 nature reserves, 10 natural areas and 35 natural monuments. This network of natural lands makes up about one third of the region’s territory. nine0021


Asturian rivers are short but numerous. They lie in deep valleys, along which they flow to the Bay of Biscay from south to north. Many of them are used to generate electricity.


Humans have inhabited what is now Asturias since the Lower Paleolithic. The rock paintings date back to about 30,000 years ago. In the Bronze Age, megaliths and burial mounds were built here. In the Iron Age, the territory of Asturias came under the cultural influence of the Celts. The name Asturias itself comes from the Celtic tribe of the Asturians. Today, the influence of the Celtic culture is preserved in the geographical names of rivers and mountains. nine0021

The territory of Asturias was conquered by the Roman Empire under Emperor Octavian Augustus in 29-19 BC. e. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the territory was conquered by the tribes of the Sveves and Visigoths in the 6th century AD. e. and was preserved under their influence until it was selected by the Arabs at the beginning of the 8th century. However, it was not easy for the Arabs to fight in the mountains, and the lands along the northern coast of Spain never became part of Muslim Spain. On the contrary, with the beginning of the Arab invasion in the 8th century, this territory turned into a refuge for Christian nobles, and in 711 the de facto independent Kingdom of Asturias was created. nine0021

The kingdom was known as Asturias until 924, when it became known as the Kingdom of León.

The Kingdom of León was in turn united in 1230 into the Kingdom of Castile and León.

As a result of the revolt of Enrique II in the 14th century, the Principality of Asturias was created. But despite the significant victories of supporters of independence, in the end, the Castilian troops regained this territory. In the 16th century, the population reaches 100,000, and doubles in the next century, thanks to the spread of American corn. nine0021

In the 18th century, Asturias became one of the centers of Spanish education. Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos – Spanish writer, lawyer, economist and public figure of the Enlightenment was born in the seaside town of Gijón. The Industrial Revolution began in Asturias in the 1830s, with the discovery and systematic use of coal and iron. At the same time, significant migration to the Americas began (particularly to Argentina, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and Mexico). Those who achieved success abroad often returned to their homeland rich. The legacy of these wealthy families can still be seen today with many of their villas scattered throughout the region. nine0021

Asturias played a significant role in the events that led to the Spanish Civil War. In 1934, the Marxist movement of workers fought for the continuation of the reforms begun in 1932-1933, and against the entry into the government of Spain of ministers representing a bloc of conservative parties. As a result of the uprising on October 5, 1934, a “workers’ and peasants’ republic” was proclaimed in Asturias. The troops under the command of Francisco Franco, intended to suppress the uprising, were brought from Morocco, after two weeks of fighting, the rebels laid down their arms. At 19In 37, the territory of Asturias was occupied by rebel troops during the civil war. After the final defeat of the republic and the establishment of the dictatorship of Franco, Asturias became known as the “province of Oviedo”. The name and status of the principality were returned to the province only after the restoration of democracy in Spain in 1977.

In 1982 Asturias became an autonomous region. The Asturian Regional Government has overarching powers in important areas such as health, education and environmental protection. nine0021



Asturias has a rich architectural heritage. Architectural monuments such as Santa Maria del Naranco, Santa Cristina de Lena, San Miguel de Lillo were made in the pre-Romanesque style during the time of Ramiro I and San Julian de los Prados during the time of Alfonso II.

The Romanesque style is also present to a large extent in Asturias, buildings such as the monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva, the church of San Esteban de Aramil and the church of Iglesia de San Juan can be mentioned. nine0021

There is not much Gothic style, but it is still present, for example, in the Cathedral of San Salvador in Oviedo.

The Baroque style is very popular in Asturias. The following buildings of this style are known: the Camposagro Palace, the Velarde Palace and the Olonyego Bridge. The second is the Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias.

In 1985, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the following objects to be monuments of the Kingdom of Asturias:

  • Camara Santa in the Cathedral of Oviedo
  • Basilica of Santullano (now called San Julián de los Prados)
  • Santa Maria del Naranco
  • San Miguel de Lillo
  • Santa Cristina de Lena
  • Foncalada


The Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias displays works by the following leading Asturian artists of the 20th century:

  • Juan Carreño de Miranda
  • Darío de Regoyos
  • Luis Bayón
  • nine0083 Mariano More

  • Evaristo Valle
  • Nicanor Pinole
  • Aurelio Suárez
  • Pelayo Ortega
  • Inocencio Urbina Villanueva


One of the main museums with old photographs of Asturias is the Museo del Pueblo de Asturias. The most famous photographers of Asturias are:

  • In the 19th century:
    • Feliciano Pardo Campos
    • José Fernández Cuétara
    • Ramon del Fresno
    • nine0083 Fernando del Fresno

    • Ramón García Duarte
    • Jean David
    • Marceliano Cuesta
    • Luis Muñiz Miranda
    • Modesto Montoto
    • Baltasar Cue
  • In the 20th century:
    • Javier Bauluz
    • Jose Ferrero


The most famous writers of Asturias are:

  • Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos
  • Gumersindo Laverde
  • Leopoldo Alas y Ureña
  • Armando Palacio Valdes
  • Ramon Perez de Ayala
  • Alfonso Camín
  • Alejandro Casona
  • Carlos Bousoño
  • Angel González
  • Corin Tellado
  • Mariano Antolín Rato
  • Rafael Reig
  • Xuan Bello
  • Jordi Doce
  • Jorge Moreno

In 2000, the Anthology of Asturian Poetry (1639-2000) was first published in Russia, where most of the authors listed above were published. Edited by padre Federicu Fierro Botas (Editu: Coleutivu Manuel Fernandes de Castro), Russian translation by Alexey Yeshchenko, Alexander Mosintsev, Osip Cherkasov. nine0021


The music and dances of Asturias are very diverse. A characteristic instrument is the Asturian bagpipe, which consists of three pipes: one for blowing air, two for sounding. Such a bagpipe is used in many folk dances and can be accompanied by both a drum and other instruments such as accordion and clarinet.

The most common are those musical ensembles that represent various forms of expression of folk music. However, the Principality of Asturias is also prolific with rock bands performing in both Asturian and Castilian. nine0021

At the beginning of the 90s, a movement of alternative music, closely associated with indie, rose up all over Spain.


  • Oviedo, the capital of Asturias: a clean, picturesque city with a great architectural heritage. Santa Maria del Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo are pre-Romanesque churches and palaces built during the time of the first rulers of Asturias on Mount Naranco, north of the city.