Asturias lies along the central part of the north coast of Spain, sitting between Galicia to the west, and Cantabria and the Basque country to the east. In spite of being one of the smallest regions in Spain, it contains a wide variety of landscape. The huge mountain range of the Picos de Europa lies a short drive away from the coast in the east, while heading in any direction from the region's main cities, Gijón and Oviedo, will soon bring you to one of the many beautiful nature reserves. The Asturian coast is also lined with glorious beaches, none of which are spoilt by the high-rise resorts one associates with the Mediterranean 'costas'.
Asturias has a warm, mild climate. Summers are hot without the searing heat of the south, while the winter months often bring days that are warm enough to eat and drink outside. One can certainly expect it to be warmer than Britain throughout the year. This range of scenery within a small area makes Asturias an exciting destination for all kinds of travellers. A bracing walk in mountains higher than any in Britain can be followed the same day with a stroll around one of the many picturesque fishing towns and villages. Most of our properties are currently towards the east of Asturias but it's well worth venturing to the less discovered parts; south to Somiedo and west towards Taramundi are both areas where we hope to offer properties in the future.
Asturians are considered open, friendly and generous by other Spaniards, and you can expect to be very well treated in restaurants and bars and by the house-owners and locals where you are staying. Eating is easy and pleasurable. There is always plenty of choice wherever you are - some tiny villages will have several bars. Asturian food is hearty and plentiful. Asturian cuisine specialises in meat and bean stews as well as a wide range of seafood and different hams, chorizos and cheeses. It is hard to imagine how anyone could go hungry. Vegetarians have to be selective but even so, there are plenty of tortilla, chickpea and mushroom dishes. The Asturian drink is cider. It is poured from on high by your barman who will expect you to down the fizzed-up few gulps in one go. Alongside a fresh spider crab it makes up a typical and refreshing summer meal.
Asturias has a proud history. The kingdom dates from the 8th century when the Asturians resisted the Moors. Asturias was the only part of Spain not to have been occupied by the moors and Asturians enjoy this piece of history. There are many "pre-Romanesque" churches from this period, unique in Europe - the triple-arch which you may come across in much of Asturian tourist publicity comes from the most famous one of these, the Santa María del Naranco church that overlooks the city of Oviedo.
Gijón and Oviedo are large, modern Spanish cities of 250,000 inhabitants, both benefiting from recent injections of government money. Gijon, with a new promenade along its lengthy seafront is now competing with other more established, glamorous ports along the north coast, such as San Sebastian and Santander. It's a great city for shopping and eating and for strolling along the buzzing seafront. Oviedo, although smaller, is the capital of the region and is dominated by its 13th century cathedral.