A Short Trip Guide to Asturias: Spain’s Northern Paradise

Oviedo

An entry into Asturias from any region that isn’t in northern Spain is marked by an abrupt change in the scenery and some jaw- dropping views indeed. Or at least, this was my experience 2 seconds after crossing the border, leaving the region of ‘Castilla y León’ behind.

Casually looking out of my window- nearly at the border between ‘Castilla y León’ and ‘Asturias’
Welcome to Asturias!
I was extremely shocked at this sudden change of…well, everything, whereas the Spaniards around me continued on with their yawning. Totally normal.

Oviedo doesn’t have the same fame as some of the other must-see destinations in Spain so don’t expect it to be chock-a-block full of sights to see. But in my opinion, it is still worth spending time here.
Firstly, it has enough sites to keep you interested for at least a day’s worth of stay. Additionally, the old town is small, charming and walkable and the sites are either free or are cheap to enter. And lastly, since Asturias is quite small, Oviedo is not very far from the beautiful Asturian countryside, making it an ideal overnight base or a even just a stopover for a few hours.

The main sights to see in Oviedo include:

  1. The Cathedral of San Salvador (La Catedral de San Salvador)
  2. The Archaeological Museum of Asturias (Museo Archeológico de Asturias)
  3. The Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias (Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias)
  4. If you’re an architecture buff, then these two buildings built in the Pre-Romanesque style on the outskirts of Oviedo will also interest you, since you will not find this kind of architecture in any other part of Spain.
    • Santa María del Naranco
    • Church of San Miguel de Lillo

The Cathedral

Oviedo’s San Salvador cathedral standing tall in Plaza de Alfonso II
This cathedral is built in a awe- inspiring High Gothic design.
This elegant cathedral is the main symbol of the old part of Oviedo and deserves your attention- if only from the outside.
Although not as big as many other cathedrals in Spain, it is still replete with many intricate details.

For information on prices, timings and address, click here.

The Archaeological Museum of Asturias (Museo Arqueológico de Asturias)

This museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts from Asturias, ranging from cave art to Roman ruins to various Asturian kingdoms. If you’re a fan of historical and prehistorical times, this is a great place to get lost in and have access to knowledge that otherwise would be difficult to find. The explanations are in Spanish, but there are English guidebooks available.

This museum is free to visit. For information on timings and contact details, click here.

The Museum of Fine Arts of Asturias (Museo de Bellas Artes de Asturias)

Another great place to get lost in, whilst admiring the works of world renowned artists (many of them Spanish) like Goya, Zubarán, El Greco, Dalí…and the list goes on. Highly recommended if you are a fine arts aficionado.

This museum is free to visit. For information on timings and contact details, click here.

Santa María del Naranco

Supposed to be a palace, this beautifully preserved building from 848 AD is only about 4 kms out of Oviedo.
Image courtesy: Asturias Tourism

For information on prices, timings and address, click here.

Church of San Miguel de Lillo

Built in 842 AD, this church is a little bit older than Santa María del Naranco. It is also not as well preserved- what we see is only the remaining third of the original church. Standing quite close to Santa María del Naranco, it forms a part of the guided tour that starts at Santa María and ends at San Miguel.
Image courtesy: Lista Roja del Patrimonio

For information on prices, timings and address, click here.

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