OVIEDO – Fifty shades of green with beautiful mountain landscapes, bears in the wild, rugged coasts with elegant seaside resorts, that is Asturias in a nutshell. This autonomous region has now been voted the most loved in Spain by Spanish citizens and tourists.
Located in the north of Spain, Asturias is not called ‘the Switzerland of Spain’ for nothing. Moreover, the cities of Gijón and Oviedo on the Spanish north coast are can be found there. Furthermore, the seaside resorts of Llanes, Ribadesella and Lastres attract many visitors every summer who love the beach and sun, but not excessive heat.
The region also includes part of the Picos de Europa National Park and Cangas de Onís as a base to explore this beautiful mountain area, including the glacial lakes of Covadonga. More to the west, nature lovers will find the protected nature reserve Somiedo with its tiny villages against a backdrop of rugged mountains and ‘brañas’, the typical hairy houses of a bygone era. It is still so quiet here that it is home to the largest population of brown bears in Spain. Apart from the breathtaking nature, the region has culinary delights and a rich history. In any case, it has so much to offer that it has won the hearts of countless people.
The survey that led to Asturias being the winner was carried out by market research agency Electomanía and aimed to find out the most popular regions of Spain. Several factors were considered, including natural beauty, culture, gastronomy and quality of life.
Asturias came out number one with 7.9 points out of 10, followed by Galicia and the Basque Country in second and third place with 7.7 and 7.6 points respectively. The top five is completed with the regions of Navarra and Aragon with both 7.3 points.
The rest of the list
- Balearic Islands: 7.3
- Region of Valencia: 7.3
- Cantabria: 7.2
- Canary Islands: 7.2
- Catalonia: 7
- Andalusia: 6.9
- La Rioja: 6.6
- Castile and Leon: 6.6
- Madrid: 6.6
- Extremadura: 6.5
- Castilla-La Mancha: 6.3
- Murcia: 6.2
- Ceuta: 5.5
- Melilla: 5.5
More on Asturias
Asturias has its own language, Asturian. This is spoken in addition to Spanish. Asturian has a long history dating back to the Middle Ages. The region, like other regions in the northwest, is also known for its cider, an alcoholic drink made from apples. This is traditionally shaken from a height into large glasses to aerate and refresh the cider. There are many cider houses in the region where you can experience this important part of the culture and taste the drink. It is also served in most ‘ordinary’ bars and restaurants.
The coast of Asturias is the Costa Verde (green coast) because of the richly vegetated slopes that reach down to the sea. It is one of the most unspoilt coastlines in Spain and is home to many beautiful beaches and cliffs.
A lot of rainy days
The fact that the region is so green with lush forests and bright green meadows is because it rains a lot. If you are used to the other, dry Spain of the south, you immediately imagine yourself in a completely different world, or even on a different continent. Every summer there are many Spaniards on the Asturian beaches who escape the heat from the south and enjoy relatively pleasant temperatures of between 20 and 30 degrees and the occasional refreshing shower.
Increasing popularity as a holiday destination
For Asturias and its inhabitants, the results of the research are a well-deserved recognition. Although the knowledge that this is a special region to visit is reaching more and more people. Especially since the corona pandemic, the figures in the tourism sector have continued to rise. Last Semana Santa, the occupancy rate was over 90% in establishments and hotels nationwide. That was even 100% for bungalows on campsites.