Asturias has it all: charming rural and coastal villages, national parks, mountains, lots of greenery and beautiful beaches. Let’s discover all these gems on a road trip in Asturias in 7 days.
Asturias is an ideal region for a driving tour as the distances are not long and there are many attractions to see. You will walk through big cities like Oviedo or Gijón, mountains and a lot of green in the rural areas and the National Parks like Picos de Europa and villages that will leave you in awe of the Cantabrian Sea.
How many days in Asturias?
Asturias has many treasures to discover, so the ideal is to dedicate at least five days to it, but the ideal is to make a 7-day route through Asturias.
🚗 Search here for car rentals in Asturias.
Map – Best places to visit in asturias in 7 days
This is the map with all the points we talked about in this article. Although it is possible to do it in a week, it is well worth a holiday or several trips to Asturias:
1. Llanes, the magic of a coastal village
The road trip in Asturias starts from east to west and the first thing we come across on the Cantabrian coast is the beautiful and picturesque village of Llanes.
Its beauty lies not only in being a small fishing village with a harbour that seems to go right into the city, it also has wonderful beaches such as El Sablón, the most central one next to the harbour, or the Poo beach, a true natural paradise two kilometres from the city.
If there is one thing to do in Llanes, it is the walk along the Paseo de San Pedro, walking on the grass over small cliffs facing the sea and with views of the historic centre and the Bay of Biscay. Finally, there is the tour of the historic centre to visit its squares and emblematic monuments such as the city walls and the Basilica of Santa María.
Where to stay in Llanes?
Two options that we recommend to stay in Llanes are the following:
- Hotel Sablón: next to the beach of the same name is a charming accommodation with sea views from the room.
- Hotel Puerto Rico: next to the city’s harbour. Spacious rooms and very good value for money.
🏨 Do you want to look for other options? Find here the best hotels in Llanes.
2. Cuevas del Mar and Bufones de Pría Beaches
Between Llanes and Ribadesella there are many cliffs and small beaches that make up a spectacular landscape. One of them is the Cuevas del Mar beach, a paradisiacal place where the stones seem to be sculpted by the action of the sea water.
With fine sand and caves that can be visited at low tide, it is an ideal place to go with children. There is also rock climbing for the more adventurous.
Close to the Cuevas del Mar beach is the Bufones de Pría, one of the best places to visit in Asturias. The high limestone cliffs have natural holes through which the sea waves enter and generate jets of water and a very particular sound. The spectacle is especially spectacular when the sea is rough or there is a storm.
3. Ribadesella, a seaside town with many attractions
With the river Sella and the Cantabrian Sea as protagonists, this fishing village is small but has many natural attractions to visit. Its historic centre of narrow streets and old buildings is one of the most beautiful in Asturias.
One of the best places to see in Ribadesella is the hermitage of the Virgen de la Guía located on top of a cliff overlooking the sea and the town centre. Once you have descended, it is worth walking along the Santa María promenade that runs alongside the sea and the beach of Ribadesella.
Finally, the Tito Bustillo cave is well known for its Palaeolithic cave paintings discovered inside. Its importance is such that it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next to the caves there is a rock art centre that explains how the paintings were found and the origin of the paintings. For more information about opening times and tickets visit the Tito Bustillo Centre website.
4. Covadonga and Canga de Onís, in Picos de Europa
A visit to the Picos de Europa National Park, one of the most important in Spain, was a must on our week-long route by car in Asturias.
📷 Check here the day trip to Picos de Europa, Potes and Santo Toribio Monastery from Santander and make your reservation.
Visit the Covadonga lakes
To reach the lakes of Covadonga you drive up a narrow paved road between mountains, green landscapes and animals. It is worth stopping at the Reina viewpoint on the way, for fantastic views of the surrounding area.
Once at the lakes, leave the car in the car park and start on the hiking route, which is not very difficult. First you pass a recreational area with picnic tables, then the old Buferrera Mine, until you reach Ercina Lake. Finally, there is a short ascent to the Entrelagos viewpoint to descend and finish the visit at Enol Lake. Needless to say, the mountain scenery, grass and cows will leave you open-mouthed!
📷 Book your trip to the Covadonga lakes from Canga de Onis here. Guide and transport included. You can also book the excursion to the lakes of Covadonga, the sanctuary and the basilica from Gijón.
🔝 Check out these recommendations for visit the village and lakes of Covadonga.
Visit the town of Covadonga
Afterwards, it is time to visit the Royal Site of Covadonga, where the famous Holy Cave of Covadonga is located, a sanctuary that houses the Virgin of the Santina and which has the particularity of being built high up on the rock. To get there, you have to climb the more than 100 steps from the bottom.
You should not leave the Royal Site of Covadonga without visiting the Basilica of Santa María la Real de Covadonga, a great religious temple that stands out among the mountains due to its pink colour, thanks to the limestone used in its construction.
Visit Cangas de Onís
One of the best places to visit in Asturias is undoubtedly Cangas de Onís, which marks the entrance to the Picos de Europa. Its main attraction and the symbol of the city is the medieval bridge over the river Sella, a very photographic place.
But there are also historical monuments such as the small chapel of Santa Cruz or the church of Cangas de Onís, which looks more like a tower than a church. Not to be forgotten is the setting of the village, tinged with green and grey by the colour of the grass and the rocks of the mountain.
Where to stay in Cangas de Onís?
Two hotels that we recommend to stay in Cangas de Onís are the following:
- Hotel Los Lagos Nature: modern and elegant accommodation in the centre of Cangas de Onís.
- Puente Romano: is housed in a 19th century French-style mansion just a few metres from the Roman bridge. Comfort and very good service.
🏨 Do you want to look for other options? Find here the best hotels in Cangas de Onís.
Cares and Bulnes Route
One of the best-known hiking routes in northern Spain is the Ruta del Cares, which links the 11 km that separate two mountain villages, from Poncebos in Asturias to Posada de Valdeón, passing through Caín, in the province of León. It is so called because it crosses the Cares gorge between the high Picos de Europa.
But it is not the only hiking route in this area, nor is it the only village lost in the mountains. We did the Route of the Reconquest to the village of Bulnes, of medium difficulty and less than 2 hours long, which goes through the mountain following the path along the river Tejo. This small village can also be reached by funicular, but you miss the beautiful mountain scenery.
📷 Check here the jeep tour and trekking along the Cares route and make a reservation. A 4WD ride and 11 km hike through beautiful scenery.
💯 If hiking is not your thing, but you also want to appreciate the scenery. Take the funicular up to Bulnes and walk down.
5. Lastres, a must-see in Asturias
This coastal town is worth including on a car route through Asturias. Lastres is small but with a charm that envelops you from beginning to end. The narrow cobbled streets with their continuous ascents and descents, the sea houses that have been preserved in perfect condition, monuments such as the the 18th century Clock Tower and the viewpoint of San Roque with views of the cliffs and the Picos de Euopa, make it a must-see. things to do in Asturias.
As if this were not enough, there are two places close to Llanes that are also worth a visit. One is the viewpoint of El Fitu, which, at more than 1,000 metres above the Sierra del Sueve, has a 360-degree view of the Asturian landscape with the Picos de Europa and the Cantabrian Sea.
The other site is the Jurassic Museum of Asturias, ideal to go with children. The Lastres area is characterised by the abundance of dinosaur footprints and some remains that have been found. During the tour of the museum there are dinosaur replicas and a playground with swings and slides.
🔝 Take a look at these recommendations about rural houses to sleep in Asturias and Cantabria. You’ll love them!
6. Oviedo, the capital of Asturias
The road trip in Asturias cannot fail to include its capital, the beautiful Oviedo. It is a very quiet city, not very big and with a great gastronomic culture.
One of the main attractions to do in Oviedo is its cathedral. Built in the 16th century, it is mainly Gothic in style. The city also stands out for its squares, such as the Plaza de la Constitución, where the Town Hall is located, and the large number of statues, such as those of Mafalda and Woody Allen.
📷 Book here the free tour of Oviedo and get to know the main attractions of the city with an expert guide.
If you are looking for Asturian gastronomy there are two ideal places: El Fontán market with many shops selling regional products next to its square surrounded by colourful old buildings; and Gascona street with cider bars where you can try the typical Asturian drink.
In terms of outdoor venues to see in Oviedo, the San Francisco camp stands out, the large green lung of the city centre with ponds and monuments, and the Mount Naranco next to the Church of Santa María del Naranco on the top of a hill on the outskirts of the city.
Where to stay in Oviedo?
Two recommended places to stay in Oviedo are the following:
- Hotel Clarin: in the heart of the city centre, five minutes walk from the cathedral. A very nice Art Deco style decoration.
- Silken Monumental Naranco: modern with spacious rooms and comprehensive facilities including indoor swimming pool, gymnasium and sauna.
🏨 Do you want to look for other options? Find here the best hotels in Oviedo.
7. Visit the Natural Park of Somiedo
With numerous valleys, mountain peaks and animals such as the wildcat, it is one of the most beautiful natural parks in Spain and well worth a visit on a road trip in Asturias.
Within the national park there are a large number of lakes such as Saliencia or the lake of El Valle, the largest lake in Asturias, located at an altitude of over 1500 metres. There are many options for hiking routes in the park, some shorter and some longer.
One of the characteristics of the Somiedo Natural Park is that it has the largest reservoir of brown bears, which with luck and the help of a guide can be spotted. There is also a Somiedo and the Bear Interpretation Centre to learn more about this animal.
📷 Book here the excursion to Somiedo Natural Park with guide and transport included from Oviedo. You can also book the excursion to Somiedo from Gijon.
8. Gijón, a must on a car route through Asturias
Gijón is the largest city in Asturias and is situated on the shores of the Bay of Biscay. It is a place with a mixture of modernity, wide beaches and a historic centre on the Santa Catalina hill that preserves the vestiges of the past called Cimadevilla.
Strolling along the city’s extensive promenade is one of the essential things to do in Gijón. From the long beach of San Lorenzo, through the green lawns of the Santa Catalina hill with the best views of the sea and ending at the marina with the mythical Gijón sign.
📷 Do you want to see the city from the sea? Book a boat trip in the bay of Gijón and be amazed by the views.
The small historic centre of Cimadevilla invites you to stroll through the old buildings, such as the Revillagigedo palace or the Museo Casa Natal de Jovellanos, winding through narrow streets. Not to be forgotten is the picturesque Town Hall building and its main square, one of the best places to see in Gijón.
📷 One of the best ways to get to know Gijon is by booking on the Gijon tourist bus.
🔝 Check out the recommendations in the article about things to do in Gijon.
Where to stay in Gijón?
Two recommended places to stay in Gijón are the following:
- Hotel San Miguel: with elegant touches in its décor, it is just 100 metres from San Lorenzo Beach. It offers free bicycles to explore the city.
- Hotel La Polar: spacious and bright rooms within walking distance of the Poniente beach and the historic city centre.
🏨 Do you want to look for other options? Find here the best hotels in Gijón.
9. Avilés, the surprise of Asturias
To visit Avilés is to immerse yourself in narrow streets, narrow colourful buildings and a beautiful historic centre that has been preserved in perfect condition. The charm of the place is summed up by a stroll along Galiana street, where you can see the balconies of the houses and the gallery that runs underneath them. Here it is worth stopping for a bite to eat or a drink in one of the bars.
As you walk through the city centre, you will come across historic buildings that deserve at least one photo, such as the Balsera palace or the San Nicolás de Bari church, without forgetting the España square next to the Avilés Town Hall with its two storeys, arches and central tower.
Finally, a trip to the Niemeyer Centre, the work of Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, a modernist construction on the other side of the estuary that consists of an auditorium, exhibition centre and a viewing platform with 360-degree views, is a must. It is curious in itself to appreciate the architecture from the outside. For guided tours, please consult the official website of the Niemeyer Centre.
📷 Check here for a guided tour of Avilés and make a reservation. With the help of a guide you will visit the best places of this medieval fishing village.
Where to stay in Avilés?
Two good options to stay in Avilés are the following:
- Hotel Alda Palacio Valdés: in the heart of the city centre, occupies an old building that has been completely refurbished inside.
- Hotel Castillo de Gauzón: 500 metres from the beach of Salinas, it is housed in an old Asturian mansion. Its facilities still retain the charm of centuries ago.
🏨 Do you want to look for other options? Find here the best hotels in Aviles.
10. Cudillero, a hidden gem in Asturias
The last stop on road trip in Asturias in 7 days is the fishing village of Cudillero. This tiny fishing village has the charm of being located on the side of a hill on the shores of the Bay of Biscay. The construction of the colourful houses in staggered form on the hillside is what gives it its brilliance.
Anywhere in the village is ideal for taking photos. If you want to see the terraced houses from the front, then the Plaza de la Marina is the best option, situated by the sea in the lower part of the village. In fact, you can sit on the terrace of a seafood tavern and enjoy fresh fish or seafood.
If you want a panoramic view of the town, the port and the sea from above, you have to climb several steps to the viewpoint at the lighthouse or La Atalaya. For a closer look at the colourful houses, then the Garita viewpoint is ideal, a platform jutting out amidst the small buildings.
📷 Book your trip to Cudillero and Luarca from Oviedo here.
What to eat in Asturias?
On your drive through Asturias you will surely enjoy the delicious food of this Spanish region. We detail the typical dishes that you will find to savour:
- Cachopo: one of the most typical dishes of Asturias. Breaded beef fillet stuffed with ham and cheese.
- Fabada Asturiana: delicious stew that mainly contains white beans, chorizo and other ingredients.
- Pitu de Caleya: these are basically chickens that have been fed on natural products on Asturian farms and are generally used to make stews.
- Quesos asturianos: the region has a varied production of artisan cheeses made from cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk. Among the best-known varieties are Cabrales, Gamonéu and Afuega’l pitu.
- La Sidra: the typical drink in Asturias produced from apples. The way it is served in bars and restaurants is a spectacle to be admired.
Buy your travel insurance and travel safe!
🚑 Take a look at these tips for choosing the best travel insurance (updated to 2023 and with juicy discounts) for the type of traveller you are, and they will also help you clear up the most common doubts. Travel safe!
Discounts and useful resources to save on your trip
- Cheap flights with Skyscanner
- Rent a car with Auto Europe
- Interrail Pass
- Eurail Pass
- Train Tickets with OMIO
- Bus tickets with OMIO
- Ferry tickets with OMIO
- Asia tickets with 12Go