Gijon is called the pearl of Asturias, it is the oldest and greenest city in the region. Back in the 5th century BC. e. the Celts founded a fishing village here, and today a beautiful port city with parks is located in its place. History lovers love Gijon for its ancient architecture, surfers for great waves all year round, party-goers for beach parties and festivals, and gourmets for seafood and the best Asturian cider in Spain. However, there are still few tourists here, and even those are mostly Spaniards. So the prices for accommodation and entertainment are very reasonable.
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How to get to Gijon
The nearest international airport is located in Bilbao. From Moscow Sheremetyevo with a transfer in Paris, Air France flies there, on the way from 12 hours, the cost of tickets is from 195 EUR round trip. From St. Petersburg – Turkish Airlines with a change in Istanbul and Lufthansa via Munich, on the road also from 12 hours, ticket prices – from 230 EUR in both directions.
From Bilbao to Gijon, about 220 km, you can get there by ALSA buses in 4-5 hours, tickets from 10.60 EUR. Bus A3247 runs to the bus station from the airport every half an hour, the journey takes 15 minutes, the fare is 1-2 EUR or 20-25 EUR by taxi.
Another option is to fly to Barcelona and then take the Vueling domestic flight to Oviedo. On the way 1.5 hours, tickets from 39 EUR round trip. Buses run from the airport to Gijon from 7:00 to 20:00 once an hour, then two more flights at 21:55 and 23:00. The journey takes 30-40 minutes, the fare is 7.50 EUR. Taxi will cost 40-50 EUR.
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Within the center of Gijón, you can move around on foot, it is small. There are about 20 bus routes in the city, 4 of which are at night. The cost of the trip is 1.25 EUR, detailed information about routes and fares is at the office. city website (in English).
A taxi ride will cost 5-7 EUR for a 10-minute journey.
Gijón has a large selection of budget accommodation. Hotels are concentrated in the center and near the beaches, for lovers of peace and solitude there are hotels in the parks. Most hotels are 2-3 *, staying there will cost 40-50 EUR per day for a double room, prices for “fours” start from 70 EUR, but usually no more than 100 EUR per day.
Gijón has its own parador – this is how castles, palaces and monasteries converted into hotels are called in Spain. Parador de Gijon 4 * is located in a former mill in the park “Isabel la Catolica” near the beach of San Lorenzo. The rooms have antique-style furniture, the property has its own pond, and the restaurant serves signature homemade pudding and cream pancakes called frixuelos. The cost of accommodation is from 80 EUR per night for a double room.
Gijon is not the most popular beach resort, although all of its beaches are marked with the Blue Flag. The coast is sandy, but there are often high and low tides, in a matter of hours the coast can go under water (usually during the day), and in the evening you can sunbathe again. The most popular beach is San Lorenzo, swimming there is not very convenient because of the waves and uneven bottom, but surfing and hanging out is the very thing. Arbeyal Beach is more suitable for a relaxing holiday, and there is a thalassotherapy center on Poniente.
Cuisine and restaurants
The basis of Asturian cuisine is meat and seafood. The signature dish is beef stew with white beans, fried or stewed pork ribs, bacon, grilled fish, shrimp in olive oil, etc. are also served almost everywhere. The most popular drink is cider, it is not very carbonated, tart and smells of apples. It is also used to make sauces and marinades for meat and fish.
The Casa Gerardo restaurant is the only one in the city with a Michelin star. It has been owned by the Moran family for generations and serves modern twists on traditional Asturian cuisine. The average check is from 100 EUR for two, excluding drinks.
Seafood is excellently cooked at Casa Zabala (80-100 EUR for dinner for two without drinks) and at Mercante (60-70 EUR for two and a beautiful view of the port). For cakes, sweets and other sweets, go to Punto Caramelo.
Entertainment and attractions of Porto Cristo
The most striking example of Asturian architecture of the 20th century is the complex of buildings of the Working University (Calle Luis Moya Blanco, 261). It closed in the 1990s and today houses the Center for Arts and Industrial Creativity, one of the faculties of the University of Oviedo, the Higher School of Performing Arts and a conservatory.
The height of the main tower of the campus is 120 m, it was built on the model of the Seville Giralda, and it is equipped with an observation deck that offers the best views of the city.
The village of Cimadevilla is the oldest part of the city. The ruins of the fortress wall have been preserved there, a beautiful park with fountains has been laid out, one of the symbols of the city stands on Santa Catalina Hill – the Praise to the Horizon monument, an abstract concrete composition in the form of a broken circle.
In 2013, a monument to cider was erected near the sports port – a sculpture in the form of a tree made of 3,200 green glass bottles. This is how much cider the inhabitants of Gijón drink per year.
It is worth visiting the Ferrocarril Railway Museum (Plaza Estacion del Nte., s/n), located in the building of the former railway station of the late 19th century. About 50 locomotives and wagons from different eras, including steam ones, are exhibited there. Some of them are still on the move, and a couple of times a year they are put on rails, the whole city usually comes to see it. The best places for walking are the promenade along the embankment and Isabel Park with walking and cycling paths, a pond (swans and ducks live there, and peacocks live on the shore) and attractions for children.
In Gijon, the current bullring Plaza de toros de El Bibio (Av. de la Costa, 1), built in 1888, has been preserved. You can watch the fight in August, when the city celebrates the day of its patroness Madonna of Begogna.
Gijón is cooler than the rest of the Iberian Peninsula, due to the Atlantic currents. The beach season lasts from June to September, but sometimes it gets cold for swimming at the end of August. It is rainy in winter and in the off-season, sometimes precipitation occurs in summer. For surfers, the weather is always perfect, but the best waves are from October to February.