So you only have one week in the Natural Paradise region of Spain (or in its official name, Asturias) and can’t decide what to see first. I organized for you the perfect way to take advantage of your time here, the ultimate Asturias one week itinerary. Of course, you can spend a lot more time here, which is why I have additional posts about other Asturian gems you should explore, but this post covers the best of the best!
* Check out my post Everything to Know Before Traveling to Asturias for general information and tips.
First of all, to accomplish this 5 days in Asturias itinerary you will need to rent a car. You can rent one at the Asturias Airport (OVD) or at one of the main cities Oviedo, Gijón, and Avilés.
- Day 1 – East Coast
- Day 2 – La Ruta del Cares, Picos de Europa
- Day 3 – Lagos de Covadonga, Picos de Europa
- Day 4 – Gijón
- Day 5 – Oviedo
- Day 6 – Somiedo Natural Park
- Day 7 – West Coast
Important: the weather in Asturias is pretty tricky! Therefore, I would recommend for you to alter the order of the days according to the weather. Additionally, note that cloudy weather in the Lagos of Covadonga can impact the visibility of the site.
This map organizes the routes for each day and gives you an indication for where everything is locates. The Asturias airport is marked in red for indication.
Where to Sleep
Option 1 – One Accommodation & Star Traveling
With this option you can have your accommondation in the center of Asturias and start from there each day. However, keep in mind that this will result in about an hour plus drice at the beginning or end of the day.
If you choose this option and want to stay in a city I recommend for you to look in Gijon or Oviedo. If you prefer to sleep in a small town I recommend Candas or Luanco. Finally, if you would like to be closer to nature look for a casa rural (house for rent in a semi-remote place) in the center.
Option 2 – Switching Accommodations
With this option you can have 2 or 3 accommodations to minimize traveling time. This is a great way to mix up the type of places you stay in. Try to get a good mix of city, small town, and casa rural (house for rent in a semi-remote place).
I recommend for you to spend the first two nights in the town of Llanes or in a casa rural in the area of Las Arenas. For the rest of the nights you can stay in the city of Oviedo or surroundings for minimization of travel time or in the city of Gijon or surroundings if you want to be closer to the beach.
You can search box to find your accommodations in Asturias
Day 1 – East Coast
This day is dedicated to small fishermen towns and beautiful coastal views. This path goes through many more beautiful places so feel free to stop and explore if time permits!
One of my favorite little towns! The houses are all on a side of a mountain, with an absolutely perfect view of the coast. Firstly, I highly recommend for you to go up to the Mirador de San Roque (reachable by car). From there you have the perfect view over the town as well as the coast, and with good vision also the Picos de Europa. If you want to have coffee or a quick breakfast there is a restaurant at the mirador called Restaurante La Rula and it has THE BEST view!! Secondly, you should get lost in the streets of Lastres, that’s the best way to find pretty allies.
Another beautiful coastal town, probably one of the most famous one in Asturias. In this town I recommend for you to get lost in the little streets, explore the beautiful boutiques, and enjoy the atmosphere.
Fun fact: During the summer, on the first Saturday of August (after the 2nd), celebrated in the area the Descenso Internacional del Sella or Les Piragües. It is a 20 km kayak/canoe route/race in the Sella river which starts in the town of Arriondas and ends in Ribadesella. This event always includes many local parties in Arriondas when the race begins as well as in Ribadesella when the race ends.
Bufones de Pría
Such a beautiful phenomenon you can experience in Asturias! You can only see the full effect of the bufones with strong waves but I still think it is worth visiting in a calm day because it is beautiful.
The bufones are natural phenomena originated by the effect of the erosion of the sea and the rain in the limestone rock, giving rise to cracks and chimneys that connect the sea with the earth. The swell of the calm waves against the cliffs causes the expulsion of the compressed air in the galleries, however, in days of strong swell, air and water escape to the outside at great pressure with jets of water that reach great height.Translated from the Asturias Tourism site
Vista del Castro de las Gaviotas
A beautiful point of view over the coast that is pretty easy to get to!
Certainly, it is the ultimate way to observe the coast and unique nature that Asturias has to offer.
Playa de Gulpiyuri / Gulpiyuri Beach
One of the coolest, unique, must-visit place in Asturias! Gulpiyuri beach is a flooded sinkhole with an inland beach, so it looks like the beach is coming out of a huge rock. However, don’t expect to be there alone if you are going in the summer.
This is my favorite summer village in Asturias! From June to September you will find here people from all over Spain who are taking advantage of the great weather and beautiful beaches. Most likely because the center itself is amazing and the seafood is to die for! Therefore, I highly recommend for you to have lunch here.
* in the winter the place is not full of people like in the summer but it’s still worth a visit!
Day 2 – La Rutal del Cares, Picos de Europa
Certainly the most unique hike in Asturias, and therefore, I think it is a must-do for nature lovers who visit Asturias.
The most popular part of the route (and most recommended) is from Poncebos to Caín. This part is 12 KM one way, and 24 KM if you go and come back; about 3-4 hours each side (6-8 hours in total).
For further information about the route read the post Day Hike – Ruta del Cares, Picos de Europa.
After the route you can head to the village Arenas de Cabrales, one of the main villages where they make Cabrales cheese, probably the most famous cheese in Asturias! The flavor is very strong so not everyone loves it but it is a must-try when in Asturias. Even if you don’t like cheese, the village itself is very beautiful and you can have a snack or dinner there.
Day 3 – Lagos de Covadonga / Covadonga Lakes
Lagos of Covadonga, by far my favorite place in Asturias, you can’t pass through Asturias without visiting this gem!
You can change the order of the day according to where you stay. I usually plan to have lunch at Cangas de Onís but it is up to you!
Important: during the summer and busy season you can only go up to the lakes with a special bus. The bus passes through Cangas de Onís, Covadonga, and Lagos de Covadonga. For detailed information check my post Visit The Lagos of Covadonga.
The place consists of the Real Sitio de Covadonga, also known as the “cradle of Spain”, a pilgrimage site dedicated to Our Lady of Covadonga and commemorating the Battle of Covadonga. The Sanctuary of Covandonga is a monument dedicated to Our Lady of Covadonga that commemorates the Battle of Covadonga. It comprises the Basílica de Santa María la Real de Covadonga, a church built in the 19th century to a design by Roberto Frassinelli and Santa Cueva de Covadonga (“Holy Cave of Covadonga”), in which the bodies of Kings Pelagius and Alfonso I lie.
If this does not interest you, I recommend that you spend a few minutes quickly checking out the cave, as it is very beautiful!
Lagos de Covadonga / Covadonga Lakes
As I mentioned earlier, it is my favorite place in Asturias! The Lagos are two lakes in the Picos de Europa. They are surrounded by green, mountains, and in the summer countless cows and goats. You can quickly visit the two lakes by climbing over a hill to see the second lake. The total walking time is less than an hour but you will want to stop often to enjoy the views. However, if you would like to see more than just the two lakes, here is a great 10 km easy route.
Cangas de Onís
This town by the Picos de Europa is one of the most important ones in Asturias’s history. Most noteworthy is that Cangas de Onís used to be the capital of the Asturian Kingdom until the year 774.
It’s the perfect place to have lunch, dinner, or just a quick beer stop. Certainly have a stroll around town and check out the town’s “Roman” bridge and Chapel of Santa Cruz. In addition, stop at the local stores for yummy souvenirs like cheese, cold meats, or an Asturian pastry.
On Sundays, you can find here a beautiful town market that I highly recommend! Since most other towns are pretty dead on Sunday so this is a great way to pass your Sunday.
Day 4 – Oviedo
The capital city of the Principality of Asturias and the administrative and commercial center of the region. You can get lost in the historic city of the center, enjoy the beautiful streets, and eat delicious Asturian food!
Additionally, I have a great post with 10 Things to See and Do in Oviedo.
Day 5 – Gijón
The largest city in Asturias, located on about 30 minutes north of Oviedo on the Bay of Biscay.
Must visit: The port, Cimadevilla (old fishermen’s quarter), Santa Catalina hill (beautiful park with ocean view), the 18th-century Revillagigedo Palace, and take a walk in the beautiful passage along Playa San Lorenzo.
If you have additional time in the city and you feel like being active you have two great options:
1. Do a small hike to the east of the city. The hike passes along the coast and it is beautiful. You can find the full hike post here but be aware that it takes about 4.5 – 5 hours to complete the route buy you can do only half of it if you don’t have the time.
2. Rent bicycle and do this bicycle route around the city that is only an hour and a half and 24 km.
Day 5 – Somiedo Natural Park
Lagos de Saliencia / Saliencia Lakes
The lakes are located in the south part of Asturias in the natural park of Somiedo. The area consists of 3 lakes, Lago de la Cueva, Lago Cerveriz, and Lago Calabazosa. Most importantly, you can see them all with a pretty easy 8 km route (about 3 hours), you can find more information here.
Pola de Somiedo
The capital of the principality of Somiedo, in this town you can have a great lunch and I highly recommend that you fill your stomach with Cachopo, an Asturias dish, probably the most filling one, because you deserve it!
Mirador de Aguino
A beautiful point of view over the green mountain and valleys of the natural park of Somiedo.
Braña de Mumian
Here you can do quick route to see the typical Asturian cabanas that are popular in the area of Somiedo.
Brañas, or mountain meadows, can be found throughout the entire territory, with fertile pastures where you can see, not without difficulty, the area’s famous cabanas de teito de escoba: broom-and-shrub-thatched stone cabins used by the vaqueiros de alzada (nomadic herdsmen) and mountain cattle breeders for shelter. Currently there are over 500 of these stone cabins scattered throughout the park. In the surrounding area, even today livestock continues to be moved from one pasture to another in search of the best grazing.Asturias Tourism Site
There are two route options in the area, depending on your time and ability. Firstly, a 2 hours and a quarter route to see the cabanas, more information here. Secondly, a 3 hours and a bit route to see the cabanas and Peña el Molinón, more information here.
If you still have time and want a last beautiful point of view, continue about 20 minutes to the Mirador del Príncipe.
Day 6 – West Coast
This last day takes place close to the airport, so if you are catching a flight on this day you can only see a few places and easily get to the airport.
Avilés is the third most important city of Asturias. Certainly (and don’t tell anyone from Oviedo or Gijon that I said that) the city with the prettiest historic center.
Must visit: you definitely have to take a walk in the historic area, visit Plaza de España and the beautiful streets Galiana and San Francisco.
A beautiful fishing town on a steep cliff which always makes it to the list of the most beautiful towns in Spain! Therefore, I recommend that you pass and hour or two here exploring the streets, go up to the Mirador de la Garita and mirador de la Atalaya, and most importantly, enjoy a lunch of seafood!
For lunch, I highly recommend a small the small restaurant Sideria El Remo. Even though it is pretty hidden, you’ll be able to find it.
My favorite coastal view point in Asturias! You can see from here the coastline to the east and west and it is just breathtaking. Firstly, you can go around the lighthouse for a perfect view of the entire coast. Secondly, in the high season there are a couple of places, on the cliff, where you can have a beer or coffee and enjoy the stunning view.
Playa del Silencio
One of the prettiest and unique beaches of Asturias. It looks like it came directly from a Game of Thrones scene! Most certainly, stop by and have a look or even enjoy the sun and beach if the weather permits.
A 10 minutes up-hill walk to the west of Playa del Silencio will lead you to a beautiful viewpoint over the beach and the coastline. Now, take a moment to enjoy the views!
Similarly to Cudillero, Luarca is another beautiful fishing town that is built on a cliff. However, Luarca is less touristic and has more “vacation town” vibes. As a result, many Spanish people come here during the summer to pass a few weeks by the beach.
In Luarca you can have a walk around the old center, go further up for some amazing viewpoints over the town, and have a walk by the few beaches of the town. Certainly, it is a perfect spot to grab lunch or dinner as it offers a variety of restaurants and cafes.
Have More Time?
If you finished the itinerary early or have over a week in Asturias, check out all the attraction that I have covered for you HERE!
Another possibility is to go for a nice hike, in Asturias there are endless amazing one-day hikes. You can browse all the hikes HERE.
I am sure this one week itinerary left you anxiously waiting for your trip to Asturias. So book your flight now and check Spain’s Natural paradise off your bucket list!
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