Weather - not climate!
Favorite thing: Come prepared. Here (and in Cantabria, Euzkadi and much of Galicia) you can experience four seasons in one day, summer in mid-winter, and winter in mid-summer. There are December and January days when I can work in the garden stripped to swimming trunks. Equally, it is not all that uncommon in July or August to see fresh snow sprinkling the highest summits of the Picos de Europa. 'El Sur', a Föhn-like south wind, brings with it very low barometric pressure, very low humidity, and high temperatures. It also produces some spectacular dawns, since if there is a cloud cover, it is usually obscuring the northern part of the sky. Fishermen call the Cantabrican coast 'la trampa' - 'the trap' - since bad weather sweeping in from the Atlantic piles itself up against the Cordillera Cantábrica - and stays there. Many of us still rely on the weather phenomena experienced at the start of each 'témpora' as a basic determinant of the pattern for the next three months of the year. Look up 'témpora' in Google and you may find one of the few sites describing how they work, and how to take observations.
Some of the best photography can be obtained during the period from September through to May, when the air is least hazy. Avoid visiting in July or August, or during Easter Week, if you can - when the coastal districts are invaded by summer visitors from the cities. And of course when restaurant owners and hoteliers in those areas push their prices to the limits. Make sure your footwear is watertight, and your umbrella stout enough not to turn inside out at the first puff of wind.
Above all, take your time when exploring. There are no 'Great Tourist Attractions'. Why should there be? Drift from one village to another; pause and walk around each one. Your camera will be busy. Your shoe leather will wear thin. And you will work up a healthy appetite for that four-course, seven-euro lunch!Related to:
- Road Trip
- Hiking and Walking
go to Oviedo. It is a very...
Favorite thing: Oviedo (pop. 200.000) lies at the heart of Asturias, under the Mount Naranco. It is a very elegant historic city full of monuments and beautiful streets. The historical town has undergone lots of renovation in the last years and is almost car free now.
This is a picture of the beautiful cathedral. It is mainly Gothic, but the beautiful Cámara Santa is built in the pre-Romanesque style and keeps some of the most venerated Asturian jewels: the cross of Victory and the cross of the Angels.
Favorite thing: Horreos are an example of a uniquely Asturian bit of architecture. While there are similar examples of grainaries found in other areas of northern Spain, this style is unique to Asturias. These graineries are seen all over Asturias and were once frequently used to among other things, store and dry animal feed as wel as protect animal it from pests. It has now become in vogue to restore horreos and it is not uncommon to find horreros that are more attractive than surrounding dwellings.Related to:
- Historical Travel
asturian tourist info.
Favorite thing: the tourist informations in asturias are generally very helpful and useful.
they have offices in most asturian towns and are worth visiting for getting information about that special part of spain.
infoasturias also has a very good website with lot's of info about the region.
- Road Trip
Favorite thing: This woman from the village of Besullo is wearing the traditional costume of Asturias. Women's costumes for festivals are most commonly red with the black stripes, and second most common is a black version, but there are many other varieties. This one is the most formal and commonly seen. The people don't dress like this all the time, only for special holidays, festivals, cultural celbrations, and also for traditional music affairs. There has been a great interest in Asturias to embrace the tradition and history of days gone by. Many young people, like this girl are involved in groups attempting to preserve Asturian heritage.
Rugged beautiful Asturian Coastline
Favorite thing: Asturias has some the most beautiful and diverse coastline I have ever seen. Ranging from sprawling sandy beaches to high rocky cliffs, angry black waters or mediterranean blue-- Asturias has it all. Beautiful and largely unspoiled (excepting seaports such as Aviles) I can't stress enough how wonderful the coast is.
Fondest memory: This tip was written before the terrible oil spill (bigger than the Exxon Valdez) off the coast of Spain in November of 2002.) Some costal areas of Asturias have been touched by this terrible disaster. For more information, please see my Galicia, Spain page.Related to:
Folk Music- Gaita Asturiana
Favorite thing: One of my favorite things about Asturias is the food-- see my travelogue! My second favorite thing is the music. I have a particular interest in folk music. The folk music of Asturies is intriguing. Traditional instruments include gaita, bouzouki, drums and fiddle. Repertoire is replete with marches, reels and dances.
Everyone that I have "turned on" to it just loves it! People are always shocked to discover much of Spain's folk music, Asturies included, has indigenous bagpipe (gaita) as it's main instrument. From region to region in Spain, the construction of the gaita varies-- but yes(!) they have bagpipes in Spain. I really enjoyed going to folk bars in Asturies and listening to Asturien folk music. I actually have an external web page dedicated to Asturies' most famous folk group "Llan de Cubel". If I have piqued your interest, please check it out to hear some samples.
Fondest memory: Some people might want to quibble on the point that the guitar is Spain's main indigenous folk instrument. However, you might recall it was the Moors who introduced the guitar to Spain. Consider this- the Moors did not even arrive in Spain until 711 AD. What do you suppose was the folk instrument of the people before then? The bagpipe! It has been proposed that the bagpipe was introduced to Spain by the Goths who had invaded some centuries earlier. (What they played for fun before the Goths arrived, I don't know... maybe checkers?)
It is also worth noting the guitar was replaced by the "vihuela" after the expulsion of the Moors from Spain. Mainstream "Spainish" musicians fearing persecution clung to traditional instruments such as flutes and of course, the gaita.
Wild Ponies in Asturias- Asturcones
Favorite thing: These beautiful horses, called Asturcones are indigenous horses to Asturias. These are not the same horses Spain is famous for (the arabian.) These horses are only found in the area of Asturias. Aren't the gorgeous?!?Related to:
Leave your preconceptions behind
Favorite thing: If you have the opportunity or desire to visit Asturias, be sure to leave your preconceptions of Spain far behind you. It is nothing like you imagine, but still Asturias is very much representative of what Spain is all about. The culture and the landscape in Asturias is different than the rest of Spain, but the temperament of Asturias' people and the outlook and way of life is the same pretty much anywhere you go in Spain.
You will be suprised by how rustic (agrarian) and city living coalesce. You will be (pleasantly) suprised by the food, the weather, the landscape, the music, etc. I can't say enough great things about Asturias.
Fondest memory: I miss the distinct Asturian culture (which pretty much encompasses the food, music and way of life I mentioned above.) The people are just so awesome, gentle, good people!Related to:
- Study Abroad
ASTURIAS: CIDER LAND
Favorite thing: Absolutely, the best and unique place to drink natural cider is in Asturias.
Fondest memory: In Oviedo, the main city, you can find a whole street dedicated to drink cider: GASCONARelated to:
- Wine Tasting
I stayed at this hotel to go and visit a friend and watch Sporting vs Atletico Madrid. I had booked...more
The most famous hotel in Asturias is located in the heart of Oviedo. The core of the building, which...more
Stayed two nights, wish it had been longer. This hotel is very comfortable in historic setting.The...more
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