Gijon is a young, cosmopolitan and trendy coastal city with endless possibilities of things to see, do, taste and enjoy.
The Bay of Biscay, the Port of Gijon and the local beaches have a big influence in the city, its history, its gastronomy and its daily activities.
The city has more than 5,000 years of history starting with the settlement of the Astures in The Campa Torres. While visiting the city you will notice many examples of its Roman past such as the Roman Villa of Veranes, signs of the old Roman Walls of the city and The Campo Valdés Roman Baths, which are the finest preserved Roman baths in the north of Spain.
Gijon is the starting point for the Route of the Silver which is Roman in origin and crosses the peninsula from north to south starting in Gijon and finishing in Seville, Andalucía. This was built to facilitate commerce and legion movement. After that, the route was mainly used by shepherds who took their livestock to the greener pastures of Asturias during the summer. Nowadays is a perfect Route to do walking, but especially by car or motorbike as you can see Spain from top to bottom passing by the communities of Asturias, Castilla Leon, Extremadura and Andalucia. The dramatic changes in environment, landscaping, culture and gastronomy makes this a unique experience.
The Council of Gijon is a part of the Route of Saint James. This section is known as the “ Northern Route” which goes along the Coast of Asturias.
Other places of interest are the beautiful Old Town, the Clock Tower, the Valdes Palace, The Revillagigedo Palace, San Juan Bautista Collegiate Church and the very beautiful Church of San Pedro situated at the beginning of the Beach of San Lorenzo and offering stunning views of the city. Another essential viewpoint to visit is the Santa Catalina hillside where you can find the famous sculpture by Eduardo Chillida called “Praise to the Horizon”, which has become the symbol of the Gijon.
The era of industrialisation had a profound impact on the City of Gijon dramatically changing the way of lifestyle, architecture, the social areas and the overall look of the city. Examples of this can be seen in the modern buildings and parks such as the Queen’s Gardens, Urquijo Bank Palace or the Streets Corrida or Los Moros.
Gijon is a very modern and artistic city with plenty of street art, sculptures, museums, galleries, theatres and a full agenda of cultural events held every month.
The most important venues for the arts are the Jovellanos Theatre and the Laboral City of Culture, the latter being the largest civil building in Spain designed by Luis Moya in 1956 and restored in 2005 as a university, professional and artistic training centers offering areas for conferences, events and seminars. The auditorium at Laboral holds the “Labour Scene” which is an arts programme committed to avant-garde theatre. Part of the complex houses the Laboral Art and Industrial Creation Centre, a space for the exchange between art, design, industry and economic development.
Gijon is ideally situated for the practice of sports and adventure activities due to its close proximity to the beach and nearby mountains. The City has three beaches, Poniente, El Arbeyal and San Lorenzo Beach, very popular for surfing, body boarding, swimming or sun lounging. All of them have recently being awarded with the «Q» symbol of tourism quality by the Quality Tourism Institute in Spain because of their equipment, cleanliness, safety and information.
The Marina of Gijon, with an amazing location at the center of the Old City boasts modern installations and is a key port for international sailing regattas. Gijon also enjoys a “green belt” around the city where you can enjoy nature and visit the city and surroundings by foot or by bike. Golf lovers can take advantage of the three public golf courses and one private one on the outskirts of the city.
Every August Gijon hosts the “International Show Jumping Competition», which is a wonderful opportunity to witness the best equestrians and their horses from all over the globe.
Other places of interest to visit would be the Botanical Gardens, The Aquarium and the outdoor Museum of the “Town of Asturias”.
Gijon is also an excellent city for shopping and night life as well as offering a great selection of eateries and restaurants from traditional to modern cuisine. The city is situated at the sea so you will find only the freshest seafood and fish. You might be quite surprised at some of the types of shellfish on offer!
The main festivals in Gijon include: The Begoña, on the 15th of August and the city is host to an International Cinema Festival; The Black Week, a week of festivals and cultural events dedicated to crime novels, and an International Trade Exhibition.
Gijon is a friendly city and very accessible for visitors with disabilities or those travelling with small children or the elderly.
More info: Gijon Tourist Office
If you want more information contact Where is Asturias at email@example.com
Images supplied by Tomás Fano and Guillermo Quiroga.