The Council and town of Grado are situated at the centre of Asturias and is well located being just 15 minutes from the city of Oviedo and less than 30 minutes from Asturias airport and also some very fine beaches.
The Council represents the starting point (or finishing point) of the Camino Real de la Mesa (Royal Route of the |Table). This pre-Romanic route was one of the busiest routes between Asturias and the central plateau of Spain and serviced the community up to the 19th century. There are still traces of the Roman roads winding through the hills, meadows and along the River Nalon.
The neighbouring Council of Yernes & Tameza is located higher in the mountains above Grado and is ethnographically interesting and with great panoramic views. Here you can find the picturesque brañas asturianas which are gorgeous meadows and pasturelands with very characteristic clusters of Stone Mountain cabins, such as El Gato and Senra.
Both councils offer amazing landscapes, forests and villages with very fertile terrain and a great farming land. It’s because of this Grado and Yernes/Tameza have become known as the market garden of Asturias supplying fresh fruit, vegetables and diary products to the entire region and beyond.
Grado has a commercial tradition from medieval times which still remains to this day. The town hosts the very popular country market on Wednesdays and especially on Sundays when farmers, craftsman and other providers sell their products in the centre of the village in a very nice, colourful and picturesque market experience.
The town of Grado is built around a historic centre with monuments such as the Palace of Miranda Valdecarzana from the 18th century or the Baroque chapel of Los Dolores. Grado also has some very fine houses and palaces designed in “Indiano”or south Americian architecture. There was large scale emigration from Asturias at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twenty to the Americas, especially Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela and the US. The emigrants brought back a very cosmopolitan and American styled architecture which can be seen throughout the region.
Grado is also a part of the “Primitive Route” of the “Route of Santiago” which starts in Oviedo and passes through the town offering a great place for pilgrims to stock up on essentials or take a rest bite from walking A few short kilometres away from Grado are the towns of San Juan de Villapañada and Cabruñana where you will find a Pilgrim hostel which is an ideal location to rest up for the night. As you enter Grado from Oviedo you will find the village of Peñaflor where you can see the Church of San Roman with original Romanic features and the picturesque 12th century bridge crossing the river Nalon.
In Grado, Yernes and Tameza there are many routes but one of the most important is the Natural Monument of the Maravio Pass. You are also less than 30 minutes away from the Route of the Bear (La Senda de Oso). The closest beaches in the area are the ones of Castrillón on the Asturian West Coast where you find many fine beaches and access multiple sporting activities. The Council of Grado is also just beside the Nalon River where you can enjoy or fishing and canoeing.
Grado is very well known by its Roller-Skate Hockey Team “Club Patin Areces” which is one of the most emblematic sports organizations of the region due to many national and international victories of their teams positioned in the highest leagues in Spain. The club also has a very good roller skate school.
The Gastronomy of Grado is a classic Asturian fare offering very nice vegetables, stews, Asturian reared beef and nice fish from the rivers and sea and delicious desserts. Many of the surrounding towns of Grado produce tasty organic bread called Pan d’escanda which is bread made traditionally from Spelt wheat. One of the most popular cheeses of the area is Afuega’l pitu (which translates as “choke the chicken”), which is highly regarded amongst Asturias as it goes great with cider.
For those with a sweet tooth you can not visit Grado without trying the very famous “Tocinillo de Cielo” of Grado which is a very sweet dessert made by egg yolks and sugar.
If you want to know more about the Camin Real de la Mesa you can read this article written by Paul Richardson for the english newspaper The Guardian: Secrets of Spain on a road less travelled.
More info: Grado Tourist Office
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