With around 27 million visitors annually, Barcelona is one of Spain’s most sought destinations.
While Bareclona’s beautiful beaches are a top reason for attracting so many visitors, it also means that summer is an overpopulated season.
And it doesn’t get much better in the south of Spain. Places like Malaga and Granada have their beaches packed with tourists and locals. Thus your best option for exploring Spain in the summer with fewer crowds and more sun is to head to places not everyone goes.
One of Spain’s best summer spots is Asturias. Here’s why it makes for a perfect summer destination.
Where is Asturias?
Asturias is an autonomous region of Spain located in the country’s northwestern part. There are three main areas that locals and tourists tend to visit, Oviedo, Gijon, and Aviles.
Most of the landscape has lush green mountain ranges and coastal hills. The region also borders the Atlantic coast, which offers many beach options.
What Asturias has to offer for summertime travel
Asturias receives heavy rain throughout the year, which is why it’s known to be a part of Green Spain. However, during the summer, the skies are sunny, with a comfortable average temperature of about 82 degrees Fahrenheit. And ocean waters are typically around 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Asturias is the place to be with its warm yet not exhaustingly hot weather.
Although Cadiz and Costa del Sol are known for their stunning beaches, Asturias has a variety of beautiful and lesser-known beaches to visit. Natural vegetation surrounds many beaches, so you won’t find many amenities. Yet, you will enjoy sunbathing on warm sand surrounded by beautiful green plants.
Here are some beach recommendations.
Campiecho Beach can be reached by foot or by car. Located in Valdes, Asturias, this beach is a pebble beach with strong waves.
Moro Beach is a small sandy beach in Navia popular with nudists.
Arnao Beach is a semi-urban beach with calm and dark blue waters.
Besides the beaches, Asturias has more to offer for a summer adventure. It is a region that has preserved ancient history through ancient cave art and the dinosaur coast.
There are five main caves with paleolithic rock art dating from 35,000 and 11,000 BCE. These caves include El Pindal, La Peña de Candamo, Llonín, La Covaciella, and Tito Bustillo.
Yet Asturias’s time travel adventures don’t stop there. Along the coastline of Gijón and Ribadesell, fossils and dinosaur footprints were found, which is how this area became the dinosaur coast. If you want to see the bones collected up close and personal, you can check out Asturia’s Jurassic Museum.
Great summertime cuisine
Asturias will not disappoint with their various food options that satisfy your hunger after a day of exploring.
A must-try is the cheese. Asturias is known for being the dairy region of Spain. Their most famous cheese is called cabrales, made from a mixture of cow, goat, and sheep milk. And if you love cheese, you can even visit dairy farms and ancient cheese caves.
Aren’t caves a useful and cool shelter from the summer heat?
Besides the delectable cheese, many more food options are available to please your taste buds. Asturias is also known for their stews. However, you’ll want to take advantage of the flavorful seafood during the summer months.
Some popular dishes include chipirones (fried squid), mariscada (a platter of local shellfish), and mejillones picantes (spicey mussels). After you enjoy these meals, wash them down with the famous Asturias dry ciders.
How to get to Asturias
Although Asturias is not on most tourists’ radars, it is simple to get to. There is only one international airport, Asturias Airport(OVD). Yet you can fly directly from major European cities such as London and Paris. There are also several domestic flights you can take from Madrid or Barcelona.
Once you land, you can easily explore the city by walking or using taxis and public transport.
Asturias can be your hidden gem if you’re looking for a summer getaway.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com