Asturias - The City
Oviedo, capital of the Principality of Asturias, is a lively university town and has been one of northern Spain’s most important industrial cities since the 19th century, thanks to nearby coal mines. In and around the city are relics of earlier eras. This including many pre-Romanesque churches and other buildings dating from the 8th to the 10th centuries, when Asturias was one of the few regions of Christian Spain to remain unconquered by the Moors who occupied most of the rest of the Iberian peninsula. The region’s three major cities – Oviedo, Aviles and Gijon – are all within 20 km of each other and less than an hour’s drive from the airport, which is also close to the region’s Atlantic beaches. The region was a cradle of prehistoric civilisation, and remarkable cave paintings may be seen at the Cueva de Tito Bustillo in Ribadesella.Almost one-third of the region has been designated as a region of outstanding natural beauty and four nature reserves have been given UNESCO Biosphere status.There are comfortable three- and four-star hotels in Oviedo, Aviles and Gijon, as well as good quality hotels close to the region’s best beaches and numerous small and friendly, family-run guesthouses and pensions in the countryside.