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This Asturian city is easily one of the most charming in northern Spain. Rich in history and culture, the historic city is crammed full of elegant architecture, charming cafes and traditional shops. Thanks to its hilltop location, it’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts too, with everything from hiking in the spring to skiing in the winter. Add to this a friendly atmosphere, delicious food and drink and easy access to the Bay of Biscay and its many picturesque fishing villages, and it isn’t hard to see why it’s such a hit with holidaymakers.
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Guide of Oviedo
Oviedo is a city in Asturias, located around 19 miles (30 km) from the Bay of Biscay in northern Spain. The city is perched on a hillside, squeezed between the Cantabrian Range, which makes for a very picturesque backdrop. The Nalon River, one of the most important rivers in the region, flows through the city.
Climate in Oviedo
Oviedo has a temperate maritime climate, with mild temperatures throughout the year. Summers are mild and winters are cool, with occasional snowfall in the mountains. Summer kicks off in June and lasts until September, with temperatures averaging 20-22°C. Occasional heat waves can push temperatures up to 30°C. Temperatures during winter months vary between 6-10°C.
Oviedo also experiences more rainfall than you might expect throughout the year, hence its lush green landscape and verdant parks and gardens. The rainiest months to visit are October, November and December.
Oviedo’s culture is rooted in Asturian customs and modern European influences. Asturias has its own language, which is recognized as the region’s co-official language along with Spanish. This distinctive Asturian culture is celebrated in the city’s food, dance and music.
The city also has a strong tradition of art and literature, with dozens of museums and galleries scattered across the city celebrating its artistic heritage. Like many Spanish cities, Oviedo celebrates several festivals throughout the year. San Mateo, in September, involves concerts, traditional dancing and fireworks.
Things To Do in Oviedo
Meander around the historic old town
Oviedo’s charming old town is a maze of winding cobbled streets, colourful buildings and lively cafes and shops. The Plaza del Fonta is the spiritual and social heart of the city and is always bustling with activity. Don’t miss the covered market, which is crammed full of fresh fruit and vegetables, cured meats and local goodies.
Catch a performance at the Campoamor Theatre
Named after the famous Asturian poet Ramon de Campoamor, this 19th-century theatre is an excellent example of Neo-baroque architecture and is widely considered one of the most important cultural landmarks in the city. Visitors can explore the building on a guided tour or by catching a performance.
Get up close to masterpieces at the Museum of Fine Arts Asturias
The Museo de Bellas Artes houses an impressive collection of paintings, sculptures and other artworks dating back to the 14th century. Highlights include works by some of Spain’s most prolific artists, including Goya, El Greco and Picasso. The permanent collection is split into a handful of galleries and there are temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
Sit back and relax in the botanical garden
The Jardin Botanico Atlantico is a 25-acre tranquil oasis right in the heart of the city. The gardens encompass a variety of themed sections, including an ‘Atlantic Forest’, ‘Sensory Garden’, ‘Japanese Garden’ and ‘Rose Garden’. It’s the perfect place for a peaceful stroll after a long lunch or morning pounding the pavements. The gardens host a variety of cultural and educational activities throughout the year too.
Eating Out in Oviedo
Oviedo is beloved for its traditional Asturian cuisine. Local dishes are heavily influenced by the surrounding countryside and usually feature fresh game, seafood, dairy and vegetables. You’ll find dishes and delicacies like fabada (a hearty bean stew), cachopo (a stuffed meat dish) and sidra (Asturaian cider) on most menus.
The city is also famous for its cider, which is poured from a height to aerate the drink, create fizz and bring out its flavours. It’s one of the main cider-producing regions in Spain and visitors can sample different varieties at the city’s many bars and cider houses. There’s even a festival – Fiesta de la Sidra Natural – dedicated to the local tipple.
Oviedo is brimming with lively and low-key tapas bars and restaurants, so it’s easy to eat well in the city. While there aren’t any Michelin-starred restaurants in the city, there are plenty of fine dining options. Salazogue Bistronomie is one of the best. It encompasses an informal tapas bar which is particularly popular at aperitif time and an eclectic bistro where guests can order a la carte or from a set menu.
The nearest airport to Oviedo is Asturias Airport (OVD). It is located 29 miles (47 km) northwest of Oviedo and is served by both domestic and international flights. The journey takes around 30-40 minutes by car. ALSA, the local bus network, runs a semi-regular service between the city centre and the airport that takes around 45 minutes and costs €8-10.
Getting around Oviedo
Oviedo is a compact city and you can reach most of its main sights on foot. Alternatively, for speedier transportation, you could opt to cycle. There are several bike rental services in the city, as well as dedicated bike paths and bike lanes. There is no train station but the city operates an efficient bus network that connects most major attractions for a fee of €1.25 per journey.
However, if you’re planning on exploring the surrounding areas, we recommend hiring a car. Public transport to more rural locations and smaller towns can be unreliable. Transfers are expensive too. Driving will give you the flexibility and freedom to some of the region’s lesser-explored spots at your own pace.