From Eating Asturias, the Encyclopedia of Asturian Gastronomy
Comarcas of Asturias
Comarcas of Asturias

Asturias is made up of roughly three regions, each corresponding to an area bounded by rivers. While in no way reflected in official or scholarly sources, this is my rough mental map of Asturias. I find it to be a useful way to think of the various parts of the region, and I hope it can help you to learn a bit more about the variation or experiences within Asturias. It can also be used to decide where you would like to spend your time in Asturias, as each region has it's own unique rhythm and flavor.

Western Asturias

Made up of the comarcas of Eo-Navia and Narcea, this is the area between the Eo river on the border with Galicia and the lower reaches of the Nalón river and the Trubia river above that.

This is farming country, and very sparsely populated. It contains the only wine region in Asturias, the DOP Cangas. If you want a bucolic setting with wineries and stone houses with slate roofs, this is where you should go.

Cangas del Narcea

The economic center of the western third of Asturias, Cangas del Narcea is home to the Cangas wine DOP, a number of wineries, and a wide variety of restaurants. It is an excellent place to base yourself when exploring the western third of Asturias.


Navia is a popular tourist destination, particularly among those looking for a slower, less crowded, beach experience. Known for it's dairy industry (cheese!), fishing port (seafood!), and unique desserts. The most populous beach town in western Asturias is still miles less crowded than most places in the north.


The pioneers of rural tourism in Spain, the people of Taramundi have transformed their sleepy farming village into a eaters and hikers paradise. The cuisine here revolves around locally caught freshwater fish, game meats, and garden vegetables. The cheese and meat market here is a sight to behold.

Central Asturias

Comprised of the comarcas of Avilés, Gijón, Oviedo, Caudal and Nalón, it lies between the Trubia and Sella rivers.

This is the industrial heart of Asturias, and the most densely populated area. All of the cities of Asturias are located here, as well as the majority of the cider llagares. This is the bustling center, in more ways than one. If you are looking for festivals, walkable cities, and nightlife, this is your jam.


Oviedo is the capital of Asturias, and the center of Asturian gastronomy. From the busiest daily food market in the region to the epicenter of sidrería culture, Oviedo is a gastronomic destination. From the oldest known document concerning food in the Iberian peninsula to the greatest concentration of pastry shops outside of Paris, you'll never be short of something good to eat or drink in Oviedo.


Gijón is the largest city in Asturias, and the oldest continuously inhabited place in the region, with the oldest settlement dating to the sixth century BCE. A very popular destination for Spanish tourists in Asturias, Gijón has the liveliest nightlife in the region, and the most craft beer bars. The downtown waterfront plays host to the largest cider festival in Asturias every August, and the traditional Asturian fish stew Caldereta was invented here in 1894.


Avilés is the somewhat forgotten third city of Asturias. While not on most tourist's itineraries, it boasts the prettiest casco antiguo (urban center) in Asturias, as well as the most innovative architectural space in the region, in the form of the Oscar Niemeyer center. Formerly an industrial powerhouse during the Asturian Coal Boom, Avilés is now a underrated destination with a wide variety of restaurants and sidrerías, including some of the best in all of Asturias. The port of Avilés is the largest fish market in Asturias, and the quality of seafood in town is impeccable.


Langreo is the fourth largest town in Asturias, and one of the most interesting. Formerly the center of the mining and steel industries in Asturias, it is in the midst of a post-industrial resurgence, with a large number of new and diverse restaurants opening, from wood fired pizza to excellent doner kebab. Langreo is notable for it's high concentration of craft beer bars and beer breweries, which sit side by side with some of the most traditional and welcoming sidrerías you will find anywhere. The yearly beer festival in Langreo is one of the largest in Spain, and one of the most fun.


The other big mining town, Mieres sits in the other mining valley from Langreo, and a friendly(?) rivalry between the inhabitants of these two valleys is a defining aspect of living in the cuencas mineras. Mieres is notable for having (in my opinion) the single nicest place to drink cider and eat pintxos in all of Asturias. Home to María Luisa García and Magdalena Alperi, and the birthplace of José Andrés, Mieres has no need to shout its culinary qualifications. Those in the know flock not just to the many traditional restaurants that line the pedestrianized downtown, but to the many hidden (and a few not so hidden) gems of cocina de autor that dot the surrounding hillside villages.

Eastern Asturias

Comprised entirely of the Oriente comarca, this is the are lying east of the river Sella, to the border with Cantabria.

This is cattle ranching Asturias, and the home of the world famous blue cheeses. It is also ground zero for active tourism in Asturias, with some of the best rock climbing and alpinism to be had in all of Spain. If you are looking for an international destination for outdoor pursuits, rugged landscapes, and "campervans welcome" signs, this is where you want to head.


Llanes is a very pretty (and popular) medieval fishing village. As a popular tourist destination, it can be crowded during the summer, but the vibe when every restaurant and bar in town is full and merry and the sun is down is something worth experiencing.

Arenas de Cabrales

If you have heard anything about Asturian food, it is probably Cabrales Cheese. This is where you can get up close and personal with it! The DOP headquarters is here in this charming vacation village, along with an excellent cheese cave tour, and the yearly Certame del Quesu Cabrales the last Sunday in August. For those who like to combine gluttonous eating and drinking with strenuous mountaineering, this is your place!