Visit Asturias

From Eating Asturias, the Encyclopedia of Asturian Gastronomy


If you are visiting Asturias, you need to know where to go, what to see, and most importantly, what to eat and drink! Especially if it is your first visit. I have written at length about the reasons you should visit Asturias. Here I want to share with you what in Asturias you should go see.

Where To Go

Main Article: A Complete Guide to the Regions of Asturias

The first thing to do is to decide where you want to go in Asturias. Do you want a cosmopolitan city adventure, mountainous hiking and cheese making, or bucolic farmlands and ancient fishing villages? Or maybe you have time and want all three?

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.

What To See and Do

Once you are in Asturias, and have chosen a general area to concentrate on, you need some things to see and do.

Markets

Main Article: Asturian Markets

Every day of the week in Asturias is market day somewhere. In addition to the large central markets in the main cities, Asturias has multiple markets every day of the week. Add in organic produce markets, seasonal markets, the ever-popular winter medieval markets, and a couple of Christmas events, and you have a very full market calendar. Indeed, it is so full that I have made both an index to Asturian Markets and an interactive map for finding the closest markets to where you are in Asturias.

Calendar of Events

Main Article: Event Calendar

I also maintain a food events calendar for Asturias. I strive to keep it updated with all of the upcoming food, cider, beer, wine, and craft events going on across Asturias. From huge yearly events like Gijón Cider Festival to small local events like village fiestas, I collect them all here.

Tours

Main Article: English Language Tours of Asturias

I offer guided tours of Asturias in English for travelers who want to delve a little deeper into the local food culture while visiting Asturias. I offer both walking tours of the cities and towns of Asturias, as well as destination trips to specific artisan producers, fishing villages, and other gastronomic destinations.

What To Eat and Drink

Bakeries

Main Article: A Guide to Baked Goods and Pastry in Asturias

Asturians are spoilt for choice when it comes to excellent pastry shops. And if there is a place in Spain with a bigger sweet tooth than Asturias, I've certainly not seen it. Indulge your sweet tooth at one of the best pastry shops in the region.

Cheese Makers

Main Article: Cheese Makers

Asturias not only has an astounding number of cheeses, the vast majority of them are made by small artisan producers. A concerted effort has been going on since the 1980's to save traditional cheese making in Asturias. That has now been expanded in the 21st century into a thriving sector innovating and developing new cheeses.

Cider Makers

Main Article: Llagares

Not only does Asturias drink more cider per capita than anywhere else in the world, it has a culture of very serious devotion to its small local producers. I am on a mission to visit, catalog, and report on every single one of the more than 100 llagares in Asturias.

Craft Brewers

Main Article: Breweries

Craft brewing is a relatively new, and still very niche, thing in Spain in general, and Asturias specifically. However, Asturias has more than two dozen operating craft breweries, and multiple excellent annual beer festivals. I am actively supporting all of them with my euros. You should to.

Charcuterie

Main Article: Asturian Sausages

Along with Cheese and Cider, Charcuterie is the third pillar of Asturian gastronomy. With dozens (if not hundreds) of small producers of a variety of sausages, some found nowhere else, visiting a sausage maker should be on everyone's gastronomic to do list when touring Asturias.

Bars

Main Article: Bars

From sedate craft beer temples with ample outdoor seating, to crowded all-night spots with pounding music, to comfortable all-day boozers with card tables and slot machines or upscale vermuterías, Asturias has a wide variety of bars. These are my favorites.

Restaurants

Main Article: Guide To Eating Well In Asturias

From the usual (Michelin starred) suspects to hidden gems tucked away between factories, I am on the hunt for the best places to eat in Asturias. IF you know where to look, some of the best food in all of Spain is available for prices that will have you asking if they forgot to charge you for half of it.

Sidrerías

Main Article: The Cider House Rules

The cider houses of Asturias are a unique experience, and one you should not miss on your trip. Where plentiful seafood and upland cattle come together in a "surf and turf" like nowhere else, and the cider never stops flowing, you're in for a dining treat. I am completely in love with this very special type of restaurant, and these are my favorite examples.