After our one night stop-off in Oviedo, it was time to head just a little bit farther north and get to the ocean. Gijón is easily accessible by bus from the main Oviedo station. The ticket cost about €2 and the journey was less than 30 minutes.
The sun was shining, there was no harsh wind off the sea, and the temperature was perfect for late February. We began our tour of the city by heading straight for the water, as anyone who lives in an inland city would do! There is something about reconnecting with the open sea and oceans that can reset a weary soul and rejuvenate a tired mind.
Playa de San Lorenzo
The main beach in Gijón is Playa de San Lorenzo, a beautiful stretch of sand in front of a busy part of the city. It is not incredibly touristy, which is a nice break from the overcrowded beaches full of tacky restaurants and surf shops that you find on the islands or the Mediterranean coasts. It is quaint, full of locals enjoying the sunshine with their dogs, and even surfers and paddle boarders in the wintertime.
Playa de Poniente
The other beach on the western side of the port is still a nice stretch of sand, although it is surrounded by a gritty, industrial backdrop. It is definitely the less popular of the two, but it was still nice to walk around and we had almost the entire thing to ourselves (probably because it was a drizzly day in February, but still!)
This place was the perfect spot for sunset cocktails. Even though it was an amazing atmosphere and right on the water, the prices were very reasonable. I had an awesome mojito, which was the perfect compliment to being near the beach and in the sunshine. I would highly recommend getting a cocktail at this bar if it is a nice evening, the sunset view through the port was beautiful.
Accommodation – Hotel Costa Verde
I don’t have any photos of our hotel room, but it was very spacious by European standards with a comfortable bed, full bathroom and it was connected to a bar/restaurant which was perfect. Hotel Costa Verde is right in the city center and is very reasonably priced, I would definitely recommend it as accommodation in Gijón. It’s only about a 10 minute walk to the beach from the hotel.
The seaport is one of the primary focal points of Gijón. Boats sit atop the glass-calm water and people walk around the perimeter, soaking up the sunshine. There was a giant tree fashioned out of empty cider bottles that we snapped a selfie at, admiring the different sailboats and yachts before we made our way to the beach.
While in Asturias – we were on a mission to try some Asturian cuisine, namely, Fabada and Cachopo. And a highly recommended, local place to do it is at Sidrería Tropical, located right off Playa de San Lorenzo.
Fabada Asturiana is Spanish bean stew, with pork shoulder, bacon, blood sausage, chorizo and saffron. It is super heavy and delicious, so I would highly recommend it if you are visiting Asturias and it is a cooler or rainy day. We split a big serving between the four of us and it was the perfect starter to our typical big Spanish lunch.
After we finished off the Fabada, it was time for Cachopo! Cachopo is not any lighter of a dish, it is two veal fillets, wrapped in ham and cheese and then covered in breadcrumbs and fried. It was incredible, but it is another thing I am so grateful I shared with three other girls.
To wash it all down, we had more Asturian cider but this time, instead of having a human pour each tiny glass, we got one of these adorable pourers for the table.
After our heavy calorie consumption of Fabada & Cachopo, the sluggish, food coma state began to overtake our bodies. We stopped in Toma 3 on our walk back to the hotel and had coffee & Bailey’s as an afternoon pick-me-up and it was excellent. The atmosphere of this bar/coffeeshop was fantastic, if I lived in Gijón I would certainly spend a lot of time here.
A weekend in Gijón is a must for anyone who is spending an extended period of time in Spain. Experiencing the change in climate as you go from the south to the north, drinking the amazing cider and eating all of the incredible dishes of Asturian cuisine, are all wonderful aspects of opting for a weekend here.