It is no secret that northern Spain is one of the most world-renowned gastronomic destinations. Gijón, lest we forget, is also the capital of the Costa Verde or “Green Coast”, the northern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Perhaps the proximity of the sea and mountains is the reason that all kinds of high quality produce can be found here in the region of Asturias. These include fish and shellfish, different meats and cheeses, and all kinds of dairy products, legumes, vegetables and fruits. All washed down with Asturias’ most popular drink, cider (sidra in Spanish).
In Gijón, it is easy to relish the finest of gastronomic experiences. Here you can enjoy tapas or their larger version called raciones in cider taverns, bars and merenderos (picnic restaurants) or dine at Michelin star restaurants. There are all sorts of possibilities for all tastes and budgets. In the old fishing quarter, overlooking the sea, among oak trees… with views and atmosphere thrown in.
Here, you can also take a sweet-toothed tour. Gijon has a first rate pastry-making tradition. What better plan for an afternoon to try different sweet specialties and, while you are at it, stroll around the city centre streets and discover museums, art galleries and local designer shops!
The Cider Trail and Festival
However, if there is something visitors must not miss, that is the culture revolving around cider. This is the only place in the world where cider is poured from a height. In the town’s cider bars, people share stories –and even tavern songs– accompanied by a bottle of cider and a tapa or two. But if you want to discover more about cider culture, it’s best to sign up for the Cider Trail, visit cider mills and learn about the cider-making process, from the orchard right through to tasting some at the end of the tour.
Having said all this, don’t forget to pencil in the last week of August in your diary. The 23rd Natural Cider Festival will be held from 22nd to 28th August. This is undoubtedly one of the major festive events in all of northern Spain. For a week, you can enjoy the Cider and Apple Market, cider-pouring contests, the Cider Bus and popular tastings of cider made at different mills dotted all over the region. And, like every year, you’ll be able to head for Poniente Beach to try and beat the world record for the simultaneous cider pouring.
How to get here
Now, getting to Gijón is easier than ever. Gijón is well linked via the Autopista del Cantábrico (A8) motorway to the border with France and viaAsturias Airport(with direct flights from London’s three major airports –Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted– and from other cities, via Madrid, Barcelona, Paris or Lisbon).
Don’t hesitate… come and discover Gijon. Northern Spain with Zest!