Asturias, Spain

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Asturias, Spain: All You Need To Know

Reviewed by Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen is the Live and Invest Overseas Founding Publisher. She has more than 30 years of hands-on experience traveling, living, and buying property around the world.

Oviedo Cathedral and Regenta statue in Asturias. oviedo spain
Adobe Stock/ lunamarina

Asturias, Spain, is one of the most historically filled regions of Spain.

The autonomous community of Asturias was one of the first Christian kingdoms with 12 kings, founded in the 8th century by Visigoth nobles after the Muslim invasion of Spain.

Asturias, Spain, has a lot of variety to offer, given its 78 municipalities, its beaches surrounded by mountains regions, and its natural reserves and national parks. Plus, if you are looking for somewhere full of history, near the ocean with a temperate climate, and with outdoor activities, then Asturias is the place for you.

While there are plenty of nature, mountain, and ocean related things to do in Asturias, Spain, bear in mind that the lifestyle is also very relaxing depending on which city you decide to live in, making Asturias an ideal place for retirement.

Here is everything you need to know about Asturias, Spain…

Cost Of Living In Asturias, Spain

Gijon Marina in Asturias, Spain
Adobe Stock/saiko3p

The cost of living in Asturias, Spain, depends on which city you decide to live in.

Since the region of Asturias varies so much from place to place, it is easier to focus on the cost of living in Oviedo, the capital of Asturias. Prices are extremely comparable between the cities of Asturias.

The largest city, and the main seaport of Asturias, Gijón, is only slightly more expensive than Oviedo.

And, the third largest city and the industrial town of Avilés is slightly cheaper than Oviedo overall.

The cost of living in Oviedo, Asturias, is much cheaper than big cities in the United States and is itself cheaper than Barcelona and only slightly more expensive than Málaga (one of the cheapest destinations in Spain).

For reference, a family of four can live on US$3,000 up to US$3,500 per month. A single person living in Asturias can get by on around US$1,000 to US$1,500 per month.

Oviedo, Spain, is a little more inland than Gijón and Avilés, which are coastal towns.

The center of Oviedo is an old town full of historical and architectural value, which makes it more expensive than living outside of the city center.

Rent in Asturias (using Oviedo as a reference) usually runs you approximately US$500 to US$1,500 per month in the city center (a one-bedroom apartment will be on the lower end of the range, while a three-bedroom apartment will be towards the higher end of the range).

Outside of the city center, the prices drop, although you are a little further away from all the main attractions and amenities that the town will have to offer.

You can expect to pay between US$450 and US$800 per month (depending on the size of the apartment and the neighborhood you choose).

Depending on which city you decide to live in in Asturias, your monthly utility fees will vary slightly. Your basic utilities (water, gas, electric, etc.) will most likely range between US$110 and US$280 per month (with prices in Oviedo averaging out at US$150 per month).

Your monthly internet bill (for a good internet service) averages US$40 per month.

Given how far most of the fun things to do in Asturias are from each other (other than things to do within each town themselves), it would be a good idea to get a car.

You can easily get around using the local transportation systems and taxis, however, it would just make life easier to be able to have the freedom of driving to the beach, or a national park, or one of the many cave and river systems.

You can find new cars for sale in Oviedo, Spain, starting around US$28,000 (a new Toyota Corolla Sedan or similar).

When it comes to groceries in Asturias, a great point of reference is the essentials: a gallon of milk costs around US$4, a loaf of bread costs about US$1, and a dozen eggs will run you approximately US$2.50.

If you enjoy eating out, you can do so very cheaply in Asturias and get great quality food for the price. An inexpensive meal will be anywhere between US$10 and US$15. For a nicer three course meal for two people, you can expect to pay upwards of US$40.

Look at the currency exchange, here.

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Things To Do In Asturias

Taramundi, Asturias, Spain
Adobe Stock/Gretel

There are a great deal of activities and things to do in Asturias, Spain. Depending on which city you call your home base, your daily extravaganzas will vary slightly.

It is very easy to maneuver about the region of Asturias and you will always have access to exciting new things to do.

The main things to do in Asturias are go to the beach and enjoy the temperate climate while basking in the sun, visit the geysers and slew of sea caverns on the coast, visit the national parks and reserves, visit the cave systems inland, and partake in the many river activities that are offered.

Before getting into specifics about each town and the amenities the Asturias region has to offer, it is important to note the thing that Asturias is most famous for: its cheese.

Asturias is known as the País de Quesos, or Country of Cheese. The dairy products in this region, particularly the milk, cheese, and yoghurt are well renowned. One of the most notable cheeses on offer is cabrales (made from cow, goat, and sheep milk, it is a creamy blue cheese).

As a result, there is a cheese route you can travel on, where you can learn about the dairy products from the actual farms and visit ancient cave systems where the cheese is aged.

Speaking of cave systems, this is one of the most notable attractions that Asturias has to offer.

Most of these caverns are scattered throughout Asturias. But, with a car and Oviedo as your home base, everything is an hour or less away within the region itself.

Some of the more noteworthy cave systems to visit in Asturias include Cueva Pindal, Cueva de La Peña de Candamo, La Cuevona, etc. There are plenty of caves to visit, and you can go on your own and pay the small entrance fee (less than US$4, or free in some cases), or take a day trip as part of a tour.

You can see cave paintings, beautiful rock formations, learn about the history of the area and how the caves came to be, and it is a great outing for the whole family.

The prices will vary depending on what else the tour offers, but generally are anywhere between US$50 and US$100 per person (don’t forget to tip your guides).

Staying inland, Asturias, Spain, also offers amazing lake visits (the Covadonga Lakes), which you can visit at the same time as Cangas de Onís (a municipality part of the national park Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa, as well as holding immense historical value and locations).

In the municipality of Cangas de Onís, you can see the first church built after the conquest of Iberia, and old stone bridges and buildings. You can also visit the nearby caves, the wildlife (notably brown bears, Cantabrian Chamois, or goat-antelopes, and various eagles and vultures), and partake in the local gastronomy found in the national park.

Heading back towards the coast of Asturias, be sure to stop by Oviedo and visit the old town full of wonderful architecture, having been changed and added onto throughout the centuries, and walk around to visit the beautiful churches.

But, once you get to Gijón or Avilés, you will be able to enjoy the beaches that you were promised on the Cantabrian Sea.

While Asturias may be heavily focused on nature’s bounty and the fun that comes with it, don’t forget to visit the local art museums, take a ghost story tour, or partake in the self-guided Sherlock Holmes Gijón city game.

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Moving And Visas

Moving to Asturias, Spain, only depends on where you want to be.

Do you prefer being closer to nature and higher up in the mountains? Do you like being right on the coast and as close to the beach as possible? Do you want a city that is more developed and fuller of museums and culture rather than living in a cottage in the country?

Living in Asturias offers all these options and more, it just depends on your palate.

Getting to Asturias, Spain, you will most likely land in the airport near Avilés if you are not arriving by train, car, or bus from somewhere else in Spain or Europe.

The Asturias International Airport is about a 20-minute car ride to Avilés (the taxi fare costs anywhere from US$30 to US$45), about a 30-minute drive to Gijón, and a 35-minute drive to Oviedo.

Living in Oviedo, the capital of Asturias, you will be living in a town full of old charm, full of medieval and gothic churches, with palaces, a fine arts museum, and an elaborate Spanish art collection. You will also be closer to the national parks, as well as the mountainside and lifestyle.

For those who would rather live on the coast, then Gijón or Avilés are the best bet.

You will have access to the seaside and all the wonders that come with living near a beach, you will have access to a concert hall in Gijón and the vast fishermen history of the city, and in Avilés you will discover wonders and a long and great heritage of the city (hidden away beneath the preconceived notions of this industrial town).

Getting residency in Asturias and Spain is very straightforward if you are already a European Union citizen. You can also just visit Spain on a tourist visa for up to 90 days.

But, if you are not an E.U. citizen, then getting residency and visas in Spain is harder, but still a fairly simple process. If you wish to know more about your residency options in Spain, then click here.

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Weather In Asturias, Spain

The weather in Asturias, Spain, is that of a maritime climate protected by a vast mountain range. This means that you will rarely get big heatwaves like you do in the rest of Spain, and you will often be on the cooler side in this luscious and green environment.

There is often wind in Asturias, which attracts surfers to its beaches and adds to the coolness of the weather.

For example, the average temperature throughout the year is around 68°F (20°C).

During the summer, rain is less frequent than it is during the winter.

Winter season in Asturias means you can find an abundance of snow in the more mountainy areas, so be sure to put your skiing goggles on.

The highest peak in the Asturias region is the Torrecerredo mountain at 2,648 meters.

Fog can roll in all year round and is quite frequent, adding to the mysticism and charm of the region.

It gets colder during the winter, and you can consider Asturias to be a very seasonal destination. In short, there will still be plenty to do no matter what time of year you decide to visit Asturias, just be sure to pack accordingly.

In the winter, the temperature can hit as low as 44°F (7°C) and as high as 60°F (15°C).

The summer in Asturias sees those temperatures rise as high as 74°F (23°C) and dip as low as 60°F (15°C).

The best time to visit Asturias is during the summer from June to August.

Keep in mind that there are some activities you can only do in the cold weather and that at Christmas time, Asturias transforms into a winter wonderland.

Asturias, Spain, FAQs

Is Asturias, Spain, Worth Visiting?

No matter what you are looking for in your vacation, move overseas, or retirement plan, Asturias will have something that fits the bill if you enjoy cooler weather, mountainous countryside, and great beaches.

For the curious natured people out there, there is plenty of spelunking to do, history to discover, and wonders waiting for you in Asturias.

What Is Asturias Known For?

Asturias is known amongst the locals of Spain as being a well-renowned cheese producing region. If you enjoy cheese tapas, then you should visit Asturias.

Beyond their world class cheese, Asturias is also known for its historical significance on the Iberian coast, its great beaches, and its natural wonders.

Is Asturias, Spain, A Good Place To Retire?

Retiring to Asturias, Spain, will be the best decision you have made if you have a sense of adventure, love charming old towns, beautiful mountain regions, a coast full of wonders.

Even if all you are looking for is to immerse yourself in the town you choose to retire to and read while staring at beautiful architecture, then you will love Asturias.

Why Should Americans Move To Asturias?

Americans should move to Asturias if they want to finally go on their European adventure on a beautiful alpine coast.

Also, you will find plenty of expats to make the transition to your new lifestyle smoother in bigger cities such as Oviedo or Gijón, and you will always be made to feel welcome by the locals.

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