Unveiling Gijón: 15 Hidden Gems Beyond the Tourist Trail

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Welcome to our insider’s guide to Gijón, a city located in the picturesque coast of Asturias, Spain. While Gijón is renowned for its stunning beaches, rich history, and vibrant culture, there’s much more to discover beyond the well-trodden tourist paths. Join us as we unveil 15 hidden gems that showcase the true essence of this enchanting city.

From charming historic quarters to serene botanical gardens, secluded beaches to intriguing museums, Gijón’s hidden treasures offer a glimpse into its lesser-known but equally captivating side. Whether you’re a curious traveler seeking authentic experiences or a local looking to uncover new gems in your own backyard, this guide is your key to unlocking the secrets of Gijón.

Join us on a journey off the beaten path as we explore the diverse landscapes, cultural heritage, and hidden delights that make Gijón a destination worth discovering. Get ready to wander through winding streets, soak up stunning views, and immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of life that awaits in this coastal gem of northern Spain.

Gijon from far 1

The 15 Hidden Gems

  1. Cimadevilla Quarter: While not entirely hidden, this historic fishing quarter often gets overlooked by tourists. It boasts narrow streets, charming buildings, and great seafood restaurants.
  2. Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura: This vast cultural complex hosts exhibitions, concerts, and events in a striking modernist building. It’s worth exploring for its architecture alone.
  3. Jardín Botánico Atlántico: The Atlantic Botanical Garden is a serene escape from the city, featuring a diverse collection of flora from the Atlantic region.
  4. Playa de Estaño: A tranquil beach nestled between cliffs, offering stunning views and a peaceful atmosphere away from the crowds.
  5. Museo Evaristo Valle: This small museum showcases the works of local artist Evaristo Valle in a beautiful setting surrounded by gardens.
  6. Cerro de Santa Catalina: While the hill itself is popular for its panoramic views, hidden gems include the Elogio del Horizonte sculpture and a small secluded beach.
  7. Barrio de Contrueces: A residential neighborhood with colorful murals adorning its buildings, providing a unique outdoor art gallery experience.
  8. Plaza del Marqués: This charming square is lined with cafes and shops, perfect for a leisurely stroll and people-watching.
  9. Museo Casa Natal de Jovellanos: Birthplace of Spanish Enlightenment thinker Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos, this museum offers insights into his life and works.
  10. Paseo del Muro: A picturesque promenade along the seafront, ideal for a peaceful walk or bike ride with views of the coastline.
  11. Mercado de Begoña: This local market offers fresh produce, seafood, and traditional Asturian delicacies, providing an authentic culinary experience.
  12. Iglesia de San Pedro: A lesser-known church with a fascinating history and beautiful interior featuring Baroque and Gothic elements.
  13. Parque Arqueológico Natural de la Campa Torres: Explore the remains of an ancient Celtic settlement and Roman villa in this archaeological park overlooking the sea.
  14. La Guía Lighthouse: While not exactly hidden, this historic lighthouse offers breathtaking views and a peaceful atmosphere away from the bustling city center.
  15. Piscina de agua salada de Poniente: A seawater swimming pool located near the beach of Poniente, offering a refreshing alternative to the ocean with stunning views of the coastline.

These hidden gems offer a glimpse into the diverse and vibrant culture of Gijón, inviting visitors to explore beyond the typical tourist attractions.

Let’s explore this marvellous city with a 3-day itinerary

Day 1: Discovering Hidden Gems

Morning:

Breakfast at Café Xana: Start your day with a hearty breakfast at Café Xana, a cozy café tucked away in the charming streets of Cimadevilla. Try the “Tostada con Tomate y Jamón,” a classic Spanish breakfast of toasted bread topped with tomato and ham.

Exploring Cimadevilla: Spend the morning wandering through the historic streets of Cimadevilla, discovering hidden corners, colorful buildings, and local artisan shops.

Afternoon:

Lunch at El Planeta: Enjoy lunch at El Planeta, a hidden gem of a restaurant located near the marina, known for its fresh seafood and traditional Asturian dishes. Don’t miss the “Fabada Asturiana,” a hearty bean stew with chorizo and morcilla.

Museo Evaristo Valle: After lunch, visit the Museo Evaristo Valle, tucked away in the tranquil countryside just outside of Gijón. Explore the museum’s collection of artworks by local artist Evaristo Valle, surrounded by lush gardens and scenic views.

Evening:

Dinner at La Pondala: For dinner, dine at La Pondala, a hidden gem of a restaurant in the residential neighborhood of Somió. Indulge in Asturian specialties like “Cachopo,” a breaded and fried beef or pork cutlet stuffed with cheese and ham.

Stargazing at Cerro de Santa Catalina: End your day with a visit to Cerro de Santa Catalina, where you can enjoy a peaceful evening stroll and admire the stars twinkling over the city and the sea.

Day 2: Coastal Exploration and Cultural Delights

Morning:

Breakfast at La Galana: Start your day with breakfast at La Galana, a charming café overlooking Playa de San Lorenzo. Try their “Tarta de Manzana,” a delicious Asturian apple cake.

Coastal Walk to Playa de Estaño: Take a leisurely coastal walk from Playa de San Lorenzo to Playa de Estaño, enjoying the stunning views of the sea and the rugged coastline along the way.

Afternoon:

Picnic at Playa de Estaño: Pack a picnic lunch and spend the afternoon relaxing on Playa de Estaño, a secluded beach nestled between cliffs. Take a dip in the refreshing waters and soak up the tranquility of this hidden gem.

Visit Iglesia de San Pedro: After lunch, visit Iglesia de San Pedro, a lesser-known church with a fascinating history and beautiful interior featuring Baroque and Gothic elements.

Evening:

Dinner at El Llar de Viri: For dinner, head to El Llar de Viri, a cozy restaurant in the heart of Gijón’s city center, known for its traditional Asturian cuisine with a modern twist. Try the “Pulpo a la Sidra,” tender octopus cooked in Asturian cider.

Nightcap at Barrio de Cimavilla: End your day with a leisurely stroll through Barrio de Cimavilla, soaking up the lively atmosphere of this historic neighborhood. Stop by a local bar for a nightcap and mingle with the friendly locals.

Day 3: Cultural Immersion and Culinary Delights

Morning:

Breakfast at Mercado de Begoña: Start your day with breakfast at Mercado de Begoña, sampling fresh produce, seafood, and traditional Asturian delicacies from the local market stalls.

Explore Barrio de Contrueces: After breakfast, explore Barrio de Contrueces, a residential neighborhood known for its colorful murals adorning the buildings. Take a self-guided walking tour to discover these hidden works of art.

Afternoon:

Lunch at Asador La Bolera: Enjoy lunch at Asador La Bolera and try their “Cachopo de ternera” among other dishes. Take it slowly to enjoy the best of the Asturian cuisine.

Visit Piscina de agua salada de Poniente: After lunch, cool off with a swim at Piscina de agua salada de Poniente, a seawater swimming pool located near the beach of Poniente. Relax and soak up the sun while enjoying the stunning views of the coastline.

Evening:

Farewell Toast at Plaza Mayor: End your culinary journey with a farewell toast at Plaza Mayor, raising a glass of Asturian cider to the memories made during your time in Gijón. Cheers to hidden gems, delicious food, and unforgettable experiences!

This itinerary offers a perfect blend of exploration, relaxation, and gastronomic delights, allowing you to immerse yourself fully in the hidden treasures of Gijón.

Unveiling Gijón: 15 Hidden Gems Beyond the Tourist Trail

Within the Hidden Gems: What to explore

Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura

Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura, also known as Laboral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, is a cultural complex. It is housed in the historic building of the Laboral University, which was once an industrial school and later became a university. The complex has been transformed into a vibrant cultural center, offering a wide range of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

What you can do and see

These are some of the details about Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura:

  1. Exhibitions: Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura hosts rotating exhibitions featuring contemporary art, photography, design, and multimedia installations. Visitors can explore thought-provoking artworks from both local and international artists.
  2. Concerts and Performances: The complex regularly hosts concerts, theater performances, dance shows, and other cultural events in its auditoriums and performance spaces. It’s a great opportunity to experience live entertainment and discover new talents.
  3. Artistic Workshops and Courses: Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura offers a variety of artistic workshops and courses for all ages and skill levels. From painting and sculpture to digital art and multimedia design, there’s something for everyone to unleash their creativity.
  4. Cultural Events and Festivals: Throughout the year, Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura organizes cultural events and festivals celebrating music, film, literature, and more. These events often feature guest speakers, screenings, book readings, and interactive activities.
  5. Guided Tours: Visitors can join guided tours of the complex to learn about its history, architecture, and cultural significance. Explore the iconic buildings, including the impressive Laboral University chapel, and gain insights into the transformation of the site into a dynamic cultural hub.
  6. Café and Restaurant: Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura has a café and restaurant where visitors can enjoy delicious meals, snacks, and beverages in a stylish setting. It’s the perfect spot to relax and refuel after exploring the exhibitions and attending events.
  7. Gardens and Outdoor Spaces: The complex is surrounded by beautiful gardens and outdoor spaces, providing a tranquil oasis in the heart of the city. Take a leisurely stroll, admire the sculptures and landscaping, or simply soak up the sunshine on a bench.
  8. Architectural Highlights: Architectural enthusiasts will appreciate the stunning design of the Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura complex, which combines industrial heritage with contemporary aesthetics. Don’t miss the opportunity to admire the grandeur of the buildings and the attention to detail in their construction.

Visiting Laboral Ciudad de la Cultura is a must for anyone interested in art, culture, and creativity. Whether you’re attending an exhibition, enjoying a concert, or simply exploring the grounds, you’re sure to be inspired by the diverse array of experiences offered at this dynamic cultural center in Gijón.

Unveiling Gijón: 15 Hidden Gems Beyond the Tourist Trail

Jardín Botánico Atlántico

The Jardín Botánico Atlántico (Atlantic Botanical Garden) is a beautiful botanical garden if you are a nature lover, a gardening enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, a visit to the Jardín Botánico Atlántico offers a memorable experience surrounded by the beauty of the natural world.

What you can do and see

  1. Explore Diverse Plant Collections: The Jardín Botánico Atlántico boasts an extensive collection of plant species native to the Atlantic region. Wander through themed gardens showcasing flora from different habitats, including forests, wetlands, and coastal areas.
  2. Discover Rare and Endangered Species: The botanical garden is home to a wide range of rare and endangered plant species, many of which are part of conservation efforts to preserve biodiversity. Keep an eye out for unique and unusual plants that are not commonly found elsewhere.
  3. Educational Interpretation: Learn about the importance of plant conservation, environmental sustainability, and ecological awareness through informative signage, interactive exhibits, and guided tours led by knowledgeable staff members.
  4. Enjoy Scenic Walks: Take leisurely walks along the garden’s winding pathways, enjoying the serene beauty of nature and the tranquil atmosphere. Pause to admire scenic viewpoints, tranquil ponds, and picturesque landscapes along the way.
  5. Photography Opportunities: Bring your camera and capture the natural beauty of the botanical garden, from colorful flowers and lush greenery to striking architectural features and panoramic views. Photography enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities to capture stunning images.
  6. Relaxation and Reflection: Find a peaceful spot to sit and relax amidst the natural surroundings, whether it’s a secluded bench overlooking a garden vista or a quiet corner shaded by trees. Take time to unwind, meditate, or simply enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.
  7. Participate in Workshops and Events: The Jardín Botánico Atlántico offers a variety of workshops, lectures, and special events throughout the year, covering topics such as gardening, botany, and environmental conservation. Check the garden’s schedule for upcoming events and activities.
  8. Visit the Visitor Center and Gift Shop: Stop by the visitor center to pick up maps, brochures, and information about the garden’s attractions and facilities. Browse the gift shop for souvenirs, books, and botanical-themed gifts to remember your visit.
  9. Picnic Areas: Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a meal amidst the natural beauty of the botanical garden. Several designated picnic areas offer tables, benches, and scenic surroundings for a leisurely outdoor dining experience.
  10. Accessibility Features: The garden is accessible to visitors of all abilities, with paved pathways, wheelchair ramps, and other accessibility features to ensure everyone can enjoy the beauty of the botanical garden.

Museo Evaristo Valle

The Museo Evaristo Valle is a cultural institution located in Gijón, Asturias, Spain, dedicated to the life and works of the renowned Asturian painter Evaristo Valle. When visiting Gijón, a trip to the Museo Evaristo Valle offers a unique opportunity to explore the artistic heritage of Asturias and discover the captivating works of one of its most celebrated painters.

What you can see and do

  1. Art Exhibitions: The museum houses a permanent collection of artworks by Evaristo Valle, showcasing his diverse artistic style and thematic interests. Explore a rich selection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures spanning Valle’s career, from his early works to his later masterpieces.
  2. Temporary Exhibitions: In addition to the permanent collection, the Museo Evaristo Valle hosts temporary exhibitions featuring contemporary artists, thematic retrospectives, and special collaborations. Check the museum’s schedule for upcoming exhibitions and events.
  3. Historic Mansion: The museum is housed in a beautiful historic mansion surrounded by lush gardens and scenic countryside. Explore the elegant rooms, grand hallways, and architectural details of the mansion, which provide a fitting backdrop for the artworks on display.
  4. Gardens and Outdoor Sculptures: Take a stroll through the museum’s tranquil gardens, which feature outdoor sculptures and installations by Evaristo Valle and other artists. Admire the natural beauty of the surroundings and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the outdoor spaces.
  5. Educational Programs: The Museo Evaristo Valle offers educational programs and activities for visitors of all ages, including guided tours, art workshops, and cultural events. Learn about the life and legacy of Evaristo Valle, explore different artistic techniques, and engage in hands-on creative experiences.
  6. Cultural Events: Throughout the year, the museum hosts a variety of cultural events, including lectures, concerts, film screenings, and performances. Immerse yourself in the vibrant cultural scene of Gijón and discover new artists, musicians, and performers.

In conclusion, Gijón is a city filled with hidden gems waiting to be discovered by adventurous travelers. From the historic quarters of Cimadevilla to the tranquil beaches of Playa de Estaño, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy in this vibrant coastal destination. Whether you’re seeking cultural immersion, culinary delights, or simply a leisurely stroll through picturesque landscapes, Gijón offers a wealth of experiences that will leave you enchanted and inspired.

One excellent way to uncover the hidden gems of Gijón is through the Explorial app, which offers a self-guided tour of the city’s most iconic landmarks and lesser-known attractions. This innovative tool allows visitors to explore Gijón at their own pace, providing detailed information, and insider tips to enhance their experience. With the Explorial app, travelers can delve deeper into the history, culture, and local flavor of Gijón.

Whether you’re wandering through the historic streets of Cimadevilla, admiring the botanical wonders of the Jardín Botánico Atlántico, or savoring traditional Asturian cuisine at a local restaurant, the Explorial app is the perfect companion for your journey through Gijón. It offers a convenient and immersive way to navigate the city’s attractions, allowing you to tailor your experience to your interests and preferences. With the Explorial app in hand, you can embark on a memorable adventure through Gijón, uncovering its hidden gems and creating lasting memories of your time in this exquisite city.

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