Gijon, Asturias, Spain
This is a general introductory page to the city and province of Gijon. More detailed tourist information about Gijon can be found by using the section menu to the right.
With a history dating back to Roman times Gijon, originally called "Gigia", is on the Asturian coast and features one of Spain's largest shipping ports. The earliest records of Gijon can be found in the fifth century when a settlement developed at Campa Torres and then moved coastward to what is now the city’s thriving port.
The towns of Villaviciosa and Carreno are located near by and this port city has a thriving economy and the provinces biggest population of around 275,000 people. It is considered to be the maritime capital of Asturias.
The port of Gijon and tourism
Gijon's commercial port is called "el Musel", but there is also a smaller port for recreational boats and no less than nine beaches running along its extended shoreline. One of the larger and more notable of the beaches is "San Lorenzo".
In addition to its commercial cargo and traffic, el Musel acts as port for a number of cruise companies who embark there before offering day trips around the region.
Tourism offices can be found within the city of Gijon and there is a particularly prominent one overlooking the port. All appear to offer English, French and German language guides about the city, its old quarter and the various walks and routes around its scenic countryside. Over three quarters of the Gijon province is rural and many holiday makers vacation in the area in order to enjoy its heritage and nature.
Getting to and around Gijon
As the province's most important economic hub, Gijon is easily reached by rail and car from various Spanish cities including those as far a field as Madrid. It is also a comparatively short drive from the ferry port in Cantabria's city of Santander making it easily accessible from the south of England.
The airport in Castrillon is also close by making Gijon a good base from which to arrive at and commence a vacation in Asturias. Travel within the city is also convenient with a number of bus routes and an underground tube (subway) network under construction (as of 2007).
Gijon, like most towns in Asturias, is within easy travelling distance of the "Picos de Europa" mountain range which attracts many walkers, hikers and sightseers. It is also less than one hours drive from the other two Asturian cities of Oviedo and Aviles.
The city of Gijon
Most guides to Gijon describe it as "lively" and with good reason. Unlike many other northern Spanish cities, this one has one foot in the past and the other firmly in the present. Gijon has plenty of history and a visible culture, but it is still a modern city and bears many similarities to other prosperous “green Spain” urbanisations like Vigo and la Coruna (both in Galicia).
With a buoyant local economy, Gijon is confident city and its population are amongst the more prosperous in northern Spain. An atmosphere of energy and activity is always present and this gives it a particular appeal to the growing number of tourists who now visit.
Gijon is possibly the most cosmopolitan city in Asturias and the place where you are most likely to encounter nationals from other countries. It has many bars and cafes and numerous restaurants serving international cuisine. Hotel accommodation is readily available at all levels and price brackets in Gijon.
With a seaside location, Gijon benefits favourably from the warm fronts drifting across the Atlantic Ocean, but it also suffers from comparatively high rainfall (compared with southern Spain) and has its far share of cloudy and overcast days - although less so in summer.
Late spring and early summer are the best times to visit the city, but guaranteed sunshine should never be expected. The weather in coastal areas like Gijon is more reliable than in those areas closer to the mountains.
To find out more about this popular city, take a look at the Gijon sub menu box at the top right of the page.
Another photo showing a part of the old town of Gijon.