The greater province of Oviedo
Although most tourists to Oviedo will confine their exploration to the city itself, the greater principality has much to offer with the opportunity to enjoy scenic walks, or to look around the local towns and villages.
Oviedo, whilst having an industrial economy, is also known throughout Spain for its farming and agriculture. Its association with beef has also led to the cow becoming something of an icon or mascot and you will see models of cows outside shops and for sale (in miniature form) on key fobs and as ornaments. Oviedo is definitely a principality with strong links to nature.
Seeing more of Oviedo
In order to capitalize on the principalities natural beauty, Oviedo’s tourist body has created a number (six to be precise) of rural routes aimed at enabling the casual tourist to see the best of greater Oviedo. These journeys can be made on foot, and sometime by car, and take the traveler through tiny villages, beautiful countryside and past often unusual buildings or monuments.
If highly scenic countryside is what you really want, then undoubtedly the areas of eastern Asturias around the Picos de Europa are where you want to aim, but for those confined to Oviedo these routes make a good and interesting alternative.
Those tourists choosing to go on one of these routes will see old churches, fountains, manor houses and the traditional “panera” (elevated grain stores). They will also get a feel for the more rural life for which Asturias is perhaps best known.
More exertive leisure activities are also available around Oviedo and include rock climbing and equestrian sports and you will also find the Las Caldas golf course. Additionally, there are sports and recreational centres in the city.
Oviedo can also offer a starting point for some picturesque train journeys and it is possible to cycle around most parts of the municipality.
Oviedo from above
For a spectacular and near aerial view of Oviedo it is worth taking a short trip to Monte Naranco, a hill overlooking the town. From here you can look down at the network of streets and significant buildings in Oviedo. It makes for a great photo opportunity.
Monte Naranco is also ideal for walkers or anyone wanting to stretch their legs.
Greenways (walking and cycling)
For walkers and bike riders in particular, Oviedo (and Asturias) have what are known as greenways.
These are former (now disused) railway tracks that have been renovated as rural access routes and they offer some of the regions most easily accessible scenic paths.
All are well set out and signposted and most weave in and out of towns where refreshment or accommodation is usually available.