Purficación Tomás: Asturian countryside as seen from El Parque de Purificación Tomás.
Hiking & Walking
Oviedo is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast who still enjoys the conveniences of city life. The beach is close, the mountains are close, and there are even plenty of places within the city limits to enjoy the clean Asturian air. Besides the central park, Parque San Francisco, which is frequented mostly by mothers pushing baby carriages and seniors parked on benches, there are two other easily accessible parks perfect for a picnic, an afternoon jog, or an evening stroll to walk off that fabada you’ve just been persuaded to eat.
El Parque del Invierno
El Parque del Invierno, located near the southern limits of the city, is the starting point of a beautiful, although unfortunately paved trail that continues for about 12 kilometers west towards Fuso de la Reina, winding through farmland and hillsides.
El Parque de Purficacion Tomas
El Parque de Purficacion Tomas is a smaller park set on the hillside, northwest of the train station. It offers a beautiful view of the countryside and is very popular in the summer due to its on-site bar. From here, you can take several paths and roads around the hillside, which usually makes for a pretty entertaining, not to mention beautiful, walk. The hard part is remembering where you’ve been so as not to get lost on the winding, directionless country roads.
San Miguel del Lillo, Naranco Park, El Sagrado Corazon
Another day hike goes past the pre-Romanesque monuments and up towards the looming, glowing white statue of Jesus that tops the Monte Naranco. From San Miguel del Lillo, you can continue up the mountainside following the highway or any number of trails, until you reach Naranco Park at the base of the peak which houses the aforementioned statue deemed El Sagrado Corazon. If you’re looking for a well-mapped route, I’d recommend following the road that eventually leads all the way up to the park, even though it may be en up being a bit longer. Otherwise, embarking on any of the paths that appear to go up toward the statue is a fun and adventurous way to pass the day. (Just keep in mind that some of these trails stop and start randomly, and you may end up crawling up the hill through the bramble towards the giant statue. I only say this because I know it’s been done before).
Just Out of Town
There are also several hiking trails that begin just outside of Oviedo, that you can easily reach by bus. Among them is Picu Monsacro, which begins its ascension in the small pueblo of Morcin just south of Oviedo, and La Senda del Oso (the bear trail) which begins in Tunon. You can pick up a complete list and map of hikes within the region at the tourism office.
Back in Town: The Local Market of El Fontan
Thursdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm is a great time to check out the local market, El Fontan. The open-air market sprawls through the south side of el casco antiguo and has everything from fresh flowers and produce to socks and scarves. Along with having super deals, the market is perfect for people-watching.
If you want more information about this area you can email the author or check out our Europe Insiders page.