7 things to do on a rainy day in Asturias
With plenty to see and do in this wonderfully unspoilt region, Asturias is a fantastic destination for a relaxing country holiday, but let's admit it: chances for good sunny weather are not as high as in the south of the country and rainy days do happen more than we would like them to in Northern Spain.
If you happen to be in Asturias on a wet day like on the photo above, do not despair: here are 7 ideas to survive a rainy day out in Asturias with flying colours.
1. Jurassic museum in Colunga (MUJA)
In recent years, 60 kilometres of the eastern coastline of Asturias between Gijón and Ribadesella has offered quite a lot of rocks formed back when Spain was inhabited by dinosaurs, fossils and footprints keep coming up. Thanks to these dinosaur fossils, along with other terrestrial reptiles, fish, invertebrate organisms and plants, specialists try to reconstruct life in that time.
This is option number one for those travelling with children. The coast of Asturias is strictly linked to the previous existence of dinosaurs in the area with clear evidence in the remains and foot prints found along the coast. The museum is a representation of this invaluable heritage.
Do you know how the age of fossils is calculated? Or that New York and Colunga are two centimetres further from each other each year? Adults and children alike will learn plenty of interesting things in a fun and interactive way, and computers are available so that you can put to the test what you have learned during your visit.
2. Avin cave, glaciar fauna
Just a 20 minute drive away from Cangas de Onis, the Avin cave is an opportunity to have a look at what life was like in the area 40,000 years ago. The high dramatic scenery of the Picos de Europa was during the last glaciation's home to amazing fauna, of which you will get to see replicas of mammoths, a giant deer or a large shaggy rhino species, to name a few.
3. Soplao caves
Located just as you go into Cantabria from Asturias, these extraordinary caves are really worth visiting. You may need to book, as they are excellent and unique, and therefore very popular. The main attraction here is the rock formations: it's fantastic how much amazing beauty you can find in nature.
4. Go to your local food market and cook a traditional dish
Why not go to your local food market and prepare a traditional dish with local produce? Indoor markets, like the one at Villaviciosa (Calle Manel Cortina 7) on Wednesday mornings where peasants bring their own produce to sell, is something bound to disappear; we love these authentic markets. Street markets are also a favourite in Asturias and they´ll still be open if it rains -just remember to bring an umbrella! Depending on where you are, different villages around you will have a street market on different days, sometimes indoors, sometimes outdoors.
5. Mining museum in El Entrego (Museo de la Mineria)
We can't speak of a wonderful location here, but still highly recommendable. The industrial area where the museum is located is attractive in its own weird way. This museum is the second most visited in Asturias after the Jurassic museum and it is very popular among families with children. Its main attraction is the access to the mine´s interior: a 600m drop by lift and then a ride on small wagons through its tunnels.
6. Gijon´s Aquarium
A well-appointed, good-sized aquarium with a large number of species from sharks to penguins and tropical fishes -this space for sea lovers is very entertaining for a rainy day and a must if you are in Gijon. If you have children and they´re into trains, then the Railway museum is just next to the Aquarium.
7. Cheese making in Cabrales
Learning how cheese is made is very interesting, but what´s even more exciting is how the blue Picos Cabrales cheese is made in caves.
In wet weather, the scenery in Asturias is beautiful, and actually adds to the dramatic coastlines while bringing more magic to its thick forests. In good weather, it is simply a delight. Take for Asturias and, fear not, if the bad weather comes your way, you've still got plenty to stay dry!